☕️ Government blames Taman Sri Muda floods as 'acts of God'
Elon Musk warns of Twitter bankruptcy. First casino in UAE opening in 2026. Scene straight out of action movie - 2 WWII planes collided and crashed in air show.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
E-commerce platform Alibaba has decided to keep mum on the sales figure of the Single Day for 2022, only saying the results were in line with last year. Citi analysts forecast Alibaba’s gross merchandise value (GMV) to range from 545 bil yuan to 560 bil yuan, a slight growth of 0.9% to 3.6% from the previous year. Did you splurge on 11:11?
Kevin Magnussen is the 106th Formula 1 driver to take pole position after a splendid qualifying session last Friday. Who has the most pole positions? Lewis Hamilton — 103 in total. The record was made in the 2021 Saudi GP. The second — doesn’t even come close despite the respectable figure — 68 poles held by Michael Schumacher.
2,388 — the number of people affected by the floods over the weekend that are taking shelter in 25 relief centres, according to the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA). The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) warned of possible flash floods for several areas in Terengganu, Selangor, Penang, Perak, Kedah, Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Pahang at 3 pm yesterday. And we’re heading into GE15 this Saturday. Oh wells.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politicians’ strategy: Deny until the truth comes out
Initially, UMNO’s president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ) asked for the Sungai Buloh seat. KJ refuted the claim, clarifying that he was left with few options after vacating the Rembau seat. He had to meet Selangor Barisan Nasional chairman Noh Omar to stand for the Sungai Buloh seat.
DAP’s Nga scares Teluk Intan voters
Incumbent Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming said in a Mandarin statement that if PN comes into power, Malaysia will become “another Afghanistan” to spook non-Muslim voters. Yet, he has set his target of grabbing at least 25% of the Malay votes in the area for GE15. The
Caretaker PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob wants Anwar Ibrahim to apologise
Last week on Nov 11, Anwar Ibrahim allegedly claimed that military personnel have already cast their votes for the PM’s seat in Bera and were paid each RM300 to do so. Anwar said the early voting was supposed to start on Nov 15. However, Defence Force Chief General Affendi Buang said the voting process for army personnel who are registered postal voters began on Nov 7. Ismail wants Anwar to apologise not to him but to the military personnel nationwide.
Controversial Kedah menteri besar Sanusi is at it again
In a viral video, Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor was caught saying, “It would take them (women) more than two hours just to get ready” in an attempt to brush off Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional’s women candidates for the Sik seat. Sanusi said Sik is a rural area that needs “wakil rakyat” at all times.
Fahmi Reza, aka Kuasasiswa, goes on tour around local varsities for his #KelasDemokrasi. Thus far, only TWO local universities (UIAM Gombak & UUM Kedah) have allowed him to carry on the class on campus grounds.
Malaysia’s GDP in 3QFY22 grew by 14.2% YoY
While some quarters claim credit for the achievement, Bank Negara Malaysia Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the growth was partly lifted by the low base effect due to the strict containment measures in the same period last year (all the MCOs, remember?). The governor added the country’s economy is likely to exceed the 7% growth projected earlier.
Read here to understand the low base effect.
The Kelana Jaya LRT Line resumes operation today
Hooray for Klang Valley commuters as the rail line resumes operation earlier by two days. Caretaker Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong delivered the good news yesterday, saying the Rapid Rail management had conducted intensive tests to ensure the line is safe and ready for full opening. Let’s not easily put this behind us - we still want accountability.
The government: Floods are “acts of God”
The federal government and five others described the flood that hit Taman Sri Muda (TSM) in December last year as “acts of God” in their statement of defence against a class action lawsuit by 50 of the flood victims. However, the 50 residents’ filed a reply saying annual floods cannot be “acts of God.” The plaintiffs are seeking RM3.8 mil of special damages from the 10 defendants. The case management before the Shah Alam High Court is scheduled on Nov 29.
Have you ever heard of Pelham Blue Fund? Four individuals related to the entity have been charged with money laundering of more than RM7.2 million involving unlawful proceeds from unlicensed investment advice activities. They claimed trial to all the charges.
