☕️ Malaysians got poorer - 580k M40 households fell into the B40 group

New travel bubble from Oct 1 - Tioman, Melaka and Genting. 61-year old software engineer lost RM1.2 mil to Macau Scam. Data of 106 mil travellers to Thailand in the past decade exposed online.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

RM1,073,580 was spent by the federal government on renovations and furniture replacements for offices belonging to ministers and deputy ministers between 2020 and 2021. Guess who spent the majority chunk of it? Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s ministry — spent a total of RM470,000.

580,000 Malaysian households from the M40 group moved to the B40 group because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. He added the absolute poverty rate rose to 8.4% from 5.6%.

107 years and 300 days — the age of two Japanese sisters, Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama, certified by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living identical twins.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • 156 walk-in PPVs (click for listing) nationwide will start operation on Thursday for “scheduled walk-in” for adolescents aged between 12 and 17 to get vaccinated.

  • Malaysians have reached the herd immunity milestone for the adult population as 80% of Malaysian adults have been fully vaccinated.

  • SOP UPDATE: Petrol stations, eateries and convenience stores will soon be allowed to operate from 6 am to midnight across the nation, regardless of the National Recovery Plan phase. Except for EMCO areas though.

  • Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri has proposed Genting, Tioman and Melaka as the next travel bubble destination following the early success of the Langkawi travel bubble.

  • Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is deemed safe for children aged five to 11 in a US trial involving more than 2,000 children.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. The Centre for Governance and Political Studies conducted a survey on sexual harassment recently (n=1,056). One damning statistic: 57% of Malaysian women have experienced sexual harassment verbally when walking on the streets. Check out their thread on Twitter.

  2. Former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar has apologised to DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang in High Court on Monday, settling the defamation suit brought upon by the Lim.

    The suit was in relation to a statement by the ex-IGP alleging that Lim had intentionally ordered the party to split Peninsular Malaysia into two, to divide the Malays and the Chinese.

  3. Former PM Najib Razak suggested on his Facebook page for the government to run programs to encourage participation in the local stock market among Malaysians. He suggested that banks to finance up to 70% of equity purchases for equities recommended by analysts. Don’t think he was joking.

    He also suggested for suspension of ‘regulated short selling’ and ‘script borrowing and lending’ to stabilise the local stock market.

  4. Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun rescinded the invitation for former deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming on his own accord, without any pressure from any party. This refutes the claims that Azmin back-door Ali’s was the preparator.

  5. 61-year-old software engineer lost RM1.2 mil to Macau Scam. The scammer first contacted her on July 29, 2021. She lost an average of RM22,935 per day over the last 53 days. At her age, we can assume she lost her retirement savings.

    The scammers do not pick and choose. They target EVERYONE. More awareness is needed. More people need to know the modus operandi. You can stop an ongoing macau scam now. Here is a simple infographic for you to share!

Business

  1. CEKD Bhd’s upcoming initial public offering (IPO) of up to 50.59 million new shares at an issue price of 48 sen per share received significant interest, with the public portion of the listing oversubscribed by 131.61x. CEKD is scheduled to list on Sept 29.

  2. Fintech training platform 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion has partnered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Fintech Association of Malaysia (FAOM) to recruit 200 learners locally to embark on the global Fintech Foundation Programme Flex programme beginning Oct 2021.

  3. Indonesian payments unicorn Xendit will relocate its financial hub to Malaysia after an investment from the Dana PENJANA programme. No details of the investment amount were shared by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz which made the announcement during the launch of Malaysia’s Capital Market Plan 3.

  4. After its “De-Fi” plan, MY E.G. Services Bhd takes another step into its blockchain focus by entering into an equity joint venture with China’s Bubi Technologies Co Ltd to build supernodes worldwide. These supernodes will offer both a public blockchain network as well as a private blockchain network.

