☕️ PM's MADANI acronym fail
Intel to invest RM70 bil in MY over the next 10 years. Dua Lipa: I really like Kuala Lumpur. Taliban Gone Wild - mannequins in Afghanistan to be hooded and masked.
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Happy Chinese New Year folks! Whilst we celebrate the Year of the Bunny, Vietnam is celebrating the Year of the Cat. We will be taking next Wednesday off and continue serving you your coffee break again on Thursday.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
For stock market
gamblers investors, Bursa Malaysia will be closed on Monday and Tuesday (23 and 24 Jan 2023) to observe the CNY holidays. Well, since it’s CNY, your Chinese friends will be able to advise you on how to deploy your capital during these two days off.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Bank Negara Malaysia maintains the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 2.75%, to the surprise of many, as a 0.25% hike was highly anticipated. Rising cost of living - contained (for now)!
Netflix is willing to pay up to USD385,000 (RM1.66 mil) for a flight attendant for one of its private jets. The role is based in California and requires travel in and beyond the US. The attendant needs to do a plethora of things — including inspecting emergency equipment in the cockpit, cabin and gallery before takeoff. And also be able to lift as heavy as 13.6kg. Do you have what it takes? Apply here. We don’t charge referral fees, but if you’d like to buy us a cup of coffee, we won’t resist. Mention to the hiring manager TCB sent you.
Malaysia reported 66,102 dengue cases and 56 deaths in 2022, a 151% increase compared with 26,365 cases and 20 deaths in 2021. Dengue cases will likely increase this year as part of its cyclical trend, according to Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
PM Anwar Ibrahim wants to reset Malaysia
PM Anwar felt that he wanted to use this opportunity as the prime minister to reset Malaysia into a more harmonious country without sidelining any minority race or group of poor people, especially the ones living in Sabah and Sarawak. He aimed to use a more humanistic approach in developing the country, moving away from the capitalistic way of doing things that were obsessed with growth figures and investment numbers. To this end, Malaysia Madani, based on six pillars, is introduced.
The PM has a minor issue — a new copywriter ASAP. This is not how an acronym is done.
Tengku Zafrul interviewing in the snow
During this year's edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF), international trade minister Tengku Zafrul seemed occupied with meeting with western companies and government officials. In a few days, he had secured commitments from Intel to spend RM70bil for the next ten years, convinced P&G to invest more in Malaysia and met with executives from Microsoft and Ericsson.
So, does this mean that PM Anwar’s government is Pro-West? Not necessarily. Previously, PM Anwar looked like he preferred the West more than the East, but if we look closer at his statements prior to GE15 and after that, he wanted Malaysia to be a neutral state, echoing the policy of the late Tun Abdul Razak. He even stated that Malaysia and the region should learn diplomacy from Turkiye President Erdogan, evidently on how Turkiye successfully managed Russian while being a NATO member at the same time.
Najib went back to jail, no out-of-jail card for him yet
In Najib Razak’s bid to overturn his RM42mil SRC International verdict, the defence team failed attempt to remove the Court of Appeal’s Judge Abu Bakar Jais from the five-person apex bench. The Federal Court gave in to the defence team’s application to adjourn the proceedings to Feb 20 and 22.
We have no control over the teaser posted on social media, says LPF
The Film Censorship Board (LPF), the entity under the Home Ministry that approves, censors and classifies films in the country, stated that they had no power over what happened on social media and the Internet, particularly pointed towards the teaser posted online related to the Malaysian horror film Pulau. On top of that, LPF said that the content submitted to them and the ones shared on social media were not consistent. Nonetheless, what happened during the past few weeks was a disgrace towards the creative industry and the government’s reaction was not helping the situation.
