☕️ 'Akta Coldplay 2023': Govt will draft a new ‘anti-scalping’ law
MACC on hot streak — now, the son of a former PM is the next target. Meta sold GIF site Giphy for USD53 mil, losing 87% of its USD400 mil acquisition. The dangers of AI: Faking disasters.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
SGDMYR hit a record high of RM3.3889 yesterday since May 1973, when both currencies were 1:1, BFM reported. Our neighbours are doing somethings right that we aren’t.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
1,350 kilometres of coastline in parts of Malaysia are at risk of disappearing because of global warming if no immediate measures are taken, according to environmental data and experts. Global warming has caused temperatures to rise at a rapid rate. The affected areas facing critical coastal erosion are mainly in Sarawak, Sabah, Johor, Perak and Terengganu. What’s the cost of global warming to Malaysia? By 2030, the country will need USD5,750 mil (RM26,028 bil) in economic assistance.
Singapore Airlines Ltd staff will get a bonus of around 8 months’ salary after the group, which includes budget arm Scoot, reported a net income of SGD2.16 bil (USD1.62 bil). Singapore Airlines and its budget offshoot Scoot carried 26.5 mil passengers in the year, with passenger capacity rising to 79% of pre-Covid levels in March. Bookings to China, Japan and South Korea contributed to the record profits.
Apple Inc. proudly announced that its App Store prevented over USD2 bil in potentially fraudulent transactions last year as it faces calls to allow sideloading. Nearly 1.7 million app submissions in 2022 were rejected for failing to meet the App Store’s standards for privacy and security. Last year, the European Union passed the Digital Markets Act that will go into effect in 2024 and force Big Tech companies, like Apple, to allow alternative app stores on their platforms.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The Federal Government is to blame for Kelantan’s struggle, says PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang
Marang MP cum PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang lambasted the Federal Government as the main reason behind the current poor state of Kelantan. In a post on his Facebook, Abdu Hadi stated that since PM Anwar Ibrahim became the Finance Minister in 1991 up until now, Kelantan has faced many obstacles in getting federal aid that limits its ability to provide basic needs such as clean water, housing and others. PAS has governed Kelantan since 1990 and the state has consistently been the worst-performing economy in the country. Abdul Hadi proudly claimed that even with the current financial limitation, PAS has ruled Kelantan with integrity and trustworthiness.
Ironically, it was revealed that state utility Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB) had allegedly granted RM10,000 to each board member as a bonus in conjunction with Aidilfitri. If this is true, then it goes against the narrative Abdul Hadi uttered as obviously the state government has money to spare up to the point that AKSB could give a five-figure bonus to its board members. Another thing, does the clean water supply issues in Kelantan have been resolved that merited the disbursement of this bonus?
PM Anwar Ibrahim’s government overseas trips have a better return on investments than scams
Minister in the PM’s Department Armizan Mohd Ali, in a written parliamentary reply, mentioned that between January to April 2023, 64 official visits abroad were conducted by ministers costing RM18.6mil, where 15 of them were for PM, Anwar Ibrahim. Out of that 15, in nine instances, the ACJ320 Airbus government executive jet was utilised. PM Anwar alone had visited Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and China. In return from these eight foreign trips, they have generated an estimated RM184.73 bil in potential investments and RM3.22 bil in potential exports. Tikam RM18.6mil and get a total of RM187.95bil in expected return.
A slew of legislation amendments
Following the decriminalisation of suicide on Monday, the lower house of Parliament has passed amendments to the Mental Health Act 2001 that will empower the crisis intervention officers to enter any premises in order to apprehend any person that potentially commits self-harm. The said crisis intervention officers include the police, firemen and even officers of the Welfare Department.
Suicides are commonly linked to mental health issues and not surprisingly, some Perikatan MPs want the LGBT community to be categorised as those with mental health issues. The two MPs are Pasir Salak MP Jamaluddin Yahya and Kapar MP Dr Halimah Ali. Voters, please remember these names the next time you cast your ballots.
Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that the Government will draft a new ‘anti-scalping’ law to monitor and control the re-sale of tickets done via online and offline transactions. Putrajaya will follow the United States and Australian models in creating this new law. Perhaps, this law should be dubbed Coldplay Act 2023.
Putrajaya is dropping two categories of people — those over 70 years old and individuals with mental illness — from bankruptcy status under a set of new amendments to the Insolvency Act 1967. Individuals in those two categories can be free of the bankrupt designation just with the issuance of an Insolvency Department director-general's certificate. Things that you can’t do when declared bankrupt.
Noticeably, PM Anwar-led Unity Government has produced a menu of policies since taking charge of the country at the end of last year. Let’s go through some of the key ones:
Amendments to the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 to address the issue of child grooming online.
Driving licence renewal up to 10 years — need to give Anthony Loke credit for this.
Taking off e-cigarette liquid or gel containing nicotine from the Poison Lists without announcing the anticipated Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022.
