☕️ Former self-proclaimed 'first lady of Malaysia', Rosmah Mansor, broke down in court

FoodPanda's "Pollywood" under fire for appropriating Indian culture. Crude Palm Oil broke RM5k per tonne first time ever. IMF: 110 countries exploring Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

USD201 billion — combined net losses in the global airline industry over the pandemic-blighted period eclipses close to nine years of industry earnings, according to figures from International Air Transport Association (IATA).

RM63.63 billion of income taxes have been collected in the first seven months of 2021, according to finance minister Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz. RM41.8 billion in income tax from companies and RM21.5 billion in income tax from individuals

USD95 million — the amount to be paid by Apple to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the company of violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and other US laws by replacing customers' devices covered by AppleCare with refurbished devices. The plaintiffs claimed refurbished or "remanufactured" devices are not "equivalent to new in performance and reliability" and thus sought monetary damages from Apple.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • 62.5% of adolescents in Malaysia have received their first dose of Covid-19 as of Oct 5, 2021.

  • While the country moves closer to being able to travel interstate, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has advised people to self-test before ‘balik kampung’.

  • SOP UPDATES: Wedding ceremonies at Christian and Hindu places of worship will be allowed from Saturday onwards. Wholesale markets can operate in Phase 2 and Phase 3 areas subject to strict conditions set by the local authorities.

  • From Oct 8 onwards, Johor will move to Phase 3 and Pahang will move to Phase 4.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Senior Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the government would seek views from the National Security Council (MKN), the Election Commission (EC) and the Health Ministry (MOH) before deciding to hold the state election.

    UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party won’t work with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in the Malacca state election.

    Fifteen Malacca assemblymen will seek an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Thursday (Oct 7) after Yang-di Pertua Melaka Tun Dr Mohd Ali Rustam refused an audience with them.

    After bringing the Malacca state government down, Nor Azman cried and asked for forgiveness from people in the state. Worth watching the video of him crying.

    “We did this for you (the people of Malacca), not for our agendas.”

  2. Guess who else turned on the waterworks today? We’ll give you a hint — she uttered these famous words before, “Can I advise you something?!

    That’s right, Rosmah Mansor broke down in tears during her RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project corruption trial yesterday, claiming it was all selective and malicious prosecution. It’s not the first time she cried this year — she did the same when High Court ordered her to enter her defence to the trial mentioned earlier this year.

    If I was an overbearing person, my marriage to Najib wouldn’t have reached 34 years.”

  3. The prosecution team of Ahmad Zahid’s trial highlighted the complexity of money laundering by citing Martyn J Bridges’ legal research paper “Money laundering methodology.” There are three common features of money laundering techniques:

    1. Maintain control of the funds.

    2. Transfer structure and form of the funds.

    3. Hide true ownership and origins of the funds.

    Zahid instructed the law firm Lewis & Co to issue a RM8.6 mil cheque. Money changer Omar Ali converted bags to cash totalling RM7.5 mil into 35 cheques. Cheques were also transformed into fixed deposits after entering Lewis & Co’s client account.

    If you’re the judge in the case, what would be your verdict?

  4. The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) of Penang found no foul play in the death of a prominent developer who fell from his luxury condominium unit on Monday morning. While they refused to reveal the deceased’s identity, it was widely reported the deceased was Ewein Berhad founder and executive chairman Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng.

  5. Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique clarified that RM50.9mil from the alleged “missing” RM100 mil meant for the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) went to the repayment of Mitra’s previous debts, which were incurred, when it was under the Prime Minister's Office. The National Unity Minister said the unit only received RM49.1 mil this year.

  6. Foodpanda Malaysia has apologised for its controversial Pollywood video which did not have any Indian among its casts. Social media users slammed the video for appropriating Indian culture. However, Foodpanda clarified it was not the brand’s in-house Deepavali advertisement.

    The Pollywood video was meant to tell the story of a specific urban Malay household in its upcoming music videos series.

