Thursday, February 22

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Biden’s first 2024 ad focuses on ‘extremist’ threat to democracy
Politics

Biden’s first 2024 ad focuses on ‘extremist’ threat to democracy

President Joe Biden’s campaign released its first television ad for the 2024 election on Thursday, warning of an “extremist” threat to democracy over images of the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. The advertisement, entitled “Cause,” will get its first network showing on Saturday, the third anniversary of the historic assault by Donald Trump supporters which left five people dead. “All of us are being asked right now, what will we do to maintain our democracy?” the 81-year-old Democrat says in a passage lifted from a speech he gave in Arizona last year. “There’s something dangerous happening in America. There’s an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs in our democracy,” says the ad, released early on social media. During the one-minute ad, Biden...
In Europe, tourist tax is seen as one solution to overtourism
Lifestyle

In Europe, tourist tax is seen as one solution to overtourism

From Amsterdam to the Algarve to Barcelona, tourist accommodation will be more expensive in some places this year due to hikes in the tourist taxes adopted by many European destinations. One key reason for this is the need to limit the negative effects of overcrowded tourist areas. The start of the new year always brings its share of changes, including price hikes. And travellers are not spared, not even those planning a city-break in Europe. In fact, the increase in Amsterdam's tourist tax has caused quite a stir. Said to be the most onerous in the European Union, it has risen from 7 per cent to 12.5 per cent of the cost of a night's stay in a hotel. This price increase will apply from the beginning of this year. The tax on cruise passengers visiting the Venice of the North is als...
Report: Foreign govts paid Trump firms millions while he was US president
Politics

Report: Foreign govts paid Trump firms millions while he was US president

Former US president Donald Trump’s businesses received at least US$7.8 million from foreign governments including China during his time in the White House, a congressional report claimed Thursday. Officials from Saudi Arabia, India, Turkey and Democratic Republic of Congo were among some 20 countries’ representatives who paid money to Trump’s hotel and real estate businesses during his presidency, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee wrote in their report. The authors claim that such revenues from overseas governments violated a constitutional ban on “foreign emoluments.” “As President, Donald Trump accepted more than US$7.8 million in payments from foreign states and their leaders, including some of the world’s most unsavoury regimes,” said the report titled “White Hou...
Power Root Faces RM23 Million Blow in Trademark Battle Over ‘Ah Huat’ Brand in Indonesia
News

Power Root Faces RM23 Million Blow in Trademark Battle Over ‘Ah Huat’ Brand in Indonesia

Malaysian company Power Root Berhad finds itself entangled in a legal conundrum after its subsidiaries were unexpectedly ordered to pay RM23 million in a trademark infringement case involving its "Ah Huat" brand in Indonesia. The case stems from allegations that an Indonesian company registered the "Ah Huat" trademark without Power Root's consent. Despite intending to appeal the decision, Power Root faces a setback as its subsidiaries were ordered to pay the substantial sum without being informed or given a chance to defend themselves. The legal dispute originated in 2013 when an Indonesian party allegedly registered the trademark without Power Root's knowledge or permission. Last year, Power Root initiated legal proceedings to cancel the trademark's registration, citing ba...
Silicon Valley startups had their worst funding year since 2019
Business

Silicon Valley startups had their worst funding year since 2019

The value of venture capital deals in the US last year fell to levels not seen since 2019, according to new year-end data highlighting startups’ chaotic 2023. Over the last 12 months, investors poured money into artificial intelligence startups, but the rest of the industry foundered. According to early data released by research firm PitchBook on Thursday, venture capitalists invested $170.6 billion in the US in 2023, over an estimated roughly 15,000 deals. That deal value is down by about 30% from 2022. The VC industry also declined globally last year. Around the world, investors put $345.7 billion into startups, down 35% from what they spent last year and the lowest outlay since 2017. Venture capital is an influential part of the global business ecosystem. Bets from VCs hel...
Tencent buybacks hit record as China watchdog roiled markets
Business

Tencent buybacks hit record as China watchdog roiled markets

Tencent Holdings Ltd. bought back a record HK$10 billion ($1.3 billion) of shares in December and has accelerated the pace even further into 2024 after China’s gaming regulator surprised investors with a raft of new regulations that triggered a broad tech selloff. China’s most valuable company sharply boosted its buybacks as the shock announcement triggered a 12% plunge on Dec. 22. Tencent has since increased daily purchases to about HK$1 billion, compared with an average of HK$375 million a day last year prior to the sweeping gaming restrictions. The controversial regulations, which encompass caps on in-game spending and a ban on rewards for frequent log-ins, revived fears that China was reverting to a 2021-style crackdown on the internet arena. While Beijing has since sought t...
TotalEnergies to review land buyouts in contested Africa projects
Business

TotalEnergies to review land buyouts in contested Africa projects

French energy giant TotalEnergies on Thursday said it had launched a review of its land acquisition practices for controversial $10-billion projects in Uganda and Tanzania slammed by environmentalists. TotalEnergies is pushing ahead with its Tilenga drilling project in Uganda and the 1,443-kilometre (897-mile) East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to transport it to the coast in Tanzania in the face of opposition from activists and environmentalists. “This mission will evaluate the land acquisition procedures implemented, the conditions for consultation, compensation and relocation of the populations concerned, and the grievance handling mechanism,” the statement said, adding that it would submit its report by April. Tilenga targets oil under the rich Murchison Falls nature...
Apple hit with second downgrade this week as iPhone worries grow
Business

Apple hit with second downgrade this week as iPhone worries grow

Apple Inc. was already the least-loved big tech stock on Wall Street. Growing concerns over iPhone sales have now triggered a second downgrade this week, cementing analysts’ cautious approach. Piper Sandler & Co.’s Harsh Kumar cut his Apple rating on Thursday, citing a weak macro environment in China that will dampen demand for iPhones. “We are concerned about handset inventories,” Kumar said in a note, lowering his recommendation for Apple to neutral from overweight after holding a bullish view since March 2020. “Growth rates have peaked for unit sales,” he said. Kumar’s downgrade follows a more bearish move by peers at Barclays Plc, where analysts led by Tim Long cut their rating to underweight on Tuesday. Coming into 2024, Apple was already the big tech stock with t...
Pharmaniaga’s Subsidiary Secures 7-Year Concession Agreement for Medical Logistics Services with Ministry of Health
News

Pharmaniaga’s Subsidiary Secures 7-Year Concession Agreement for Medical Logistics Services with Ministry of Health

Pharmaniaga Logistic Sdn Bhd (PLSB), a subsidiary of Pharmaniaga Bhd, has inked a seven-year concession agreement with the Ministry of Health (MOH) for medical supply logistics services, effective from July 1, 2023. Under the agreement, PLSB is granted exclusive rights to oversee the procurement, storage, supply, and delivery of medical products to public sector customers. Additionally, PLSB has the authority to offer Pharmacy Information System services and is empowered to either construct or acquire four new warehouses dedicated to medical product storage. While the specific contract value remains confidential, this deal marks a significant development for Pharmaniaga, which has held a similar agreement since 1994 with extensions. Currently designated as a Practice Note ...
Nadal overpowers Kubler to reach Brisbane quarters
Sports

Nadal overpowers Kubler to reach Brisbane quarters

Rafael Nadal (picture) continued his impressive comeback by overpowering wildcard Jason Kubler 6-1, 6-2 to move into the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International on Thursday. Playing his first tournament since being forced to retire injured at the 2023 Australian Open, Nadal was far too strong for the Australian, who did not have the shots to harm the Spaniard. The 37-year-old Nadal, who beat former US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the first round, powered through the first set, opening a 5-0 lead before Kubler finally held serve to get on the board. The second set was almost as impressive as Nadal wrapped up the match in 1hr 23min. He will play another Australian, Jordan Thompson, in the quarter-finals and remains on track for a possible semi-final against second see...
Roche Launches First-in-Human Clinical Trial in Malaysia for Innovative Drug Targeting Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Science

Roche Launches First-in-Human Clinical Trial in Malaysia for Innovative Drug Targeting Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Roche Pharmaceutical, a global pharmaceutical leader, has marked a groundbreaking moment by selecting Malaysia as the location for its First-in-Human (FIH) trials focused on a rheumatology indication. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad highlighted this significant achievement during the Clinical Research Excellence in Early Phase and People Development event. Dzulkefly emphasized the acknowledgment of Malaysia's clinical trial capabilities by a multinational healthcare giant, stating, "Malaysia’s clinical trial ecosystem has developed rapidly, with over 2,300 sponsored clinical research conducted since the establishment of Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) in 2012." The FIH trial, centered around an experimental drug for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), will be con...
Penang exco: 154,685 units of affordable houses established in state since 2008
News

Penang exco: 154,685 units of affordable houses established in state since 2008

Penang has recorded an increase in the supply of affordable houses (RMM) by 154,685 units or 70.31% at various stages from 2008 to December 31 last year. State Housing and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Seri S. Sundarajoo said from the total, 50,700 units of RMM have been completed followed by 20,249 units under construction while 83,736 units are still at planning or approval stage. “The RMM segment has strong demand and I urged all developers to continue actively supply RMM and the state government haS also extended Home Ownership Campaign 3.0 Plus (HOC 3.0 Plus) starting January 1 to December 31 this year. “The policy which was implemented since 2020 is aimed at stimulating the property sector and at the same time assist the people to own houses in Penang,” he told a...
Malaysia Contemplates Merger Control Law to Safeguard Market Competitiveness
News

Malaysia Contemplates Merger Control Law to Safeguard Market Competitiveness

In a bid to fortify market competitiveness and deter the formation of cartels, Malaysia is considering the introduction of a merger control law, with hopes to table it in Parliament by June, according to a recent report by The Star. Iskandar Ismail, Chief Executive of the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC), revealed in an interview that Malaysia is the only country in Southeast Asia lacking a merger control law. The proposed legislation, about 80% complete, is expected to undergo final adjustments for presentation in the Dewan Rakyat. Under this prospective law, companies planning mergers would be required to seek approval from MyCC. Iskandar highlighted that the goal is to analyze and ensure that mergers do not lead to reduced competition in the market, stemming from the fo...
LTAT Firm on January 5 Deadline for BPlant Privatisation Bid at RM1.55 per Share
News

LTAT Firm on January 5 Deadline for BPlant Privatisation Bid at RM1.55 per Share

In a resolute move, Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) has declared a non-negotiable deadline of January 5, 2024, for its privatisation bid for Boustead Plantations Bhd (BPlant), offering RM1.55 per share. LTAT, having secured over 90% of BPlant's shares, emphasized that there will be no extensions beyond the specified closing date. LTAT's significant acquisition, amounting to a 92.2% stake, equivalent to 2.07 billion shares, was disclosed in BPlant's latest bourse filing on January 3. With this majority ownership, Bursa Securities is expected to cease trading within five days of the stipulated closing date, which may pose challenges for holders of unlisted shares. This development follows LTAT's determined stance amid a prior unsuccessful RM1.15 billion takeover attempt by ...
Roku launches first high-end TVs in search of revenue growth
Innovation/ Technology

Roku launches first high-end TVs in search of revenue growth

Roku Inc., the maker of TV streaming boxes and software, is debuting its first high-end televisions in a bid to continue sales momentum for the company’s devices. In the spring, Roku will roll out 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch Pro Series TVs that will cost consumers as much as $1,500. The new televisions put Roku in competition with Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., which offer several models in that price range. It’s a step up from the company’s current TVs — the Select and Plus — which top out at $999. Roku announced the new models on Wednesday ahead of the CES technology conference scheduled for next week in Las Vegas. The new TVs include a thinner design with a flat back for mounting on walls, improved picture quality and better audio for cinematic sound, th...
Rolex is raising UK watch prices, but its US pricing is unchanged
Business

Rolex is raising UK watch prices, but its US pricing is unchanged

Rolex SA, the top maker of Swiss watches, has raised prices in the UK while leaving its US pricing unchanged. The Geneva-based watchmaker, known for models such as the Submariner and Daytona, increased prices at dealers in the UK by an average of about 4% to start the year, according to a report by analysts at Barclays. The price increases were previously reported by Britt Pearce, a UK-based Youtube channel, and by Screw Down Crown, a watch-focused blog. A spokesperson for Rolex declined to comment. While the price of a Rolex Air King model rose to £6,500 ($8,206) on Jan. 1 from £6,250 in 2023, prices at US dealers were unchanged, Barclays analysts wrote in a report on Watches of Switzerland Group Plc, the top seller of Rolex watches in the UK. When the watchmaker raise...
From Shohei to ‘Zelda’, Japan’s big soft-power year
Opinion

From Shohei to ‘Zelda’, Japan’s big soft-power year

In a year in which Walt Disney Co struggled with expensive flops and audiences finally fell out of love with superhero movies, Japan scored a best-ever series of soft-power hits. Little by little, the country is getting better at pitching its copious wares overseas, and 2023 proved that. From Super Mario’s domination at the theatre to Netflix Inc’s adaptation of best-selling manga “One Piece”, it was a year when audiences demonstrated their increasing fondness for the soft-power super-power. With “The Super Mario Bros Movie”, Nintendo Co’s tie-up with “Minions” creator Illumination Entertainment Inc, the Kyoto-based video game maker scored the second-highest grossing movie of the year worldwide, beaten only by Warner Bros Discovery Inc’s “Barbie”. Nintendo is the prime example o...
Turkey’s IC, MAHB seek deal on 2nd Istanbul airport
Business

Turkey’s IC, MAHB seek deal on 2nd Istanbul airport

IC Holding AS and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) agreed to collaborate for Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen, as Turkish company explores acquiring a stake in the airport. Discussions are at a preliminary stage between MAHB and IC Holding, a Turkish infrastructure company and airport operator, and may or may not result in the latter acquiring a stake at the airport, according to people, who asked not to be named as the deliberations are confidential. IC Holding declined to comment. MAHB said it is entering a “strategic collaboration” with IC Holding but refrained from disclosing further details. Sabiha Gokcen Airport named Serhat Sogukpinar as the new chief executive as part of the collaboration, according to a separate statement on Dec 26. Sogukpinar currently serves as head o...
Elvis to get hologram treatment at new London show
Entertainment

Elvis to get hologram treatment at new London show

A new immersive Elvis Presley show will open in central London later this year, bringing the king of rock ‘n’ roll back to life with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), organisers said Thursday. “Elvis Evolution”, featuring a life-size digital Elvis performing on stage, is designed to be the first of a series of shows in cities including Las Vegas, Tokyo and Berlin. British company Layered Reality put together the spectacle using AI, holographic projections, augmented reality, live theatre and multi-sensory effects to celebrate the singer’s life and legacy. It promises previously unseen performances created through access to thousands of personal photos and home-video archive after striking a deal with Authentic Brands Group, which owns his estate. Layered Reality ch...
Michelle Yeoh Welcomes Grandmotherhood with Heartwarming Photos
Entertainment

Michelle Yeoh Welcomes Grandmotherhood with Heartwarming Photos

In a delightful announcement, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, the esteemed actress, and her French husband, Jean Todt, kicked off the new year with the heartwarming revelation of their newfound roles as grandparents. Yeoh shared this joyous news through a series of captivating photos on her Instagram account on Tuesday, January 2. The first image captured the Oscar winner alongside her husband, 77-year-old Jean Todt, in a hospital room setting, joined by Todt's 46-year-old son Nicolas and his partner Darina. The family radiated happiness in a moment that marked the beginning of a significant chapter. The second photo showcased Michelle Yeoh's beaming smile as she cradled her grandchild, named Maxime, in her loving arms. The genuine happiness on Yeoh's face resonated with the joy of embra...
Samsung to unveil new Galaxy S series later this month
Innovation/ Technology

Samsung to unveil new Galaxy S series later this month

Samsung Electronics Co said Wednesday it will unveil new Galaxy S series smartphones later this month, with a focus on artificial intelligence, Yonhap news agency reported. The world’s largest smartphone maker said it will hold a Galaxy Unpacked event in San Jose, California, on Jan 17 (local time), with the theme “Galaxy Unpacked 2024: Opening a New Era of Mobile AI.” “Get ready to discover a new era full of possibilities with the latest Galaxy innovations, designed to transform how you live, connect and create. “The new Galaxy S series will set a higher standard for the most intelligent mobile experience yet,” Samsung said in its invitation to the event. While Samsung did not share the detailed product lineup, Galaxy S24 flagship smartphones are expected to be unveiled a...
Proton Ends 2023 with Best Sales Growth Since 2012
Business

Proton Ends 2023 with Best Sales Growth Since 2012

National automaker Proton achieved its strongest sales performance in a decade in 2023, marking five consecutive years of growth. Proton sold 154,611 units last year, a 9.3% increase over 2022. This included 12,711 units moved in December. The company held 19.4% market share for the year. CEO Li Chunrong credited the rebound in demand for Proton's PIES models - the Persona, Iriz, Exora and Saga. The Persona saw sales jump 48.9% to 24,362 units, making it the number two model in its segment. The Saga was Proton's top seller at 70,184 units, up 25.6% and driven by first-time buyers. Proton's SUV lineup, including the X50, X70 and X90, has sold over 200,000 units since its launch. With its position as Malaysia's number two automaker solidified for a fifth straight year, Proto...
Tragedy Averted as Japan Airlines Plane Catches Fire in Tokyo Runway Collision
News

Tragedy Averted as Japan Airlines Plane Catches Fire in Tokyo Runway Collision

In a harrowing incident at Tokyo's Haneda airport, a Japan Airlines plane burst into flames following a collision with a smaller coastguard aircraft on the runway. The catastrophic event unfolded as the Airbus, arriving from Sapporo, skidded on the blazing tarmac, resulting in a fire that engulfed the aircraft. All 379 passengers and crew aboard the Japan Airlines Flight 516 were successfully evacuated, displaying commendable efforts by the flight crew. Unfortunately, five of the six crew members on the coastguard plane lost their lives, with the captain sustaining injuries. The incident occurred shortly before 18:00 local time after the flight had departed from Sapporo's New Chitose airport. Video footage captured the dramatic moment when the plane burst into flames upon landin...
Hilton’s 600th hotel opens, upbeat about tourism recovery
Lifestyle

Hilton’s 600th hotel opens, upbeat about tourism recovery

The nation saw the 600th Hilton hotel opened recently in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The global hospitality company is steadfast in its commitment to accelerating further expansion, banking on the thriving tourism market, according to a top Hilton executive. Qian Jin, president of Hilton Greater China and Mongolia, emphasised the significance of China as its second-largest market globally after the United States. “As one of the fastest-growing international hotel groups in China, Hilton has opened 100 new hotels annually over the past four years. This rapid expansion showcases our collaborative efforts, a pace we proudly refer to as Hilton speed,” he said.According to JLL, a leading provider of commercial real estate solutions, this year has seen a significant increase in Chinese...
Researchers Discover 15 Everyday Factors That Increase Early Dementia Risk
Science

Researchers Discover 15 Everyday Factors That Increase Early Dementia Risk

Early-onset dementia before age 65 has long been blamed on genetics alone. But groundbreaking new research reveals it's not just genes at play. A team of scientists has identified 15 lifestyle and environmental factors that can significantly raise one's risk of developing dementia early in life. The study, published in JAMA Neurology, analyzed health data from over 350,000 participants under 65 in the UK Biobank. It highlights influences like alcohol use disorder, hearing loss, social isolation, depression, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. According to the researchers, these factors point to new prevention strategies beyond genetic screening. As Dr. Stevie Hendriks of Maastricht University explains, "Young-onset dementia has a serious impact because people affected are still...
TMJ’s wife conferred Che Puan Mahkota title
News

TMJ’s wife conferred Che Puan Mahkota title

Che Puan Besar Khaleeda Bustamam, the wife of Tunku Mahkota of Johor has been conferred the title Che Puan Mahkota effective Monday (January 1). The announcement of the new title was made by Johor Royal Court Council president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli through a statement posted on The Royal Johor’s Facebook page. “The Royal Court Council announces that, in accordance with the authority and privileges vested in His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim ibni Sultan Iskandar under Part One of Article 23 and Part Two of Article 7(2)(e) of the Johor Constitution 1895, and with the agreement of the Royal Council on December 31, 2023, the title of Her Highness Che Puan Mahkota Khaleeda Binti Bustamam has been conferred upon the consort of the Johor Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail,” read the statement. A...
Malaysia Launches PADU, A Bold New System for Targeted Aid Distribution
News

Malaysia Launches PADU, A Bold New System for Targeted Aid Distribution

Yesterday marked a monumental day for Malaysia's digital transformation. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim officially launched PADU, the national database that will revolutionize how the government provides targeted aid and services. But what exactly is PADU, and why does it matter? Here's your complete guide: What is PADU? PADU (Education Performance and Delivery Unit) is a secure database that integrates citizens' personal data from various government agencies. By compiling comprehensive profiles of Malaysians, PADU allows for more accurate analytics to formulate data-driven policies. It also enables targeted and efficient implementation of services like subsidies. PADU was fully developed domestically over 6 months through collaboration between the Ministry of Econom...
Malaysians Can Renew Driver’s Licences Online Starting February
News

