☕️ 12th Malaysia Plan - Malaysia to become high-income nation by 2025. What about the '3rd world mentality'?
Air Asia X staggering RM24.6 bil quarterly loss. Religious Affairs Deputy Minister's vehicle alleged caught driven dangerously. Ascend Money - Thailand's first fintech unicorn.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD8 billion — the dividends Evergrande chairman Hui Ka Yan received since Evergrande’s 2009 IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Iceland was only 2.5% away from making history by electing Europe's first female-majority parliament — some 30 of the 63 seats (47.6%) were won by women. Earlier results before the recount had shown women winning 33 seats (52%).
10,317 individuals declared bankruptcy and 1,246 businesses shuttered throughout since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020 until July 2021.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Malaysia’s cumulative Covid-19 recoveries have exceeded the 2 million mark with 2,005,492 individuals recovered!
Fully vaccinated tourists and travellers heading to Bangkok and nine provinces in Thailand will be exempted from the two-week mandatory quarantine effective Nov 1. Time to book your tickets! Chiang Mai’s weather is cooling during year-end.
National Recovery Council chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said interstate travel would likely be allowed during the first half of October. He added the council also discussed the reopening of the country’s borders to tourists and business travellers.
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4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
The 12th Malaysia Plan 2021 - 2025 (12MP) focuses on economic growth, inclusivity and sustainability for Keluarga Malaysia. Here are a few highlights:
The total development expenditure allocation is RM400 bil.
Malaysia to be a high-income nation by 2025, with a Gross National Income (GNI) of RM57,882.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow between 4.5% to 5.5% annually.
The economy to return to full employment by 2025.
Inflation rate to hover around 2.7% per annum.
PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also added the government is committed to strengthening the Bumiputera agenda via 12MP — perhaps we have a different understanding of the term inclusivity. While the Bumiputera agenda is outdated and ineffective in achieving its supposed goals, it effectively wins votes.
Malaysia is almost through to the quarter-finals of the Sudirman Cup after a 3-2 win over England in the Group D opener. Malaysia won men’s singles, mixed doubles and men’s doubles against England but lost women’s singles and women’s doubles.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the appointments of politicians into posts of special envoys to specific nations and as a special advisor to the prime minister are vital and not wasteful.
The response was a written reply to a question posed by Tenom MP Noorita Sual on the purpose of these roles and the salaries they would receive. PMO revealed that a special envoy or advisor is paid a salary and allowances worth RM27,227.20 per month. It’s much cheaper than “RM30 durians”.
Sure, vital to maintaining the office.
“Problematic, untouchable and blue-eyed boy” — the terms used to describe one of the MACC officers detained in connection with the alleged theft of RM25 million belonging to former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid.
According to sources, including a former senior officer who is familiar with the developments in MACC, the said officer is well-connected within MACC. The investigation is only the tip of the iceberg.
The Kelantan police will probe the vehicle owner with the registration number P45 being driven dangerously. It is believed the Deputy Minister in charge of Religious Affairs, Ahmad Marzuk Shaary owns the vehicle. Will we see an NFA on the probe?
AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) reported a net loss of RM24.63 billion for the April 1-June 30, 2021 quarter on provision for the amount payable to creditors. AAX made a provision of RM23.7 billion for the amount payable to creditors where the company is in default under the terms of the contract.
MyNews Holdings Bhd has booked a quarterly loss of RM14.92 million for 3QFY21 ended July 31, 2021, its sixth consecutive quarter in the red and biggest quarterly loss to date. However, MyNews said it is hopeful of a steady post-pandemic recovery.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) are working on enabling real-time payment with PayNow-DuitNow Linkage, which is expected to be launched in Q4 of 2022.
The linkage will allow real-time fund transfers between the two countries using just a mobile number. Furthermore, customers will also be able to make retail payments by scanning NETS or DuitNow QR codes.
United Overseas Bank, Standard Chartered and Hong Leong Bank are said to be three potential bidders in the race for Citigroup’s consumer banking assets in Malaysia. Citi Malaysia’s credit card business is the main draw for potential bidders as it is the third-largest credit card player in the Malaysian market after Maybank and CIMB.
Esports Integrated (ESI), an agency under the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), has launched its inaugural Para Malaysia Esports League 2021 (Para MEL21). The month-long tournament organised in collaboration with Techninier has a prize pool of RM10,000. Registrations will be through the national esports platform, https://www.esukan.gg
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Former President Donald Trump could be charged with multiple crimes over election interference in Georgia. An analysis by a leading think tank, Brookings Institution, on publicly available evidence showed that Trump and his allies attempted to pressure Georgia officials to “change the lawful outcome of the election”.
“We conclude that Trump’s post-election conduct in Georgia leaves him at substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes. These charges potentially include criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; intentional interference with the performance of election duties; conspiracy to commit election fraud; criminal solicitation; and state RICO violations.”
- Brooking Institution
Penguins found murdered by honeybees! 63 endangered South African penguins were killed by a swarm of honeybees on a beach outside Cape Town last week. Rangers were shocked to find these dead penguins and dead bees on the scene. Described as a “very rare occurrence”, tests have shown that the bees killed the penguins by targeting their eyes and the toxins in the stings killed the birds. Scientists are now investigating the possibilities that a nearby beehive was disturbed, causing the bees to swarm and become defensive.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the US largest utility, has been charged with manslaughter and other crimes after its equipment sparked a Northern California wildfire that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes. Pushed by strong winds, the fire began on Sept. 27, 2020, and raged through the rugged Sierra Nevada and communities, killing four people, burning about 200 homes and blackening about 87 square miles (225 square km) of land.
In March, state investigators concluded that the fire was sparked by a gray pine that fell onto a PG&E transmission line. PG&E was sued alleging negligence to remove the tree even though it had been marked for removal two years earlier.
Ascend Money, a startup backed by Jack Ma’s Ant Group and Charoen Pokphand Group, has become Thailand’s first fintech unicorn. It raised USD150 mil from US investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management LP, CP Group and Ant, valuing the firm at USD1.5 bil. Ascend Money runs a mobile payment app, TrueMoney Wallet, the most popular mobile wallet app in Thailand with a 53% market share.
The company aims to have 35 mil users or half of the Thai population, by 2023, up from 18 mil now. Founded in 2013, Ascend Money expanded rapidly by strategically leveraging CP Group’s vast network of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand. It operates in 6 countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Its total payment volume in 2020 stood at USD14 bil.
2 German politicians, Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik, from the Greens party, have made history by becoming the first transgender women to win parliamentary seats in Germany’s national election. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, authorities went hunting for Nur Sajat unnecessarily.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
NextUpAsia is having a session with the founder of Fave, Joel Neoh on his journey growing and selling multiple businesses and the interesting origin of his current venture, Fave which came from pivot.
Date: 1st Oct 2021, 1400 hours.
Sign up and get your tickets (RM20 per tix) HERE!
Note: The talk will only be watchable from Peatixlive. Proceed of the tickets will be donated to Buku Jalanan Chow Kit.
If you’re a fan of BMW, the SVE Oletha is a tribute to the fanboys. It’s a Z4 Coupe, with design cues from Z8 and an M3 GTS engine, mated to a six-speed manual. The company only restores and modifies clients' licensed BMW automobiles, doesn’t sell cars.
In 2020, one bunch of Japanese Ruby Roman grapes sold for USD12,000 at an auction. Why are Japanese grapes so expensive?