Dua Lipa loves Kuala Lumpur
In an interview regarding her then-newly released album, Future Nostalgia, artist Dua Lipa was asked a question on what was the most interesting place she had visited and to everyone's surprise, she answered Kuala Lumpur and she highlighted her favourite experience was her visit to a temple. This response may come as a shock for some as a few years back, she was a cyber bully victim and got abused online by Malaysians when she posted an Instagram post referring to her father as ‘babi’. ‘Babi’ in Albanian brings the meaning of father and not ‘pig’. We still feel the second-hand embarrassment up to this day.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
New Zealand’s PM shock resignation
Jacinda Ardern, in an unexpected announcement, said she will resign as New Zealand’s PM and will step down no later than 7 Feb and also confirmed a national election in October. Unlike most resignations of politicians that were mostly involved in scandals, Ardern cited burnout as her reason, that she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job. No replacement has been identified yet.
Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government when she was elected as the PM in 2017 at 37. During her term, she oversaw the Covid-19 pandemic, a series of terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch and the White Island volcanic eruption.
Living Carbon — the startup that makes trees absorb more carbon to fight climate change
Singapore state investment fund Temasek has led the USD21 mil Series A for climate tech startup Living Carbon, with participation from the world’s biggest automaker Toyota. Instead of just growing more trees to battle climate change, the startup aims to make it more efficient (more carbon absorbed per tree) by increasing the carbon-absorbing ability of trees. This is done by tweaking its genetic code in a process known as photosynthesis enhancement to grow more quickly, lock more carbon away and stay more resilient.
Founded in 2019 in San Francisco, its first product, a hybrid poplar tree, had the potential to capture 27% more carbon. By planting more Living Carbon trees, landowners can generate “carbon credits” that could be sold to corporates to offset their own emissions. However, despite its good intentions, the startup is facing opposition from campaigns over the potential unintended consequences of genetically tweaking trees.
Embattled DCG to sell CoinDesk Inc, one of crypto’s biggest news and media site
Digital Currency Group (DCG) is exploring options, including a partial or full sale of CoinDesk. DCG, a conglomerate in the crypto industry, has been dragged through the mud by its other subsidiary, Genesis, a crypto broker, that is financially troubled (rumours of filing for bankruptcy soon) and is owing more than USD3 bil to creditors.
CoinDesk, with revenue of USD50 mil last year, has received multiple unsolicited offers north of USD200 mil in the past few months. If a deal is successful, DCG will make a monster profit from this — it acquired CoinDesk in 2016 for just USD500,000. Say a minimum USD200 mil valuation and a complete sale- that’s a 400x return in a span of just seven years. That said, it’s still insufficient to cover Genesis’ USD3 bil hole. DCG has another cash cow in its stable — the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust which made nearly USD1 bil in 2021 during the bull market. Despite the current ‘winter’, Grayscale is still valuable as its business model is simple and highly profitable - it charges a 2% annual management fee to hold crypto assets for its investors.
More mosquito bad news — mosquitoes are getting harder to kill. A group of Japanese scientists found that some mosquito strains in Asia had 1,000-fold resistance against insecticide. Even a 10x stronger dose would just kill 30% of the super-resistant mosquitoes. The research pointed out that 90% of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (carrier of dengue viruses) found in Cambodia showed mutations that result in an extremely high level of resistance. The research shows “commonly employed strategies may no longer be effective”.
German police denied that the arrest of teenage environmentalist Greta Thurnberg was “all set up for the cameras” (watch the video below). Thunberg and other activists were seeking to stop an abandoned village from being demolished for the expansion of a coal mine.
“People are going to judge you one way or another, you should be judged the way you want to be judged.”
Weekend read — Showering is often the best time to think, but why? Read the science behind it.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Taliban Gone Wild - mannequins in Afghanistan are required to have their heads cloaked. The Taliban cooled down from their earlier decision - they wanted the mannequins to be beheaded….
FIFA Puskás Award for 2022 is now open for voting (vote here). The award, established in 2009, is to honour the male or female judged to have scored the “most beautiful” goal of the calendar year. Watch below the nominations for 2022. Watch all the winners from 2009 to 2021 here - a Malaysian footballer won this award in 2016.
New year, new you — right? If you’re including running as part of your exercise routine, this may interest you — knowing how to stretch.