  5. The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) yesterday launched the third Capital Market Masterplan (CMP3) to support Malaysia’s next stage of growth over the next five years. The CMP3 will be guided by six critical development and regulatory priorities:

    • Catalysing competitive growth;

    • Empowering investors for a better future;

    • Shaping a stakeholder economy;

    • Embedding shared accountability;

    • Prioritising efficiency and outcomes and;

    • Embracing technology


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Twitter has agreed to pay USD809.5 mil to settle a class-action securities lawsuit over allegations it misled investors about the level of engagement by users on its platform. The original lawsuit was filed in 2016 by a Twitter shareholder accusing Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder, and other senior executives of concealing information about the site’s slowing user growth whilst selling their personal stock holdings “for hundreds of millions of dollars in insider profits”. 

    The complaint said Twitter discontinued reporting “timeline views” in late 2014 and concealed user engagement that was stagnating or declining by reporting vague descriptions of user metrics. Twitter said the settlement resolves all claims without admitting any fault, liability, or wrongdoing by the company or any of the defendants. With USD8.61 bil cash on hand, this settlement comprises less than 10% of its cash holdings. That said, Twitter is openly known to support Bitcoin and could have picked up about 18,800 bitcoin at the current price. 

  2. El Salvador, a nation of 6.5 mil people, is the first country that made Bitcoin legal tender effective 7 Sep 2021. Today, its president, Nayib Bukele tweeted an update that 1.6 mil Salvadorians have downloaded the nation’s Bitcoin wallet app, Chivo Wallet. Impressively, just last Friday, the President reported that 1.1 mil Salvadorians have downloaded the app, showing a significant adoption of Bitcoin. 

    How would Bitcoin benefit its people? 70% of El Salvador’s population is currently unbanked by its traditional banking system and Bitcoin being an open monetary system, has easily onboarded 25% of El Salvador’s population to be banked, accessing banking services. The country is also heavily reliant on remittance with about 25% of its GDP driven by remittance from abroad. Using Bitcoin would cut off middlemen like Western Union and Moneygram, allowing the recipients to save significantly on transaction fees. 

    The sceptic in most people would say Bitcoin is volatile. The app allows immediate interchangeability between USD and Bitcoin without incurring any volatility costs. 

  3. What is the purpose of the king of fruits after you have consumed it? No longer waste. Scientists at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore are turning discarded durian husks into antibacterial gel bandages. The content of the husk, after going through some process will create soft hydrogel, which is then cut into bandage strips.

    Compared to conventional bandages, the durian hydrogel bandages are able to keep wound areas cooler and most, which accelerates healing. Using waste materials for antimicrobial bandages is more cost-effective than the production of conventional bandages, which use a more expensive metallic compound like silver or copper ions. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Apple, in partnership with US biotech Biogen and the University of California, Los Angeles, is conducting research to know whether its devices could help detect depression early through data that is collected such as sleeping patterns, typing behaviour etc. 

  5. NASA is preparing to award up to USD400 mil to private companies to build their own space stations, as the 20-year-old International Space Station starts to age and will be retired towards the end of the decade. The programme, Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Destinations, has received roughly a dozen proposals and NASA plans to pick 2 to 4 of these proposals to distribute up to USD400 mil in contracts. Operating the ISS currently costs NASA about USD4 bil a year

  6. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won his third federal election but was only able to form a minority government after winning 158 seats, short of the 170 seats needed to form the majority. This snap election is the second time in 2 years and is the most expensive in the country’s history, costing CND600 mil (USD470 mil)

  7. British cybersecurity firm Comparitech discovered that details of some 106 mil visitors that travelled to Thailand in the last decade have been exposed online, with information such as passport number, name and residency status exposed. Thai authorities “maintained the data was not accessed by any unauthorised parties”. If you have done naughty business there, hopefully, it wasn’t captured in this database leak.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. Property Prices-to-Income Ratio in major cities - major cities in China are higher than in New York, London and Tokyo.

  2. The United Nations, trying really hard on TikTok. Cringeworthy.

  3. Good ad for the anti-vaxxers.