    Naturally, the first instinct would be to boycott Foodpanda. However, we must take it against the company instead of the riders, which the social media scene has done. We mustn’t forget the riders depend on the platform to make a living.

Business

  1. Sudan transitional government's move to confiscate Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) assets in the African nation on allegations the assets were acquired through illegal means during the rule of ousted leader President Omar al-Bashir has been strongly objected by Petronas, according to Daily Sabah. The assets are said to have been transferred to Sudan’s Ministry of Finance.

  2. AirAsia Group Bhd has signed an amendment agreement with Airbus SAS to convert the remaining 13 undelivered A320 aircraft to the A321neo. The airline benefits from A321neo’s layout that seat up to 236 passengers with the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle category.

    AirAsia now has a total order of 326 A321neo aircraft that will be allocated based on demand among airlines within the group, with deliveries up until 2035.

  3. Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chairman Datuk Dr Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff has stepped down from his position effective immediately. Rais said his resignation has been in the works since mid-August. Shipping associations lambasted Rais for his disparaging remarks about Wee on the cabotage issue on Sep 30.

  4. The Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) revealed that CPO production for September 2021 declined 1.44% to 1.68 million tonnes compared with August 2021, which pushed the benchmark palm oil contract for December 2021, closing at an all-time high of RM4,872 a tonne. CPO futures prices rose past RM5,000 a tonne for the first time to a record high on Wednesday’s trading session.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Indonesia, the largest producer of palm oil, conducted its first test flight using jet fuel partially from palm oil on Wednesday, a senior minister said, as the country plans to commercialise the fuel beyond being an edible oil domestically. The plane flew more than 100 km from the capital, Jakarta, to the neighbouring city, Bandung. 

    The bio jet fuel used during the test flight only contained 2.4% palm oil content, but a 2015 regulation has mandated it to be increased to 5% by 2025. Although biodiesel has lower carbon emissions, land clearance to grow palm oil trees has raised concerns amongst environmentalists. Besides, there is also a moral debate for using food for non-edible purposes (ie. fuel).

  2. More than half of the world’s central banks, about 110 countries, have been exploring the creation of their own central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to the head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva. China is said to be several years ahead of most major economies when it comes to launching its own CBDC. 

    These central bankers and most critics of Bitcoin are under the impression that CBDC will displace and eliminate the use of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a hedge against fiat currencies. CBDC is just another form of fiat, where central bankers can print just as much supply as it wants and with higher surveillance and control over the population. 

  3. Taiwan defence minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, has sounded the alarms over military tensions with China saying that it is at its worst in more than 40 years during a parliamentary review of extra military spending worth TWD240 bil (USD8.6 bil). Over a 4 day period beginning last Friday, Taiwan reported close to 150 Chinese air force aircraft that entered its air defence zone, in what Taipei calls Beijing’s continued harassment.

    Chiu said China has the ability to invade Taiwan and mount a “full scale” invasion by 2025 when the cost and attrition to China will be its lowest. The US, Taiwan’s main military supplier, has confirmed its “rock-solid” commitment to Taiwan. After what happened with Afghanistan, would Taiwan still hold its faith in the US to protect them should China really invade the island? 

    Fun fact: There are 2 Chinas in this world - The People’s Republic China refers to China, and The Republic of China refers to Taiwan. 

  4. The WHO has recommended the “world’s first” malaria vaccine. The approval is based on results from an ongoing campaign in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that vaccinated more than 800,000 children in the last 2 years. Malaria kills 400,000 people a year, nearly all of them living in sub-Saharan Africa. 

    Malaria has been infecting humans for as long as we know. Watch the video below to understand why the Malaria vaccine has been an elusive solution until recently. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Brilliant “Squid Game” acapella

  2. Panama Papers explained by Vox, covering secrets of shell companies in 2 minutes.

  3. During the Facebook outage on the midnight of Tuesday (local time), Twitter was quite lit. Check the replies to Twitter’s tweet below, ranging from Instagram (yes) to McDonald’s.