☕️ LTAT overpaid RM304 mil to takeover the automatic enforcement system (AES) contractors

EPF launches two facilities, i-Sayang and i-Lindung. Apple and Amazon hit with USD225 mil fine from the Italian antitrust authorities. Trendy cosmetics company Lush is quitting social media.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

RM19.7 bil — the value of unsold completed residential units (overhang) nationwide as of September 2021. The value came from 30,290 units. The government did not extend the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) campaign in Budget 2022, but industry participants want an extension to eliminate the overhang units.

The deployment of a single wholesale 5G network is expected to increase Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 5% or RM122 bil, according to Ernst & Young Consulting Sdn Bhd’s (EY) report.

90,000 Alexa recordings of family members between December 2017 and June 2021 were collected by Amazon, according to a reporter’s dossier. That is averaging about 70 daily!


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found that the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) overpaid to take over two concession companies — Ates Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd — for the Enforcement System (AES) project. In other words, an indirect bailout by the government.

    KPMG gave a maximum value of RM251 mil to take over the two companies. LTAT paid RM555 mil in 2015. So why would LTAT overpay by 121%? Willing buyer, willing seller. PAC hints there were likely "kickbacks" involved in the deal. MACC deputy commissioner Nur Hayati Abd Hamid said investigations began in 2018 and are ongoing.

    The transport minister then — Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai. The PM? Bossku.

  2. The National Unity Ministry will only conduct an internal probe on the alleged abuse of the Malaysian Indian Community Transformation Unit (Mitra) funds after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) concludes its investigations. However, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said the commission is pushing for some suspects to be charged.

  3. Mark your calendars — Dec 8, 2021, is the day the Court of Appeal (COA) will deliver its decision on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's appeal to set aside his conviction and 12 months jail sentence and RM210 million fine concerning the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

    However, Najib will be in quarantine for seven days when he returns from Singapore on Dec 6. His solicitors have applied for the decision date to be postponed to the following week, between Dec 13 and 17.

  4. Section 62.65 of the Japan Tapah-Cameron Highlands FT Route 059 has been closed temporarily following a landslide on Monday. Heavy rains for two hours caused landslides in as many as 12 locations around the tourist hotspot. In addition, new soil movements were detected in several areas around Tanah Rata yesterday.

    Unfortunately, major news outlets didn’t report the leading cause — deforestation. According to Global Forest Watch, Cameron Highlands lost 3.89 kha (kilohectares) of tree cover since 2000, equivalent to a 5.9% decrease in tree cover.

Business

  1. The Employees Provident Fund will launch two facilities in the first quarter of 2022:

    • i-Sayang — Husbands will be able to transfer 2% of EPF contributions from the husband’s to the wife’s account. No info on the number of wives, though.

    • i-Lindung — Members will be able to purchase life and critical illness insurance through the EPF platform by withdrawing from their Account 2.

  2. AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) posted a net loss of RM149.14 mil for 1QFY22 ended Sept 30, 2021, contributed by a provision for the amount payable to creditors, with the low-cost carrier in default under the terms of the contract. The group said the scheme creditors approved the proposed debt restructuring and now remains subject to sanction by the High Court.

  3. MISC Bhd debuted as a constituent of the Dow Jobs Sustainability Index (DJSI) under the Emerging Markets category, making it one of the three Malaysian companies listed in DJSI Emerging Markets globally.

  4. Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd fights back against the stubborn Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd by seeking a court order for the latter to disclose the factual findings of the special independent review conducted by Ernst & Young Consulting Sdn Bhd (EY Consulting) on its financial accounts.

  5. TNB Renewables Sdn Bhd managing director Mohd Yusrizal Mohd Yusof said Malaysia remains the preferred destination in Southeast Asia for investors in the renewable energy (RE) space, but Vietnam is not far behind. Vietnam has added 16 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity in the past three years, but its grid faces congestion.

  6. Exabytes is organising a virtual event, the MY SME Export Forum on Dec 1 and Dec 2. The company claimed the event is the first Malaysian small and medium enterprise (SME) B2B e-commerce export forum. The event is meant for entrepreneurs who are interested in foreign markets.

    Interested companies and individuals can register to attend the free forum here.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. The UK government announced that all EV charging stations will be mandatory for all new homes and businesses in the UK starting in 2022. The new measure aims to boost EV adoption in the nation by adding up to 145,000 extra charging points each year, on top of the more than 250,000 charging points that it has backed earlier. 

    The government aims to completely ban the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2030 — 10 years earlier than planned. The government previously said that it’s prepared to spend GBP500 million (about $660 million) on building EV charging infrastructure in the country.

  2. Actor Kevin Spacey was ordered last year to pay nearly USD31 million to the studio behind Netflix’s “House of Cards” for breaching his contract by violating the company’s sexual harassment policy, a court filing revealed Monday.

    The studio, MRC, severed ties to Spacey, who starred on “House of Cards,” in 2017 after multiple people came forward to allege a pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct by the Academy Award winner - he was systematically preying upon, sexually harassing and groping young men that he worked with throughout his career. MRC later filed an arbitration action against Spacey for breach of contract, claiming he had cost the production tens of millions of dollars with his behaviour.

  3. Apple and Amazon were fined USD225 million for alleged anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple and Beats products. Contractual provisions of a 2018 agreement between the companies meant only selected resellers were allowed to sell Apple and Beats products on Amazon.it. The Italian antitrust authorities claimed the agreement violated European Union rules and affected competition on prices. Both Apple and Amazon said they plan to appeal against the fines.

  4. The US is warning that Russia is massively expanding its military presence along its border with Ukraine and could invade in the next few months. It appeared to be getting ready to invade early next year - by the end of January or the beginning of February. 

    The US assessed that there could be around 100,000 soldiers deployed if Russia decides to go ahead, with half of the numbers already in place.  As usual, denial is the primary and expected response - Russia is denying any such plans. 

    News in Brief:

  5. MoonPay, self-described as PayPal for crypto, announced that it has raised USD555 mil at a USD3.4 bil valuation in a round led by Tiger Global Management and Coatue. MoonPay has been bootstrapped and profitable since its founding. It has processed more than USD2 bil to date and attracted seven mil customers

  6. Trendy cosmetics company Lush announced that it is quitting social media - it will shut down its Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat accounts on Nov 26 in all 48 countries that it operates in protest against safety issues on social media. It said its decision was motivated by revelations from the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. 

  7. US President Joe Biden announced that he is renominating current Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell for a second term. Expect more money printing to continue.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. How dealing with grief is ‘actually’ like. If you’re dealing with a loss, find a friend to talk to. If you need to talk to someone, there is also BeFrienders KL. You can email us too if you want! Sometimes, writing your feelings out can make you feel better.

  2. Hyundai Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has launched three variants of the Kona Electric, priced from RM150K to RM200K. The basic variant gets a range of 305km from the 39.2 kWh. It isn’t exactly eye candy though.

  3. How are hazmat suits made?