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☕️ >RM12 bil of Serba Dinamik's assets, liabilities, revenue, expenses couldn't be verified - external auditor
UMNO delegates voted 'no contest' for UMNO's top 2 positions. World's most powerful passport in 2023 - MY ranked 14th. Japan to dump radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean come spring, summer.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) set the target for the country’s franchise industry to grow between 20% and 30% in 2023. As of Dec 2022, there is a total of 1,154 franchise brands that had been registered with the ministry.
The rise of the dollar in 2022 made everyone scramble to defend their currencies, resulting in a 10% decrease in foreign currency reserves worldwide. How to defend your currency? Dump dollars, and buy your own currency. According to the International Monetary Fund, the global total dropped to USD11.6 trillion at the end of September, falling below USD12 trillion for the first time since March 2020.
Nothing new — the rich didn’t feel the pinch of inflation of 2022. Rolls-Royce delivered 6,021 cars last year, up 8% over 2021 and the first time the company crossed the 6,000 mark. How much does an average Rolls-Royce cost? USD534,000 (RM2.3 mil). Damn.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Top two posts in UMNO will not be contested
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Mohamad Hasan will remain as UMNO president and deputy president, respectively, for another term after the party’s general assembly approves the motion for the posts of president and deputy president not to be contested at the coming party polls. The main reason is to ensure UMNO can focus on the upcoming state elections. However, UMNO vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob quipped that the motion may have violated the party constitution. The party constitution specifically states that the selection of office bearers shall be done via an election. KJ isn’t happy about it either — see what he has to say here.
During the party president’s policy speech at the general assembly, Zahid said Najib was a victim of political persecution (watch video below), indirectly pressuring the judiciary. Puteri UMNO chief also compared the fallen bossku to legendary Malay warrior Hang Tuah.
The cabinet gathered for a retreat
PM Anwar Ibrahim and 27 ministers gathered for a retreat, which included the participation of 10 senior government officials, to bolster consensus and solidarity among ministers. The main agenda is, of course, to talk about their key performance indicators (KPIs). Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali delivered the briefing on the KPIs to the members of the cabinet. Will it be shared with the public? Let rakyat be the judge!
Be like PAS - openly share their KPI! Worth reading, enjoy a good laugh.
EPF wants to cash out of its education investments
Two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is looking to sell local education assets worth more than RM500 million. EPF wants to wind up its Malaysian education real estate investment trust, Alpha REIT. Alpha REIT is Malaysia's first Islamic REIT with a mandate to focus on education. Its assets are Sri KDU schools, The International School @ ParkCity and Eaton International School.
Auditor couldn’t verify RM12 bil in Serba Dinamik’s books
The group's external auditor, Jason Sia from Nexia SSY PLT, said the troubled oil and gas company has unverified assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses amounting to RM12.43 billion. The glaring statement was revealed in the independent auditors’ report to the members of Serba Dinamik dated Jan 5, 2023, which is included in the group’s 2022 annual report (which can be found here).
FYI — Serba Dinamik’s shares will be suspended again on Wednesday (Jan 18) until further notice, as the court has granted a winding-up order against the company.
In other news
The Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition may call it a day after Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) withdrew from the coalition to focus on strengthening the party. Pejuang’s president Mukhriz Mahathir said the decision was made after the party’s poor performance in GE15.
Hulu Langat MP Sany Hamzan said it is unlikely for Pakatan Harapan to trade with Barisan Nasional in the 40 state seats it won in 2018 ahead of seat negotiations for the upcoming Selangor polls, except if there is a viable seat swap for both coalitions.
DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Sabah and Sarawak are no longer states but regions (wilayah). The relocation of the Indonesian capital to East Kalimantan has made the Sabah and Sarawak regions more strategic and needs to be developed as new growth areas.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service may be available in Malaysia as soon as Q2 2023. The Q2 2023 rollout date has also been mentioned on the pre-order page when you input a location in Malaysia. However, it isn’t cheap — the standard kit costs USD599 and the monthly subscription fee is USD110.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
At least 67 were killed in Nepal’s worst aeroplane crash in 30 years
A plane carrying 72 passengers crashed in Nepal, with at least 67 people confirmed dead. Yeti Airlines, the plane operator, said there were 68 passengers on board and four crews. The plane slammed into the gorge, making search and rescue operations difficult to bring out the bodies. A video captured the plane flying low and spinning sharply over a populated area just before it hit the ground, and a loud explosion can be heard. Watch the scene of the crash here (warning - graphic)
The Nepali air industry is notorious for its safety due to insufficient training and maintenance combined with its challenging mountainous landscape. The European Union bans all Nepali carriers from its airspace over safe] concerns.
The site where Jesus is believed to heal a blind man is open for the first time in 2,000 years
The site, known as the Pool of Siloam, is located in the southern part of Jerusalem’s City of David. The site, first built some 2,700 years ago, has been inaccessible to the public for about 2,000 years after it was destroyed in the First Jewish-Roman War 70 years after the birth of Christ. The pool initially functioned as Jerusalem’s ancient water system. It gained its religious significance for Christians when a blind man regained his sight after Jesus washed him in the Pool of Siloam, according to New Testament.
In the coming months, the site will be fully excavated, completely exposing the pool and will allow visitors to view it as a tourist route, according to the Israeli Antiquities Authority.
The environment taking a bad beating from humans
Japan to release contaminated, radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean
The Japanese government will start releasing more than one mil tonnes of contaminated water from Fukushima, the nuclear power plant devastated by the tsunami in 2011, into the ocean “around this spring or summer”. This move was approved in 2021 as space is running out to store the water. The water has been treated and filtered to remove most of the harmful isotopes, except tritium, which the Japanese government say is harmless in small amounts.
Read: Facts about tritium - Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
2022 is the fifth hottest year on record
Scientists from the US NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the past nine years have been the warmest since modern records began in 1880. 2022 is also the hottest year on record for 28 countries, including China, the UK, Spain, France, Germany and New Zealand. Intense heatwaves, wildfires and floods slammed Mother Earth in 2022. Scientists also said that 2023 would likely be warmer than 2022, which benefitted from a La Nina weather system that usually causes a slight decrease in global temperatures.
ExxonMobil predicted climate change with astounding accuracy since 1997
A new Harvard study published in the journal Science revealed that oil and gas giant ExxonMobil scientists and their climate models predicted the climate crisis with 63%-83% accuracy when matched to real-life temperature rises in the decades since. Despite having this knowledge, the firm has publicly denied that global warming would happen, discrediting public research and yet, shored up its infrastructure to brace for the coming climate changes. According to the study, the precision of the predictions will serve as powerful ammo for cities and states to sue the company.
Read the study: Assessing ExxonMobil’s global warming projections
ST Telemedia Global Data Centres, a company backed by Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte is exploring a potential IPO to raise more than USD1 bil that could value the firm at over USD5 bil. STT GDC is one of Asia’s largest data centre operators, managing more than 170 facilities across Asia.
Goldman Sachs’s losses from its Platform Solutions that house its consumer finance business, including Apple Card through a partnership with Apple, keep piling up — USD942 mil alone just in the first nine months of 2022. Since 2020, losses from this division piled up to USD3 bil, no thanks to the Apple Card programme burning a hole through its P&L — USD1 bil in 2021, and USD1.2 bil in 2022.
6 South Sudanese journalists were arrested over video of president peeing on himself
The authorities have arrested six journalists over their suspected involvement in the circulation of a video of the country’s president, Salva Kiir urinating on himself and appearing not to realise it when the national anthem was played (watch it here). To be fair to the old man, he’s 71 years old and could be facing health issues. Probably the best comment in support of the President came from a Nigerian senator in the tweet below: