☕️ Argentina won the World Cup + USD42 mil prize money
Unity government MoU "prelude to dictatorship"-former deputy law minister. Johor's thriving RM1 bil pineapple exports, Germany wants more. Whales-mitigating climate change by eating, pooping, dying.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Johor exported RM1 bil worth of pineapples in 2022, exceeding last year’s value of RM600 mil. Germany has a huge appetite for pineapples and requested if it was possible to supply about one thousand containers a week, according to Johor’s agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development committee chairman Zahari Sarip. The state will be exporting 18 tonnes, or about 12,000 pineapples to Germany for a start.
533 media professionals were imprisoned in 2022, hitting a new record, according to Reporters Without Borders’s (Reporters Sans Frontieres, or RSF) Annual Press Freedom Review. Three-quarters of jailed journalists are concentrated in Asia and the Middle East.
The once largest free-standing cylindrical aquarium in the world, the AquaDom in Radisson Blue in Berlin, broke over the weekend and poured a million litres of water, flooding the hotel and nearby streets. The aquarium, with a height of 15.85m (52 ft), was home to 1,500 fishes. Two people were injured in the incident.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The unfortunate landslide at Batang Kali
Last Friday, a landslide occurred at Father’s Organic Farm in Batang Kali, Pahang and claimed at least 24 lives. The farm had people camping on its site, albeit not having a valid licence to host such activities. Campsites around the country have been advised to stop operating instead of the tragedy. Thus far, 61 people have been rescued from the landslide, while nine are still believed to be missing. The search and rescue (SAR) mission will likely continue today, the fourth day since the incident happened, as it was raining heavily yesterday.
The recovery of the body of a mother embracing her three-year-old daughter broke the heart of Senior Fire Officer Shahari Shamsuddin, as it was one of the most unforgettable experiences during his 23 years of service.
Kudos to the SAR personnel who have been working very hard and tirelessly since the tragedy.
Our condolences to the family of the victims.
Monsoon storm to last until Christmas eve
The current monsoon experienced in the country is expected to last until Dec 24, according to reports received by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) from the Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia). NADMA has also activated the Disaster Operations Control Centre to ensure a smooth management response should immediate intervention is required.
Over the weekend, the rains have caused havoc around the country
More than 50 residents in Kampung Chawas, Tanah Merah, faced heavy floods and had to be evacuated.
A total of 86 temporary evacuation centres (PPS) have also been opened for flood victims across the country.
The monsoon also claimed its first victim, a 2-year-old girl in Terengganu. The girl was said to have fallen through her kitchen door and then swept away by floodwaters.
12 routes in four districts in Kelantan have been closed due to floods.
Lawyer: Unity government’s MoU unconstitutional
The coalitions that made up the unity government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ahead of today’s confidence vote. However, the MoU contained a clause — automatic resignation — that is said to violate the rights of MPs to disagree with their parties, according to lawyer Andrew Khoo, as quoted by Free Malaysia Today. Former deputy law minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin criticised it as a “prelude to dictatorship” as it threatened democracy.
The automatic resignation clause stipulates that MPs who fail to toe the line, as set by their parties, and instead vote against the prime minister or the government would be deemed to have resigned as MPs.
PKR’s deputy president Rafizi Ramli was quick to defend the clause, saying that all MPs are allowed to vote based on their own views and conscience, except when it comes to matters relating to the legitimacy of the government.
MIC’s secretary-general RT Rajasekaran is unhappy with the MoU, questioning the transparency that went into securing the agreement.
Construction conglomerate Gamuda Bhd recorded an all-time high net profit of RM1.17 billion in the first quarter ended Oct 31, 2022 (Q1FY2023) thanks to the one-off cash gain of RM1 billion from the divestment of four highways that was successfully completed in October 2022. The highway sale has put the group in a cash surplus position. The group also has a large construction order book of nearly RM15 billion and unbilled property sales of nearly RM6 billion. For the quarter, Gamuda has announced six sen dividends per share to be paid.
Developer Eco World Development Grop Bhd (EcoWorld) was hit by impairment in 4QFY2022, causing the group’s net profit to fall to RM1.78 mil compared to RM42.84 mil a year ago. The impairment arose from Eco World International Bhd (EWI)’s EcoWorld Ballymore joint venture in London. The property developer declared a third interim dividend of two sen per share.