Malaysians Can Renew Driver’s Licences Online Starting February

Malaysian motorists will soon be able to renew their driver's licences online through the MyJPJ mobile app, announced Transport Minister Anthony Loke. "To encourage the use of e-LMM, those who choose e-LMM to end their licences will enjoy a rebate of RM5," said Loke at a press conference at the Selangor headquarters of the Road Transport Department (RTD). According to Loke, renewals for both driver's licences and road tax through the MyJPJ app will be conducted in phases, with the initial phase open only to Malaysians starting February 1, 2024. "This rebate will be enjoyed throughout this year starting from February 1, 2024 until December 31, 2024," Loke added. The MyJPJ app, which already provides digital access to road tax details, will enable users to share their e-lice...
Maybank IB: 2024 to be a ‘take-off’ year for Malaysia’s economic transition, GDP firmer at 4.4%
Finance

Maybank IB: 2024 to be a ‘take-off’ year for Malaysia’s economic transition, GDP firmer at 4.4%

The year 2024 should be a ‘take off’ year for Malaysia’s medium to long-term economic transition outlined in last year’s blueprints, masterplans, roadmaps and legislations, with the economy growth expected to be firmer at 4.4% this year, Maybank Investment Bank said. It said these include the Madani Economy, National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP2030), 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review (12MP MTR), Hydrogen Economy and Technology Roadmap (HETR), Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) as well as Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (EECA). On the country’s economic growth, the research firm said the growth would be underpinned by resilient consumer spending, sustained private and infrastructure investment momentum, plus recoveries in trade-related ...
Kota Kinabalu Welcomes New Mayor
News

Kota Kinabalu Welcomes New Mayor

Kota Kinabalu has a new mayor leading the city government. Datuk Seri Sabin Samirah (pictured), 63, was appointed as the new mayor of the capital of Sabah, replacing Datuk Noorliza Awang Alip. Samirah is the seventh mayor of Kota Kinabalu since it gained city status 23 years ago in 2000. His most recent role was Director-General of the National Anti-Financial Crime Centre in the Prime Minister's Department, after completing his tenure as CEO of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) from 2016 to 2021. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor presented the appointment letter to Samirah in an official ceremony. Also present were Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe, Assistant Minister Datuk Abidin Madingkir, and State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Sr Safa...
Taylor Swift Dethrones the King to Set New Billboard Record
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Dethrones the King to Set New Billboard Record

Pop icon Taylor Swift has officially broken Elvis Presley's long-held record for the most weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart by a solo artist. Swift's latest re-released album, 1989 (Taylor's Version), topped the chart for a fifth time in the final tracking week of 2023. This gave Swift a new record total of 68 weeks at Number 1, surpassing Presley's previous soloist record of 67 weeks. The achievement caps an incredible multi-year run for Swift, whose chart-topping albums include Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, Reputation, Lover, Folklore, Evermore, Fearless (Taylor's Version), Red (Taylor's Version), Midnights, Speak Now (Taylor's Version) and now 1989 (Taylor's Version). Buoyed by a last-minute sales boost around Christmas, 1989 (Taylor's Version) racked u...
Ringgit off to weak start on first trading day of 2024
Finance

Ringgit off to weak start on first trading day of 2024

The ringgit opened lower in early trade on Tuesday, the first trading day of the new year 2024, but sentiment for the local note remained strong. It closed the last trading day of 2023 higher by a marginal 0.3%. At 9am, the ringgit had appreciated to 4.5910/5965 against the US dollar, from last Friday’s close at 4.5900/5980. AmBank Group said the ringgit firmed 0.3% on the last trading day of 2023 to close below the 4.60 level at 4.594, the highest since August 2023, and traded within the range of 4.578 to 4.615. “While we think [there is] further upside to the ringgit, cautious trading of the currency is still possible ahead of new US economic data this week. “Investors now will focus on US key labour market and purchasing managers index data this week to kick-start 20...
Malaysian Manufacturing Sector Endures Ongoing Weak Demand Despite Signs of Stabilisation
Business

Malaysian Manufacturing Sector Endures Ongoing Weak Demand Despite Signs of Stabilisation

The Malaysian manufacturing sector continued to face challenging conditions at the end of 2023, according to the latest PMI data from S&P Global. Demand remained subdued, leading firms to cut back production for the 17th consecutive month amid limited new orders. However, the rate of decline in output eased to the slowest pace since August. Despite weak demand, manufacturers added staff for the first time in eight months in December, albeit at a marginal rate. Input price inflation also slowed for the first time in three months to the weakest since September. The seasonally adjusted PMI was unchanged at 47.9 in December, signaling business conditions remained difficult. Manufacturers cited weak customer confidence and subdued demand. New orders fell for the 16th straight ...
Malaysian drug kingpin arrested in Laos
News

Malaysian drug kingpin arrested in Laos

A Malaysian fugitive wanted in Thailand for drug smuggling was arrested during a Thai-Lao joint operation last week. The 39-year-old Malaysian, an alleged drug dealer and key member of a drug syndicate had been in hiding in Laos, according to Thai police. Assistant National Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Panurat Lakboon said the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has been investigating the Malaysian man, a suspected drug trafficker who played a key role as procurer and coordinator in the drug trade in the Golden Triangle area since 2006. He said the man was arrested in Laos on Dec 29. “The suspect has been working with drug networks across Thailand, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Laos. He also used Thailand for both money laundering and as a transit point for smuggling...
At least six dead after huge earthquake rocked Japan on New Year’s Day
News

At least six dead after huge earthquake rocked Japan on New Year’s Day

The powerful earthquake that hit central Japan on New Year's Day killed at least six people, as police and local authorities early on Tuesday reported cases of bodies being pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings. The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 struck in the middle of the afternoon on Monday, destroying buildings, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and prompting residents in some coastal areas to flee to higher ground. It also triggered waves about one metre high along Japan's long western seaboard as well as in neighbouring South Korea. Army personnel were dispatched to help with rescue operations, while one local airport was shut down after the quake tore open cracks in the runway. An elderly man was pronounced dead after a building col...
Abercrombie’s 285% surge in 2023 beats even sizzling Nvidia
Business

Abercrombie’s 285% surge in 2023 beats even sizzling Nvidia

One retail stock has been a clear winner this year as fashion trends revisited the late 90s and early 2000s. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has gained 285% this year, its best annual performance since going public in 1996. The rally has made the company the best performer in the S&P 1500 Index, even managing to beat out artificial intelligence darling Nvidia Corp.’s 239% gain. The retailer has also handily outperformed its peers – the S&P Retail Select Industry Index rose 20% this year. The strong showing is a sharp pivot from 2022, when the retailer’s shares fell 34% as the broader stock market was dragged down by an uncertain economic backdrop and cautious consumers. Heading into this year, however, Abercrombie cleared extra inventory and focused on its target audience, y...
Daren retires as Zii Jia’s assistant coach
Sports

Daren retires as Zii Jia’s assistant coach

Former men’s singles shuttler Liew Daren will be parting ways with Lee Zii Jia, after almost two years serving as the world’s number eleventh player assistant coach. Team LZJ took to Instagram yesterday to confirm Daren’s decision. “After a heart-to-heart discussion, Team LZJ with the heaviest of feelings agree to accept Liew Daren’s resignation from the team. We respect his decision to do so due to personal reasons. “Daren was an integral part of the team since day one and has played an important role in the development of Team LZJ. His presence will be sorely missed by all within the team. As such the doors at Team LZJ will always remain open for Daren,” the team posted. Daren, who represented Malaysia as an independent men’s singles shuttler, had retired in April, then ...
AirAsia CEO Riad Asmat announces resignation
News

AirAsia CEO Riad Asmat announces resignation

AirAsia chief executive officer (CEO) Riad Asmat announced his resignation today. In his Instagram posting, Riad thanked AirAsia and the team “for their undying support given throughout the good as well as bad times,” and said it was “truly an honor to have been given the opportunity to work with each and everyone one of you throughout these years.” “As I take a bit of break and transition into possible advisory roles for this organisation, please take good care of yourselves and stay safe always. “I don’t really believe in goodbyes as it’s more of a ‘see you around’ thing for me. So ‘see you around’ guys,” Riad said in the posting, adding that he “loved every single bit of the journey with AirAsia with no regrets.” Riad was appointed as the CEO of AirAsia on Jan 10, 2018....
Psy’s Gangnam Style tops 5 billion YouTube views
Entertainment

Psy’s Gangnam Style tops 5 billion YouTube views

“Gangnam Style,” a 2012 global sensation by South Korean singer-rapper Psy, reached another milestone Saturday as the song’s popularity has continued for more than a decade. The music video for the song exceeded 5 billion views on YouTube, reported Yonhap news agency. Unveiled in July 2012, the main track from Psy’s sixth full-length album became a global sensation as its comical music video and the singer’s trademark horse dance went viral. The song made him the first K-pop act to rise to No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 main singles chart. Psy spent a total of seven weeks in the position. Its music video became the first video to exceed YouTube’s view limit when it surpassed 2 billion views in May 2014, prompting the service to upgrade its counter. The video later surpassed ...
HDC: Malaysia secures top spot in global Islamic economy indicator for 10th consecutive year
News

HDC: Malaysia secures top spot in global Islamic economy indicator for 10th consecutive year

Malaysia has once again secured the top position in the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) for the 10th consecutive year, according to the Halal Development Corporation Bhd (HDC). “The 2023 rankings place Malaysia at the forefront, followed closely by Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and the UAE,” it said in a statement. Citing the 2023/2024 edition of the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) report, HDC said Malaysia secured first place in Islamic finance, halal food, and media and recreation, coupled with a commendable second-place ranking in “modest fashion,” third spot in pharmaceuticals and fifth in tourism. Since the inception of the SGIE Report, Malaysia has consistently claimed the first position, showcasing the nation’s enduring commitment to the Islamic economy, ...
MACC: Investigation into Tun Daim case based on information from Pandora Papers
News

MACC: Investigation into Tun Daim case based on information from Pandora Papers

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today said that the investigation into a case involving former finance minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, was based on information obtained from the Pandora Papers. It said that the investigation papers into the case were opened in February this year. The Pandora Papers is a leak of almost 12 million documents and files, exposing the world’s rich and influential people, who hide their wealth by using offshore services. It added that the investigation on Daim was carried out under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 and Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA). “However, based on the legal principle of ‘presumption of innocence’, a person being invest...
Indonesia to impose new 10% tax on e-cigarettes from 2024
News

Indonesia to impose new 10% tax on e-cigarettes from 2024

Indonesia will start imposing a tax on e-cigarettes from the start of 2024 on top of the existing excise levy as it steps up efforts to limit consumption. E-cigarettes will be taxed at 10% of the prevailing excise rate, according to a finance ministry regulation. In Indonesia, tobacco products are subject to two levies — at central and local government levels — of which 50% of the revenue is earmarked for public health services. The policy to make e-cigarettes less affordable in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is in line with the World Health Organization’s recent warning of the dangers of vaping. The Indonesian government has told consumers that vapes and their substances are just as bad as conventional cigarettes. The use of vape in the country surged ten-fold in the decad...
McDonald’s Malaysia sues over Israel boycott calls
News

McDonald’s Malaysia sues over Israel boycott calls

McDonald’s Malaysia has sued a pro-Palestinian group for $1.3 million over its calls to boycott companies allegedly supporting Israel. In a statement issued Friday, the fast-food chain said the civil suit against BDS Malaysia was aimed at protecting “our rights and interests in accordance with the law”. McDonald’s said it “does not support nor condone the current conflict in the Middle East”. “While we understand and respect that the act of boycotting is an individual decision, we believe that it should be based on facts and not false allegations,” McDonald’s said. McDonald’s has sought six million ringgit in damages for alleged defamation, according to a copy of the legal document seen by AFP. In a post on the social media platform X on Friday, BDS Malaysia said “we ca...
Year in review: 2023’s top CEO mishaps and misadventures
Business

Year in review: 2023’s top CEO mishaps and misadventures

Another year, another endless news cycle driven by the world’s top corporate executives, with moments ranging from cringe-worthy to downright bizarre. While some CEOs seemed to relish the spotlight, Elon Musk (picture) chief among them, others were inadvertently thrust into social media’s harsh glare. Here are some of the most high-profile management misadventures: The Muskiest moment Of all the jaw-dropping Musk moments this year, the pinnacle came on stage at the New York Times DealBook Summit when he told advertisers that have stopped spending on X to go “f—” themselves. “Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience” he added, calling out Bob Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney Co. — one company among many that distanced itself after Musk endorsed an antisemitic post in November. Sti...
Global shares hold gains as rate cuts eyed for New Year
Finance

Global shares hold gains as rate cuts eyed for New Year

World shares edged up yesterday as expectations of interest rate cuts stretched a rally in US stocks, while benchmark Treasury yields and the dollar lifted slightly from five-month lows. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.14%, while the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 were little changed. The S&P index has climbed 11.6% this quarter and closed within a whisker of its all-time closing peak, while its price-to-earnings ratio is up by a quarter on the year at 24.0. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.08%. European shares ticked down, but stood near a 23-month high hit two weeks ago and were on course for gains of about 12.5% this year. “Right now, we really do not want to step in front of Santa's gift-laden sle...
Sarawak’s free tertiary education policy won’t lead to tax increase, says state deputy minister
News

Sarawak’s free tertiary education policy won’t lead to tax increase, says state deputy minister

Sarawak’s free tertiary education, which is expected to be implemented by 2026, will not lead to an increase in taxes or cuts in other areas of development, said Sarawak Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development, Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee. He said a sound financial model that the state government has implemented over the years, which is evident in the consistent growth of revenue over the last few years, can sustain the policy. “We know that our income (revenues) will increase. The state has recorded a revenue of RM13.1 billion in 2023… our gross domestic product (GDP) is also expected to increase,” he told reporters via a Zoom interview here today. On November 22, Dr Annuar reportedly said that about 25,000 Sarawakian students in the state will benefit fr...
Fahmi: People have the right to know about RM700m publicity expenses spent by two previous govts
News

Fahmi: People have the right to know about RM700m publicity expenses spent by two previous govts

The people have the right to know about the RM700 million expenditure on advertising and publicity spent by the two previous governments, said Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil. Through a post on X yesterday, he said it was a significant expenditure. “The people have the right to know how this RM700 million was spent, whether everything was recorded properly or if there were any legal violations,” he said. The media reported that the federal government spent nearly RM700 million on advertising, promotion, and publicity work to disseminate the government’s agenda from 2020 to 2022. The previous two administrations incurred the expenses to promote the government’s achievements and efforts. — Bernama https://twitter.com/fahmi_fadzil/status/1740319967898407075?ref_src=t...
Petaling Jaya Dominates as the Most Sought-After Property Hotspot in Malaysia for 2023
Business

Petaling Jaya Dominates as the Most Sought-After Property Hotspot in Malaysia for 2023

In a dynamic shift for Malaysia's real estate landscape, Petaling Jaya (PJ) has emerged as the most coveted area among property seekers in 2023, securing the top spot for the second time, previously winning in 2021. The annual list, compiled by iProperty.com.my, reveals interesting trends and newcomers in the top 10 most searched areas. Urban Resurgence: Return to Established Urban Areas The year 2023 witnessed a notable surge in property searches in urban areas, signaling a shift in preferences towards established city living. This change is attributed to the return-to-office policy adopted by many employers and an increasing desire for proximity to workplaces, boosting the appeal of well-connected urban spaces with vibrant amenities. Top 10 Most-Searched Areas in 2023: ...
Singapore readies sales tax hike as demographic crunch looms
News

Singapore readies sales tax hike as demographic crunch looms

Singapore households are bracing for a sales tax hike that takes effect in the new year as the government shores up coffers ahead of an expected surge in social spending in the rapidly ageing city-state in the years ahead. The goods and services tax, which is levied on everything from groceries to diamond rings, will be increased by one percentage point to 9% on Monday, the second phase of a two-stage rate hike. This year the sales tax was raised to 8% from the previous 7%, which has been unchanged for 15 years. The hikes come on top of already rising living costs, prompting opposition lawmakers to call for a delay in the rise. Core inflation in Singapore has moderated to 3.2% in November from a peak of 5.5% in January and February, but remains stubborn with the central bank...
Malaysia’s total trade for November 2023 amounts to RM231.8b
Business

Malaysia’s total trade for November 2023 amounts to RM231.8b

Malaysia’s total trade for November 2023 amounted to RM231.8 billion, with exports and imports recorded at RM122.1 billion and RM109.7 billion, respectively, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM). Based on its Export-Import Statistics by State November 2023 report, chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said exports eased by RM7.6 billion (-5.9%) compared with the same month a year ago. “The decrease in exports was attributed to the lower exports in most states, namely Penang (-RM5.4 billion), Selangor (-RM2.4 billion), Sarawak (-RM1.6 billion), Terengganu (-RM869.1 million), Melaka (-RM755.1 million), Labuan (-RM704.8 million), Pahang (-RM308.0 million), Negeri Sembilan (-RM164.2 million), Perlis (-RM29.9 million) and Kuala Lumpur (-RM9.9 million). “Howe...
Apple resumes sale of watches after Appeals Court lifts US ban
Innovation/ Technology

Apple resumes sale of watches after Appeals Court lifts US ban

Apple Inc. said it would put its latest smartwatch models back on sale in its US retail stores Wednesday after it won a court ruling in a patent fight, providing a quick reprieve for its $17 billion business. The company said its Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 would also resume online sales beginning Thursday by noon Pacific time. The US International Trade Commission had banned the import and sale of the products at Apple’s official channels after it ruled in favor of Masimo Corp., a medical device maker, in a patent infringement case. An appellate court in Washington had issued an interim stay of the ITC’s decision earlier Wednesday while Apple seeks to overturn the decision. “Apple’s teams have worked tirelessly over many years to develop technology that empowers users with...
Dubai’s red-hot property market is bracing for a slowdown
Business

Dubai’s red-hot property market is bracing for a slowdown

Just nine months after buying their first property in Dubai, Dina Habib and Karim Yusuf are already planning their next move within the city. The Egyptian couple, who spent eight years renting in the emirate, are selling their two-bedroom apartment in the Jumeirah Village Circle district on the edge of Dubai for a 26% premium over the 1.7 million dirhams ($460,000) they paid for the property in March. Habib is hoping to secure a larger property for her family of three for the same price or less. “For many years, we’ve paid someone else’s mortgage because we were scared to buy in a market that went up and down,” said the 39-year-old researcher. “Now, we think the market may have peaked and so we’re planning to sell and buy a house with a garden next year when prices hopefully ...
Tragic land, air, water disasters that shook the nation in 2023
News

Tragic land, air, water disasters that shook the nation in 2023

The devastating air crash on Aug 17 near Elmina, Shah Alam, Selangor, involving a Beechcraft Model 390 (Premier 1) plane, which resulted in the loss of 10 lives, including two road users, stands as one of the most heart-wrenching tragedies for Malaysians this year. The tragic incident at 2.50 pm on Thursday claimed the lives of Pahang local government, housing, environment and green technology committee chairman Datuk Seri Johari Harun, 53, and pilot Shahrul Kamal Roslan, 41, who was assisted by Heikal Aras Abdul Azim, 45. Five other passengers, namely Muhammad Taufik Mohd Zaki, 37, Khairil Azwan Jamaludin, 43, Shaharul Amir Omar, 49, Mohammad Naim Fawwas Mohamed Muaidi, 35, and Idris Abdul Talib @ Ramali, 41, were also killed in the unfortunate plane crash. The incident also...
‘Parasite’ actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead: report
Entertainment

‘Parasite’ actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead: report

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite”, was found dead Wednesday in an apparent suicide, Yonhap news agency reported. The actor was discovered inside a vehicle at a park in central Seoul, along with a burning charcoal briquette, Yonhap reported, citing police. Lee had been under police investigation over his alleged use of marijuana and other psychoactive drugs. Previously celebrated for his wholesome image, local news outlets reported that the actor was being dropped from television and commercial projects following his drug scandal. –AFP
Sime Darby’s takeover of UMW now unconditional
Business

Sime Darby’s takeover of UMW now unconditional

Sime Darby Bhd’s takeover bid for the remaining shares it does not own in UMW Holdings Bhd at RM5 per share is now unconditional, as Sime Darby already holds more than 50% of voting shares. On Dec 13, Sime Darby completed an acquisition of a 61.2% stake in UMW, making Sime Darby the new major shareholder of UMW. CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, on behalf of Sime Darby, informed Bursa Malaysia today that the offer would remain open for acceptance until 5pm on Jan 17, 2024, unless extended or revised. Sime Darby has said it does not intend to maintain the listing status of UMW on the Main Market of Bursa Securities. As of 11.47am, Sime Darby added one sen to RM2.37, with 2.65 million shares traded while UMW declined one sen to RM4.90 with 1.14 million units changing hands. – Bernam...
Apple’s iPhone design chief enlisted by Jony Ive, Sam Altman to work on AI devices
Innovation/ Technology

Apple’s iPhone design chief enlisted by Jony Ive, Sam Altman to work on AI devices