Cat’s out of the bag — Caretaker Finance Minister Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said PKR deputy president Mohd Rafizi Ramli’s claim that the RM2 bil flood prevention project was approved after Parliament was dissolved is not true. The project was approved on the day of the tabling of Budget 2023 in Parliament — Oct 7, which was three days before the dissolution on Oct 10.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Twitter: Elon Musk’s bankruptcy warning, “verified” accounts chaos
In his first address to Twitter employees, Musk warned that bankruptcy is a possibility if the company doesn’t start generating more cash as advertisers halt spending on the platform and the new interest burden of USD1.2 bil a year on the USD13 bil loan taken by Musk to acquire Twitter.
A day after Twitter’s paid verification site went live on Wednesday, a wave of fake impersonation started flooding Twitter. Fake “verified” accounts in the names of politicians, celebrities, major organisations and businesses started popping up. In one instance, a fake but ‘verified’ account of pharma giant Eli Lily tweeted that insulin would be free, causing its share price to tank and the company lost USD15 bil in market capitalisation. Twitter appears to have suspended this feature given the abuse, which experts have warned earlier would happen. Many chose to impersonate Elon Musk.
First casino coming soon in UAE
Hotel and casino operator Wynn Resorts announced that it would open a casino in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a first for the Gulf Arab region, against a backdrop of intense competition amongst the Gulf nations to become a business and tourism hub as they diversify away from an oil-dependent economy. This is a watershed moment for the Gulf as gambling has long been off-limits, especially in this region compared to other parts of the Middle East, where it traditionally imposed stricter Islamic rules.
The casino is expected to be ready by 2026, built on a man-made island off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the lesser-known of the 7 UAE emirates, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi being the most-known ones. See the list of the seven emirates here.
China announced sweeping rescue policies to avert property crisis
The People’s Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission unveiled their most sweeping rescue policies to bail out the heavily indebted real estate market. Unlike previous measures, which were piecemeal, this latest announcement includes 16 measures (see the list here) to address the problems, including extending loan maturity for developers and loosening downpayment for homebuyers. The property selector is staring at USD292 bil of onshore and offshore borrowings that are coming due through the end of 2023.
The sh*tshow at FTX continues:
FTX has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US, allowing it breathing space to restructure. John J Ray III has been appointed as the new CEO of the company - he has built his reputation for taking over Enron (another major accounting scandal) as its CEO and restructuring it, returning more than USD20 bil to investors.
On the same it filed for bankruptcy, FTX claimed it was hacked for more than USD600 mil and siphoned away from its crypto wallets. The Twitter crypto community is speculating that an insider could have executed this ‘hack’.
Reuters reported that FTX’s legal and finance team discovered a “backdoor” implemented by its disgraced CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) that allowed him to alter the company’s financial records without alerting others.
SBF and two top FTX execs, co-founder Gary Wang and engineering director Nishah Singh, are said to be “under supervision” by authorities in the Bahamas. It is believed that they attempted to flee to Dubai, where the US does not have any extradition treaties with the UAE.
Prominent tech investor Chamath Palihapitiya shared his experience in a pitching session with FTX — he was told to “go f*ck yourself” after making recommendations to them.
Grab’s competitor and Indonesia’s largest tech company, GoTo (a merger of Gojek and Tokopedia), is planning to lay off more than 1,000 staff (>10% of its workforce). It reported an adjusted loss of USD264 mil in its second quarter and will unveil its latest quarterly performance on 21 Nov. The company had 9,630 permanent employees at the end of June.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the man that inspired the 2004 Tom Hanks’ ‘The Terminal’ movie, has passed away. Caught in diplomatic limbo, he was stuck in an airport in France for 18 years since 1988. He was paid USD300,000 for the rights to his story. Read more about his story here.
Like straight out of an action movie, two WWII-era plans collided and crashed at the Dallas Air Show, killing at least two people.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Anwar Ibrahim ‘robbed’ rakyat of keropok
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2. Muhyiddin’s Freudian slip - ‘kita tak boleh percaya sekali lagi Perikatan Nasional’