☕️ Batang Kali landslide - country's second-worst natural disaster in terms of fatalities after the 1993 Highland Towers collapse
Vehicle data from JPJ will be used for targeted fuel subsidy. Taliban's new ban on women - not allowed to attend work at NGOs. Apple shareholders handsomely rewarded with USD454 bil.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
690 bookies were detained in 530 raids under an operation codenamed Ops Soga. The bookies were detained for allegedly being involved in illegal bookmaking on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. RM22.3 mil worth of betting credits was seized. Wonder how they come up with the name of the operations.
Some 5.2 mil domestic passengers passed through 39 airports of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) in the country for Nov 2022. The figure represents about 60% of what was posted for the same month in 2019, indicating we still have some ways to go before going back to pre-pandemic levels.
Apple has generated USD454 bil in cash from operations in the past five years. Instead of making acquisitions or the iPhone with USB-C, it returned all that cash — and then some — to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks and dividends. That’s more than the market value of Exxon Mobil Corp or JPMorgan Chase & Co.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Putrajaya to utilise JPJ’s vehicle data to formulate a targeted subsidy program
According to the trade minister, Salahuddin Ayub, vehicle databases from the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be utilised to determine the distribution of targeted subsidies for RON95 petrol. JPJ has very comprehensive data on vehicle users, especially on the horsepower of vehicles. Salahuddin told the press that a few methods would be proposed in terms of the distribution method, but ultimately, the decision would lie with the Cabinet. This matters a lot currently as the subsidy is channelled disproportionately — T20 income group enjoys 53% of the total subsidy, amounting to more than RM15 bil, whilst the B40 enjoys 15% of it.
By utilising the data on vehicles’ horsepower, it is the right approach to determining who deserves the RON95 petrol subsidies. Other factors, such as the number of vehicle owners under the same individual, should be considered in the distribution mechanism. You can see below although both Mercedes A-Class (RM277.9k) and Proton Saga (RM41.8k) have the same engine capacity, they contrast in terms of horsepower (mainly thanks to turbocharging).
Now the kingdom is built, the Kerajaan Perpaduan’s component parties are setting their respective houses in order
Parti Bangsa Malaysia — After being lambasted by Zuraida Kamaruddin and co, Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) president, Larry Sng asked Zuraida to quit politics altogether and to conduct some Eat, Pray and Love kind of soul searching after Zuraida lost terribly in GE15. Zuraida was one of the 13 Supreme Council members suspended last October for disciplinary issues.
UMNO — A special assembly will be held after the president’s speech on Jan 23 to amend two clauses of the party’s constitution, said UMNO secretary-general Ahmad Maslan. The first amendment is that all information chiefs will be automatically appointed as representatives to the annual UMNO general assembly. In contrast, the second amendment will be made to ensure that the party’s constitution is in line with the anti-hopping law.
Batang Kali landslide is the second worst natural disaster in the country
According to the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART), the Batang Kali landslide is the second worst disaster in terms of fatalities claiming 31 souls, just behind the infamous Highland Towers collapse, which occurred on 11 Dec 1993 that led to the death of 48 individuals - watch TV3’s flashback on this incident, released one month ago.
In light of this, we would like to extend our appreciation to the first responders and rescuers that have given their all to retrieve all the victims successfully. On top of that, we would like to take this opportunity to express our condolences to the deceased's families. We hope their deaths will not just be a statistic for the history books but a lesson learnt to prevent future tragedies.
The Minerals and Geoscience Department said the slope in the landslide tragedy is not listed as a critical slope under the department's monitoring.
Sandakan’s king tide swallowed another 38 houses
The king tide phenomenon led to the collapse of another 38 stilt houses in Kampung Forest, Sandakan. Citing the Sandakan district police chief, ACP Abdul Fuad Abdul Malek, a total of 70 houses collapsed due to the king tide and consequently, 684 people were evacuated from the area. Fortunately, no casualties were reported. A king tide (infographic here) is an unusually high tide that can cause local flooding. King tides occur when the orbits and alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun combine to produce the greatest tidal effects of the year.