Legendary designer Jony Ive (picture) and OpenAI’s Sam Altman are enlisting an Apple Inc. veteran to work on a new artificial intelligence hardware project, aiming to create devices with the latest capabilities. As part of the effort, outgoing Apple executive Tang Tan will join Ive’s design firm LoveFrom, which will shape the look and capabilities of the new products, according to people familiar with the matter. Altman, an executive who has become the face of modern AI, plans to provide the software underpinnings, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the endeavor isn’t public. The work marks one of the most ambitious efforts undertaken by Ive since he left Apple in 2019 to create LoveFrom. The iconic designer is famous for the products he helped devise under ...
Researchers have a magic tool to understand AI: Harry Potter
Innovation/ Technology

Researchers have a magic tool to understand AI: Harry Potter

More than two decades after J.K. Rowling introduced the world to a universe of magical creatures, forbidden forests and a teenage wizard, Harry Potter is finding renewed relevance in a very different body of literature: AI research. A growing number of researchers are using the best-selling Harry Potter books to experiment with generative artificial intelligence technology, citing the series’ enduring influence in popular culture and the wide range of language data and complex wordplay within its pages. Reviewing a list of studies and academic papers referencing Harry Potter offers a snapshot into cutting-edge AI research — and some of the thorniest questions facing the technology. In perhaps the most notable recent example, Harry, Hermione and Ron star in a paper titled “Who’s ...
Chinese carmaker overtakes Tesla as world’s most popular EV maker
Business

Chinese carmaker overtakes Tesla as world’s most popular EV maker

China’s BYD Co. bills itself as the biggest car brand you’ve never heard of. It might need a different tagline soon. The automaker is poised to surpass Tesla Inc. as the new worldwide leader in fully electric vehicle sales. When it does — likely in the current quarter — it will be both a symbolic turning point for the EV market and further confirmation of China’s growing clout in the global automotive industry. In a sector still dominated by more familiar names like Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co., Chinese manufacturers including BYD and SAIC Motor Corp. are making serious inroads. After leapfrogging the US, South Korea and Germany over the past few years, China now rivals Japan for the global lead in passenger car exports. Some 1.3 million of the 3.6 mi...
Xi vows to prevent anyone ‘splitting Taiwan from China’
Politics

Xi vows to prevent anyone ‘splitting Taiwan from China’

President Xi Jinping vowed today to resolutely prevent anyone from “splitting Taiwan from China in any way”, the official Xinhua news agency reported, a little more than two weeks before Taiwan elects a new leader. China views democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory, despite the strong objections of the government in Taipei, and has ramped up military and political pressure to assert its sovereignty claims. Taiwan holds presidential and parliamentary elections on January 13 and how the island handles relations with China is a major point of contention on the campaign trail. At a symposium commemorating the 130th anniversary of the birth of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who in 1949 defeated the Republic of China government in a civil war which then fled to Taiw...
KPKT now known as Ministry of Housing and Local Government
News

KPKT now known as Ministry of Housing and Local Government

The Ministry of Local Government Development is now known as the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT). KPKT, in a statement yesterday, said the name was amended based on the decision made during the Cabinet meeting on Dec 13, and it will be officially gazetted under the Ministerial Functions Act 1969. It said that providing affordable housing remains the ministry’s main thrust, with a target of constructing 500,000 housing units nationwide, especially for the B40 and M40 groups through the 12th Malaysia Plan. It added that the strategic direction through the implementation of KPKT’s vision and mission will continue to be strengthened through eight main functions, namely Affordable Housing, Urban Planning, Landscape Development, Local Government Empowerment, Firefig...
Malaysian capital market rides out global volatility in 2023
Finance

Malaysian capital market rides out global volatility in 2023

As they say, when the United States sneezes, the world catches a cold. Global markets have been seesawing erratically since the beginning of the year when the US was shaken by a series of bank failures which led to the spiral of debt costs and risks of recession, culminating in a downgrade to its credit rating outlook by rating assessors such as Moody’s and Fitch. The world’s capital markets were also rattled by the US Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) hawkish interest rate hikes that disconnected from other central banks’ rate cut decisions due to the conflict-induced humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. Fixed-income asset, equity and foreign exchange markets suffered massive outflows, as investors sought shelter in defensive assets. During the 2022-2023 cycle, th...
Datuk Lat receives Cai Zhizhong comic prize, thrilled by recognition in China
Lifestyle, The IKON

Datuk Lat receives Cai Zhizhong comic prize, thrilled by recognition in China

Malaysia’s beloved Royal Artist, Datuk Lat, was the proud recipient of the Cai Zhizhong Comic Prize at the 3rd Cai Zhizhong Comic Prize award ceremony held in Guangzhou, China, last Friday. The 72-year-old Lat, whose real name is Mohd Nor Khalid, said he was proud to be recognised by the awards committee which comprised several renowned artists from numerous branches of art in China. "I was proud to represent our country. And also the ties between China and Malaysia are currently strong, mostly in the business sector,” he said when contacted by Bernama today. He said his comic books and cartoons have had a wide audience overseas, including China, since the 1970s. He also confirmed that he was the sole foreign participant at the award ceremony this time and was also invited...
MBSA grants permission for demolition of Shah Alam Stadium, says Selangor MB
News

MBSA grants permission for demolition of Shah Alam Stadium, says Selangor MB

The demolition process of the Shah Alam Stadium for the reconstruction of the new Shah Alam Sports Complex (KSSA) is expected to be carried out soon. This follows the approval given by the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) for the KSSA development project last Friday (Dec 22), a matter recently confirmed by the Selangor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari. “Just got the approval from MBSA yesterday (Friday),” he said in response to inquiries from his followers on X who wanted to know about the progress of the KSSA reconstruction project. The Selangor government was previously reported to have submitted the Planning Permission (KM) plan for the KSSA project on Nov 15, involving a demolition process of the Shah Alam Stadium with a cost of RM35.5 million. The media reported ...
Londoners buying homes outside capital drops to lowest in nine years
News

Londoners buying homes outside capital drops to lowest in nine years

Most Londoners are hunkering down, hoping to weather Britain’s housing storm rather than look for more affordable homes outside the capital. Londoners spent roughly £29 billion (RM170.19 billion) on homes outside the capital this year, almost a third less than in 2022, according to a report from broker Hamptons International. While affordability pressures caused the rate of London outmigration to rise over the past 12 months, the number of homes bought outside the capital dropped to just over 69,000 — the lowest in nine years. “With only around a million homes changing hands across Great Britain this year, fewer Londoners crossed the M25 in 2023,” Hamptons head of research Aneisha Beveridge said, referring to a major highway that encircles the Greater London area. “Those that di...
China is softening stance on gaming after US$80 bil rout
Gaming

China is softening stance on gaming after US$80 bil rout

China approved 105 domestic games on Monday, the latest indication that Beijing is softening its stance after its move to tighten industry restrictions led to an US$80 billion (RM370.56 billion) rout last week. The titles included those operated by Tencent Holdings Ltd and NetEase Inc, China’s two leading game publishers that have been pummelled by Beijing’s new rules. Monday’s approvals show the Chinese authorities support the development of online gaming, an industry association said in a post on WeChat republished by the official Xinhua news agency. Chinese officials rekindled fear that they will start another round of tech crackdowns after top gaming regulator National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) announced on Friday new rules to limit the development of onlin...
Prada plots major NYC expansion with US$835m building deal
Business

Prada plots major NYC expansion with US$835m building deal

Prada is expanding its New York presence with the acquisition of two buildings on New York’s Fifth Avenue. An entity tied to the Prada family bought 720 Fifth Ave. for roughly $410 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Earlier this week, the Italian fashion brand announced the $425 million purchase of 724 Fifth Ave., the adjacent building that houses its New York flagship store. That filing didn’t mention 720 Fifth. The combined value of $835 million makes it one of the largest real estate purchases in New York this year. A spokesperson for Prada didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A representative for the seller, an entity owned by developer Jeff Sutton, declined to comment. Property acquisitions have taken a hit this year as values decli...
Malaysia’s Halal Pharmaceutical Industry Leads Global Market
Business

Malaysia’s Halal Pharmaceutical Industry Leads Global Market

Malaysia has emerged as a global leader in the halal pharmaceutical industry, showcasing robust growth and adherence to Islamic principles in the production and distribution of medicines. With a focus on stringent certification processes, regulatory bodies, and industry collaboration, Malaysia has paved the way for the evolution of halal pharmaceuticals. The journey began with the introduction of the Halal Pharmaceuticals Standard MS2424 in 2012, overseen by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim). According to Prof Amrahi Buang, President of the Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS), the industry has witnessed significant growth, ranking second in size after the food industry. The export value of Malaysia's halal pharmaceuticals reached RM401 million in 2019, showc...
Plane held for days in France on trafficking concerns lands in India
News

Plane held for days in France on trafficking concerns lands in India

A plane that had been grounded in France for days over concerns its nearly 300 mostly Indian passengers were part of a human trafficking scheme landed in Mumbai early Tuesday, flight tracking data showed. The Airbus A340 initially had been bound for Nicaragua when it was detained last Thursday at Vatry airport, east of Paris, where it had stopped for refuelling. It had arrived from Dubai and there was an anonymous tip-off that it was carrying potential victims of human trafficking. Of the original 303 people on the passenger list, 276 were on the plane that took off just before 3:00 pm (1400 GMT) Monday. It landed at Mumbai’s international airport after a nearly nine-hour flight, just after 4:00 am local time Tuesday (2230 GMT Monday), aviation tracking website Flightradar...
Kuala Lumpur to Singapore Tops List as Busiest International Flight Route in 2023
Lifestyle

Kuala Lumpur to Singapore Tops List as Busiest International Flight Route in 2023

Travel intelligence company OAG has unveiled its annual ranking of the world's busiest international flight routes, with Kuala Lumpur to Singapore claiming the top spot based on the number of seats sold throughout 2023. Despite a decline in daily flights from the pre-pandemic average of 82 to approximately 36, the route recorded 4.9 million seats this year. The flight, lasting just over one hour, holds the distinction of being the shortest international flight globally. The top 10 busiest routes predominantly feature destinations in Asia and the Middle East. Cairo to Jeddah secured the second position with 4.8 million seats, followed by Hong Kong to Taipei with 4.6 million seats. Here is the full list of the world's busiest international flight routes for 2023: Kuala Lump...
Pope kicks off Christmas celebrations in shadow of wars
News

Pope kicks off Christmas celebrations in shadow of wars

Pope Francis on Sunday kicked off global Christmas celebrations with a call for peace, as Israel’s war on Hamas and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine cast a shadow over one of the world’s favourite holidays. Revellers the world over, meanwhile, donned Santa’s red caps for a shot of holiday cheer — running a city race in Skopje, North Macedonia, surfing the waves in Florida, jogging along muddy wooded paths on the outskirts of Paris, dipping in the sea near the port of Dover, and soaking with a drink in hand in Lake Geneva. And children around the globe tracked Santa, his reindeer and their present-laden sleigh with the help of www.noradsanta.org, a 3-D interactive website run annually by a joint US-Canadian military monitoring agency. Having said earlier in the day that he was thi...
British billionaire Ratcliffe agrees deal to buy 25% of Man Utd
Sports

British billionaire Ratcliffe agrees deal to buy 25% of Man Utd

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe (picture) has agreed a deal to buy a 25% stake in Manchester United for about $1.3 billion, vowing to return the Premier League club to the “top of world football”. United also announced in a statement on Sunday that Ratcliffe’s INEOS company would take control of football operations after years of under-achievement under the Glazer family. And the 71-year-old chairman of the global chemicals giant will provide substantial funds for future investment in the club’s outdated Old Trafford stadium. It brings to an end a lengthy saga that began 13 months ago when United’s unpopular US owners said they were considering “strategic alternatives” to help the club grow. The American family bought the club for £790 million ($1.47 billion at the time)...
Russia short of around 4.8 million workers in 2023, crunch to persist — report
News

Russia short of around 4.8 million workers in 2023, crunch to persist — report

Russia was short of around 4.8 million workers in 2023 and the problem will remain acute in 2024, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Sunday, citing experts and research from the Russian Academy of Science's Institute of Economics. Central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said last month that Russia's depleted labour force was causing acute labour shortages and threatening economic growth as Moscow pumps fiscal and physical resources into the military. Hundreds of thousands of Russians left the country following what the Kremlin calls its special military operation in Ukraine which began in February 2022, including highly-qualified IT specialists. Those who took flight either disagreed with the war or feared being called up to fight in it. The outflows intensified after Pres...
Mat Sabu: Local govt elections must ensure win-win situation for all races
News

Mat Sabu: Local govt elections must ensure win-win situation for all races

The proposed elections for local authorities must ensure a win-win situation for all races, said Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu. Mohamad, who is also agriculture and food security minister, said further discussions and in-depth studies should be conducted to ensure that all races are satisfied and feel secure with the implementation of the elections. “If chosen by the people, one must work diligently in the interests of the people, not the party. It is necessary to win the people’s hearts and ensure that no one is left behind,” he said in his winding-up speech at the national Amanah leadership committee in conjunction with the National Amanah Convention 2023, here, on Sunday. The proposal regained attention after Federal Territory DAP chairman ...
India arrests two senior employees of Chinese firm Vivo — source
Innovation/ Technology

India arrests two senior employees of Chinese firm Vivo — source

India's financial crime-fighting agency has arrested two senior employees working for Chinese smartphone maker Vivo's India unit, a source directly involved with the case said on Saturday, which the company vowed to challenge legally. The arrests come two months after the Enforcement Directorate arrested four industry executives, including one Chinese national, working for Vivo's Indian unit in a case of alleged money laundering, charges the firm has denied. India has stepped up scrutiny of Chinese businesses and investments following a deadly border clash in 2020. "We are deeply alarmed by the current action of the authorities," said a Vivo spokesperson. "The recent arrests demonstrate continued harassment and as such induce an environment of uncertainty amongst the wider indus...
Health minister expects Covid-19 cases to drop in January
News

Health minister expects Covid-19 cases to drop in January

The number of Covid-19 cases is expected to drop next month, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. He said that the current Covid-19 situation is being monitored based on four criteria, namely the number of infection cases, deaths, admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) and the burden faced by health facilities, especially hospitals. “Insya-Allah, this January (cases) will come down, let's pray together,” he said, at the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) National Convention, here on Sunday. On Saturday, Dr Dzulkefly said that Covid-19 cases recorded in the 51st Epidemiological Week, from Dec 17 to 22, increased by 29.5% to 22,413 cases, compared with 17,307 cases recorded in the previous week. He added that currently, action taken by the Ministry of Health (M...
Penang extends Home Ownership Campaign until December 2024
News

Penang extends Home Ownership Campaign until December 2024

The Penang government has extended the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 3.0 to Dec 31 next year, as part of efforts to promote the ownership of affordable homes (RMM) to the people. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the extension also seeks to meet the state government’s target of providing 220,000 units of RMM to Penangites by 2030. “The HOC was implemented two years ago and received a good response. The state government is committed to supporting the Penang 2030 Vision to supply 220,000 RMM units. “Through the campaign, the state government is offering a 10% discount for RMM units priced at RM300,000 [each] on the island, reducing it to RM270,000. In Seberang Perai, RMM units priced at RM250,000 will be discounted to RM225,000 with a minimum area of 850 sq ft,” he told newsmen...
Anwar: Mitra to fall under purview of national unity ministry
News

Anwar: Mitra to fall under purview of national unity ministry

The Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) will be placed back under the Ministry of National Unity, moved from the Prime Minister's Department (JPM), said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. However, the Prime Minister assured that he would continue to monitor the special unit responsible for addressing the socio-economic development issues of the Indian community in the country. "As we know, Mitra had problems back then (2017). So, a year ago, we (the unity government) fixed it, where the programmes are more transparent, do not go to a political outfit (but) go right to the people, students, and so on. "Therefore, the situation has improved; I can transfer it to the Ministry of Unity, but I still monitor it," he said at a dialogue session with editors-in-chief and senior editor...
Actor Charlie Sheen Assaulted in Malibu Home, Suspect Arrested
Entertainment

Actor Charlie Sheen Assaulted in Malibu Home, Suspect Arrested

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported an incident at the luxury Malibu residence of actor Charlie Sheen, known for his role in "Two and a Half Men." Responding to a call for a "battery/disturbance," officers identified Sheen as the victim of an assault, according to a statement. The suspect, identified as Electra Schrock, was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, force likely to create great bodily injury, and residential burglary, as confirmed by the sheriff's office. TMZ, a popular entertainment outlet, reported that Schrock, a 47-year-old neighbor of Sheen, allegedly forced her way into his home and attacked him upon opening the door. The report stated that she tore Sheen's shirt and attempted to strangle him. Paramedics reportedly assessed Sheen at ...
Man City celebrate but Euro domination drains drama from Club World Cup
Sports

Man City celebrate but Euro domination drains drama from Club World Cup

Manchester City crammed a fifth trophy into a glorious 2023 by lifting the Club World Cup for the first time in Saudi Arabia to continue the domination by European sides of a tournament that has ceased to be competitive. Not since Corinthians beat Chelsea in 2012 have the Champions League winners failed to follow up that triumph by becoming world champions. City’s 4-0 win over Fluminense was a 22nd consecutive victory in games in the competition for European sides. A lack of jeopardy is part of the reasoning for a transformation of the competition from 2025. The current format of seven teams playing a knockout over little more than a week will be ripped up for a 32-team competition spread over the course of a month in the United States in two years’ time. FIFA are muscling...
Perak youths urged to capitalise on opportunities created by state government
News

Perak youths urged to capitalise on opportunities created by state government

Youths in the state are urged to seize employment opportunities provided by the Perak government, especially in the field of technical education and vocational training (TVET). In making the call, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad (picture) said that there was an increasing demand for TVET graduates in order to fulfil the need for a highly skilled workforce. According to him, youths need to capitalise on the Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV) project in Tanjung Malim, involving an investment of RM40 billion, which will start next year. “I want to see young people benefiting from the AHTV high-impact project in Tanjung Malim, including in gaining exposure to and mastering automotive technology. Don’t blame the state government if we let this opportunity slip away, allowin...
ByteDance’s sales break US$110b to pass Tencent in 2023
Business

ByteDance’s sales break US$110b to pass Tencent in 2023

ByteDance Ltd.’s sales surged in 2023 to more than $110 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, potentially overtaking arch-foe Tencent Holdings Ltd. in a sign TikTok’s fledgling e-commerce business is driving growth at a time of economic malaise. The world’s most valuable startup’s growth broadly matched the 30% pace it managed in 2022, when it reported sales in excess of $80 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. That’s despite economic turbulence in China and elevated scrutiny and restrictions in key markets from the US to India. The owner of TikTok and Chinese-twin Douyin this year cemented its position as one of China’s internet leaders, alongside Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., leveraging the popularity...
Singapore director of 980 firms jailed for fraud neglect: BT
News

Singapore director of 980 firms jailed for fraud neglect: BT

A Singaporean director of 980 companies in the city-state was sentenced to four weeks in jail after some of the companies he supervised were discovered to be laundering money, the Business Times reported. Xie Yong, 37, had offered accounting and corporate services to foreign clients — mostly from China — who wanted to incorporate companies in Singapore, according to the report Wednesday, citing a court hearing. The case again highlights gaps that can be exploited when incorporating local companies, and underscores authorities’ efforts to clamp down on them. Authorities in the Asian financial hub earlier this year seized more than S$2.8 billion ($2.1 billion) of assets in its largest-ever money laundering case, though Xie’s case is unrelated. The city-state has been looking in...
Toyota shares slump on Daihatsu raid, US million-car recall
Business

Toyota shares slump on Daihatsu raid, US million-car recall

Toyota Motor Corp. shares slumped the most in 18 months, after subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co.’s offices were raided over a safety scandal and the automaker recalled 1 million cars in the US. The world’s biggest carmaker fell as much as 5.6% in early trading Thursday, the biggest intraday decline since May 2022. The stock recovered a bit and was trading down about 3% in the morning in Tokyo. The transport ministry’s raid of Daihatsu’s Osaka headquarters Thursday morning came after revelations that the carmaker and supplier manipulated the results of collision safety tests dating as far back as 1989, forcing it to halt all shipments. Daihatsu supplies cars and parts to a number of major brands, including Toyota, Mazda Motor Corp. and Subaru Corp., which could cause the scandal t...
Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB) Declares 5.25 Sen Per Unit for 2023
Finance

Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB) Declares 5.25 Sen Per Unit for 2023

In an announcement, Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB), the wholly-owned unit trust management company of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), revealed a total income distribution of 5.25 sen per unit for the financial year ending December 31, 2023, for its flagship unit fund, Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB). The declared amount comprises an income distribution of 4.25 sen per unit and a bonus of 1.00 sen per unit. Notably, this income distribution surpasses the benchmark set by Maybank's 12-month Fixed Deposit rate, which averaged 2.85% throughout the year. The number of ASB accounts experienced a significant increase, reaching 10.8 million accounts, with over 200,000 new accounts added. This growth reflects sustained confidence in ASB as a crucial savings and investment instrument...
Philips recalls medical imaging device due to risk of explosion
News

Philips recalls medical imaging device due to risk of explosion

Royal Philips NV recalled an MRI device after the US Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about a risk of explosion, adding to the company’s woes as it fights litigation over sleep apnea gear. The Dutch medical equipment maker issued a voluntary recall of its Panorama 1.0T HFO magnetic resonance imaging system due to a problem related to excessive pressure buildup of helium gas. In a worst-case scenario this could lead to a rupture with enough force to result in property damage or injury, Philips said in a statement. The FDA identified the recall as Class I, the most serious type, adding that there has been one reported event of an explosion. The announcement adds to long-standing recall struggles with Philips sleep therapy products. For more than two years the compan...
Bursa Malaysia Securities Imposes RM7.2 Million Fines on Serba Dinamik Directors
News

Bursa Malaysia Securities Imposes RM7.2 Million Fines on Serba Dinamik Directors

In a significant move, Bursa Malaysia Securities has publicly reprimanded Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd and its directors, slapping them with fines totaling RM7.2 million. The penalties, ranging from RM355,200 to RM1,376,000, underscore the severity of breaches in compliance with Bursa Malaysia Securities Main Market Listing Requirements (Main LR). The reprimand follows a series of violations of Bursa Malaysia Securities Main LR by Serba Dinamik and its directors, with fines imposed based on the failure of directors to prevent these breaches. Foremost among the breaches was Serba Dinamik's failure to promptly announce the Factual Findings Update (FFU) in accordance with Bursa Malaysia Securities' Directive. The FFU, a result of an independent review by Ernst & Young Con...
X suffers biggest outage since Musk’s takeover
Business

X suffers biggest outage since Musk’s takeover

Elon Musk’s X suffered its biggest outage since the billionaire bought the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, a widespread though temporary disruption that appears to be winding down. More than 94,000 users of X had reported issues with the site at 1:41 p.m. Hong Kong time on Thursday, according to Downdetector, which tracks website and service interruptions. The number of user-reported issues dwindled to about 7,000 an hour later. The San-Francisco based platform has had several outages since Musk bought it for $44 billion in late 2022, but until this week none had been bigger than July that year, when some 50,000 users were affected. The cause of the latest incident is unknown. Around 70% of the reports noted issues with X’s app, while another 20% faced issues...
Perodua Initiates Internal Assessment Following Daihatsu’s Model Suspension
Business

Perodua Initiates Internal Assessment Following Daihatsu’s Model Suspension

In response to Daihatsu's suspension of model shipments due to "procedural irregularities," Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) has commenced an internal assessment to evaluate the impact on its vehicles. Daihatsu, after a comprehensive investigation, unveiled 174 new irregularities in 64 models and three engines. Perodua, the Malaysian partner of Daihatsu, is actively engaging in discussions with local authorities to determine the repercussions of this development on its vehicles. In a statement released today, Perodua's President and CEO, Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad, stated, "We are conducting a detailed assessment on the matter and are currently in discussion with Malaysian authorities as to the impact of this development on our vehicles." Zainal Abidin furt...
Port ban: Firm, bold stance against Israel
News

Port ban: Firm, bold stance against Israel

The government’s decision to ban Israeli-owned ships from entering Malaysia is a bold and firm stance to put pressure on the regime to stop its humanitarian crimes against Palestinians. Describing the decision as a reflection of the country’s spirit and courage, the director of Hashim Sani Centre for Palestine Studies, Universiti Malaya, Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail said the action also signalled the government’s clear opposition to the violence and brutality of the Zionist regime. According to him, Malaysia’s bold step will have a big and continuous impact on Israel’s economic chain, especially in its maritime economy and logistics services. “The impact will be greater (on Israel’s economy) if Arab countries and other Muslim countries also follow Malaysia’s actions. Othe...
Warner Bros. is in talks to merge with Paramount Global
Business

Warner Bros. is in talks to merge with Paramount Global

Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. held talks on a possible merger with Paramount Global, potentially combining two of the biggest media companies in the world, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The talks are preliminary and may not lead to an agreement, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are at such an early stage. David Zaslav, chief executive officer of Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., met with Bob Bakish, his counterpart at Paramount Global, on Tuesday in New York to discuss a possible deal, Axios reported earlier. He has also spoken with Paramount Chair Shari Redstone, whose family company owns a controlling stake in Paramount, the owner of CBS and other television properties. A combination of the companies would unite fam...
Toyota recalls one million US vehicles on air bag sensor glitch
News

Toyota recalls one million US vehicles on air bag sensor glitch

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling about one million vehicles sold in the US that are at risk of having passenger-side air bags fail to deploy properly due to a passenger-seat sensor issue. Sensors installed in some Toyota and Lexus brand sedans and SUVs could improperly classify passenger weight, causing air bags not to deploy as designed in potential crashes, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The recall affects certain 2020-2022 model year gas- and hybrid-powertrain vehicles, including the Toyota Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, RAV4 and Sienna, as well as Lexus ES and RX models. Toyota said its dealers would inspect the sensors and, if necessary, replace them free of charge. Owners will be notified by mid-February, it said. – Bloomberg
Apple ramps up Vision Pro production, aiming for launch by February
Innovation/ Technology

Apple ramps up Vision Pro production, aiming for launch by February

Apple Inc. is ramping up production of the Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, setting the stage for a launch by February, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Production of the new headset is running at full speed at facilities in China and has been for several weeks, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The goal is for customer-bound units to be ready by the end of January, with the retail debut planned for the following month, the people said. The company sent an email to software developers on Wednesday encouraging them to “get ready” for the Vision Pro by testing their apps with the latest tools and sending their software to Apple for feedback. It’s another sign of an approaching release. The rollout will ...
Google to pay $700 million to US consumers, states in Play store settlement
Innovation/ Technology

Google to pay $700 million to US consumers, states in Play store settlement

Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google will pay $700 million and revamp its Play app store to allow for greater competition as part of an antitrust settlement with U.S. states and consumers, according to the company and filings in San Francisco federal court on Monday. Google will pay $630 million into a settlement fund for consumers and $70 million into a fund that will be used by states, according to the settlement, which still requires a judge's final approval. The settlement said eligible consumers will receive at least $2 and may get additional payments based on their spending on Google Play between Aug. 16, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2023. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, joined the settlement. Google was accused of overcharging consumers thr...
Vincent Tan Ventures Into Television Again with “OK Vision” after MiTV Setback
Business

Vincent Tan Ventures Into Television Again with “OK Vision” after MiTV Setback

Renowned business magnate Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun has embarked on a new television endeavor, marking his return to the industry after his previous venture, MiTV Corp Sdn Bhd, incurred substantial losses amounting to RM250 million. This fresh foray sees Tan partnering his privately-owned U Telemedia Sdn Bhd’s subsidiary, Ansat Broadcast Sdn Bhd, with Indonesian multinational conglomerate PT MNC Digital Entertainment Tbk. Together, they introduce "OK Vision," a subscription-based television and content distributor brand. The soft launch of this new venture took place on Monday, graced by the presence of Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh. Reflecting on his prior attempt in the i...
Australia Plans to Halve Migration Intake to Fix ‘Broken’ System
News

Australia Plans to Halve Migration Intake to Fix ‘Broken’ System

Australia is set to reduce its annual migration intake by half within two years, aiming to address what it deems a "broken" immigration system. The plan, unveiled as part of a 10-year immigration strategy by Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil, aims to bring the intake down to 250,000 by June 2025. The move follows concerns over record-high migration levels, which have intensified pressure on housing and infrastructure in the country. The plan includes tightening visa rules for international students and low-skilled workers to manage the influx more efficiently. During the media briefing on Monday, Minister O'Neil criticized the previous government, stating that the immigration system had been neglected and left in disarray. An earlier review this year highlighted significant fla...
Marvel drops actor Jonathan Majors after assault conviction
Entertainment

Marvel drops actor Jonathan Majors after assault conviction

Rising Hollywood star Jonathan Majors was convicted Monday of assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari,prompting Marvel to drop him from a prime role in its superhero blockbusters. Majors’s conviction could see the actor facing up to one year imprisonment and has upended Marvel’s plans for the franchise, which had his character Kang the Conqueror front and center in multiple upcoming films. Majors debuted as Kang the Conqueror in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” earlier in 2023, and was set to appear in at least two subsequent Avengers films — the top franchise in the Marvel universe. The studio will not be moving forward with Jonathan Majors, a source briefed on the decision told AFP after it was reported by US entertainment media. Majors was arrested i...
Miti secures RM29.6 bil investment, RM2.8 bil exports from 2 successful missions to Japan
News

Miti secures RM29.6 bil investment, RM2.8 bil exports from 2 successful missions to Japan

The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) has secured a total of RM29.6 billion in potential investment and RM2.8 billion in potential exports from two investment missions to Japan since June this year. In a statement on Tuesday, Miti said it achieved RM6.6 billion of potential foreign direct investment (FDI) and RM700 million of potential exports via its recent trade and investment mission to Japan. “Facilitated by Miti’s agencies, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority [Mida] and the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation [Matrade], this mission was held concurrently with the Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit where Malaysia’s delegation was led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. “Miti and its agencies also arranged for a round table mee...
Raub’s Musang King Durian Sells for RM185,000, Among World’s Priciest
News

Raub’s Musang King Durian Sells for RM185,000, Among World’s Priciest

Credit: Sinar Harian At a recent fundraising event in Raub, a Musang King durian fetched a staggering RM185,000, solidifying its place as one of the world's most expensive durians. Fadzli Mohamad Kamal, the Pahang communications and multimedia, youth, sports, and non-governmental organisations committee chairman, disclosed that the durian initially started bidding at RM2,000 but saw a remarkable surge in price due to multiple bids during the event held on Sunday (Dec 17). "The bidding intensified… eventually reaching RM185,000. The winning bid was made by Huang Qi Wen," Fadzli remarked, as reported by Sinar Harian. Additionally, he highlighted that another durian variety, the Black Thorn, secured the second-highest bid at the event, fetching a respectable RM15,000. The proc...
Malaysian Actress Michelle Yeoh Celebrates Wedding Banquet in Ipoh
Entertainment

Malaysian Actress Michelle Yeoh Celebrates Wedding Banquet in Ipoh

Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh in Ipoh. Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, the renowned Malaysian actress, honoured her commitment to her mother, Datin Janet Yeoh, by commemorating her marriage to Jean Todt alongside loved ones in their home country. Previously voicing her lack of awareness about her daughter's wedding in Geneva, Switzerland, Janet, aged 84, expressed the desire for a separate celebration to mark the occasion. In keeping with her promise, Yeoh, an Oscar winner, hosted a modest and intimate wedding banquet on Sunday at a restaurant in her hometown of Ipoh. The private event saw the attendance of approximately 100 individuals, predominantly close relatives and friends, according to a report by Sin Chew Daily. Yeoh, 61, graced the occasion in a sleeveless aquamarine top paired wit...
Media tycoon Jimmy Lai’s Hong Kong trial starts as US, UK urge his release
Politics

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai’s Hong Kong trial starts as US, UK urge his release

Pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai went on trial in Hong Kong Monday for national security charges that could see him jailed for life, with the United States and Britain demanding his release. Lai, 76, stands accused of “collusion” with foreign forces under a sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed on the finance hub in 2020. He is the founder of the now-shuttered Chinese-language tabloid Apple Daily, which often criticised Beijing and supported the huge protest movement that roiled Hong Kong in 2019. The trial — scheduled to be heard in open court over the next 80 working days — will be closely watched as a barometer for Hong Kong’s political freedoms and judicial independence. A rags-to-riches millionaire who made his fortune selling clothes before expandin...
Police investigating Papagomo over video defaming PM
News

Police investigating Papagomo over video defaming PM

The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) have confirmed an investigation on Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, who is also known as Papagomo, over a live video about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on a social media platform that was allegedly defamatory. Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department (Investigations/Law) deputy director Datuk Rusdi Mohd Isa said Papagomo posted a one hour 32 minute 50 second video entitled ‘DSAI penyakit misteri tiada penawar AIDS’ that was uploaded on the YouTube channel Sir Azri on Dec 16. He added that the case was being investigated under the Minor Offences Act 1955, Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. “The police would like to remind the public to refrain from any speculation that could...
Tommy Thomas sues govt, special task force over memoir investigation
News

Tommy Thomas sues govt, special task force over memoir investigation

Tan Sri Tommy Thomas has filed a suit against the Malaysian government and the special task force that investigated his memoir entitled My Story: Justice In the Wilderness. The former attorney general filed the suit through Messrs Tommy Thomas at the High Court here on Dec 4 after the High Court ordered the originating summons to be changed to a civil suit on Oct 2 so that it could be heard and resolved through a full trial. In the new suit, Thomas as plaintiff named eight task force members — Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung, Datuk Seri Hashim Paijan, Datuk Dr Junaidah Kamarruddin, Datuk Jagjit Singh Bant Singh, Datuk Shaharudin Ali, K Balaguru, Farah Adura Hamidi, Mohd Najib Surip — and the Malaysian government as first to ninth defendants. In his statement of claim, Thomas allege...
Malaysia’s top stock is poised for more gains after 200% rally
Finance

Malaysia’s top stock is poised for more gains after 200% rally

A blistering rally in YTL Power International Bhd. this year has scope to continue as better performance from its overseas assets brightens the earnings outlook for the Malaysian power producer. The share price has more than tripled in 2023, making it the biggest gainer among local companies with a market capitalization of more than 1 billion ringgit ($213 million). Analysts are still calling for a buy in the stock, predicting that it could climb as much as 61% next year. YTL Power and its conglomerate parent joined the benchmark FBM KLCI Index on Monday. YTL Corp., controlled by Malaysian tycoon Francis Yeoh and his siblings, has surged about 220% this year. YTL Power and YTL Corp. closed 1.6% and 2.6% lower, respectively, on Monday, relinquishing gains made earlier in the day....
Malaysian glovemakers jump as Covid cases rise in Southeast Asia
Business

Malaysian glovemakers jump as Covid cases rise in Southeast Asia

Top Glove Corp., the world’s biggest glovemaker, led a rally of peers in Malaysia as Covid-19 cases surged in Southeast Asia to raise expectations of increased demand for medical gear. Top Glove Corp. gained as much as 12% — the most since May — before ending the day 6.7% higher. Other latex glove makers, including Supermax Corp., Kossan Rubber Industries and Hartalega Holdings also jumped. Singapore’s Covid-19 cases surged 75% in the week of Dec. 3-9, leading to pressure on clinics and hospitals. In Malaysia, they jumped 62% last week, prompting Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad to say Monday that the government was “getting ready for any eventualities.” Both countries are encouraging people to wear masks again, and bringing back other measures to limit the resurgence. –Bloomb...
New CEO Takes Helm at LHDN: Abu Tariq Assumes Leadership
News

New CEO Takes Helm at LHDN: Abu Tariq Assumes Leadership

The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has named Datuk Abu Tariq Jamaluddin as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective from yesterday, succeeding Datuk Seri Nizom Sairi, whose tenure concluded on December 16. Abu Tariq, formerly the Deputy CEO (Compliance), boasts an extensive history within LHDN, having previously held pivotal roles including Deputy CEO (Policy) and Legal Director. With a background in law from Universiti Malaya, his career at LHDN commenced in 1995, focusing on direct taxation facets encompassing legislation and compliance. His tenure includes serving as a Deputy Revenue Solicitor and pivotal involvement in the pursuit to recover over RM1.69 billion in additional tax arrears from former Prime Minister Najib Razak. Notably, in 2020, the Kuala Lumpur High Co...
Govt warns telecom companies over extra charges for accessing 5G
News

Govt warns telecom companies over extra charges for accessing 5G

The government will consider taking action against telecommunications companies that charge their existing subscribers additional fees for accessing 5G services, said Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil. He emphasised that he has made it clear to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) that telecommunication companies must ensure there are no additional charges for using 5G. “It’s essential to note that the entire infrastructure cost, up to the point of signing the share subscription agreement (SSA), was funded by the public’s money. “Therefore, there should not be any extra fees. If they continue to impose such charges, we will have to consider taking action,” he said on the sidelines after the launch of OK Vision, a subscriber-based television service...
No Plans for MCO Despite 62% Surge in Weekly Covid-19 Cases
News

No Plans for MCO Despite 62% Surge in Weekly Covid-19 Cases

Addressing concerns surrounding the recent spike in Covid-19 infections, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad confirmed that there are no immediate discussions regarding the implementation of a Movement Control Order (MCO). In a live conference via Facebook during the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 update, Dr Dzulkefly stressed the government's focus on strategies to manage the escalating situation without resorting to a complete lockdown. Acknowledging the notable 62.2% surge in new Covid-19 cases reported in the 50th epidemiological week of 2023, totaling 20,696 cases compared to the previous week, Dr Dzulkefly highlighted that health facilities have not been overwhelmed, allowing for effective management without stringent lockdown measures. Despite the rise, the He...
Veteran singer, M Daud Kilau dies at 85
News

Veteran singer, M Daud Kilau dies at 85

Veteran singer Datuk M Daud Kilau, 85, died at the Teluk Intan Hospital at 4.40 pm today. His grandson, Hasnor Ikram, announced the news of his passing through the Insta Story on his Instagram account. “My grandfather, Mohd Daud bin Kilau breathed his last just now. Al-Fatihah,” he said. The singer, better known as ‘Raja Gelek’, suffered from multiple health issues, including diabetes and heart conditions. His remains will be buried at the Sungai Balah Baroh Muslim Cemetery in Bagan Datuk after Zohor prayers tomorrow. — Bernama
Senior Police Officer Charged With Murder of School Student
News

Senior Police Officer Charged With Murder of School Student

In a significant legal development, a deputy superintendent within the police force faced charges today in the magistrate’s court in Ipoh, Perak, for the alleged murder of a 17-year-old school student. Mohd Nazri Abdul Razak, 44, stood before Magistrate S. Punitha, where the charge was formally presented. However, no plea was recorded, considering the case falls under the jurisdiction of the High Court. The charge revolves around the alleged murder of Muhammad Zaharif Affendi Muhd Zamrie on Dec 15 between 12:05 PM and 12:40 PM in Jalan Taman Jati 1 near SMK Jati, Meru. Under Section 302 of the Penal Code, Mohd Nazri faces severe penalties if found guilty, including death or imprisonment between 30 to 40 years with no less than 12 strokes. Deputy Public Prosecutor Azlina Ra...
Big currency flop of 2023 is top pick for year ahead, again
Finance

Big currency flop of 2023 is top pick for year ahead, again

Three straight years of outsized declines in the yen look set to end in 2024. That’s the view of market participants polled by Bloomberg, who on balance see the currency rallying next year as the Bank of Japan exits the world’s last negative interest rate regime and its global peers cut borrowing costs. While projections for a 2023 yen rebound started going wrong as early as February, forecasters see key differences this time around. A year ago traders were speculating that a new chief at the BOJ might unwind ultra-easy monetary policy. Now they’re aligned with economists who say a shift will come within months, and the central bank’s own leadership has publicly discussed the implications of a future exit. “The situation won’t disappoint the yen bulls on this occasion,” said ...
Chinese firms look to Malaysia for assembly of high-end chips, sources say
Business

Chinese firms look to Malaysia for assembly of high-end chips, sources say

A growing number of Chinese semiconductor design companies are tapping Malaysian firms to assemble a portion of their high-end chips, keen to hedge risks in case the US expands sanctions on China's chip industry, sources said. The companies are asking Malaysian chip packaging firms to assemble a type of chip known as graphics processing units (GPUs), according to three people with knowledge of the discussions. The requests only encompass assembly — which does not contravene any US restrictions — and not fabrication of the chip wafers, they said. Some contracts have already been agreed, two of the people added. The people declined to disclose the names of the companies involved or to be identified, citing confidentiality agreements. Seeking to limit China's access to high-e...
Consumers Expected to Drastically Limit Social Media Use by 2025, Survey Shows
Innovation/ Technology

Consumers Expected to Drastically Limit Social Media Use by 2025, Survey Shows

In a recent Gartner survey, half of consumers projected to scale back or abandon social media interactions due to platform quality deterioration. According to Gartner, an investigation encompassing 263 consumers revealed that 53% perceived a decline in social media standards over the past five years. Factors contributing to this downturn were cited as the proliferation of misinformation, toxic user environments, and the prevalence of bots. With concern mounting over the integration of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) into social media, over 70% of respondents expressed apprehension, fearing a detrimental impact on user experience. Senior Principal Researcher at Gartner’s marketing practice, Emily Weiss, highlighted the paradoxical landscape where social media remains a...
Nissan to export China-developed EVs to global markets
Innovation/ Technology

Nissan to export China-developed EVs to global markets

Nissan Motor said on Sunday it would sell China-developed electric vehicles (EVs) globally as it struck a deal with the country's top university to leverage local resources to accelerate research and development on electrification. The Japanese automaker is considering exporting the line-up of existing internal combustion engine vehicles and upcoming pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars manufactured and developed in China to overseas markets, Masashi Matsuyama, vice president of Nissan Motor and president of Nissan China, told reporters in Beijing. Nissan is considering aiming at the same markets as Chinese rivals such as BYD, he said. The company is joining foreign brands including Tesla, BMW and Ford that are expanding their exports of China-made cars to exploit the countr...
Anwar: Malaysia pushing for Asean-Japan collaboration to raise cybersecurity standards
News

Anwar: Malaysia pushing for Asean-Japan collaboration to raise cybersecurity standards