MACC is on a hot streak — now, the son of a former PM is the next target
According to a credible source, the son of a former PM has been called to the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Monday evening for questioning. It is unclear whether the summoning by MACC is related to the Panama Papers. In the infamous Panama Papers, the names related to three former PMs were mentioned - Mohd Nazifuddin of Najib Razak, Fakhri of Muhyiddin Yassin and Mirzan of Tun Dr Mahathir.
BP Healthcare Group is interested in investing in the ‘cheap’ PN17 designated Pharmaniaga Bhd. In Q42022, Pharmaniaga recorded an RM638.4mil loss that lead to the current demise of the company.
Another data centre is being built in Malaysia. This time around, Princeton Digital Group (PDG) has inked a deal with JLand Group (JLG) for the former to build an RM2 bil 150 megawatts (MW) data centre campus on 12.5 hectares of land in Sedenak Tech Park (STeP), Johor.
Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek announced that the school sessions will revert back to January starting in 2026. So, fellow parents, you can start to make your planning from now on.
2023 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023 (Lima’23) starts with a bang as some 36 aircraft from our armed forces broke the silence of the Langkawi airspace to mark the beginning of the biennial exhibition. Watch some of the air performances below.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The dangers of AI: Faking disasters
A fake image showing a large explosion near the Pentagon (US) was shared on social media, causing a brief dip in the stock market. Officials later confirmed that no such incident had occurred.
The combination of generative AI and Twitter’s pay-to-verify system is making the spread of misinformation frictionless. The image is said to have appeared on a verified Twitter account called “Bloomberg Feed,” which could very easily be mistaken for a real Bloomberg-affiliated account, especially since it had a blue check. The account has since been suspended.
Shutterstock buys Giphy on the cheap
Meta Platforms Inc. found a willing buyer for Giphy, the animated GIF search engine it paid USD400 mil to acquire three years ago. The announcement comes some seven months after the U.K.’s antitrust authority issued a final order for Meta to sell Giphy. Shutterstock announced it paid USD53 mil for Giphy — meaning Meta recuperated just 13% of its money. The cost of compliance is expensive — USD347 million — but it’s Meta’s own doing, as it didn’t get the clearance of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) before the acquisition of Giphy.
Why did Shutterstock buy Giphy? The acquisition allows it to expand its content library (mainly stock images) to include GIFs and stickers for advertisers and brands.
TikTok vs Montana
Last week, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill banning TikTok in the state. The bill, which will take effect in January, specifically names TikTok as its target, prohibiting the app from operating within state lines. Under the passed Montana law, TikTok and the app stores, such as Apple and Google, could face fines of USD10,000 per violation per day if they do not comply.
TikTok filed a lawsuit in the federal court, suing Montana in an effort to stop the US state from banning it, arguing the move is both “unlawful” and “unconstitutional”. TikTok argued the Montana law violated its first amendment rights to free speech and said the ban was in violation of US rules on foreign and interstate commerce.
The Office Diversity Day routine gone wrong
Bo Young Lee, the head of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Uber, has been asked to take a leave of absence after Black and Hispanic employees complained about the workplace events she moderated exploring the experience of white American women under the title “Don’t Call Me Karen”. According to the New York Times, a Black staffer argued that diversity sessions should not include “tone-deaf, offensive and triggering conversations”. The sessions were held as part of a “Moving Forward” series of discussions on race and minority experiences. Lee led the DEI department for five years.
Watch the snippet of The Office’s Diversity Day below.
More on Uber — the ride-hailing company has agreed to a strategic partnership with Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving unit. The partnership will see Waymo expands its reach and secure new customers beyond those who have already downloaded the company’s branded Waymo One app. The first phase of the partnership will start later this year in the Metro Phoenix area
You can now edit your blunders on WhatsApp. In the coming weeks, WhatsApp will allow its users to edit messages for up to 15 minutes after being sent. The edited messages will be tagged as “edited”, but the recipients won’t be shown how the message has been tweaked over time.
The government of Western Australia is said to have sponsored Coldplay’s “Music Of The Spheres” tour in Perth to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore the state more. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, some quarters are calling for the band’s concert in Bukit Jalil National Stadium to be cancelled.
Alibaba’s Cloud Arm is said to have begun a round of job cuts that could reduce its staff by 7%. China’s largest cloud service has begun informing affected staff and offering severance to employees or transfers to other parts of the Alibaba empire. The layoff is said to be part of the plan for the cloud division’s eventual initial public offerings (IPO). In fiscal 2022, it generated nearly USD12 billion of revenue for the company — 8% of turnover.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
If you’re a designer, you may just enjoy this page — Portfolio Design Inspiration, a collection of amazing product designers’ portfolios.
Artist helga.stentzel turned house chores into art.
Clean energy still has a long way to go. However, we’re better than where we were at.