Watch: Scene and damage caused by the king tide in Sandakan
Rat-infested premise was being ordered to close, licence cancelled
Remy of Ratatouille is giving Malaysian food a try. The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) will be cancelling the licence of the food premise in Pandan Indah that went viral after a rat was caught munching on fried chicken in a food warmer container. According to MPAJ, the restaurant was rated B in terms of cleanliness and based on previous regular inspections; the restaurant did not violate any regulations set by the council. Watch the NFSW video here.
Industronics Bhd is part of a consortium consisting of Hong Kong-based stockbroking firm Bluemount Financial Group Ltd and China-based sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) that has been shortlisted for the RM15.48bil Kedah Aerotropolis development project.
The operational start date for the Putrajaya MRT Line Phase 2 was being pushed back to March 2023, after initially slated to open in January 2023. The 38.7-kilometre-long section of Phase 2 will run from Kampung Batu station to Putrajaya Sentral, ultimately providing an alternative rail connection between the nation’s capital and the country’s business district Kuala Lumpur.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Taliban just couldn’t leave women alone - now imposing ban on women working in NGOs
Days after banning Afghan women from attending universities, the Taliban government has now ordered all local and foreign NGOs to stop female employees from coming to work over non-adherence to the government’s interpretation of the Islamic dress code for women. The United Nations is exempted from this ruling. However, it relies heavily on local NGOs to carry out its humanitarian work (Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian crisis currently).
Taliban’s Minister of Higher Education spoke for the first time last Thursday on the university ban, justifying the ban to prevent the mixing of genders and some subjects taught violated Islamic principles. The ban has been widely criticised by Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and Qatar.
Read: Timeline of Taliban crackdown on Afghan women’s education, rights
69-year-old Parisian man killed 3 Kurds over ‘pathological’ hatred of foreigners
The suspect, identified as William M., killed 3 Kurds last Friday outside a Kurdish culture centre and wounded two others, and attempted to kill himself but failed to after being disarmed and subdued by one of the injured victims. The man “always wanted to kill migrants and foreigners” ever since a burglary at his home two years ago made him “depressed” and “suicidal”, and described all “non-European foreigners” as his enemies. The suspect has a history of weapon offences, and it has emerged that he was released on bail days before the assault.
A peaceful gathering to pay tribute to the victims turned violent as demonstrators started fires on the streets, smashing cars and clashing with police.
Japan attempts to achieve rare earth metal independence, reduce reliance on China
Rare earth is a blanket term referring to 17 rare metals which is essential in the high-tech industry. Japan currently imports nearly all of its supply, including 60% from China. Japan has discovered rare earth metals on the seafloor at a depth of 6,000m. The nation targets to start extracting these metals in 2024 as it is yet to develop the necessary technologies to extract at such depths and withstand Kuroshio, or Japan Current, known to be among the world’s fastest sea currents in the area.
Practically the whole world, not only Japan, is dependent on China for rare earth metals — China has a stranglehold on the world’s supply, controlling nearly 80%.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview aired on Sunday, said Russia is ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the Ukraine war but Kyiv and its Western backers refused to engage in talks. His peace remarks came amid continued shelling of Ukrainian towns and are being criticised as insincere. British Intelligence found that there are plans to increase Russia’s military by 30%, bringing it to 1.5 mil personnel.
The Financial Times reported that Adidas is sitting on Yeezy sneakers worth more than EUR500 mil (USD530 mil) after it cut ties with Ye (fka Kanye West) over his antisemitic remarks and is scrambling for ways to sell it under its brand to minimise further losses. Yeezy accounted for 7% (EUR1.7 bil) of the sports giant’s sales this year and said it would take a USD247 mil hit on profits as a result.
“The Way of Water”, the Avatar sequel, has made USD253.7 mil in the US in its first 10 days of release, outpacing the first movie, which made USD212.7 mil during the same period back in 2009, suggesting it has ‘staying power’ and potentially overtaking the first movie that had grossed more than USD2.9 bil to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. So far, “The Way of Water” has generated USD855 mil in global ticket sales.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Why not to queue in the heavy vehicle lane at the toll — watch here (warning - graphic)
Not too late to check out a collection of some interesting Christmas ads.
Seattle’s worst ice storm in a decade turned it into a giant ice rink.
Data by Stockbit, a stock market analytics app, shows 2022 recorded the highest number of IPOs in the past 5 years, with 35 new listings. If you made a killing, make sure to buy us some ‘coffee’ here. If you lose your shirt, erm, maybe we will buy you coffee instead.