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☕️ PM Anwar: No problem for me to hold the finance minister post, the problem is the abuse of the position to rob rakyat
84-year old former minister has been called up to MACC. Opposition Leader got schooled by Minister of Economy. State of Emergency announced in NZ. Inflation in the US inches higher.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
NFSW and not for the faint-hearted — 4,815 children have been sexually abused since 1950 by the Portuguese Catholic Church, according to Portugal’s independent inquiry, commissioned by the Church. It was said that 77% of the perpetrators were priests and most victims were men.
Only in the US where tariffs can be sexist. On average, the U.S. tariff rate on women's underwear is 15%, compared to 11.5% for men's underwear. Tariffs are usually imposed to protect domestic producers or manufacturers, but in the case of the US, 98% of clothing in the US is imported. Hence, this higher tariff rate on women’s underwear is a “pink tax”.
According to Ipsos’s Global Love Life Satisfaction survey released ahead of Valentine’s Day, 90% of surveyed Malaysians said they are satisfied with their relationship with their partner. When it comes to sex life, it’s so-so — only 57% of surveyed are somewhat satisfied with their romantic or sex life, below the global average of 63%.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
PMX during PMQ: No problem for me to hold the finance minister post
PM Anwar Ibrahim told the Parliament, during the first-ever Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQ - breath in the British penjajah’s vibes), that there was no issue for him to be both the prime minister and finance minister at the same time. He said problems only arose when the wrong person was placed in that position, leading to billions lost via scandals such as the 1MDB saga.
During the same session, PM Anwar was striking out any possibilities on the return of Goods and Service Tax (GST) or any other broad-based consumption tax. Instead, the Government will focus on reducing the subsidies for the rich as the current subsidy regime was not benefitting the targeted group, which are the B40 and M40 income groups.
PM Anwar also informed the Parliament that he would be heading to Turkiye on Tuesday night to provide moral support to the earthquake-hit Mediterranean country. So far, Putrajaya had already spent RM4 mil via the deployment of the Malaysian Special Search and Rescue Team (Smart). RM20mil in financial aid will also be pooled together by Malaysian local companies, the Johor Sultan, and the Government. Fortunately, Putrajaya will not be sidelining the Syrians despite the US sanctions policy. The Government had already allocated the funding and equipment they wanted to bring to Syria, pending further response from the Syrian government.
Indian Air Force top brass is invited to LIMA
Malaysia extended an invitation to the Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, to attend the biennial Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) this year. The invitation was given by our Air Force chief General Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan, during the Aero India show in Bangalore. During the meeting between both air chiefs, various topics were discussed, including the maintenance of the Su-30 jet fighter.
One important topic was not mentioned: Malaysia’s future multi-billion procurement for light combat aircraft. Previously, Malaysia had shortlisted a few aircraft models for the final stage of selection, including India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)’s Tejas light fighter jet. However, based on words from the grapevine, South Korea’s FA-50 had been selected to be the next light combat aircraft for the country, albeit no official announcement was given yet.
Malaysia recovers back RM63mil that is being ‘stolen’ via the Sabah watergate scandal
In the Dewan Rakyat, PM Anwar Ibrahim announced that RM63mil out of the RM3.3bil (or 1.91% of the siphoned money) ‘stolen’ via the 2016 Sabah Water Department scandal was recovered so far, and the court case regarding the scandal was still on-going. Apart from that, the Government was also working hard to prevent any more of the rakyat’s money from being stolen via operations into various schemes. Below are the details:
RM426mil - potential loss in the Hiring Incentive Programme (PenjanaKerjaya) that had been prevented via Ops Hire and;
RM2.3mil - the loss figure from a syndicate stealing electricity for bitcoin mining from 2018 to 2021. Fortunately, the syndicate had been busted via Ops Power.
84-year-old former minister has been called up to MACC
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had called up a high-profile former minister that also worked during Tun Dr Mahathir’s tenure as prime minister for alleged criminal elements in the flow of money into twelve offshore companies registered under the former minister’s name and his families. This ‘scandal’ was exposed through the Pandora Papers that made headlines in 2021. At least ten wealthy Malaysians were named in the Pandora Papers, including the said 84-year-old former minister. However, MACC stated that the investigation was still ongoing, and the authority needed more time to conclude.
In July 2022, Anwar Ibrahim said, “Daim will have 'sleepless nights' if I become PM.” Anwar pointed to Daim being named in the leaked Pandora Papers.
