☕️ USD8 tril: The costs of America's global war on terror

Malaysia's Carsome - Malaysia's largest tech unicorn valued at USD1.3 bil. "Mu" - new Covid variant detected by WHO. Secretlab, Singapore gaming chair maker, sells 1 mil chairs a year.

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

NFT platform CryptoPunks has recorded USD1 bil in transaction volume according to crypto tracker CryptoSlam since its launch in 2017.

RM3.6 mil — total compounds issued for SOP violations in Kuching since May 2021.

100,000 — Alphabet’s drone delivery service Wing has hit the 100k deliveries milestone, delivering items including coffee, groceries, sushi, cakes, pet food, and sportswear. Its biggest success has been in Logan, Australia: a suburb in Brisbane where more than 50,000 of its total deliveries have been carried out.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • WHO is monitoring a new coronavirus variant called “mu”, which could potentially evade immunity provided by previous Covid-19 infection or vaccination. This new variant was first identified in Columbia and has since been confirmed in at least 39 countries.

  • Newly appointed Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin held his first official press conference yesterday. He said the government is preparing a set of new standard operating procedures (SOP) to guide the public living on with Covid-19 as the virus becomes endemic. KJ joked about sending anti-vaxxers to meet Johor Crown Prince when he was addressing parents’ concerns of unvaccinated teachers.

  • Operation Surge Capacity will be implemented in seven states facing a spike in Covid-19 cases — namely Johor, Kelantan, Kedah, Pahang, Perak, Penang, and Sabah.

  • Malaysians eligible for Covid-19 special assistance (BKC) will begin receiving financial aid from Sept 6 onwards, starting with the B40 group, then followed by M40 group. The allocation totalling RM3.1 bil will benefit about 10 million Malaysians.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

Politics and Local

  1. Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli was disqualified from the Shot Put F20 event at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games due to a technical error. Ziyad and fellow athletes from Ukraine and Australia were marked as "did not start (DNS)" for the event after failing to appear at the call room at the scheduled time. Ziyad explained the trio were delayed by the rain and large foot traffic.

    However, Ziyad was still allowed to participate "under protest" and produced a world record heave of 17.94m — it would have won him the Gold medal. According to Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Ti Lian Ker, Malaysia will lodge further appeals at the International Paralympics Council to recognise Ziyad's participation after the appeal to the World Para Athletics to overturn Ziyad’s disqualification was unsuccessful.

  2. Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak said recall elections are better than an anti-hopping law if elected representatives want to change parties or have been sacked by their own party. Former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said did mention holding recall elections under the proposed anti-hopping law could prevent elected representatives from defecting to another party.

  3. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin warns that individuals issuing statements that could incite others to the point of causing public fear could face action under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.

  4. Will the Johor Crown Prince (TMJ) be cancelled after his recent Instagram posting where he said the only way Muar MP Syed Saddiq can get his attention is by jumping off the Petronas Twin Towers without a parachute? According to Syed Saddiq, the relationship soured back in 2018 after TMJ made personal demands which made the MP uncomfortable.

  5. A team of three Malaysian university students beat 120 other entries to represent Malaysia for the prestigious James Dyson Award 2021. The Malaysian trio consists of Bennie Beh Hue May, Loo Xin Yang, and Yap Chun Yoon won RM10,000 for their creation, the desalination pod – named WaterPod. The WaterPod aims to help sea nomad communities access to potable water despite spending vast amounts of time in or nearby the ocean. Well done!

Business

  1. Used-car marketplace Carsome Group is cementing its position as Malaysia's largest tech unicorn, valued at USD1.3 bil with its latest fundraising round, raising USD170 mil from investors including Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek.

  2. Solarvest Holdings Bhd’s unit Atlantic Blue Sdn Bhd has bagged an RM175 mil contract to build a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy generating facility in Chuping, Perlis. The 50MW solar farm will be the largest in Perlis, slated to offset approximately 78,450 tonnes of CO2 annually upon commencement.

  3. Lembaga Tabung Haji is considering taking TH Plantations Bhd private, amid a rally in palm oil prices. TH had asked banks for proposals for the potential deal for the owner of palm oil and rubber plantations.

  4. Looks like the Taman Rimba Kiara project fiasco will go on as the developer of the proposed project and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was granted leave by the Federal Court to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to quash the project’s development order at the public park.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Brown University has estimated the price tag of America’s global war on terror: USD8 tril. In its ‘Costs of War’ Project, it estimates factors in “future costs for veteran’s care, the total budgetary costs and future obligations of the post-9/11 wars”. 

    Some highlights on this price tag: 

    1. USD2.3 tril cost to the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zone

    2. USD2.1 tril cost to the Iraq and Syria war zone

    3. USD355 bil to other war zones

    4. Directly killed 897,000 to 929,000 people, including at least 387,072 civilians

    5. Displaced 37 mil people 

    6. Success achieved: nada, zilch, zero

  2. Secretlab, a gaming chair maker from Singapore is set to create about 100 more job roles, mostly in product development roles and to hire more engineers and designers. The 7-year-old company currently employs more than 200 people, about 90% of whom are Singaporeans. It makes about 1 mil chairs a year that are sold to about 60 countries. A quick glance on its website:

    The company has invested SGD10 mil to set up its HQ and R&D centre and will continue to invest SGD50 mil over the next few years into R&D, according to Ian Ang, co-founder and CEO of Secretlab. The pandemic has been a boon for business as more people work from home. 29-year-old Ian Ang made the news a few months ago as he spent SGD51 mil to acquire a good class bungalow (GCB) for SGD36 mil and a penthouse for SGD15 mil.

    We bought a Secretlab chair 2 weeks ago and got to say it’s worth the price!

    Note: This is not a sponsored post…

    News in Brief:

  3. Covid-19 could trigger a spike in dementia cases, with some research showing that Covid-19 infections can increase the likelihood of developing dementia and cause dementia symptoms to show up earlier, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease International, a group representing over 100 Alzheimer’s and dementia associations globally. 

  4. Amazon’s new CEO, Andy Jassy, announced that the company is planning to hire 55,000 people for corporate and technology roles globally in the coming months. This is equal to more than a third of Google’s headcount and close to all of Facebook’s. Of these 55,000 jobs, 40,000 will be in the US whilst others will be in countries such as India, Germany and Japan. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁

  1. The 1918 pandemic that lasted 3 years - Spanish flu (not fly).

  2. A team of drone enthusiasts have been using drones to deliver food and medicine to Covid-19 patients in South Sulawesi since July.

  3. Apple may have teased a new, notchless iPhone in the latest episode of 'Ted Lasso'.