☕️ Slew of updates by ministers - Chicken eggs, cooking oil, direct nego deals, citizenship, deputy minister appointment
MITI minister Tengku Zafrul on official duty in Abu Dhabi, accompanying YDPA. DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi channeling muhibah spirit, speaks Mandarin. Oxford Word of The Year - Goblin Mode.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD100 bil (approx. RM437 bil) — the inflows of money to India, mainly coming from highly skilled Indian migrants living in wealthy nations such as the United States, Britain and Singapore. The country is poised to retain its spot as the world’s top recipient of remittances.
21.13 mil people — the population of Bumiputera (Malays + indigenous population) in 2022, accounting for 64.6% of Malaysia’s 32.7 mil population. The Bumiputera population experienced a growth of 1.1% from 2021, according to the Department of Statistics of Malaysia IDOSM). Bumiputera Statistics 2022 was issued for the first time today — read it here.
341.21 mil hours — Wednesday, a new series based on The Addams Family, has broken a new record for Netflix in terms of hours watched in the first full week for any English-language TV series on Netflix, beating Strangers Things 4, which previously held the title with 335 mil hours viewed. Wednesday is worth watching; just 8 episodes long. Watch the trailer here.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Ministers at work
PMX & Finance Minister: Direct nego flood mitigation deals to be reviewed (X = 10 in Roman numeral)
During a press conference after PM Anwar officially clocked in at the Finance Ministry, the PM announced that the RM7 bil out of the RM15 bil approved for flood mitigation initiatives will not proceed and will undergo a review as it was approved through direct negotiation. Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, the former environment and water minister who presided over these deals during PM Ismail Sabri’s administration, defended the direct negotiation deals as it was necessary to expedite work for emergency projects.
Anwar also told Muhyiddin “not to challenge” him over the procedural breaches in the RM600 bil used during Muhyiddin’s administration which Muhyiddin has been denying. A few hours following this media conference, a fire broke out at the finance ministry, which was successfully contained with no casualties. MoF confirmed that the fire broke out in the rubbish room and is waiting for the official report. Wonder what
shredded documentsassets were destroyed.
Watch: PM Anwar commenting on this alleged RM600 bil misappropriation
Btw, PMX doesn't' want any endearing, paternal nickname - don’t call him papa.
Agriculture & Food Security Minister: Chicken eggs supply
Minister Mohamad Sabu (aka Mat Sabu) said Malaysia will import eggs to resolve the supply shortage as a short-term measure, and several foreign sources have been identified. The country consumes 968 mil eggs per month and is facing a shortage of 96 mil eggs.
The Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation, chaired by Annuar Musa in the previous administration, has rejected the idea of importing eggs as a solution. Reasons given: rices of imported eggs were higher and protecting the local production industry.
Domestic Trade & Cost of Living Minister: 2-tier cooking oil price system
Minister Salahuddin Ayub said the proposals to set cooking prices based on a 2-tier system and the use of subsidised purchase coupons for packet cooking oil will be discussed next week at the National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL). The proposals were the result of engagement with industry players and representatives of cooking oil manufacturers.
International Trade & Industry Minister: Deal signing in Abu Dhabi, not Qatar
Minister Tengku Zafrul, in a video, said he is in Abu Dhabi, not in Qatar for the World Cup, accompanying the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah to witness the agreement signing ceremony of an inaugural cooperation between Petronas and Abu Dhabi National Company (Adnoc). The cooperation will see both companies explore and appraise a concession area of 2,000 sq km in the Al Dhafra region.
Commenting on his absence during the cabinet meeting, Zafrul explained that PMX has given his prior approval as the approval is needed to go overseas during a cabinet meeting.
Home Minister: Citizenship of children born overseas to Malaysian mothers, investigation into alleged RM600 bil misappropriation
Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail vowed to prioritise the issue of citizenship involving children born overseas to Malaysian mothers. This has been a long-running issue, fought in courts - we hope there will be a good closure, ending discrimination against Malaysian mothers. Responding to this news, former Klang MP Charles Santiago praised the minister in a tweet but also highlighted the plight of stateless children born in the country. One at a time.
Saifuddin said he would have further discussions with Inspector-General Police Acryl Sanu Abdullah on the appropriate next course of action over the alleged misuse of RM600 bil during Muhyiddin’s administration. He will also be meeting PMX today to discuss the matter further.
In a separate matter, MACC has opened an investigation paper into allegations by former Kerteh MP Annuar Musa that Muhyiddin has given UMNO millions of ringgit to help the party during the 2020 Sabah state election.
Economy Minister: Enhancing Malaysia’s revenue stream, deputy minister appointment
Minister Rafizi Ramli said the Ministry of Economy will be working closely with other ministries to ensure the nation’s revenue streams are more robust and to diversify Malaysia’s dependence away from natural resources-related or commodity-related revenue.
On the appointment of deputy ministers, Rafizi said the process, which is already ongoing, will be completed in the next 1-2 weeks.
Tourism Minister: Not the time for ‘menari goyang’
Nothing major came out from the ministry apart from Minister Tiong King Sing sharing that he had a meeting with the people of the Tourism Ministry and took a funny jab at himself on the recent video of him dancing that went super viral.