The opposition leader, Hamzah Zainuddin, got schooled by the Minister of Economy, Rafizi Ramli. It was utterly embarrassing.
TLDR — Hamzah said the Q-o-Q GDP growth of about 3% for quarters in 2022 doesn’t add up to the 8.7% GDP Y-o-Y. Hamzah relented, saying that the previous administration should have been credited for the 8.7% growth. Rafizi said the high growth rate was mainly due to the low base effect from 2021, which suffered the wrath of the Covid-19 pandemic seeing lockdowns after lockdowns.
Mirzan Mahathir (eldest child of Tun M)-led Betamek Bhd secured an RM123.5mil contract to supply electronics parts to Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) for a new Perodua model.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) will be investing RM90mil over two years to build electric vehicle (EV)’s charging stations in the country. So far, TNB has already built three charging stations at highways’ rest areas, and the electricity provider will build another seven charging stations along the North-South Highway (PLUS) by the end of this year.
After an outstanding 35% revenue growth to RM1.54bil in 2022, Ikea Malaysia anticipates single-digit revenue growth in the financial year 2023, leveraging on its station stores in Batu Kawan, Penang and Tebrau, Johor. Country retail manager Malcolm Pruys said the company would open more stores if it found a strategic location. How much of that growth is due to meatball consumption?
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
According to the United Nations and the Syrian government, the total death toll goes past 37,000 — 31,974 people were killed in Turkey, while more than 5,800 people are dead in Syria. UN also said the earthquake was the worst natural disaster in the region in a century.
As the hopes of finding people under rubble dash, the focus has switched to providing food and shelter to the vast numbers of survivors. In Turkey, 1.2 million people have been housed in student residences.
Turkish employers’ association Turkonfed said the disaster’s economic cost could be as much as USD84.1 bil.
Where there are donations and the kindness of strangers to exploit, there are scammers. BBC identified certain methods used by these scammers such as TikTok Live and cryptocurrencies. Be careful when you donate.
BBC’s offices in India searched by tax authorities
A couple of weeks ago, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) released a documentary (VPN required to watch) that examined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots. More than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed in one of the worst incidents of religious violence in Gujerat, India. The documentary was critical of Modi (duh). However, the documentary also revealed an unreleased United Kingdom government report that said events had “all the hallmarks of an ethnic cleansing”.
Modi, the then chief minister of Gujerat, rejected accusations that he did not do enough to intervene in the riots. However, he has also been cleared by India’s top court. BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai were raided. BBC said they are fully cooperating with the tax authorities. The Indian government did not immediately release any details on the search.
Cyclone Gabrielle brings New Zealand to a halt
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said Cyclone Gabrielle is New Zealand’s biggest weather event in a century. Due to the devastating effect of the storm, the government has declared a national state of emergency, just the third time in history it has done so. At least 225,000 people were without power, according to officials. The country's meteorological agency said conditions are expected to clear in the coming days. The government has attributed the scale of the disaster to climate change.
The high-flying object shot down in the US could be UFO
General Glen VanHerck, a senior military official, did not rule out the possibility that their provenance could be extraterrestrial. On Sunday, a U.S. jet fighter shot down a high-flying object flying 20,000 ft (approx. 6.1km) above Lake Huron. It was the fourth time in eight days that the American military had been called upon to destroy a mysterious craft in midair. Last week, a suspected Chinese spy balloon traversed the U.S., also shot down. The Pentagon is now trying to obtain debris from each of the four shoot-downs to learn more about the crafts penetrating North American airspace. VanHerck acknowledged the military is perplexed.
Inflation in the US is creeping up again — the consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.5% last month after gaining 0.1% in December, according to the US Labor Department. In the 12 months through January, the CPI increased by 6.4%, the smallest gain since October 2021.
S Club 7 announced plans to tour the United Kingdom and Ireland to mark their 25th anniversary. All seven original members, including later solo star Rachel Stevens, will hit the road again together for the first time since 2015.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wants Ukraine’s Western allies to ramp up their military support as he expects Russia’s so-called spring offensive to begin. Stoltenberg believes it is a race of logistics — key capabilities like ammunition, fuel, and spare parts must reach Ukraine before Russia to Ukraine to continue defending against Russia.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
China living in 2023 be like: Flying a phoenix using a drone.
The war faced by parents
How big is Meta? The daily active users on Facebook at the end of 2022 hit 2 billion. Nearly 40% of all global internet users. Facebook and its other siblings — WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram — reported 2.96 bil daily active users. The company has come a long way since Facebook’s birth 19 years ago.