The targeted electricity subsidy will see all domestic users continuing to enjoy the two sen per kWh rebate on their power tariff for the period between Jan 1 and June 30, 2023. Famers, animal breeders and lower voltage (LV) non-domestic users will also be spared from the 3.7 sen per KWh surcharge. Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will bear a total of RM10.76 bil in subsidy for these groups of users.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
How whales mitigate climate change by eating, pooping and dying
In a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, scientists found that the sheer size of whales, up to 150 tons and a life span of more than 100 years, can divert and capture carbon away from the atmosphere in life and death, akin to “big floating trees in the ocean”. By eating, carbon, which is present in all lifeforms on Earth, is captured in the body. Pooping and peeing back into the ocean contributes to plankton growth as it feeds on whale poop, again contributing to carbon capture. And as whales die, their bodies sink to the bottom of the ocean and keeping carbon away from the atmosphere.
Encouraging whale numbers to grow can amplify the carbon-locking effect, but it is not ths silver bullet to solving our climate crisis. This approach, known as nature-based solutions, can provide 37% of the climate change mitigation by 2030 to meet the goal of keeping climate warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
Read the study: Whales in the carbon cycle: can recovery remove carbon dioxide?
Former US President Donald Trump teased a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” that turned out to be selling his NFT
We don’t think this qualifies as anything major. But Trump being Trump, any instance of making money is a major thing. Trump has announced his entry into the metaverse - 45,000 NFT trading cards are for sale for USD99 each, which are now completely sold out. Apart from a JPEG, the NFT owners will enter a lucky draw to dine and play golf with Trump. This NFT is not by Trump or the Trump Organization but is licensed to another company, NFT INT LLC.
So far, the secondary sale of the NFTs has exceeded USD1 mil in trading volume, with some trading in the thousands (one card featuring Trump holding the Statue of Liberty’s torch is going for USD3,000) on the secondary market. See the collection here on NFT marketplace Opensea.
President Biden took this opportunity to mock Trump’s “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT”:
Dropbox announced that it has acquired FormSwift for USD95 mil in cash. The company, founded in 2012 with no outside funding, provides document editing services to help businesses to reduce spending time filling out commonly used forms.
Satellite owner and operator Maxar Technologies said private equity Advent International has agreed to acquire and take it private for USD4.1 bil. The offer price made was very generous - 129% over the stock’s last closing price. Maxar provides satellite imagery on Earth. Battlefield images in Ukraine are often provided by Mazar.
Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai is looking to sell 8% of his 1.4% stake in Alibaba, worth USD260 mil. Tsai has previously sold at least USD3.3 bil between 2017 and 2021 for wealth planning and philanthropic commitments. With a net worth of USD5.8 bi, his Alibaba stake is his biggest listed asset, and he also owns the NBA team Brooklyn Nets. Tsai quit his USD700,000-a-year job at an investment firm to join Alibaba in 1999 for a USD50 monthly salary - the bet paid off big time.
The winner in a bankruptcy case? Usually are the lawyers and advisers. For 4 months of work from July to October, the lawyer and advisers to bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network Ltd are seeking USD52.8 mil in fees.
Pokemon main characters Ash Ketchum and Pikachu are bowing out after 25 years. Both are set to leave the anime series and 2 new fresh faces will take over beginning Apr 2023 — a young girl named Liko and a boy named Roy. Watch the announcement trailer here.
Billionaire MacKenzie Scott has launched the Yield Giving website, where she tracks her philanthropic endeavours. Users can search her donations by location, focus area, and keywords. To date, she has donated USD14 bil to more than 1,600 organisations. An open-call process is in the works to offer an online application for organisations to apply for donations. Scott divorced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019 and received 4% of the company’s shares as part of their divorce.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
One of the best-ever World Cup final matches. Congrats, Argentina, for winning the 2022 World Cup! Apart from the trophy, they are walking home with USD42 mil in prize money. Not too bad for France as well - they still get USD30 mil. Merely qualifying for the World Cup gets USD 9 mil per team. FIFA allocated USD440 mil in prize money for the 32 teams that qualified. Watch highlights here. Special appearance by Elon Musk together with Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump.
Spectacular meteor shower over the Dubai skyline - not. It was skydivers performing a stunt with flares attached to them. Looks like a prelude to an alien invasion.