Axiata Group Bhd announced a special dividend of 4 sen per share following the completion of the Celcom-Digi merger. Axiata received RM2.5 bil cash consideration from Digi.Com Bhd and RM300 mil from Digi’s parent company Telenor Asia Pte Ltd. The dividend payout amounts to a total of RM367 mil, 13% of the total cash consideration received. The balance goes to paring down Axiata’s debts of RM37.8 bil as of 30 Sep 2022.
Somebody got a promotion - Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid (daughter of DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) has been redesignated as the group chairman of MQ Technology Bhd, a rapid tooling and prototyping business. Her husband, Saiful Nizam Mohd Yusoff, on the very same day, was appointed as the president of Jiankun International Bhd.
Proton Holdings Bhd’s year-to-date sales have exceeded its full-year 2021 sales by 10.4%, with Jan to Nov sales reaching 126,682 units, as the company is on track to have its best sales year since 2013. Proton’s market share for Nov stood at 17.7%, and for 2022, it is expected to retain the second position in the sales table with a 19.7% total market share.
Proton Saga is coming to Hot Wheels. Giant toymaker Mattel has announced a partnership with Proton to produce a 1:64 scale model of the country’s first national car to commemorate the toymaker’s 40th anniversary in Malaysia.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Crypto’s ups and downs
FTX aftermath: Goldman Sachs wants early entry into "trustworthy, regulated crypto players" as Binance sees 30% activity surge
The global investment bank sees “sensibly priced” opportunities after the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange and is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to buy or invest in a number of crypto companies – after due diligence, of course. The fall of FTX has heightened the need for more “trustworthy, regulated crypto players”, which also saw the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance experiencing a 30% jump in activity in November following the collapse of FTX. The monthly trade volume of November in the largest crypto exchanges saw a 23% jump to USD705 billion.
Circle's SPAC deal scrapped following industry headwinds
The issuer of the world’s second-largest crypto stablecoin, USDC, saw its planned merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Concord Acquisition scrapped as another victim of the crypto winter, where more than a year of falling crypto prices, major company failures, and legal investigations have damaged the crypto landscape. However, the company seems to be in a healthy position — revenue and profit in its most recent quarter came in at USD274 mil and USD43 mil.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrency tokens that attempt to peg their market value to another currency, commodity, or financial instrument, offering an alternative to the high volatility of the more popular crypto tokens. Think MYR, USD, GBP but on the blockchain instead of the banking system.
Bankrupt Celsius gets go-ahead for USD2.8 million bonuses to retain key staff
The crypto lender has secured the approval of the judge handling its bankruptcy case to do so in a bid to prevent key workers from being poached by competitors. Currently, Celsius is working on a plan to exit bankruptcy but has lost about 200 of the 370 staff it had in July. This includes filing for permission to sell USD18 million of crypto assets in its inventory, deposited by customers before the company collapsed.
Nike to launch limited edition "Cryptokicks" - IRL sneakers that can interact with the metaverse
This is another sign of the company’s commitment to the metaverse, as the shoes – which will only see 19,000 pairs released to the world – will include auto-lacing, haptic feedback, and walk detection, which suggests Nike is working towards the shoes being able to interact with the metaverse, video games, or more.
Foxconn reports significant sales drop after China iPhone plant disruption
Sales were down 11.4% in November compared to the previous year after shipments were affected by a Covid-19 outbreak in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, where the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant is located. The outbreak saw government lockdowns, a worker exodus, and violent protests at the plant, which may lead to a shortfall of about 16 million iPhone 14 units worldwide.
Still, it seems China may be quietly easing its strict zero-Covid policy, with this article explaining why the hush-hush on the matter.
Indonesia outlaws sex outside marriage and cohabitation in a new criminal code
This is part of several changes that have been criticised as eroding people’s rights. The new criminal code – which affects both locals and foreigners – will come into effect in three years and includes a ban on insulting the president and speaking out against state ideology. Both sex before marriage and adultery will be punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine under the code, while cohabitation will be punishable by six months in jail or a fine only if reported to the police by parents, children, or a spouse.
Oxford’s word of the year? Goblin mode. This was decided by near-unanimous public voting, with the term defined as “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
2,500 endangered Caspian seals wash up dead on the Russian coast. The cause of death remains unknown, with the Caspian seals showing no evidence of fishing net entrapment as a probable cause of death. Sad sight seeing these cute creatures dead - watch here (warning: graphic)
Ukraine to bring nuclear power stations back on the grid as power woes worsen after Russian missile strikes. President Volodymyr Zelensky is switching Ukraine to emergency shutdowns to stabilise its power grid, even as his energy minister works to reduce the power deficit using nuclear energy.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Teach For Malaysia (TFM) set up an emotional surprise for a few inspirational teachers from their movement to thank them for changing their students' lives. Prepare tissues — it makes me miss my teachers. TFM is an NGO that strives to bring quality education to all children.
DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi channelled his Muhibah spirit, speaking Mandarin.