☕️ MoE: 21,316 students stopped schooling since pandemic erupted
High Court fixed 24 Jan to decide whether former DPM Ahmad Zahid to enter defence for corruption. PEMEKA to sell new and complete range of Teslas in MY. Sarco, 3D-printed capsule for assisted suicide.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
Fears over Omicron’s possible impact on global economic recovery dragged Bursa Malaysia KLCI index to its lowest in 13 months yesterday to 1,483.45.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD69 billion in stock have been sold by CEOs and corporate insiders in the U as of November 2021, as looming tax hikes and lofty share prices encourage many to take profits. The number is expected to be higher as December is often an active month for sales due to tax planning. Two figures have sold around USD10 bil in stocks each — Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Four years in jail — the sentence given by a court in Myanmar to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi as found guilty of incitement and violating COVID-19 rules. It was the first verdict in a series of a dozen charges that the military leaders have brought against her, including corruption. Aung San Suu Kyi denies all the charges.
21,316 students stopped schooling since the pandemic began in March 2020 until July 2021, as revealed by the Minister of Education. The figure is still lower than the number of dropouts in 2018 — 34,074 students.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
90% of adolescents between 12 and 17 had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of Dec 5, marking a significant milestone in the Covid-19 programme.
Dr Anthony Fauci said that thus far, there didn't seem to be a great degree of severity to the Omicron variant based on early data from South Africa. However, it is still too early to tell if Omicron causes only mild infections.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health found that rapid antigen tests can detect the Omicron variant.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
The High Court has fixed 24 Jan to deliver its decision on whether former deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has to enter his defence over 47 corruption charges involving millions of ringgit from charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi.
Following Johor’s move, the Selangor State Assembly has passed the Selangor State Constitution (Amendment) Enactment 2021 to lower the minimum age of election candidates from 21 to 18 years old. More young blood is needed in the government!
Chong Sin Woon, MCA secretary-general, criticised the recent requirement imposed by the Customs Department on coffeeshops and restaurants nationwide to apply for a liquor license from 1 Jan as it impinges on the constitutional freedoms and lifestyle choices of non-Muslim and burdening coffeeshops and restaurant operators with the licensing costs.
Mah Sing Group Bhd’s healthcare business unit, Mah Sing Healthcare Sdn Bhd, starts to gain momentum after it has obtained premarket notification clearances from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With this clearance, it can start marketing its medical-grade nitrile examination gloves in the US.
The company said it is expected to complete the commissioning of all 12 production lines under the first phase of its glove business that can produce 38,000 pieces of gloves per production line per hour.
Labour rights activist Andy Hall said he has no intention to launch further public campaigns against companies so long as they are open to constructive dialogues on migrant worker rights.
He issued the statement after VS Industry Bhd reached out to Hall following references made to the company during a recent investor briefing on migrant workers’ welfare in Malaysia.
Ever since Vertex Ventures invested in Grab, Grab has been known as a Singapore company as a new holding company was set up in Singapore for all existing and future operating companies in the region. In this article here, Benedict Tan, an investment associate in Vertex, recounts Vertex’s early days in Grab. How early? Grab was worth just USD9 mil at pre-money valuation (what is ‘pre-money valuation’?)
The Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders Association of Malaysia (PEKEMA) has announced that it has begun taking orders for brand new Tesla cars in anticipation of the proposed EV tax exemptions announced in Budget 2022. The entire range - model S, 3, X and Y (you get it?) will be made available with prices starting from RM288,888 for a Model 3.
The cars will be covered by the international warranty given by Tesla. PEKEMA technicians have undergone training at Tesla Singapore to equip them to servicing Teslas in Malaysia. PEKEMA aims to sell 500 Teslas a year over the next two years of the EV tax exemption period.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Debt-laden developer Evergrande's stock closed down 20% at HKD1.81 yesterday, a new low after announcing it might not have enough funds to meet its financial obligations last Friday. However, three Chinese regulators — the People's Bank of China, the banking and insurance regulator, and the securities regulator assured that any spillover risk from Evergrande to the property market, homeowners, and the broader financial system could be controlled.
E-commerce giant Alibaba’s stock closed 5.6% lower on the Hang Seng index at HKD112.70 after Didi Global Inc.’s plans to delist from the New York Stock Exchange raised concerns about US-traded Chinese internet firms.
Alibaba is shaking up its management and commerce team. CFO Maggie Wu will be replaced by Deputy CFO Toby Xu in April 2022. Two Digital Commerce teams will be created — one for international markets, led by Jiang Fan, and another for the domestic market, to be headed up by Trudy Dai.
Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a whistleblower's complaint against Tesla Inc that the company failed to properly notify shareholders and the public about fire risks associated with solar panel system defects. A former Tesla field quality manager, Steven Henkes, said Tesla and SolarCity didn't disclose the risks to shareholders before and after the acquisition.
Hackers have stolen USD196 mil from crypto trading platform Bitmart, a security firm said Saturday. Bitmart confirmed the hack, calling it “a large-scale security breach.” Bitmart added in a statement that all withdrawals had been temporarily suspended until further notice. Remember, not your keys — not your coins.
Sarco, a 3D-printed capsule destined for use in assisted suicide, may legally be operated in Switzerland, according to advice obtained by Exit International. Sarco offers a different approach for a peaceful death, without the need for controlled substances — death takes place through hypoxia and hypocapnia, oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation.
Norway-based independent energy research and business intelligence company Rystad Energy said the Omicron variant could cost the global oil market as much as 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of demand in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22) if the Covid-19 variant triggers more lockdowns or restrictions.
China's central bank cuts reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for banks by 50 basis points (bps), releasing 1.2 trillion yuan (USD188 billion) in long-term liquidity to bolster slowing economic growth.
Ray Dalio said he had been misunderstood over comments about China during an interview with Andrew Sorkin. He compared China to a "strict parent" when asked about the disappearance of dissidents last week. He did not mean to downplay the importance of human rights issues but simply wanted to explain the Chinese approach to governing as an extension of Confucian ideas about family.
The United States will not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics due to China's human rights “atrocities,” after China said it would take resolute “countermeasures” against any diplomatic boycott. China's embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
Malaysia beat Cambodia 3-1 in the AFF Suzuki Cup opener. If Malaysia wins the final, history will repeat itself and yet another public holiday.
US Congressman, Thomas Massie was criticised after posting this photo with the caption: “"Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo."