☕️ 'Winter' in Malaysia expected to last until February
Selangor, first state to offer free sanitary pads. Sperm count worldwide fell 62% - reproductive crisis in the making. Spain PM, US embassy amongst 6 that received series of letter bombs.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
A new study found that sperm count worldwide in an average ejaculation plunged by 62% in under fifty years between 1973 and 2018, raising concerns on the reproductive crisis. Low sperm count is usually associated with male fertility issues and increased risk of chronic disease, testicular cancer and a decreased lifespan. For the scientific minds, you can read the research paper here.
The Malaysian Crime index showed a decline of 19.3% from 65,623 cases in 2020 to 52,794 cases in 2021, according to the Malaysian Statistics Department. The drop is attributed to movement control orders, stricter enforcement by authorities and greater public awareness. Violent crime and property crime both saw declines. However, commercial crimes rose in 2021 by 15.3% to 31,490 cases accounting for nearly half (47.9%) of the crime index.
UDS200,000 (RM881k) - the monthly amount of child support the court has ordered controversial rapper Ye (fka Kanye West) to pay in a divorce settlement with his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian. The former couple will have joint custody of their four children and share their security, school and college expenses. Ye still has to pay the USD200k per month in child support as the children will spend most of their time with their mother.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Winter is coming
You can cancel your annual year-end trip to Kuala London. According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), the current cold spell that the whole country is experiencing currently will last until February of next year and people living in flat land areas in Kelantan, Pahang and Perak will feel the coldest end of this ‘winter’ breeze. It got as cold as 17-18 degree Celsius in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, in 2014. Two main factors attributed to this condition, firstly the cover of clouds due to the Northeast monsoon that limits sun rays from reaching Earth and secondly is due to the rotation of the Earth, which places the Sun a bit further to the South.
Anti-hate speech law needed, says PH MP
Following numerous hate speech attacks riding on racial sentiments by various parties lately, Petaling Jaya MP cum PKR communications director Lee Chean Chung suggested that there is a need for an anti-hate speech law to calm things down and to build back the trust capital among communities in Malaysia.
Singapore’s Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act 1990 is a good place to start, as this statute safeguards the separation of religion and politics. Malaysia is on a slippery slope where such a law is needed.
Selangor is paving the way to be the first state to provide free sanitary pads
In addressing period poverty issues affecting female students to attend school, the Selangor state government is leading the way. It has allocated RM200,000 under its RM2.45bil 2023 Budget to provide free pads and conduct awareness campaigns to the people of the state.
However, this is not the first such program in this country. Previously, Putrajaya had introduced a program under Budget 2022 to provide free basic personal hygiene kits every month to 130,000 low-income female teenagers.
More initiatives for a greener future in Malaysia:
Sabah Oil & Gas Development Corporation Sdn Bhd has entered into an agreement with Esteel Enterprise Sabah Sdn Bhd for the latter to set up an RM19.6bil integrated green steel plant on a 180 hectares site at Sabah oil and gas industrial park in Sipitang. The term ‘green steel’ is coined when you swap coke and coal with natural gas or hydrogen in producing steel, which will eventually reduce carbon emissions by nearly 100%.
China-based EVE Energy Co Ltd has decided to invest RM1.86bil in setting up a cylindrical battery production base in the country to support companies in the region that are involved in electric two-wheelers and power tools manufacturing. Currently, EVE Energy is in the process of evaluating several potential sites for the plant.
A JV between Sime Darby Industrial and Netherlands-based Royal Terberg Group has launched the country’s first fully battery-powered electric terminal tractor for container handling in seaports and many other industrial applications involving heavy loads. The electric tractors will be built locally at the company’s facility in Pasir Gudang, Johor.
Semi-annual review and reshuffling of FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI 30 constituents: Glovemakers Hartalega Holdings and Top Glove are booted out to be replaced by AMMB Holdings and QL Resources.
The RM1.03bil proposed sale of KNM Group’s subsidiary, Borsig GmBH, to Vorsprung Industries GmbH has been called off as both parties could not agree on the conditions of the sale. Due to the failure of this sale, questions have been raised on how KNM Group will meet its debts of RM1.21 bil, especially on two term loans (USD23 mil and EUR68.5 mil), which are supposedly due at end-Nov.
Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the largest Islamic bank in the world, Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, has launched its digital bank called Rize for the Malaysian market.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
US mass shooting survivor sues Walmart for USD50 mil over failure to respond to early warning signs
The mass shooting that occurred last week at a Walmart store in Virginia took the lives of 6 co-workers of the survivor and six others wounded as the gunman Andre Bing opened fire in the store’s breakroom before killing himself. The lawsuit claims that Walmart knew or should have known about Bing’s disturbing behaviour and alarming conduct and provided a long list of troubling signs managers failed to address.
Amongst the red flags: he kept a ‘kill list’ and ‘death note’ and complaints against his colleagues, repeatedly asking his coworkers if they had received their active shooter training and just smiled and walked away when they said they had, threatened to act violent if fired or disciplined, shared with his coworkers how running a turtle with a lawnmower made him hungry and reminded him of ramen noodles as its guts spray out.
More than 600 mass shooting incidents have been recorded so far in the US. 9 countries, including Japan, Germany, Britain, Canada etc., have issued various levels of travel warnings against the US due to increasing violence in the country.
Spain received a series of letter bombs
Spain is boosting security measures as six letter bombs have been identified, including one that was sent to Spain’s PM last week and another to the US embassy. The bombs are said to “be similar, for their features and content”. All letter bombs were safely detected and deactivated, except for the one sent to the Ukrainian embassy, which was opened and exploded, causing minor injuries to a worker.
US Federal Reserve to scale back rate hikes
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, in a speech on Wednesday, says that the Fed will slow down on its rate hikes, though he added that there is little clarity on how high rates still need to rise to tame inflation, sending stocks and bonds soaring. The upcoming employment report (2 Dec) and inflation report (13 Dec) will further determine whether the market will continue rallying in the short term. The S&P 500 has jumped by nearly 14% since its October low.
Elon Musk: Apple campus tour by Tim Cook, Neuralink presentation
Musk, in a tweet, said that it has “resolved” a misunderstanding with Apple over his earlier claim that Apple threatened to remove Twitter from the app store. This tweet came after an earlier tweet of Musk posting a short video clip of a pond which he claimed was at Apple HQ and thanking Apple CEO Tim Cook for “taking him around”.
Musk hosted a presentation on Wednesday to showcase his lesser-known venture - Neuralink, a health tech venture founded in 2016 that aims to implant chips into the brain. Musk claims Neuralink is six months away from conducting human trials and has submitted the paperwork to the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates medical devices in the US. He revealed that the company’s first two intended applications for its technology are to fix paralysis and restore “full body functionality” for people with severed spinal cords and restore vision, even for people who were born blind. A video demo of a monkey implanted with the chip below.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO), in its Global Wage Report 2022-23, said global monthly wages fell in real terms (adjusted for inflation) by 0.9% in the first half of the year, marking the first negative growth in this century. ILO further warned this would increase inequalities and fuelling social unrest.
Reuters reported that China is set to announce easing Covid-19 restrictions (i.e. quarantine protocols, mass testings) in the coming days following widespread protests across the nation against the restrictions over the past weekend.
Layoffs continue at tech companies. Crypto exchange Kraken announced it would cut its global workforce by 30%, affecting about 1,100 employees. Food delivery giant DoorDash said it would lay off 1,250 people, or about 6% of its workforce, as it recorded a loss of USD308 mil from its operations in its latest quarter,
Messaging app Telegram is capitalising on the collapse of FTX — CEO Pavel Durov announced that the messaging app will build non-custodial wallets and decentralised exchanges to trade and store cryptocurrencies.
Weekend Read: Secret 9/11 memo reveals Bush rewriting the history of the 9/11 attacks and the warnings he'd tuned out.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Stray dogs are part of Universiti Malaysia Sabah campus community with one even attending a lecture. Religious and racial tolerance is at a way different level in East Malaysia.
Oyster: The Art of Pearl-Making