Recognising Japan’s expertise in cyberspace, Malaysia encourages further Asean-Japan collaboration to elevate cybersecurity standards in the Southeast Asian region by sharing best practices, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He said with the expansion of the digital landscape, cyber threats are increasing exponentially. “Together, we must prioritise the protection of our citizens from cyber exploitation related to terrorism, trafficking-in-persons, and various cyber and transnational crimes,” he said in his remarks during the first agenda of the Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit, themed Review of Asean-Japan relations. He said Japan can share with Asean its knowledge and skills focusing on areas such as intellectual property protection, data privacy and threat inte...
Fahmi: 10% tax on online purchases only applicable for imported goods under RM500
News

Fahmi: 10% tax on online purchases only applicable for imported goods under RM500

The 10% sales tax on online purchases is only applicable to imported goods valued under RM500, said Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil. He said this is to enhance the competitiveness of local products which are not affected by the tax when bought online. "It only applies to products imported from overseas that are sold online in Malaysia. Products produced in the country are not affected. So, I hope this will clear up misunderstandings among the public about the tax. "We can refer to the official website of the Customs Department for more detailed information and from time to time we will carry out monitoring to make sure the people, especially sellers and buyers who carry out online transactions, really understand (about the tax)," he said. Fahmi, who is the unity gover...
Transport Ministry to introduce on-demand van service to improve public transport
News

Transport Ministry to introduce on-demand van service to improve public transport

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) will introduce an on-demand transit van service or demand responsive transit (DRT) in the Klang Valley to enhance the interconnectivity of public transportation. Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the ministry will announce details on the implementation of the initiative that targets first and last-mile areas, which have limited access to public bus services. He said part of the RM50 million allocation under Budget 2024 to enhance public transportation will be used to purchase vans, adding that Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana) has been tasked to oversee the operations. “We understand that not all residential areas have bus routes. The concept is similar to e-hailing services. It has no special routes but we will place it in strategic loc...
Matthew Perry died of accidental ketamine overdose, examiner finds
Entertainment

Matthew Perry died of accidental ketamine overdose, examiner finds

“Friends” actor Matthew Perry died from an accidental ketamine overdose, medical examiners said Friday, concluding their investigation into the death of the beloved but troubled TV star. Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the hit TV sitcom from 1994-2004, died at the age of 54, having been found unconscious in a swimming pool at his house in Los Angeles in October. He had struggled for decades with addiction to drugs, including ketamine, and related serious health issues, but had reportedly been clean for 19 months prior to his passing. “Matthew Perry’s cause of death is determined to be from the acute effects of ketamine,” the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office said in a statement. “Contributory factors in his death include drowning, coronary artery disease and ...
Tiger makes pro-am walk ahead of title hunt with son Charlie
Sports

Tiger makes pro-am walk ahead of title hunt with son Charlie

Tiger Woods rejected using a golf cart in favor of walking on Friday during a pro-am round at the PNC Championship, feeling fit as he regains his form for 2024. The 15-time major winner and his 14-year-old son Charlie will play in the 36-hole PNC Championship this weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. Woods, who turns 48 on December 30, has struggled to walk during competitive rounds since a 2021 car crash in which he suffered severe leg injuries. Until finishing 18th in the 20-man Hero World Challenge two weeks ago, Woods had not played since the Masters after undergoing ankle surgery last April. “I felt like I was physically fit to do it (walk), and also, walking is always better for my back,” Woods said. “I just wanted to keep it loose and keep i...
Sarawak wants to emulate success of Emirates Airline – Abang Jo
Business

Sarawak wants to emulate success of Emirates Airline – Abang Jo

Sarawak wants to emulate the success of Dubai-based carrier, Emirates Airline in its mission to establish the state owned airline. Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the airline which was founded in the 1980s was a form of investment by the government of Dubai that opened up economic activities in the region as a whole. “Emirates also offers very competitive fares and if you think of it, how are they going to make money?… But it is part of their investment. “We can see today Dubai has become a centre in the Middle East as a connectivity point. 30 years ago Dubai was just a desert with nothing there but today it is flourishing,” he said in his speech during the opening ceremony of Mercure Hotel here, today. On Nov 23, State Deputy Transport Minister Datuk D...
PM Anwar tells Japanese investors Malaysia has clear policies to forge ahead
Business

PM Anwar tells Japanese investors Malaysia has clear policies to forge ahead

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has reassured Japanese investors that, although the new Madani government is just one year old, it is stable, with very clear policies for Malaysia to forge a strong growth path. Anwar said this at a roundtable meeting with captains of industries in Tokyo, after a one-to-one session with three Japanese corporations. “We have thought out on how to deal with the energy transition, including renewable energy under the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) and the New Industrial Master Plan which outlined what we want to achieve and our mission,” he said. He added that the country is also focusing on digital transformation. “I’m here to listen to your views, on what needs to be done to facilitate or even accelerate the process of eng...
Malaysia to charge 10% sales tax on low value goods from Jan 1, 2024
News

Malaysia to charge 10% sales tax on low value goods from Jan 1, 2024

Malaysia will start charging a 10 per cent sales tax on low value goods (LVG) sold online from Jan 1, 2024, announced the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD). Malaysia was supposed to impose the 10 per cent LVG tax on goods sold below RM500 online effective April 1, 2023, under Budget 2022, but it was postponed indefinitely by the RMCD in March this year. In the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the LVG sales tax published on its website on Nov 6, 2023, the department said the imposition of sales tax on LVG will start on Jan 1, 2024, although the sales tax legislation on LVG has come into force from Jan 1, 2023. RMCD defined LVG as all goods — excluding cigarettes, tobacco products, intoxicating liquors, electronic cigarettes, and preparation of a kind used for smokin...
Najib’s 1MDB trial cut short as witness down with COVID-19
News

Najib’s 1MDB trial cut short as witness down with COVID-19

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption trial was cut short today after the High Court was told that a key witness was infected with the COVID-19 virus while another one being a close contact of a COVID-19 patient. The witnesses are Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Investigating Officer (IO) Nur Aida Arifin and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan. Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kamal Baharin Omar informed Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah that Nur Aida who is under quarantine cannot appear in court next Monday when the trial is scheduled to continue. “My Lord, the 47th prosecution witness, Adam Ariff, whom the prosecution had planned to call next on Monday, was currently “under surveillance” as he was in close c...
Meta, TikTok report jump in Malaysian govt requests to remove content in 2023
News

Meta, TikTok report jump in Malaysian govt requests to remove content in 2023

Facebook-owner Meta and China's TikTok restricted a record number of social media posts and accounts in Malaysia in the first six months of 2023, data published by the firms showed, amid a jump in government requests to remove content. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's administration, which came to power in November 2022 on a reformist platform, has faced accusations of backpedaling on its promises to protect freedom of speech amid increased scrutiny of online content in recent months. The government has denied allegations of stifling dissent online, saying it wanted to curb provocative posts that touch on race, religion and royalty. Between January and June this year, Meta restricted about 3,100 pages and posts on its Facebook and Instagram platforms from b...
Petronas Chemicals Group Names Mazuin Ismail as New CEO
Business

Petronas Chemicals Group Names Mazuin Ismail as New CEO

Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem), a major entity under Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), has appointed Mazuin Ismail (picture) as its new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024. Mazuin will take over from Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof, who assumed the MD and CEO position in January 2022. Currently serving as the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Corporate Strategy at Petronas, Mazuin brings a wealth of experience to his new role. His work at Petronas has included charting the company's strategic direction, ensuring financial performance, stability, and sustainability. He has spearheaded critical merger, acquisition, and divestment activities, including the acquisition of global renewable energy opportunities and specialty chemicals companies like Pe...
Indonesian tycoon Tanoto offers to buy tissue maker Vinda
Business

Indonesian tycoon Tanoto offers to buy tissue maker Vinda

Indonesian tycoon Sukanto Tanoto (picture) has unveiled plans to buy Vinda International Holdings Ltd. shares including those from the largest shareholders of the Hong Kong-listed tissue maker. Sukanto’s family offers to buy Vinda shares it doesn’t already own for HK$23.5 each, representing a 13.5% premium to the last closing price, according to the exchange filing on Friday. Swedish personal care product maker Essity AB and Vinda’s founder Li Chaowang have agreed to sell their shares to the family. The two biggest shareholders own a combined 72.62% stake in Vinda. Sukanto’s family could pay a maximum HK$26 billion ($3.3 billion) should all shareholders accept the offer. Tanoto’s main business flagship RGE Pte has operations spanning palm oil, energy as well as pulp and paper...
Court Strikes Out Lawsuits Over Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail Cancellation
News

Court Strikes Out Lawsuits Over Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail Cancellation

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has dismissed a lawsuit against the federal government concerning the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project. Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain ruled that the plaintiff, Hatta Sanuri, lacked the legal standing to initiate the suit and deemed it an abuse of the court's process. "The court must abstain from matters within the realm of the executive and legislative branches," said Roz Mawar Rozain. She highlighted the plaintiff's failure to establish authorization or representation for taxpayers or citizens in the case. Concerned about potential frivolous litigations, she emphasized the need for a clear cause of action, preventing the courts from being inundated by cases lacking substantial interest in the matter...
KLK Secures Majority Stakes in Indonesian Plantation Firms in RM276.5 Million Deal
Business

KLK Secures Majority Stakes in Indonesian Plantation Firms in RM276.5 Million Deal

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), a prominent player in the plantation industry, along with its wholly-owned Singapore-based subsidiary, KLK Plantations and Trading Pte Ltd, has announced plans to acquire controlling interests in two Indonesian palm oil companies for a total sum of RM276.55 million. The proposed transaction, considered a related party deal, aims to secure over 90% ownership in both firms. In an official filing on Thursday, KLK revealed its agreement with Whitmore Holdings Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Batu Kawan Bhd, which holds a 47.72% stake in KLK. KLK's acquisition entails a 92% share in PT Satu Sembilan Delapan (SSD) for RM264.1 million and a 90% share in PT Tekukur Indah (TI) for RM12.42 million. "The estates managed by SSD and TI have been under K...
Tenaga Nasional Bhd Appoints Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan as Next President and CEO
Business

Tenaga Nasional Bhd Appoints Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan as Next President and CEO

Tenaga Nasional Bhd has announced the appointment of Datuk Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. He will succeed Datuk Seri Baharin Din, whose tenure is concluding on February 29, 2024. According to the company’s filing on Thursday, Megat Jalaluddin will assume office on March 1, 2024, after being appointed by TNB’s special shareholder Minister of Finance (Inc). His tenure will extend for a period of two years until February 29, 2026. Megat Jalaluddin, aged 58, has a longstanding history with TNB, having initially joined the company in 2006. He briefly transitioned to Celcom in 2008 before returning to TNB in 2009. His extensive career within TNB encompasses roles in engineering, business and strategic planning, development, project mana...
Hong Kong offers bounties for 5 activists accused of security crimes
News

Hong Kong offers bounties for 5 activists accused of security crimes

Hong Kong police on Thursday offered HK$1 million bounties for information leading to the capture of five overseas activists accused of national security crimes, adding they would be pursued “till the end”. All five are living abroad after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on the financial hub in 2020 to quash dissent after massive pro-democracy protests. Thursday’s bounties were the second batch of hefty rewards offered by Hong Kong police pursuing fugitives accused of national security crimes. Chief Superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah said the five people were suspected of incitement to secession, incitement to subversion, and foreign collusion — crimes that can carry sentences of up to life in prison. “All of them, who have already fled overseas, have contin...
Japan’s Kishida replaces four ministers over kickbacks scandal
Politics

Japan’s Kishida replaces four ministers over kickbacks scandal

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida replaced four ministers Thursday as the unpopular leader reels from a major corruption scandal in the ruling party. The furore centres on alleged kickbacks of 500 million yen ($3.4 million) in the faction-riven Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has governed the world’s third-largest economy almost uninterrupted for decades. Media reports suggested that prosecutors would begin raiding offices and interviewing dozens of lawmakers later this week. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno was replaced by former foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, a high-ranking member of Kishida’s LDP faction. Ken Saito replaced Yasutoshi Nishimura as Economy and Industry Minister while Takeaki Matsumoto returned to his old post as internal affairs min...
Bank of England holds interest rate, warns on inflation
Fashion

Bank of England holds interest rate, warns on inflation

The Bank of England on Thursday held its key interest rate and warned it will remain high to tackle inflation, indicating in contrast with the Federal Reserve that cuts were unlikely any time soon. The British central bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) voted 6-3 in favour of keeping the rate at 5.25%, the highest level in more than 15 years, it said in a statement. The US central bank had also frozen borrowing costs on Wednesday but signalled that it would start cutting rates next year and sparked a broad markets rally. “Monetary policy would need to be sufficiently restrictive for sufficiently long to return inflation to the two percent target sustainably in the medium term,” stated the minutes from this week’s BoE gathering. They added: “The committee continued to ju...
2023: Prominent figures freed from court cases
Politics

2023: Prominent figures freed from court cases

The ruling by the court in releasing, as well as discharging not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) of several politicians and prominent figures from criminal charges has sparked a firestorm of argument among the public. The twists and turns of events during the proceedings of the cases have sided with this notable personnel, resulting in the charges that had been hanging over their head for years being disposed of. Among them are Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture), former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Kinabatangan Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad, as well as former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) audit tampering case. O...
Amir Hamzah no longer on Sime Darby Plantation board
News

Amir Hamzah no longer on Sime Darby Plantation board

Sime Darby Plantation Bhd has announced the resignation of its non-independent non-executive director Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan (picture) following his current position as Minister of Finance II. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim appointed him as Minister of Finance II, in line with a Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday. Amir Hamzah was appointed to the Sime Darby Plantation board on Feb 17, 2023. Previously, he was the chief executive officer of the Employees Provident Fund and has more than 25 years of corporate experience. Amir Hamzah holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Management majoring in Finance and Economics from Syracuse University, United States. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, it said Sime Darby Plantation complies with Paragraph 15.02 of the...
Covid-19: MOH recommends third booster shot for vulnerable people
News

Covid-19: MOH recommends third booster shot for vulnerable people

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has recommended a third booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, especially for vulnerable and high-risk groups, following the recent increase in cases. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said there is a sufficient stock of vaccines available, which were effective in protecting the public from mutated infections and new Covid-19 variants. "The booster dose is necessary to protect vulnerable groups, including senior citizens and those with comorbidities, who are susceptible to risks and harmful effects. "I told the Cabinet yesterday (Wednesday) about the current situation, and that we should pay attention [to this]," he told reporters after attending the ministry's monthly assembly here on Thursday. It was reported on Wednesday that a to...
Sapura Energy Receives Support for Debt Restructuring Scheme
Business

Sapura Energy Receives Support for Debt Restructuring Scheme

Credit: TheKapital.my Sapura Energy Bhd, classified under Practice Note 17 (PN17), has achieved a significant breakthrough as a considerable majority, constituting at least 75% of its financiers, have given preliminary approval for its proposed debt restructuring scheme. This initiative aims to address the company's substantial debt of approximately RM10.3 billion, including amounts owed to trade creditors, particularly Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) totaling around RM1.5 billion. In a statement released on Wednesday, the oil and gas service provider disclosed that it had obtained written confirmation from the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee, marking a pivotal step in managing its debt burden. Sapura Energy reported a notable surge in its net profit for the ...
Tesla recalls 2 million cars to fix autopilot safety flaws
Business, Innovation/ Technology

Tesla recalls 2 million cars to fix autopilot safety flaws

Tesla Inc. filed a recall covering more than 2 million vehicles after the top US auto-safety regulator determined its driver-assistance system Autopilot doesn’t do enough to prevent misuse. The move is the result of a years-long defect investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that will remain open as the agency monitors the efficacy of Tesla’s fixes. A NHTSA spokesperson said the probe found that Tesla’s means for keeping drivers engaged were inadequate. “Automated technology holds great promise for improving safety, but only when it is deployed responsibly,” NHTSA said Wednesday. “Today’s action is an example of improving automated systems by prioritizing safety.” Tesla said in its recall report that it expected to start deploying an over-the-air s...
Nasdaq hit by error affecting thousands of trades, nixing some
Finance

Nasdaq hit by error affecting thousands of trades, nixing some

Nasdaq Inc. was hit by a system error Wednesday that impacted thousands of stock orders, leading some to be canceled, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The exchange operator told market participants it’s investigating an order-entry issue that caused inaccuracies and delays, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter. Nasdaq’s electronic communication channel, which processes so-called financial information exchange or “FIX” messages, was affected, the people said. The incident, starting around 2:30 p.m. New York time, involving “certain FIX/RASH order entry ports,” Nasdaq said in an emailed statement that didn’t elaborate on the cause. “We are working to reach a prompt resolution to deliver the correct execution reports,” it said...
Japan’s Kishida to reshuffle cabinet in bid to stay in power
Politics

Japan’s Kishida to reshuffle cabinet in bid to stay in power

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to reshuffle his cabinet Thursday in a bid to contain a funding scandal that threatens the future of his struggling government. The premier’s expected to replace four ministers who are among those accused of concealing income from fundraising events, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno and trade minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who has been a key player in Japan’s efforts to revive its semiconductor industry. Former Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will replace Matsuno, the Asahi newspaper said. Nishimura told reporters Thursday he has submitted his resignation. The step comes as reports from the Yomiuri newspaper and other media say prosecutors are preparing to raid the offices of lawmakers under suspicion, who are a...
Hartalega Holdings Bhd Sees Surge in Stock by 10% Amid Glove Sector Rally
Business

Hartalega Holdings Bhd Sees Surge in Stock by 10% Amid Glove Sector Rally

Hartalega Holdings Bhd witnessed a notable upswing in its stock, rising 10% to RM2.53, marking a 24 sen increase on Tuesday, December 12th. This surge in value was part of a larger rally observed in glove stocks, a response to the surge in Covid-19 cases. Maybank Investment Bank Bhd has consequently upgraded the status of the Hartalega counter from a ‘hold’ to a ‘tactical buy’. The re-rating came with a 52-week target price of RM3.02, reflecting an improved earnings outlook. The bank's research note highlighted the company's more positive stance on the future, anticipating a better performance in the second half of the financial year 2024. This optimism is grounded in expectations of enhanced cost efficiency and a heightened utilization rate following the decommissioning of its ...
Netflix releases viewer data on every show, film for first time
Entertainment

Netflix releases viewer data on every show, film for first time

Netflix for the first time published detailed viewing figures about thousands of its shows and movies Tuesday, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the world-leading streaming platform’s top hits and highest-profile flops. The report, which Netflix says will be repeated every six months, is a major departure for a company that has historically guarded its data closely, but came under renewed pressure to be more transparent during strikes this year by Hollywood writers’ and actors’ unions. “This is a big step forward for Netflix and our industry,” the company said in a press release. “We believe the viewing information in this report… will give creators and our industry deeper insights into our audiences, and what resonates with them.” Since 2021, Netflix has released wee...
Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot stuns with improved agility
Innovation/ Technology

Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot stuns with improved agility

Tesla Inc posted a video showing improvements it’s made to its humanoid robot prototype, capping off the clip with two of the machines dancing to electronic music beneath flashing lights. Dubbed the Optimus bot, the human-mimicking machine is part of Tesla’s venture into developing artificial intelligence and utilises a trained neural network to perform basic tasks. In the latest demonstration, Tesla says it’s reduced the weight of Optimus by 10kg and shows the bot delicately picking up and handling an egg, with what it describes as “tactile sensing on all fingers.” In September, Optimus was shown in a separate video sorting building blocks by colour. Optimus remains a concept in development and will have to shake off the underwhelming debut it made a year ago, when Tesla ...
Noor Hisham appointed IJN chairman
News

Noor Hisham appointed IJN chairman

Former health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has been appointed the chairman of Institut Jantung Negara Sdn Bhd (IJN) effective Dec 1. In a statement today, IJN said Noor Hisham brings with him a wealth of experience within the healthcare sector, helming leadership roles throughout his career. IJN also said Noor Hisham had remarkable governance and management skills, as well as a commitment to patient-focused care. “My heartiest congratulations to Noor Hisham on his new role with us here in IJN. I am confident that his visionary perspective will help steer IJN towards greater heights,” IJN chief executive officer Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim said. Noor Hisham replaces Dr Abdul Rozali A Wathooth, who had served from Nov 29, 2019. “On behalf of IJN, my thanks as we...
Rosmah submits new representation to drop 17 charges
News

Rosmah submits new representation to drop 17 charges

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (picture) has submitted a new representation to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) seeking to strike out her 12 money laundering charges involving RM7,097,750, and five charges for failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board. Her lawyer, Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, informed High Court Judge K. Muniandy that the representation, sent yesterday, contained serious issues that needed to be considered by the Attorney-General. “We also request that the hearing of today’s case be adjourned pending the decision of the representation,” said the lawyer. This is the third representation sent by the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The first and second representations were submitted on May 3 and August 18, res...
Actor Andre Braugher, star of ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, dead at 61
Entertainment

Actor Andre Braugher, star of ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, dead at 61

Two-time Emmy-winning actor Andre Braugher, star of the television comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and the 1990s police drama "Homicide: Life on the Street," died on Monday after a brief illness, his publicist said on Tuesday. He was 61. Braugher starred alongside Andy Samberg in the police satire "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" for eight seasons from 2013 through 2021 in the role of Captain Ray Holt, for which he received four Emmy nominations and two Critics Choice awards for best supporting actor in a comedy series. He had previously established himself as a dramatic actor playing Detective Frank Pembleton in "Homicide" from 1992 to 1998, a breakout role for which he won his first Emmy in 1998, for lead actor in a drama series. Braugher also won an Emmy for lead actor in a miniseries in ...
Esports growth accelerated in 2023
News, Sports

