☕️ LHDN soon can check your bank account(s) without your consent
ECF platform pitchIN hit RM200 mil milestone raised. Amazon Web Services to invest USD5 bil in Indonesia, creating 24.7k jobs. Japanese gov admitted to overstating country's economic growth figure.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
31.52% — Malaysia’s National Recycling Rate for the year 2021, on track to hit the 40% target set by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT), according to Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) chairman Datuk Rizalman Mokhtar.
USD380 million — the compensation to hundreds of women abused by former US national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. The settlement with USA gymnastics ends a five-year legal battle. Nassar was sentenced to over 300 years in jail in 2018 for molesting gymnasts.
Prices at the wholesale level in the United States increased by 9.6% in November from a year earlier, setting a new record. Inflation is real. The steep rise is an indication of ongoing inflation pressures. Across the Atlantic Ocean, United Kingdom’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 5.1% in the 12 months to November, hitting a 10-year high.
A Patek Philippe Nautilus steel sports watch with a Tiffany Blue face fetched USD6.5 million during an auction. The timepiece was one of 170 made by Patek in honor of its 170-year relationship with Tiffany & Co.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
The Omicron variant infects 70 times faster than delta and the original Covid-19 strain but the infection severity is likely to be much lower, according to a University of Hong Kong study.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics & Local
The latest amendment of Section 106A of the Income Tax Act has been tabled for first reading in Dewan Rakyat to allow the Inland Revenue Board (IRB / LHDN) to no longer inform taxpayers when it requests the latter’s bank account details from the bank to conduct review or investigation. The banks are not allowed to disclose such requests to any person.
The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) would no longer be applicable with this new enforcement. According to the PDPA, taxpayers have to sign a consent form before banks were allowed to furnish bank information to the authorities.
Tax evasion is estimated to cost a whopping RM300 bil a year, about 18% of the country’s GDP.
Big Brother state we are turning into - time for Plan Bitcoin.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has no immediate plans to issue Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) according to Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa. He said the existing domestic payment systems, including the Real-time Retail Payment Platform (RPP) continue to operate securely and efficiently to support economic needs and enable real-time digital payments. This, in a way, is a good thing to further delay the implementation of CBDC as it is well known to increase surveillance and infringe the privacy of the people.
He also commented that cryptocurrencies were not a good store of value nor a medium of exchange due to their volatility, exposure to cyber threats and lack of scalability. Either he is misinformed or is ignorant of the potential of cryptocurrencies. Once again, our neighbour Singapore has the foresight to position itself as a global hub for the crypto industry.
The Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill 2021 was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. An Anti-Sexual Harassment Tribunal will be set up under this bill and will have the jurisdiction to hear and determine the sexual harassment complaints made by individuals and order respondents to pay for whatever compensation or damages not exceeding RM250,000 for any loss or damage suffered by the victim.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) network of airports in Malaysia recorded a total of 2.3 mil passengers movement in Nov 2021, an increase of 77% from the 1.3 mil recorded in Oct mainly contributed by domestic passenger movements with the easing of interstate travel restrictions. This marks the first time the 2 mil mark was surpassed since the onset of the pandemic in Apr last year.
pitchIN, the equity crowdfunding platform announced that it has crossed the RM200 mil milestone in Nov 2021, just 12 months after setting an ECF milestone of RM100 mil raised. Founded in 2016, the platform has assisted 124 companies to raise capital, with 6,200 investments made by a growing network of all classes of investors from VCs, family offices, to retail investors in Malaysia.
Ipmuda Bhd (soon will change its name to Jentayu Sustainables Bhd) said it has received the Sabah government’s approval for its proposal to develop 2 hydro plants in Sipitang with a total capacity of 160 megawatts.
The new projects add on to Ipmuda’s renewable projects taken over in recent times as the group seeks to turn around under new leadership. It had earlier acquired 2 other companies developing a 40 MW small hydro plant in Kemabong, Tenom, Sabah and a solar company that owns a 5.99 MW solar power plant in Pokok Sena, Kedah. Ipmuda’s current market cap stands at Rm188.7 mil.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida revealed in a parliamentary session that the Japanese government overstated construction orders data received from the industry for years. To get the data, there is a survey that compiles public and private construction orders. Companies that were late in submitting orders data would have their data rewritten to the combined months as the figure for the latest, single month. The practice may have had the effect of inflating the country's economic growth figures.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its new Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region and the cloud giant plans to invest USD5 billion in Indonesia over the next 15 years. The investment is also estimated to sustain an average of 24,700 direct and indirect jobs annually.
“Organisations across industries in Indonesia can now take advantage of the AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region to lower costs, increase agility and drive innovation.”
- AWS ASEAN managing director Conor McNamara.
Netflix is still struggling to find customers in India willing to pay for what is already its cheapest subscription globally after nearly six years of its service being made available in India. In another attempt to win more customers, Netflix is cutting each monthly subscription tier’s cost by at least 18% and up to 60.1% in India. The cheapest plan is available for USD1.96 per month, still more expensive than Disney’s Hotstar as well as Amazon Prime Video which cost roughly USD20 a year (each) for the top offerings.
Fire at Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre left more than 100 trapped on the roof. The fire broke out in the machine room and moved to the scaffolding around the building, which is currently under renovation. Fortunately, no casualty was reported from the incident.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Russia’s relations with China as “a proper example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century” during a virtual summit. The summit came at a point where each country’s respective tension with the West is high. Putin also said that he plans to meet with Xi Jinping in Beijing in February and attend the 2022 Olympics.
Six more women have come forward to sue Tesla, alleging a culture of sexual harassment at the electric carmaker's California plant and other facilities that included unwanted touching, catcalls and retaliation for those who complained. Six separate new suits were filed in a California court. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suits.
The United States would add more Chinese firms, including the largest commercial drone maker and biotech firms, to investment and export blacklists this week, according to a report by Financial Times. Eight Chinese firms have been identified by the U.S. treasury department to be placed on its "Chinese military-industrial complex companies" blacklist because of their alleged involvement in surveillance of the Uyghur Muslim minority, including the drone maker, DJI Technology Co Ltd.
The U.S. Federal Reserve hints there will be three rate hikes by the end of 2022 as the economy nears full employment and the U.S. central bank copes with a surge of inflation. It would also stop its bond purchases by March 2022. Policymakers forecast that inflation would run at 2.6% next year in their new economic projections. Officials projected the Fed's benchmark overnight interest rate would need to rise from its current near-zero level to 0.90% by the end of 2022.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Nando’s agency acing it as usual.
When I grow up, I hope we can change our budaya.
How did the Italians keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from falling over?