☕️ El Salvador plans to build "Bitcoin City"

BN won the Malacca state election by a landslide. Annuar Musa downplays sexual harassment in entertainment industry. Isetan to shut its 1Utama outlet by April 2022.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

40,000 hotel rooms have been built and planned in Vietnam’s next holiday destination, Phu Quoc, welcomed tourists over the weekend. According to the vice-chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board, Ken Atkinson, that’s more hotel keys than they have in Sydney. Conservationists worry that Phu Quoc, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, cannot cope with the tourism explosion as 160 tonnes of trash is generated daily.

RM20,530,433,626.97 (RM20.5 bil) of 1MDB’s assets have been recovered with the cooperation and assistance of international enforcement agencies, according to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

65.85% — the turnout of the 15th Malacca state election, lower than the Election Commission’s (EC) estimate of 70%. The election saw Barisan Nasional (BN) win by a landslide, securing 21 seats. The conclusion? RM46 million of taxpayers money wasted.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Here is the breakdown of the Malacca state election, with Barisan Nasional winning with a two-thirds majority, compared to a paltry 13 seats out of 28 seats during the 2018 general election. A lot of work to do for both Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH). Malaysiakini tabulated the winners and losers of the polls.

    Can we fault the rakyat? One coalition came up with Langkah Sheraton and another coalition accepted frogs. PH has got a long journey ahead.

  2. Communication and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa was quoted saying, “I don’t think the issue (sexual harassment) needs to be magnified. Focus on the positives from isolated cases,” which blew up Twitterjaya over the weekend.

    He had to issue another statement clarifying his ministry takes the issue of sexual harassment seriously and the news report misquoted him.

  3. Former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejects the government’s offer of a plot of land and house worth RM100 million after the big fracas over the issue last weekend. He blatantly said the government asked him to choose instead of him applying for the land and house. It was an option for him, and he took it.

    Malu apa bossku!

    Instead, he wants the property to be sold and the proceeds to be put into a special fund to be given as a loan without any interest or service costs to those who have long asked for i-Citra to be increased from RM5K to RM10K.

  4. A convoy of bikers is giving bikers a bad rap as the convoy stopped traffic for motorcycles to pass through at a traffic light junction in Port Dickson. Is the country governed by anyone? Wait, they were all too busy in Malacca.

  5. Domestic Trade Ministry will refer the RM1,968.80 sea bass restaurant to the deputy public prosecutor after an investigation paper under Section 53 (A) of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act (AKHAP) 2011 was opened. The offence? Failing to maintain and keep proper business documents.

Business

  1. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has launched the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem Roadmap (SUPER) 2021-2030 and the MYStartup platform to build a conducive startup ecosystem.

    MOSTI Minister Datuk Dr Adham Baba said SUPER acts the true north for all stakeholders to achieve the ultimate goal of placing Malaysia as one of the Top 20 global startup ecosystems. Meanwhile, the MYStartup Platform aims to provide access to insights and resources on the Malaysian startup ecosystem.

  2. Japanese departmental store Isetan will cease operations at 1Utama after 10 years of operations. Its last day of business in 1 Utama will be next year on April 5.

  3. Pharmaniaga Bhd, which supplies the Sinovac Covid-19 Vaccine to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the private sector, reported a net profit of RM49.84 mil for 3QFY21 ended Sept 30, 2021. The results were mainly driven by growth across its concession, non-concession, and Indonesian businesses. On the back of the strong results, the group declared a third interim dividend of two sen per share, to be paid on Dec 29, 2021.

  4. Sunway Bhd is forming a joint venture (JV) company to buy 22 plots of residential freehold land at Thiam Siew Avenue in Singapore for a total consideration of SGD815 mil (approx. RM2.51 bil). The two luxury high-rise condominiums with more than 800 units are expected to be developed on the site.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. To charge an EV faster, it requires a higher current. However, the higher current flows through a charging system, the hotter it gets leading to the risk of overheating. This explains why EV takes a longer time to charge, contributing to ‘range anxiety.’ 

    Ford and Purdue University are working on a patent-pending cable that could help EV charge up in the same amount of time it takes to fill a gas tank. The researchers developed a cable that uses liquid-and-vapour cooling to accommodate a current of over 2,400 amps, 5x that of today’s most advanced EV chargers. For comparison, Tesla Superchargers deliver up to 520 amps. 

    The prototype cord, however, hasn’t been tested with an electric vehicle yet. So this is years away from the commercial scale. Nonetheless, good progress to bringing EV to parity with internal combustion engine cars. 

  1. Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers, announced it has raised USD400 mil in a new funding round led by Morgan Creek Digital. This funding round valued the company at USD7.1 bil and marked its first external funding since the company was founded in 2013 (clearly, they have deep pockets after achieving a USD65 mil settlement with Mark Zuckerberg). 

    Gemini plans to go deep into the metaverse with this new round of funding - a similar direction as Meta Platforms Inc (fka Facebook). Winklevoss v Zuckerberg Round 2 again? 

  1. Bloomberg reported that Apple aims to debut a fully self-driving car by 2025 with much of the “core work” on the car’s processor supposedly finished. Probably, Apple should start to try manufacturing and shipping an EV first, before aiming so high to launch an autonomous car at the outset. 

  2. NASA is about to launch a new mission, called Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which is sending a 4-foot spacecraft travelling nearly 11.2 mil km to slam itself into an asteroid to test whether such nudge could divert the trajectory of an incoming asteroid towards Earth in the future. This method is known as “kinetic impactor”.

    DART will travel towards a pair of asteroids in a 10-month journey named Dimorphos (525 feet wide), orbiting the other Didymos (2,500 feet) and aims to slam into the former. This method better works, or we would need an ‘Armageddon’ to tackle this issue. 

  1. El Salvador, the only country which made Bitcoin legal tender, has announced its plans to build “Bitcoin City” - a fully functional city with residential areas, shopping centres, restaurants, and a port, “everything around Bitcoin”.

    The project will be backed by the first-ever Bitcoin backed sovereign bond. A total of USD1 bil will be raised with USD500 mil for infrastructure purpose and the other USD500 mil for the purchase of Bitcoin. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. How does GPS work?

  2. Ememem, an artist in France, known as the “the pavement surgeon” fills holes and cracks in sidewalks with mosaics. See the rest of his ‘surgeries’ here.