- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ You can renew your driving license, road tax digitally from Feb 2024 onwards
☕️ You can renew your driving license, road tax digitally from Feb 2024 onwards
Only 1 in 2 Malaysians wear seat belts. MACC probing the RM700 mil spent on promotions and publicity. Japan Airlines collided with a coastguard aircraft, 5 casualties.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
Information as of 0720 UTC+8 on Jan 3, 2024.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
The safety of Malaysia's roads, despite their superior quality compared to Norway and the UK, faces a significant challenge rooted in the low percentage of Malaysians using seat belts. While 95% of drivers in Norway and the UK adhere to seat belt regulations, the rate in Malaysia is alarmingly low at only 48%. The discrepancy in seat belt usage, a crucial safety measure, contributes significantly to the country's road safety concerns. Malaysia’s roads are quite fatal, too. Yesterday, we reported the daily casualty from road accidents in 2023 was 34. Please drive safely and wear your seat belts!
In October 2023, yuan payments accounted for 3.6% of global international payments, as reported by Swift, the international financial messaging service. That was up from less than 2% in January 2023! Despite this growth, the yuan's share remains significantly lower than the dollar, which comprises 47% of global payments, and the euro at 23%. Notably, China's cross-border yuan settlement for merchandise trade has more than doubled monthly since mid-2020, now representing over a quarter of the country's total goods trade (data from the central bank and Commerce Ministry).
The Hilton Group has recently just opened its 600th hotel in China — specifically, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. Hilton’s portfolio in China includes 12 out of its total 22 brands, covering luxury, lifestyle, full service and focused service offerings. China is the hospitality group’s second-largest market globally after the United States.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysians can digitally renew driving licences and road tax via the MyJPJ App starting Feb 1 📱🚗
Motorists in Malaysia can digitally renew their driving licences and road tax through the MyJPJ App starting February 1, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke. The feature is exclusively available to Malaysians, and those who opt for digital renewal between February 1, 2024, and December 31, 2024, will receive a RM5 rebate. The initiative aims to encourage Malaysian motorists to utilise e-services for licence renewals. The online renewal will be rolled out in stages, with the initial phase focusing on privately owned vehicles owned by Malaysians.
Court reveals that Najib's directives exempted 1MDB from 2009 audit
Malaysia's High Court disclosed that the national sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), was exempted from a 2009 audit by the National Audit Department (NAD) through a letter from former PM Najib Razak. Despite the Finance Ministry's due diligence recommendation for a NAD audit, Najib directed an external professional audit appointed by 1MDB's board.
Deputy PM acknowledges “Dubai Move” plot; PM brushes off alleged ouster attempt
Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed the existence of the “Dubai Move” plot, involving leaders from Perikatan Nasional and individuals within the ruling government coalition. Zahid asserted that intelligence reports provided evidence of the alleged plotters' meeting during their trip to Dubai. He emphasises the futility of attempts to topple the government through backdoor manoeuvres due to the recently gazetted anti-party hopping law, suggesting waiting for the 16th general election as the appropriate democratic channel. PM Anwar Ibrahim dismisses the alleged plot, stating that such matters do not affect him, focusing on initiatives for the people.
MACC initiates probe into alleged RM700 mil misuse for promotions by previous Malaysian governments
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has launched an initial investigation into the alleged misuse of RM700 mil spent on promotions and publicity by the two previous federal governments between 2020 and 2022. MACC officers visited the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister's Department to gather information and documents related to the case. The investigation follows Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's revelation in November that RM700 mil had been spent since 2020 for government promotion, with the bulk handled by the Prime Minister's Office. MACC's senior director of investigation, Hishamuddin Hashim, confirmed the ongoing investigation.
Remember the array of investigations brought upon by PH1.0 on the previous administrations?
Will the Unity Government suffer the same fate if this continues?
The Central Database Hub (Padu) was launched yesterday. It was designed to enhance targeted subsidies, utilising specific criteria such as dependents to prevent the misappropriation of subsidies. The initiative aims to foster a secure national database that facilitates analytics, policy formulation, and targeted implementation for socio-economic benefits. Find out how to register here.
Malaysia flood update: Agricultural land losses, health facilities impacted, and recovery in Johor
Deputy PM Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi disclosed that recent floods in Malaysia affected approximately 4,893.73 hectares of agricultural land, impacting 2,269 farmers and causing estimated losses of RM22,823,601. The floods severely affected Kelantan and led to damage to 51 health facilities. While Johor has officially recovered, some areas remain affected, such as Jalan Kampung Orang Asli Peta in Mersing.
Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, 61, joyfully announced in an Instagram post the arrival of her grandchild less than a month after hosting a wedding banquet in her home country. In a social media post, Yeoh conveyed her joy and gratitude, sharing a photo of the newborn. The baby is the child of Nicolas Todt, the son of Yeoh's French husband, Jean Todt from a previous relationship.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Japan is not having a great start to the year
After the deadly earthquake at the dawn of the new year, Japan saw another disaster. A Japan Airlines plane had collided with a smaller coastguard aircraft on the runway at Tokyo’s Haneda airport yesterday. All 379 passengers and crew on the passenger plane, which arrived from Sapporo, Hokkaido, were evacuated, according to the police. Unfortunately, five of the six crew members of the coastguard aircraft died, with the pilot said to be severely injured.
Investigations are underway to establish how and at what time the accident occurred. The coastguard plane was flying from Haneda to Niigata airport to assist with the rescue and relief efforts after the earthquake in Ishikawa on Monday. It was one of four planes sent to the affected area. NSFW — You may watch a snippet of the collision below.
Japan Airlines flight JL516, an Airbus A350-941, collided with a Coast Guard plane at Haneda Airport:
— Aviation Safety Network (ASN) (@AviationSafety)
Jan 2, 2024
Meanwhile, Japan has lifted the tsunami warning. The natural disaster has claimed at least 48 lives and about 120 people are awaiting rescue. Japan Meteorological Agency said the country had been hit by 155 earthquakes since the initial tremor on Monday.
Updates on Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine conflicts
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has threatened to seize a list of foreign assets in retaliation against any similar moves by the West on Russia’s frozen assets, which the Kremlin has claimed as “outright theft.” Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West has frozen USD300 bil in Russian central bank assets. The leaders of G7 are set to discuss how to seize the assets legally when they meet in February.
After coming under increasing pressure from its principal ally, the United States, Israel has announced it will withdraw thousands of its soldiers from the besieged Gaza Strip. On Monday, the military announced that five brigades, comprising several thousand troops, are being withdrawn from the enclave for training and rest. However, this isn’t a signal that the war will end anytime soon — it’s the beginning of a different mode of operations, according to retired brigadier general Shlomo Brom. Palestinian health authorities claim at least 21,978 people have been killed in the Israeli assault on Gaza since October 7, 2023.
The battle of EVs — Tesla hits while Rivian misses
Tesla, the world's most valuable automaker, achieved a record number of vehicle deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2023, reaching its 2023 target of 1.8 mil units. The company delivered 484,507 vehicles in the last three months of 2023, surpassing analysts' estimates. This achievement was attributed to increased discounts on key models and a concerted effort to deliver more Model 3 electric cars before certain variants lose federal tax credits in the New Year. Tesla is aiming to deliver 2.2 mil vehicles this year, a 22% growth compared to 2023.
Rivian Automotive fell short of market expectations for fourth-quarter deliveries, facing challenges from tough competition and high interest rates affecting demand for its electric vehicles. The company delivered 13,972 vehicles in the quarter, a 10% decrease from the previous quarter and below estimates of 14,430. Despite this, Rivian's annual production reached 57,232 units, surpassing its forecast of 54,000, as it produced 17,541 vehicles in the last three months of 2023, a 7.5% increase from the prior quarter.
Fun fact: Rivian’s single largest shareholder is the e-commerce giant Amazon with a 17% stake.
China pumps USD50 bil to support the economy
The People’s Bank of China injected nearly USD50 bil into policy-oriented banks last month, signifying a potential increase in financing for housing and infrastructure projects to support the economy. The outstanding amount of the PBOC's Pledged Supplemental Lending program to policy banks rose to RMB3.25 trillion (USD456 bil) by the end of December, marking a net injection of RMB350 bil, the largest increase via the tool since November 2022.
The dangers of being a politician
South Korean opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck on Tuesday while touring the site of a proposed new airport in the southern city of Busan. The assailant asked for Lee's autograph before lunging at him with a knife. Lee, 59, underwent surgery to repair a major blood vessel and is in recovery, conscious, in an intensive care unit. Watch the incident here - NSFW.
HSBC wants a piece of the lucrative FX business of Revolut and Wise
The incumbent bank is launching Zing in the UK to grab a share of the fast-growing market servicing affluent consumers, directly challenging Revolut and Wise. The app, which will be available on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, will be open to non-HSBC customers as the bank prepares to “attack” the worldwide retail payment market.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Steam buns fluffing up
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973)
Jan 2, 2024