Esports growth accelerated in 2023

The adaptation of electronic sports, commonly known as esports, has accelerated in 2023 amid efforts by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to nurture local talents against a backdrop of booming tournaments and events. To date, Malaysia has recorded 14 million gamers. Many ground-breaking programmes and initiatives introduced have been crucial to support the expansion of this industry, due to accessibility via personal computers and smartphones. MDEC director of digital content development Mohan Low Han Sen said as a government agency tasked to support the country’s digital transformation, MDEC has played a vital role in nurturing local talent, attracting international events and establishing Malaysia as a hub for esports excellence. Malaysia’s esports ecosystem is...
Manchester United slide out of Champions League
Sports

Manchester United slide out of Champions League

Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder #08 Bruno Fernandes and Manchester United Northern Irish defender #35 Jonny Evans react after the UEFA Champions League group A football match between Manchester United and FC Bayern Munich at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 12, 2023. (Photo by PETER POWELL / AFP) Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday and failed to even secure the consolation of a Europa League spot as Bayern Munich won 1-0 at Old Trafford. United were toothless as Harry Kane and his Bayern teammates only needed one penetrating move to create Kingsley Coman’s winning goal. They finish bottom of Group A as FC Copenhagen took the second qualifying spot behind Bayern following their 1-0 win over Galatasaray in fr...
Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche had the best concept cars of 2023
Innovation/ Technology, Lifestyle

Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche had the best concept cars of 2023

Written by Hannah Elliott The path from concept car to production vehicle is a long one. When Tesla Inc delivered the first Cybertrucks to customers on Nov 30 in Austin, it was almost exactly four years since the proto-type debuted — and a decade since CEO Elon Musk started talking publicly about making an electric pickup truck. Concept cars are visions of the future created by automakers to showcase design and technology they believe they can achieve one day. They hope that these design studies show so much promise, that they’ll capture the imagination of consumers and hold their interest while the automaker decides whether, and how, to produce them. This year, I saw many concept cars that carried enticing hints about the automotive landscape’s future. Many were electric ...
Renault sells Nissan stake as part of rebalanced alliance
Business

Renault sells Nissan stake as part of rebalanced alliance

Renault said Tuesday that it was selling to Nissan part of the stake it owns in the Japanese automaker as the two companies rebalance their alliance. The stake, equivalent to around five percent of Nissan’s equity capital, is valued at 765 million euros ($825 million) at the closing price of the shares on the Tokyo stock exchange on Tuesday. The transfer at that price will result in a capital loss of up to 1.5 billion for Renault as it had valued the stake at a higher price in its books. The charge will affect the earnings of Renault, which posted a net profit of two billion euros in the first half of the year, but the automaker said it will not impact operating income and “would improve the net financial position of Renault Group Automotive segment”. Renault previously he...
Alliance Islamic Bank Launches Inaugural Zakat Microfinancing Programme for Underprivileged Entrepreneurs
Business

Alliance Islamic Bank Launches Inaugural Zakat Microfinancing Programme for Underprivileged Entrepreneurs

In a pioneering move towards Islamic social funding, Alliance Islamic Bank Bhd has unveiled the Alliance Islamic Bank Zakat Microfinancing Programme (AZAM). This groundbreaking initiative in Malaysia utilizes zakat wakalah to uplift underprivileged micro-entrepreneurs, aiming to foster financial inclusion and equitable development. AZAM is geared towards providing accessible and affordable financing opportunities, recognizing the pivotal role micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play in contributing to Malaysia's economy, constituting over a third of the national GDP. Recognizing the significant financing gap for MSMEs estimated at RM90 billion, Alliance Islamic Bank strategically utilized nearly RM4 billion in zakat collected in 2022 to bridge this gap for underserved b...
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim Introduces Cabinet Reshuffle with New Appointments
News, Politics

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim Introduces Cabinet Reshuffle with New Appointments

In a significant reshuffle, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has unveiled five new ministers and reorganized portfolios within his cabinet, marking a restructuring that introduces fresh faces to key positions in the government. The newly appointed ministers include former EPF and TNB CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, who assumes the role of Finance Minister II, and Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, taking over as the Plantation and Commodities Minister. Joining the cabinet are Amanah’s Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad as the Health Minister, DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo as the Digital Minister, and former Finance Deputy Minister Steven Sim, who now leads the Human Resources Ministry. Furthermore, three Umno ministers – Datuk Seri Muhammad Hasan, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, an...
Arm CEO fears humans could lose control of AI
Innovation/ Technology

Arm CEO fears humans could lose control of AI

“The thing I worry about most is humans losing capability” over the machines, said Rene Haas (picture), Chief Executive Officer of Arm Holdings Plc, when asked what keeps him up at night when he thinks about artificial intelligence. “You need some override, some backdoor, some way that the system can be shut down.” Haas, who was speaking to Bloomberg in a wide-ranging interview from the company’s Cambridge, UK, base knows a thing or two about machines. By his estimate, 70% of the world’s population touches Arm-designed products in some way. It’s a reminder of the company’s rare status as a UK-born global tech titan — even if it is now majority owned by Masayoshi Son’s Softbank Group Corp. in Japan, and listed in New York. As Haas considers the potential downsides to artificial i...
TikTok to spend US$1.5b taking over GoTo’s Indonesia shop
Business

TikTok to spend US$1.5b taking over GoTo’s Indonesia shop

ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok agreed to invest $1.5 billion in a joint venture with Indonesia’s GoTo Group that it will control, part of a pact that lets the Chinese company restart its shopping app in its biggest online-retail market. The social media giant will combine its Indonesian TikTok Shop business with GoTo’s e-commerce unit Tokopedia, the companies said Monday. TikTok gets a 75% stake in that combination, which will run the shopping features of TikTok’s social media app in Indonesia. GoTo fell its most since listing in 2022 on concerns it’s moving away from a potentially lucrative long-term business. The deal is unusual for ByteDance, which is effectively taking over a prominent local online-commerce player in a major overseas market. The agreement, under which GoTo becomes ...
PM Anwar hopes DRB-Hicom, Geely JV project will help local talents, businesses
Business

PM Anwar hopes DRB-Hicom, Geely JV project will help local talents, businesses

DRB-Hicom Bhd and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely Holding) marked another significant milestone in the development of the Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV) in Tanjong Malim, Perak, with the signing of a joint-venture (JV) agreement between the two companies today. The JV agreement, which followed the master collaboration agreement signed in October 2023, outlines the key principles of the strategic collaboration, alignment on objectives, and terms of the partnership. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who witnessed the exchange of documents earlier today, said the government is committed to providing the relevant and required support for the AHTV development that is being actively carried out by Geely and DRB-Hicom In a post on social media platform X (formerl...
Selangor has collected over RM2.5b revenue as of Dec 6 this year
News

Selangor has collected over RM2.5b revenue as of Dec 6 this year

Selangor recorded revenue collection amounting to RM2.571 billion as of Dec 6, which is 128% of this year’s revenue collection target of RM2 billion, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari. He said the amount was a manifestation and proof of the seriousness of the ranks of civil servants and members of the state government administration to drive the economy of Selangor and increase revenue for the benefit of the people. “In fact, this achievement reflects the confidence of the investment community as well as the people of Selangor towards the attitude and responsibility of the Selangor government in planning and distributing the state’s wealth in an effective and targeted manner,” he said. Amirudin said that last year, Selangor’s contribution to the country’s Gross Dom...
King officiates installation of first ECRL track
News

King officiates installation of first ECRL track

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah officiated the installation of the first track for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project here today. His Majesty was accompanied by the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah at the ceremony, which was held at the Section 10 ECRL Station Site in Gebeng here. Also present were Transport Minister Anthony Loke, China’s ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujin, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) chairman Wang Tongzhou and the Menteris Besar from the East Coast states, which are the alignment of the ECRL. The CCCC is the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor of the EC...
Manufacturing sales down 1.4% y-o-y to RM156.7b in October 2023 – DoSM
News

Manufacturing sales down 1.4% y-o-y to RM156.7b in October 2023 – DoSM

Malaysia’s manufacturing sector sales value fell 1.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM156.7 billion in October 2023, mainly due to the persistent decline in the petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products sub-sector by 9.5% y-o-y, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM). Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the weaker sales were also attributable to the drop in the electrical and electronics products sub-sector which shrank 2.7%. Despite the y-o-y decline of 1.4% in October 2023, the fall was at a smaller rate compared with the 2.4% y-o-y drop in the preceding month, he said in a statement today. On a monthly basis, Mohd Uzir said the sales value in the month dipped 0.7% against a growth of 3.7% in September 2023 (RM157.8 million). On export-orient...
Jack Ma’s biggest e-commerce rival is coming for Amazon
Business

Jack Ma’s biggest e-commerce rival is coming for Amazon

Jack Ma essentially invented the e-commerce business in China by co-founding Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and steering it to the top of the country’s private sector. But a couple weeks ago, the celebrated entrepreneur called out a little-known rival for outpacing his brainchild and becoming a role model for the tech industry. “Congratulations to Pinduoduo for their decision-making, execution and efforts of the past years,” Ma wrote on an internal forum, prodding Alibaba’s 220,000-plus employees to “correct its course.” For those outside of China, the name Pinduoduo may have drawn a blank. Yet the upstart, formally known as PDD Holdings Inc., has been surging in popularity for years, winning over customers in the domestic e-commerce market with a range of innovations. It’s also the...
OpenAI’s Altman ouster was result of drawn-out tensions
News

OpenAI’s Altman ouster was result of drawn-out tensions

When OpenAI’s board made the shocking decision to fire Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman on the Friday before Thanksgiving, it offered little detail beyond a statement that the leader of the artificial intelligence startup was not “consistently candid” with its directors. The statement, devoid of any details, was the opening volley in a power struggle that played out almost entirely behind closed doors. Privately, Altman and the board jockeyed over what to say publicly and when, according to people familiar with the situation. At one point, during the discussions about Altman’s possible return as CEO, he offered to publicly apologize for misrepresenting some board members’ views in conversations when he was lobbying for a director’s removal, the people said. But the board was c...
Malaysian film ‘Abang Adik’ gains global recognition
Entertainment

Malaysian film ‘Abang Adik’ gains global recognition

The debut film by Malaysian producer-turned-director Jin Ong titled ‘Abang Adik’ which explores the bittersweet dynamics of a family relationship not bound by blood ties, has garnered the attention of the global filmmaking community. ‘Abang Adik’ began to draw attention in March this year when it was nominated in six categories at the Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland including the grand prize category, special jury award category, youth jury prize and the critic’s award category. It won the Ecumenical Jury Award and Audience Award. This film, which is a collaborative effort between Malaysia and Singapore has been collecting awards since then including at the 25th Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, the 22nd Edition of the New York Asian Film Festival, Gold...
Tesla’s cheapest Cybertruck will cost RM285,000 and be available in 2025
Lifestyle

Tesla’s cheapest Cybertruck will cost RM285,000 and be available in 2025

After two years of delays and production snags, Tesla Inc has finally handed the first Blade Runner-esque Cybertrucks over to customers. CEO Elon Musk delivered a handful of vehicles to their new owners on Nov 30, including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The handovers at Tesla’s Austin headquarters were part of a live-streamed launch event on X, the social media platform Musk owns. The Cybertruck comes in three configurations: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and the so-called Cyberbeast. The cheapest version of the Cybertruck will cost US$60,990 (RM284,823), which is more than 50% over the price Musk floated when he announced the vehicle in 2019. That version, a rear-wheel drive model with a battery range of 250 miles (420.34km), won’t be available until 2025. Tesla is offe...
Time of the sign: Hollywood landmark hits 100
Culture

Time of the sign: Hollywood landmark hits 100

The landmark word has loomed over Tinseltown since before movies started talking, becoming a symbol of the entire film industry. For the first time in decades, the Hollywood sign — at least a little bit of it — was illuminated on Friday to celebrate its 100th birthday. The nine-letter sign is officially a centenarian but, as with many an aging grande dame in Hollywood, looks as fresh as ever. Like the actors and actresses it looks down on, the sign has been in its fair share of films. Directors who want to let their audience know a movie is set in Los Angeles have an easy establishing shot, while a filmmaker who wants to signify the destruction of America can set their special effects team loose on the sign. It has also seen real life tragedy: British-born actress Peg E...
Saitama Prefecture Eyes Halal Food and Machinery Investments in Malaysia
Business

Saitama Prefecture Eyes Halal Food and Machinery Investments in Malaysia

Saitama Prefecture, a bustling economic powerhouse in Japan, is venturing deeper into Malaysia's investment landscape, targeting the halal food and automated machinery industries for potential business expansions. Governor Motohiro Ono highlighted the province's keen interest in Malaysia, particularly its burgeoning halal food and automated machinery sectors. Currently, Saitama boasts 20 companies that have established a presence in Malaysia, focusing on food manufacturing, automation, and electronics. “Numerous firms from Saitama seek to enter the Malaysian market by introducing products and exploring investment avenues,” Governor Ono shared during the "Sedap! SAITAMA: Exhibition featuring food and sake from Saitama" event in Kuala Lumpur. This economic mission marked the in...
Penang aims to reclaim 400 acres of land for Silicon Island project each year
Business

Penang aims to reclaim 400 acres of land for Silicon Island project each year

The Penang government targets to reclaim about 400 acres (161.87 hectares) of land each year for the Silicon Island project and intends to start the construction of the first factory on that island as early as 2026. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said a five-acre (2.02-hectare) area had been reclaimed since work began in early October by using two boats, with each having the capacity to transport 7,000 cubic metres of sand. "Next year, dredging works will be stepped up, by adding two more boats with a large capacity of 20,000 cubic metres each. "This is to speed up the progress of the project,” he told reporters after visiting the Penang South Island (PSI) here on Sunday. With that, he said the government expects the land component to be ready in the next eight- to 10 years,...
Loke: Implementation of HSR, LRT projects in Johor takes into account country’s financial situation
News

Loke: Implementation of HSR, LRT projects in Johor takes into account country’s financial situation

The implementation of public transport projects such as Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) in the state will take into account various factors, especially the country’s financial standing, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook. He said the government has no objection on supporting the development of public transport infrastructure in the state. However, it would be implemented in stages. “…in terms of implementation, it is not that easy. It will take into account various factors, including financial consideration,” he told reporters after officiating the Johor DAP Convention 2023 here on Sunday. Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, when tabling the Johor Budget 2024 on Nov 23, said he hoped that the HSR and LRT projects wo...
PM: Attempts at political manoeuvring will fail, Unity Govt has solid support
News

PM: Attempts at political manoeuvring will fail, Unity Govt has solid support

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the desperate "tebuk atap" (political manoeuvring to orchestrate the collapse of the government) attempts by the Opposition will not succeed because the Unity Government, which is helmed by 18 component parties, has "bumbung yang konkrit" (solid support). Throughout the one year of leading the government, the prime minister admitted that never once have they been at loggerheads due to each party's policy differences. "Bumbung kita bumbung konkrit (Our roof is made of concrete)," he said. "In Putrajaya now, there is no more political manoeuvring. "There have been attempts, some said in August but I think we have our strengths. Not once have I been at loggerheads with the Cabinet ministers due to party differences… everyone has different opinion...
Anwar: Madani concept inclusive to all races, religions
News

Anwar: Madani concept inclusive to all races, religions

The Madani concept introduced by the Unity Government is inclusive and encompasses the interests of all races, religions and regions in the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. In the Madani dialogue session held in conjunction with the closing ceremony of the Madani Government one year anniversary programme at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium grounds here on Sunday, Anwar said the concept did not contradict the beliefs of any race, even though it emphasised the importance of Islamic teachings. "We must take an open attitude to learn from all experiences. (The) Madani (concept) of course (emphasises Islamic teachings) because the majority (of people in the country) are Muslims and it is the religion of the Federation, so we strengthen it, but the points (of the...
Higher dividend for Simpan SSPN 2023 likely, says PTPTN
News

Higher dividend for Simpan SSPN 2023 likely, says PTPTN

National Higher Education Fund Corp (PTPTN) expects the rate of dividend to be paid out for the National Education Savings Scheme (Simpan SSPN) for 2023 to be higher than last year. PTPTN chairman Datuk Norliza Abdul Rahim said this is following an increase in investment profits and performance trends of Simpan SSPN savings deposits each year, as well as being supported by the various privileges and benefits of Simpan SSPN. "In 2023, PTPTN recorded an investment return of Simpan SSPN deposits of RM287.64 million for the period from January to September, thus making it a better achievement compared with the RM220.60 million for the same period in 2022. "The increase of the overnight policy rate to 3.0% on May 3, 2023 until now helped PTPTN obtain more consistent investment ret...
MyEG-Beitou collaboration catalyst for Malaysia to become exporter of new technology, says Zahid
Business

MyEG-Beitou collaboration catalyst for Malaysia to become exporter of new technology, says Zahid

The collaboration between MyEG Services Bhd and Beitou IT Innovation is set to be a catalyst to realise Malaysia's vision to be a major exporter of new technology, simultaneously enhancing investor confidence in the country's digital services, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. He said that this aligns with the Malaysia Madani vision through the National Industrial Revolution Policy and Digital Economic Action Framework, which are crucial for the country to provide core services such as cross-border digital verified qualification documents to propel its future. "I believe that efforts through such collaborations can accelerate the adoption of innovation and digital services in both the public and private sectors. "Furthermore, this collaboration can ...
Japan’s PM Kishida to quit as ruling party faction leader
Politics

Japan’s PM Kishida to quit as ruling party faction leader

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will step down as chief of his faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) amid a growing slush funds scandal, local media reported on Thursday. Kishida, also president of the LDP, is set to announce his resignation as the leader of Kochikai, the party’s fourth-largest faction, later during the day, Xinhua quoted national news agency Kyodo, citing sources close to the matter. Kochikai is among the five LDP factions that allegedly underreported their revenue from political fundraising parties, from which the extra income may have been returned to some of their lawmakers as kickbacks. Seiwaken, or the Seiwa policy study group, the largest LDP faction previously led by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was suspected of havi...
Over 30,000 online fraud cases with RM1.3b in losses recorded from Jan-Nov
News

Over 30,000 online fraud cases with RM1.3b in losses recorded from Jan-Nov

A total of 32,462 cases of online fraud with losses amounting to RM1.3 billion were recorded from January to November this year. Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said e-commerce crime cases were the highest at 10,993, followed by telecommunications crime (9,526); non-existent investment (5,036); non-existent loans (4,018); e-financial crime (2,006) and love scams (883). He said the number of cases increased by 37.5 per cent from January to November this year compared to 23,608 cases in the same period last year. “The non-existent investment cases recorded the biggest loss at RM421 million, followed by e-commerce crime (RM382 million); telecommunications crime (RM327.9 million); e-financial crime (RM103.6 million); l...
Johor declares Dec 17 occasional public holiday to celebrate JDT’s success
Sports

Johor declares Dec 17 occasional public holiday to celebrate JDT’s success

Johor announced Dec 17 as an occasional public holiday to celebrate the decade-long success of the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) football team in winning the 2023 Super League and Malaysia Cup. Johor State Secretary Tan Sri Dr Azmi Rohani, in a statement, said that the Southern Tigers made history by winning the Super League for the 10th consecutive time, marking a decade of JDT’s dominance in national football. He stated that on Dec 16, at 8:30 pm, a grand celebration will be held at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium (SSI) in Iskandar Puteri, following the team’s match against Penang FC. Azmi said that, in accordance with the decree of Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, the state government decided to declare the following Sunday, Dec 17, as an occasional public ho...
Onion supply sufficient despite India’s export ban – Mohamad Sabu
News

Onion supply sufficient despite India’s export ban – Mohamad Sabu

The Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (KPKM) has given its assurance that the supply of onion will not be affected following a ban on onion export by the Indian government yesterday. Its minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said the ministry had made the preparations in such a development. “I have not received the official confirmation but I assure there will be no onion shortage in the country. “For onion supply, we are also importing from China, Thailand and Pakistan as well as several other countries,” he said when met after the 2023 Melaka State Amanah Convention here yesterday. Mohamad sabu who is also Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president said the issue is whether there will a price increase and the matter is under the purview of the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living ...
Gov’t, private entities need advanced cybersecurity systems to prevent leaks – expert
Innovation/ Technology

Gov’t, private entities need advanced cybersecurity systems to prevent leaks – expert

Government departments, agencies, and private entities handling users’ personal data must invest in the latest cybersecurity systems to prevent information leakage. Dr. Mohd Izuan Hafez Ninggal, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology senior lecturer, said that while implementing advanced cybersecurity measures may require substantial funding, it is important to enhance the organisation’s IT security level. “The necessary tools and solutions for cybersecurity already exist in the market,” he told Bernama, while emphasising the importance of allocating funds to utilise these resources, suggesting that financial considerations for upgrading the IT security level of government agencies could be included in future budget presentations. ...
‘Love Story’ star Ryan O’Neal dead at 82
Entertainment

‘Love Story’ star Ryan O’Neal dead at 82

Actor and heartthrob Ryan O’Neal, the Oscar-nominated star of “Love Story” who also appeared in “Paper Moon” and “Barry Lyndon,” has died, his son said Friday. He was 82. “This is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to say but here we go. My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us,” Patrick O’Neal wrote on Instagram. O’Neal, whose smoldering looks and perfect jawline made him the ideal leading man, was also known for his tumultuous decades-long relationship with actress Farrah Fawcett. After years of television roles in the 1960s, O’Neal’s big break came in 1970’s “Love Story,” a box office phenomenon that earned him an Oscar nomination — one of a grab-bag of nods for a film now credited with becoming a temp...
IOC allows athletes from Russia, Belarus to take part in Paris 2024 Games
Sports

IOC allows athletes from Russia, Belarus to take part in Paris 2024 Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided Friday to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the Paris 2024 games as neutrals, without flags, emblems or anthems, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported. “The Executive Board of the IOC has decided that Individual Neutral Athletes who have qualified through the existing qualification systems of the International Federations on the field of play will be declared eligible to compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 following the conditions outlined below. “Individual Neutral Athletes are athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport,” the IOC said in a statement. “No flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications whatsoever of Russia or Belarus will be displayed at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in any official venue or...
Nvidia and YTL Join Forces to Establish Malaysia’s AI Infrastructure with Cutting-Edge Supercomputers
Business

Nvidia and YTL Join Forces to Establish Malaysia’s AI Infrastructure with Cutting-Edge Supercomputers

Tech giant Nvidia has partnered with YTL Power International Berhad (YTL) to introduce high-performance AI infrastructure, aiming to bring top-tier supercomputers to Malaysia by mid-2024. The collaboration was announced during a significant meeting between Malaysia's Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and Nvidia's CEO, Jensen Huang, emphasizing Nvidia's commitment to nurturing Malaysia's AI ecosystem. "Jensen's commitment to bolster this initiative is remarkable. Nvidia will aid in establishing an AI Centre of Excellence for research and learning, alongside building Malaysia's own AI Cloud system," shared Prime Minister Anwar following the meeting. Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry (Miti) Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and YTL Power International Berhad'...
Ringgit seen having upward bias versus US dollar next week ahead of Fed decision
News

Ringgit seen having upward bias versus US dollar next week ahead of Fed decision

The ringgit is expected to trade in cautious mode with an upward bias against the US dollar next week ahead of a decision by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) on its monetary policy. Bank Muamalat Malaysia chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the focus next week will be on the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Dec 12-13 which will decide on interest rates. “While most economists believe the Fed will stand pat on its rate decision, the highly anticipated dot plot figure will be closely scrutinised. “The way we see it, the upcoming FOMC meeting will be the key driver for bolstering the case for an interest rate cut in 2024 and by how much the Fed is willing to go to ease its monetary policy and by how low and how fast can it go. “On that note, we beli...
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and Gentari Forge Collaboration to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
Business

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and Gentari Forge Collaboration to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Gentari Sdn Bhd, a clean energy solutions provider, has joined forces with Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) in a strategic partnership aimed at propelling the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) in Malaysia. The collaboration intends to explore the development of EV charging infrastructure, coupled with tailored value-added services. These services include customized charging subscription plans, seeking to enhance the overall experience for Mercedes-Benz EV owners. Shah Yang Razali, Gentari's Deputy CEO and Green Mobility CEO, emphasized the importance of instilling long-distance range confidence among EV drivers. "Gentari, as the largest direct charging (DC) network operator, remains committed to expanding high-powered chargers and connecting all states in Malaysia," Razali expressed...
Property Sector’s Stellar Performance Faces Potential Slowdown: HLIB Research Downgrades Rating to ‘Neutral’
Business

Property Sector’s Stellar Performance Faces Potential Slowdown: HLIB Research Downgrades Rating to ‘Neutral’

In a shift of stance towards the property sector, HLIB Research has downgraded its rating from 'Overweight' to 'Neutral' despite its notable performance throughout the year, citing concerns about sustainability moving forward. According to the released note today (Dec 7), HLIB Research highlighted the sector's robust performance, which showcased improvements in year-to-date earnings (+5.1% YoY), sales (+21.4% YoY), and launches (+1.17x YoY). The research firm attributed the earnings surge to accelerated billings recognition, driven by an improved labor market and increased sales. Yet, it anticipates a moderation in billings and a more restrained growth trajectory for sales and launches in the upcoming months. "The sector's advancement this year was predominantly fueled by the...
Japan to legalise cannabis-based medicines
News

Japan to legalise cannabis-based medicines

Japan’s parliament has passed a bill to legalise cannabis-based medicines in a landmark revision of its stringent drug laws, while toughening its ban on recreational use of marijuana. The changes to Japan’s cannabis and narcotics control laws passed on Wednesday in the upper house will pave the way for the lifting of a ban on medical products derived from cannabis. Cannabis-based medicines, produced with the active ingredient cannabidiol, or CBD, are already used overseas to treat various conditions such as severe epilepsy. This is a win for patient groups that have campaigned for access to these medicines. However, the changes amount to a tightening of Japan’s already tough cannabis policy. Marijuana consumption was criminalised, closing a loophole that officials partl...
US weekly jobless claims increase slightly
News

US weekly jobless claims increase slightly

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week as the labour market continues to gradually slow amid cooling demand. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 220,000 for the week ended Dec 2, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 222,000 claims for the latest week. Claims data are volatile around this time of the year because of holidays, making it harder to get a clear signal on the labour market. Nonetheless, the labour market is slowing, with the government reporting this week that there were 1.34 job openings for every unemployed person in October, the lowest since August 2021. Demand for labour is cooling in tandem with the econ...
MIDF Research Forecasts Malaysia’s Economic Growth Driven by Affirmative Policies and China’s Recovery in 2024
News

MIDF Research Forecasts Malaysia’s Economic Growth Driven by Affirmative Policies and China’s Recovery in 2024

MIDF Research predicts Malaysia's economic expansion in 2024, attributing the anticipated growth to various factors, including the revival of international trade, affirmative government policies, and China's ongoing economic recovery. Additionally, the potential halt in rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve contributes to this optimistic outlook, according to the research firm. Imran Yassin Md Yusof, Head of Research at MIDF, highlighted the significance of government initiatives like the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) and the 12th Malaysia Plan in bolstering the economy. He emphasized that positive trends in the job market, income growth, and the gradual recovery of the tourism sector would also stimulate domestic spending. "While these drivers suggest a relatively sm...
TalentCorp CEO Reveals 6,000 Professionals Returned to Malaysia under REP
News

TalentCorp CEO Reveals 6,000 Professionals Returned to Malaysia under REP

Thomas Matthew, the Group CEO of TalentCorp, disclosed that more than 6,000 professionals have returned to Malaysia through the Returning Expert Programme (REP) since its establishment in 2011. Citing data from the United Nations (UN), Thomas highlighted that approximately 1.86 million Malaysians currently reside abroad, with 1.1 million having migrated to Singapore. Addressing this, he emphasised the REP's objective of encouraging these Malaysians abroad, particularly those in Singapore, to return home and contribute their expertise and skills to the nation. Speaking at a news conference following the launch of Volume 1 of the Sector-Focused Industry-Academia Collaboration (IAC) Workshop Report, Thomas introduced the Malaysia@Heart initiative (MyHeart), designed to facilita...
Fahmi to meet Meta next week over hacked WhatsApp accounts
Innovation/ Technology

Fahmi to meet Meta next week over hacked WhatsApp accounts

Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil said he will hold a meeting with platform provider Meta next week regarding the issue of scammers taking over users’ WhatsApp accounts. Describing this as a worrying trend, Fahmi said he has personally received complaints from several individuals about their WhatsApp accounts being 'stolen' by irresponsible parties. Following these complaints, CyberSecurity Malaysia issued a warning about the danger of criminals taking over WhatsApp accounts, he told reporters after the closing ceremony of the National Anti-Scam Roadshow 2023 in Putrajaya, which was officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, here on Thursday. "A meeting will be held with Meta, which handles WhatsApp, to understand whether the security asp...
No Final Decision Made Yet on RM3.5 Billion Multi-Lane-Fast-Flow Project, Confirms Works Minister
News

No Final Decision Made Yet on RM3.5 Billion Multi-Lane-Fast-Flow Project, Confirms Works Minister

The Works Minister, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, clarified the current status surrounding the Multi-Lane-Fast-Flow (MLFF) system, dismissing ongoing rumors about the project's award and implementation. Addressing the speculation, he emphasised that the government has not reached a definitive verdict on the RM3.46 billion initiative. He highlighted that while letters of agreement were signed in 2021, granting preliminary approval for the project, this was merely a step enabling involved parties to present their proposals. “These proposals need to demonstrate a viable proof of concept, which requires substantial refinement before advancing. Making assumptions or premature accusations could jeopardize the entire process if the proposed concept lacks merit,” he iterated on...
PM: Federal govt views delay in implementation of Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah seriously
News

PM: Federal govt views delay in implementation of Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah seriously

The Federal Government views seriously the delay in implementing the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah, which lags behind Sarawak, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He said the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah, with a cost exceeding RM16 billion, has been delayed. “The Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak is almost complete, while Sabah is still lagging. The allocation amount is the same, and the implementation date is the same,” he said during a meet-and-greet session at Dewan Konvensyen Ujana Kewangan Labuan here on Thursday. To expedite the implementation of this highway project, Anwar announced that a new appointment process, through transparent tenders, would be initiated and that the decision would be made jointly with the Sabah s...
US returns $1m in stolen antiquities to Nepal
Culture

US returns $1m in stolen antiquities to Nepal

The United States has returned four antiquities worth $1 million to Nepal, including a pair of gilt copper masks representing a Hindu deity, following anti-trafficking operations, New York authorities said on Monday. One of the items was seized as part of a probe into Subhash Kapoor, whom Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg described as an “allegedly prolific looter who helped traffic items” from several Asian countries. Between 2011 and 2023, officials claim to have recovered more than 2,500 items trafficked by Kapoor and his network, Bragg’s office said in a statement. “The total value of the pieces recovered exceeds $143 million,” it added. “We will continue to target antiquities trafficking networks no matter how complex. I thank our outstanding team of analysts an...
Musk’s AI startup seeks to raise $1b
Innovation/ Technology

Musk’s AI startup seeks to raise $1b

Elon Musk is seeking to raise a billion dollars for his xAI artificial intelligence company that he hopes will compete with ChatGPT’s Open AI. An official filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said the company that Musk created earlier this year had already gathered $134.7 million and plans to raise $1 billion overall. The filing added that there was a firm agreement to raise the full funds needed to meet the target, indicating that Musk may have deals in place for the full billion. Musk last month offered a preview of his company’s ChatGPT-like chatbot, called “Grok,” which he said was trained on data from X, formerly Twitter, that Musk bought for $44 billion a year ago. The wealthy entrepreneur and founder of electric carmaker Tesla started xAI i...
23andMe says hackers saw data from millions of users
Innovation/ Technology

23andMe says hackers saw data from millions of users

Personal genetics firm 23andMe on Tuesday confirmed that hackers using stolen passwords accessed the personal information about 6.9 million of its members. While the hackers were only able to get into about 14,000 accounts, or 0.1% of its customers, they were able to see information shared by genetically linked relatives at 23andMe, a spokesperson said in reply to an AFP inquiry. 23andMe is in the process of notifying affected customers and has hardened account security by requiring users to reset passwords and set up a second authentication method such as sending a temporary code to a mobile phone, according to the spokesperson. In early October, 23andMe detected that data thieves had gotten into accounts safeguarded by login details recycled from other websites that had bee...
Twitch to shut down in South Korea over ‘seriously’ high fees
Innovation/ Technology

Twitch to shut down in South Korea over ‘seriously’ high fees

US-based live gaming streaming platform Twitch said Wednesday that it would stop its service in South Korea in February because of “seriously” high network costs. In a statement signed by CEO Dan Clancy, the Amazon-owned company said it had reached a stage where continued operation in the country had become “impossible”. It blamed Seoul’s network usage fees for the decision, saying costs were “10 times higher compared to the majority of other countries”. “Twitch operations in South Korea are scheduled to end on February 27, 2024,” the statement said. “The cost of running Twitch in South Korea is currently seriously high.” The company said in March it would cut more than 400 jobs “to ensure we protect our business in order for Twitch to be around for a long time”. The...
Gamuda bags RM1.77b MRT contract from Singapore LTA
Business

Gamuda bags RM1.77b MRT contract from Singapore LTA

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore has awarded a S$509.57 million (RM1.77 billion) contract to Gamuda Bhd Singapore Branch (GBSG) for the design and construction of the West Coast station and tunnels. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Gamuda Bhd said the West Coast Station is part of the 15-kilometre (km) Cross Island Line Phase 2 (CRL2), which comprises six stations. It said that CRL2 is Singapore’s eighth mass rapid transit (MRT) line, and the West Coast Station will be constructed along West Coast Road, of which GBSG’s scope of work includes one underground station and two tunnels, approximately 1.9 km in total. The group said the project will commence in the first quarter of 2024 and is expected to be completed in 2032. “The contract is expected to co...
New eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) Program Launched to Revitalise Tourism in Malaysia
News

New eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) Program Launched to Revitalise Tourism in Malaysia

In a bid to rejuvenate the tourism industry amid its challenges, the government has introduced a new eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) program, targeting visitors from pivotal markets such as China and India. Overseen by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) in conjunction with the Home Affairs Ministry (KDN), this initiative aims to streamline the process and entice tourists from key markets, starting with chartered flights. The newly launched eVOA program involves a simplified application procedure. Travelers are now able to submit their personal details through the Malaysian Immigration Department (JIM) system before arriving in Malaysia to secure the VOA. The eVOA system, accessible through the website (https://imigresen-online.imi.gov.my/evoa/main), removes entry barriers...
Messi named Time’s ‘Athlete of the Year’
Sports, The IKON

Messi named Time’s ‘Athlete of the Year’

Lionel Messi has been named Time magazine’s “Athlete of the Year” for 2023 after a trailblazing season marked by an eighth Ballon d’Or award and his ground-breaking move to Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami. Time said the Argentine superstar had already had a transformative impact on the American sporting landscape, which has been historically slow to embrace football. “Lionel Messi this year managed to do what once seemed impossible, when he signed with Inter Miami: turning the US into a soccer country,” Time commented. The 36-year-old Messi made his debut for Miami in July following an acrimonious departure from Paris Saint-Germain. The World Cup-winner also rebuffed a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia in favor of a new chapter in MLS. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner m...
Police Chief Warns of Surge in AI-Driven Crime in Malaysia
News

Police Chief Warns of Surge in AI-Driven Crime in Malaysia

Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf, the Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director, has raised a red flag over the expanding employment of artificial intelligence (AI) by criminal entities, stressing concerns about deep fakes, voice spoofing, and financial market manipulation. Highlighting a recent incident involving a deepfake video depicting a Malaysian leader endorsing a dubious get-rich-quick scheme, Ramli categorised it as a glaring example of AI manipulation for malicious purposes. "The promises made in that video are too good to be true, which means it is most definitely an investment scam," he stated, emphasizing the absurdity of such videos. "The public needs to be prepared and be aware of such things," Ramli emphasised, underlining the crit...
Zara expands second-hand platform to 14 European countries
Fashion

Zara expands second-hand platform to 14 European countries

Spanish fashion retailer Zara is expanding its service to sell, repair or donate second-hand clothes in several European countries from December 12, the company said yesterday, as the market for used apparel grows. The service called ‘Pre-Owned’ is already available in the United Kingdom and France through Zara’s stores, its website and a mobile app. It will now launch in Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal. The chain’s owner, Inditex, previously said it aims to extend the life of customers’ Zara clothes, and help reduce waste and raw material consumption. Other fast fashion brands, such as Zara’s main competitor H&M HMb.ST, also offer products for resale. — Reuters ...
Harakah’s former printer obtains summary judgment against PAS for RM656,233.69 debt
News

Harakah’s former printer obtains summary judgment against PAS for RM656,233.69 debt

The Sessions Court here on Tuesday allowed an application by Harakah Daily’s former printer to enter a summary judgment against Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) to obtain the balance of its debt for the sum of RM656,233.69. Judge Lailatul Zuraida Harron @ Harun also ordered the political party to pay RM3,000 in costs to NAJ Press Resources (M) Sdn Bhd as the plaintiff in the e-Review proceedings. The matter was announced by PAS’ lawyer Mohd Faizi Che Abu, and PAS Secretary-General Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan as well as Galeri Media Serbanika Sdn Bhd, who were the defendants. NAJ Press Resources’ lawyer, Surya Putra Taulan, confirmed the decision as well when contacted. On Oct 2, the company applied to enter a summary judgment against the three defendants. A summary judgment ...
Anwar: Cabinet reshuffle if ministers’ performance not up to par
News

Anwar: Cabinet reshuffle if ministers’ performance not up to par

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said a Cabinet reshuffle would be required should the performance of ministers slip or if the situation demanded for it. He pointed out, however, that a year was too short a period to fairly assess the unity government’s administration and ministers need to be given the opportunity to improve and boost their performance. He said the government today was made of a coalition of parties, so every decision required negotiations and equal participation, taking into consideration the strengths of each party. "I think not too far off… but I think after a year, we need to make a fair assessment. People who rule for a decade, three years… a year is too early, so ministers should be given the chance to boost their performance, including the prime...
One in five children in rich countries lives in poverty
News

One in five children in rich countries lives in poverty

Sixty-nine million children — or more than one in five — live in poverty in the world’s 40 richest countries UNICEF said in a report released Wednesday, blasting Britain and France for their particularly bad standings. That’s despite a drop in child poverty rates in the periods from 2012 to 2014 and 2019 to 2021, by around 8% in the 40 European Union and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) wealthy countries assessed. “This is equivalent to around 6 million children out of a total child population of 291 million,” said UNICEF Innocenti, the United Nations agency’s research arm. But at the end of 2021 there were still more than 69 million kids in poverty in those countries. “For most children this means that they may grow up without enough nutritious...
Unity govt’s focus is on accelerating the economy — PM
News

Unity govt’s focus is on accelerating the economy — PM

The unity government, whose Madani Economy is focused on economic policy to increase growth, has brought results, especially in new sectors such as digital, green energy, and renewable energy. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the country's economic growth is also evidenced by the increase in foreign investment into the country which is higher compared to previous years. He said this during a special interview with TV3 on the Madani government's first anniversary, which was broadcast on Tuesday. He said the country's political stability and clear economic policies were also catalysts in injecting confidence in foreign investors to see Malaysia as a profitable investment destination, said Anwar, who is also finance minister. "In community education, things [relat...
Short supply of homes to push global property prices higher at slower pace — poll
News

Short supply of homes to push global property prices higher at slower pace — poll

Global property prices in most major markets will rise over the next two years, albeit at a slightly slower pace than predicted three months ago as strong demand and tight supply overshadow higher interest rates, a Reuters poll found. Home prices across the developed world have defied analysts' expectations, as they predicted at the start of the year prices would register double-digit falls from Covid-19-era peaks. In most markets they will end the year on a positive note. While price rises are expected to continue into next year and 2025, higher mortgage rates and the lack of supply of affordable homes will restrict prices from rising too much. The latest Reuters polls of over 100 housing market strategists taken between Nov 15 and Dec 4 showed property prices rising in five...
Proton Achieves Milestone in Sales, Targets Expansion and Production Surge by 2035
Business

Proton Achieves Milestone in Sales, Targets Expansion and Production Surge by 2035

Proton Holdings Bhd has marked a significant milestone, surpassing last year's sales volume with a robust performance in November. The automotive giant aims to propel its production to 500,000 units by 2035, with half of this figure - 250,000 units - earmarked for the export market, as detailed by deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah. In a recent statement, Proton disclosed that it registered a total of 12,296 units (both domestic and exports) in November, solidifying its position as the second-highest automotive brand in the Malaysian market. The success is attributed to Proton's diverse and innovative model line-up. The newly launched Proton S70, introduced on November 28, has garnered bookings exceeding 3,000 units, contributing significantly to this achievement. Additionally, the X Se...
Salary adjustment for technical profession to be given priority in SSPA study
News

Salary adjustment for technical profession to be given priority in SSPA study

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today gave assurance that the salary adjustment for technical profession in the public service will be given priority in the Public Service Remuneration System (SSPA) study. Speaking at the National Technical Profession Day 2023 celebration here, Anwar said his presence at the event was to recognise the role of technical professionals in line with the current situation and economic growth. “The status of the technical profession has been uplifted and become very critical. In line with the recognition, I have also given my commitment that the salary adjustment for the technical profession will be given proper attention,” he said. Accordingly, Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, asked the technical profession governing body to submit...
KLK Secures RM500 Million Sustainability-Linked Loan from Maybank
Business

KLK Secures RM500 Million Sustainability-Linked Loan from Maybank

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) has achieved a significant milestone by securing its inaugural sustainability-linked loan (SLL) of RM500 million from Maybank, signaling a joint commitment toward sustainable development practices. Maybank, in a joint statement on Tuesday, highlighted that this SLL marks a pivotal move for KLK, aligning its financial strategy with a dedication to environmentally and socially responsible practices, in line with the company's recently disclosed sustainability commitments. Notably, the loan incorporates a pricing adjustment mechanism linked to predefined sustainability performance targets (SPTs). This initiative falls in line with the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles 2023 issued by prominent bodies like the Loan Market Association, Asia Pacific Lo...
AGC Withdraws Appeal, Shafee Abdullah’s Acquittal in RM9.5m Money-Laundering Case Stands
News

AGC Withdraws Appeal, Shafee Abdullah’s Acquittal in RM9.5m Money-Laundering Case Stands

In a significant turn of events, the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) has opted to discontinue its appeal against senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's acquittal in a high-profile money-laundering case. This case involved RM9.5 million allegedly received from imprisoned former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as well as false declarations made to the Inland Revenue Board. Shafee, in a statement following the AGC's decision, highlighted that the attorney general had filed a notice of discontinuance, effectively resulting in the dismissal of the appeal. He emphasised the AG's exercise of discretion, emphasizing the High Court's ruling that found no grounds for a predicate offence related to illegal activity, leading to Shafee's acquittal without the need for...
Malaysia, Timor-Leste to establish direct air links
Business

Malaysia, Timor-Leste to establish direct air links

Malaysia and Timor-Leste are looking forward to establishing direct flights connecting major destinations of both countries, to boost tourism and promote cultural exchange. Currently, there is no direct air connectivity between Kuala Lumpur and Dili. Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac), in a statement said the air route issue and some tourism-related programmes such as Muslim-friendly tourism were among topics discussed by its minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Timor-Leste’s Vice Prime Minister Francisco Kalbuadi Lay during their meeting here on Monday. “We can find a common ground of culture and language among Malaysia and Timor-Leste, hence Motac is taking serious measures to develop and attract more tourists from the country. “The Muslim-friendly concept wil...
All you need to know after bitcoin hit US$40,000
Finance

All you need to know after bitcoin hit US$40,000

Bitcoin has jumped more than 140% this year to outstrip other investments like stocks and gold, and optimism for further gains is high. Its stellar performance comes after a turbulent period for the token. Following a crash in cryptocurrencies last year, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is now in jail for fraud, while top exchange Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao recently pleaded guilty to US anti-money-laundering and sanctions violations, and were hit with fines of US$4.3 billion (RM20.05 billion) for Binance and US$50 million for Zhao. Is bitcoin’s return to the US$40,000 level a sign the industry is maturing and another bull run is underway, or will the token be derailed again? Here’s all you need to know: Why has bitcoin just hit a 19-month high of almost US$41,000?...
Bitcoin rises above US$42,000 for first time since April 2022
Finance

Bitcoin rises above US$42,000 for first time since April 2022

Bitcoin rose on Monday, briefly surpassing US$42,000 (RM195,699) for the first time since April 2022, in a new surge of momentum fueled by the possibility of US interest rate cuts and traders betting that the US will soon approve exchange-traded bitcoin funds. The world's biggest cryptocurrency hit as high as US$42,162 on Monday, its highest since April 2022, seemingly casting off the funk that had settled over crypto markets following the collapse of FTX and other crypto-business failures last year. At 1256 GMT, it was at US$41,754, up 4.4% on the day. Its 50% rally since mid-October has "seemed to mark a decisive shift away from the bearishness of 2022 and early 2023," said Justin d'Anethan - head of business development for Asia-Pacific at Keyrock, a digital assets market ...
Zahid denies suffering from cancer, stepping down as Umno chief
News, Politics

Zahid denies suffering from cancer, stepping down as Umno chief

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Monday refuted speculation that he has cancer and will resign as Umno president. "I don’t know about my resigning [as Umno president], but I did undergo prostate surgery, don't speculate. Alhamdulillah, I'm healthy now," he said when met by reporters after launching Polytechnic Transformation 2023-2030 here on Monday. He said this in response to media reports that he would step down as Umno president due to health problems. The deputy prime minister returned to work last Friday after recovering from surgery. His first order of business was to attend the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Commenting on the Kemaman parliamentary by-election results, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Barisan Nas...
Berkshire Accuses Billionaire Haslam of Illicit Bonus Scheme to Inflate Pilot’s Profits
Business

Berkshire Accuses Billionaire Haslam of Illicit Bonus Scheme to Inflate Pilot’s Profits

Berkshire Hathaway Inc, led by Warren Buffett, has accused billionaire Jimmy Haslam, former owner of Pilot Travel Centers, of orchestrating a clandestine plan to offer secret bonuses to senior executives. This plan aimed to boost short-term profits at the expense of long-term value, as alleged in a filing by Berkshire in Delaware Chancery Court on Tuesday. Haslam, who retained a 20% stake in Pilot after selling a controlling interest, supposedly devised a scheme involving undisclosed bonuses to manipulate quarterly earnings, thereby inflating the company's value and, consequently, his stake in the chain. Berkshire claims Haslam clandestinely pledged substantial side payments to incentivize executives to focus on short-term profits, aiming to boost the value of his remaining 20% ...
Petronas: Malaysia records over one billion barrels of oil equivalent exploration discoveries in 2023
Business

Petronas: Malaysia records over one billion barrels of oil equivalent exploration discoveries in 2023

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and its petroleum arrangement contractors recorded 19 exploration discoveries and two exploration-appraisal successes, contributing over 1.0 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) of new resources for Malaysia in 2023. In a statement today, the national oil company said the achievement was the result of an intensified exploration programme pursued in the last few years, which saw the drilling of 25 wells, the highest number of exploration wells drilled in a single year since 2015. It noted that more than half of the discoveries were made in the Sarawak Basin, primarily in two clusters within the Balingian and West Luconia geological provinces. “Among the notable discoveries were Gedombak-1, Sinsing-1, Machinchang-1 and Mirdanga-1 by Petrona...
Johor proposes federal govt implement QR code system with Singapore at CIQ
News

Johor proposes federal govt implement QR code system with Singapore at CIQ

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi The Johor state government has proposed that the federal government consider implementing a quick response (QR) code system, similar to Singapore, at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in the state. Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said this was one of three proposals to help make the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) a success, as part of collaborative efforts between the Malaysia and Singapore governments. “Singapore has announced the implementation of the QR code system for movement in and out of the CIQ from Jan 1, 2024. “Johor also hopes that the federal government will consider the same digital method to mitigate movement at the busiest border in the world,” he told the state legislative a...
Malaysia Implements Digital Arrival Card Mandate for Foreign Visitors; Autogate Access Granted to 10 Nations at KLIA
News

Malaysia Implements Digital Arrival Card Mandate for Foreign Visitors; Autogate Access Granted to 10 Nations at KLIA

Starting December 1, foreign visitors entering Malaysia are now mandated to complete the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) online at least three days prior to their arrival. The Immigration Department of Malaysia has introduced this requirement, along with the provision of autogates for immigration clearance at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for citizens from 10 specific countries, subject to meeting MDAC submission conditions. In an official announcement posted on its Facebook page yesterday, the Immigration Department outlined the commencement of the MDAC submission prerequisite for foreign nationals entering Malaysia starting December 1. The online MDAC registration, accessible via the Immigration Department's website, applies to all travelers, excluding three s...
Tourism Ministry Plans Batik Special Collection to Boost Malaysia-China Tourism Ties
Culture

Tourism Ministry Plans Batik Special Collection to Boost Malaysia-China Tourism Ties

In a bid to enhance bilateral tourism relations, the Tourism, Arts, and Culture Ministry unveiled plans for a Batik Special Collection Series. Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, the Minister, announced this initiative, aiming to fortify tourism ties between Malaysia and China. The minister expressed his anticipation for the fashion series to serve as a pivotal step in fostering closer bonds between the tourism industries of both nations. Highlighting its strategic role, he stated, "This series will primarily target China's tourism market, amplifying our efforts to entice more Chinese tourists in the upcoming year." Moreover, in a reciprocal gesture, Malaysia plans to facilitate China in promoting its distinct collection series within the country. This reciprocal promotion seeks to ...
Second 5G network to allow telcos greater control and flexibility, drive innovation — analyst
Business

Second 5G network to allow telcos greater control and flexibility, drive innovation — analyst

The telecommunication sector witnessed some major decisions by the government in 2023, including the shift in implementation of the 5G network from a single wholesale network model to a dual-network model. On May 3, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that the government had decided to implement a dual-network once Digital National Bhd's (DNB) 5G rollout reaches 80% coverage of populated areas (CoPA) DNB is a special purpose vehicle established in 2021 under the Ministry of Finance and is now the sole owner of the 5G spectrum network, soon to be operating alongside the second network which is yet to be finalised. To facilitate the transition, the Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) announced the establishment of a special task force, jointly ch...
BNM sees at least half of local banks’ new financing being aligned with climate-supporting activities by 2026
Finance

BNM sees at least half of local banks’ new financing being aligned with climate-supporting activities by 2026

Malaysia is expecting to see at least half of new financing by local banks aligned with climate-supporting or transitioning activities by 2026, said Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour. He said there is currently growing focus and concrete climate action taken by financial institutions in Malaysia and to date, the industry’s financial commitment stands at over US$43 billion (RM200.9 billion) for environmental, social and governance (ESG) purposes. “That said, Malaysia cannot do this on its own. As stated in the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), the government anticipates that Malaysia will require investments of about US$280 billion by 2050 to meet our energy transition needs,” Abdul Rasheed said in his opening address at Malaysia’s Climat...
Former health minister Chua Jui Meng dies aged 80
News

Former health minister Chua Jui Meng dies aged 80

Former health minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng, 80, died at the Serdang Hospital near here at 4.04pm Sunday. PKR, on its Facebook page, extended its condolences to Chua’s family. “He was the Johor PKR chairman for five years from 2009 to 2014. Under Chua's leadership, for the first time, PKR won the Batu Pahat parliamentary seat and the Bukit Batu state seat in the 2013 general election,” the post said. The Muar-born Chua was the country's longest-serving health minister, for nine years from 1995 to 2004, before he was dropped from the Cabinet of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration. He joined MCA in 1976 and was the party's longest-serving vice president (1990-2004), while holding several other posts, including Bakri division chief in 1987 and party deputy secretary gen...
Macaulay Culkin Honoured with Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Entertainment

Macaulay Culkin Honoured with Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

Macaulay Culkin, renowned for his iconic role as Kevin McCallister in "Home Alone," solidified his Hollywood legacy three decades after the film's release. The esteemed actor, known for his recent role in "The Righteous Gemstones," received the 2,765th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony, attended by Culkin's family, friends, including Catherine O'Hara (who portrayed his on-screen mom), and Natasha Lyonne, marked a heartfelt milestone. In a touching moment, Culkin's fiancée Brenda Song, accompanied by their two sons, shared the emotional joy of this achievement. During the ceremony, heartfelt tributes from O'Hara and Lyonne reflected on Culkin's illustrious career spanning Hollywood's landscapes. Expressing gratitude, Culkin acknowledged the pivotal roles that sh...
Tesla Light Show Breaks World Record: A Dazzling Night in Espoo
Innovation/ Technology

Tesla Light Show Breaks World Record: A Dazzling Night in Espoo

A Record-Breaking Spectacle: Tesla Light Show Shines Bright in EspooIn a captivating showcase of light and technology, Espoo's Vermo race track witnessed history on a chilly November evening. 687 Teslas, ranging from Model 3s to Model Xs, synchronized in a mesmerising dance of lights and music, setting a new world record for the largest Tesla light show. Masterminding the Spectacle: Tesla Club Finland & TeslaLightShows.ioThe brainchild of Tesla Club Finland and Simon Pollock from TeslaLightShows.io, this extraordinary event delivered an unforgettable experience. The mesmerising light display, choreographed to the beats of iconic tracks, transformed the assembly of cars into a dynamic canvas of art. Capturing the Spectacle: Flyby Guys' Aerial MagicTo immortalise this remarkab...
MB&F Unveils HM11 “Architect” Watch: A Modernist Masterpiece
Lifestyle

MB&F Unveils HM11 “Architect” Watch: A Modernist Masterpiece

Swiss luxury watchmaker MB&F SA introduces the Horological Machine No 11, a groundbreaking timepiece inspired by radical modernist architecture akin to the visionary designs of Richard Neutra and Antti Lovag. Dubbed the "Architect," the HM11 boasts a 42mm diameter and is crafted from grade five titanium. Limited to 25 pieces per edition, it offers two variations: a striking blue dial and a red gold edition, each retailing for US$230,000 (RM1.07 million). This unique timepiece showcases four conical "rooms" stemming from a central flying tourbillon to the outer rim. Each room serves a distinct function: displaying minutes and seconds through rod-mounted orbs and red-tipped arrows, showcasing the power reserve, featuring an uncommon thermometer, and housing the watch's adjusta...
Seven restaurants named best in the world by La Liste
Lifestyle

Seven restaurants named best in the world by La Liste

The world has not one new best restaurant, but seven. That’s according to La Liste, one of a crowded field of companies publishing restaurant ratings that are increasingly used by diners who travel around the world in search of culinary excellence. Unlike some other companies that dole out stars or crown the No 1 restaurant in the world, La Liste compiles scores based on online reviews from casual diners and influencers, magazine and newspaper ratings, and scores from guides and other lists. The more than 1,000 sources include online travel guides, the food publisher Eater and the Black Pearl guide by Meituan Dianping in China. “We believe by aggregating these subjective choices, reviews and critics, we end up with a ranking that is a bit more objective,” said La Liste MD Hél...
Progressive wage policy: KSM leads several key implementations
Business

Progressive wage policy: KSM leads several key implementations

Committed to the Progressive Wage Policy, the Ministry of Human Resources (KSM) will lead various key functions, including conducting joint negotiations with employers and labour unions, said its minister V. Sivakumar. In addition to providing guidelines for employers and workers, Sivakumar said that monitoring, assessment, and development coordination would also be carried out. “For system development, KSM is involved in the registration, selection, and monitoring of companies. Regarding skills enhancement, KSM will undertake training verification, training quality inspection, supervision, auditing, and training coordination. “KSM will also provide guidance on annual salary increases through the preparation of proposals for such increases,” he said in a statement today. E...
UEM Group’s Subsidiaries Sign Multiple Agreements at COP28 Dubai
Business

UEM Group’s Subsidiaries Sign Multiple Agreements at COP28 Dubai

Three subsidiaries under UEM Group Bhd have signed business agreements with domestic and international companies at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The subsidiaries are UEM Lestra Bhd, PLUS Malaysia Bhd and UEM Edgenta Bhd, said the engineering-based infrastructure and services conglomerate in a statement today. UEM Group managing director Datuk Mohd Izani Ghani said through the group's partnership with other industry players, they aim to incorporate energy efficiency, environmentally conscious practices, and sustainable solutions into their operations, products, and services.The signing ceremony took place at the Malaysia Pavilion, Expo City, Dubai. UEM Lestra Bhd, the green industry arm of UEM Group, signed a ...
Sarawak Recognises Role of Youth in Development
News

Sarawak Recognises Role of Youth in Development

Sarawak recognises the role played by youth in its development towards achieving the aspirations of Sarawak Maju 2030 in becoming a developed state by 2030. Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Abang Haji Openg said youth who maximise innovation and digital technology can optimise the achievement of effectiveness of their respective fields towards achieving these aspirations, and thus making the youth of Sarawak a world-class one. He said in line with the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030), the state government has provided a clear foundation and direction for youth to continue Sarawak's excellence in the future, whether it is in the field of volunteering, economic development, sports, creative industry or others. Sarawak, which needs new talent based on ...
Anwar Will Surely Prioritise Skillset, Knowledgeability in Any Cabinet Reshuffle – Fadillah
News, Politics

Anwar Will Surely Prioritise Skillset, Knowledgeability in Any Cabinet Reshuffle – Fadillah

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will definitely look at the ability of an individual to hold a suitable portfolio in the event of a Cabinet reshuffle, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. The Minister of Plantation and Commodities said, however, he was not involved in any discussion regarding a possible reshuffle. "I am not aware of a Cabinet reshuffle (because) there has been no discussion with me. That is the prerogative of the Prime Minister (Anwar) and he will certainly assess whether a ministry is suitable with the skillset and knowledge that a person has. "If he (Anwar) wants to form a Cabinet, he has to find ministers who can cooperate and carry out the trust as expected," he said when met after an event to promote Technical and Vocational Educ...
Forbes built a Hall of Shame for all the questionable people on its 30 Under 30 lists
News

Forbes built a Hall of Shame for all the questionable people on its 30 Under 30 lists

The Forbes 30 Under 30 lists celebrate the achievements of young people making a mark in a range of sectors. Unfortunately, quite a few of the picks are now a little questionable, to say the least. It's even become something of a meme, with users on X joking about federal authorities investigating those on the list. Announcing this year's lists on Tuesday, Forbes acknowledged there were some picks "we wish we could take back." Its "Hall of Shame" starts — appropriately enough — with Sam Bankman-Fried, the FTX cofounder who was on the 30 Under 30 finance list in 2021. Sam Bankman Forbes had estimated the then-29-year-old's net worth at more than $26 billion — only Mark Zuckerberg had made as much money that young. That was until a CoinDesk report last year showed how FTX...
Malaysia’s English Proficiency Shines: Third in Asia, 25th Globally
Culture

Malaysia’s English Proficiency Shines: Third in Asia, 25th Globally

Malaysia clinched the third spot in Asia for English proficiency in the 2023 EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), trailing behind Singapore and the Philippines, as per the latest report. The index, which assesses English proficiency across 113 nations, positioned Malaysia at the 25th spot globally. The capital city displayed a commendable high proficiency level, securing a score of 564. Overall, Malaysia attained a score of 568, slightly dipping from the previous year, while the global average settled at 502. Impressively, Kuantan registered a score of 604, showcasing a high proficiency level. Notably, individuals aged between 26 to 30 exhibited the highest English proficiency in Malaysia, averaging a score of 582. The EF EPI relies on the EF Standard English Test (SET) to ...
Florida Heiress’ Lavish Paris Wedding Raises Eyebrows
Lifestyle

Florida Heiress’ Lavish Paris Wedding Raises Eyebrows

Credit: Instagram The opulent wedding of 26-year-old Madelaine Brockway and her partner Jacob LaGrone has ignited a social media storm, with their extravagant celebrations in Paris making headlines as the 'wedding of the century'. The event, reportedly costing a staggering $59 million, captivated viewers with its luxury and grandeur. Brockway, the heiress of a South Florida car dealership fortune, tied the knot with LaGrone on November 18 in a ceremony that garnered widespread attention for its lavishness. Videos from the event showcased exclusive performances by Maroon 5 and an indulgent stay at the Palace of Versailles, where guests were flown in on private jets. While the internet buzzes with details of the extravagant affair, curiosity around Brockway's background soared. Acc...
GOVT ALLOCATES RM30 MILLION IN INCENTIVES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF POGRESSIVE WAGE POLICY
News

GOVT ALLOCATES RM30 MILLION IN INCENTIVES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF POGRESSIVE WAGE POLICY

The government has allocated a sum of RM30 million in cash incentives in the wage policy pilot project, slated to begin in June next year, involving the participation of 1,000 companies, including micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSMEs). Minister of Economy Rafizi Ramli said the cash incentives would be provided based on rates and employee groups at the entry-level and non-entry level. “For the entry-level group, companies are eligible to receive the incentive at a fixed rate of up to RM200 per month for 12 months, if the company pays wages at the same rate or exceeding the proposed annual wage increase guideline. “For the non-entry level group, companies are eligible to receive the incentive at a fixed rate of up to RM300 per month for 12 months if the company provides a...
PM ANWAR HINTS OF CABINET RESHUFFLE HAPPENING THIS MONTH
Politics

PM ANWAR HINTS OF CABINET RESHUFFLE HAPPENING THIS MONTH

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday hinted that there will be a Cabinet reshuffle this month. As if he didn't hear the question asked by a reporter when met after performing Friday prayers at Surau Putra Al-Amin in Precinct 18 today, Anwar jokingly asked a young congregant, a 12-year- old Akmal Afif Yaseer Arafat, to repeat the question. The boy obliged and asked: "Datuk Seri, when is the Cabinet reshuffle?" To that, Anwar replied: "When do you propose, before or after (New Year) 2024?" When the boy said "before 2024", Anwar smiled and told the waiting reporters: "He said before 2024. I agree." Earlier, Anwar joined 2,000 congregants including the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar in performing Frid...
Govt Assures Data Protection, Cyber Security Always Under Control
News

Govt Assures Data Protection, Cyber Security Always Under Control

Minister of Communication and Digital Fahmi Fadzil today assured that personal data protection and cyber security will always be under control in the implementation of the National Digital Identity or Digital ID programme. He said the public need not worry about the implementation of Digital ID as it does not require recording of biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints, as well as facial recognition, and iris scans of users. Fahmi said the registration for Digital ID is also easy, requiring only the user's MyKad and fingerprint scanning for verification, similar to the procedures for banking transactions in banks. Users only need to download the 'MyDigital ID' app, scan the QR code and their MyDigital ID will be created on their mobile phones. "So, there is no need to ...
COP28: Malaysia Hopes For TOgetherness in Addressing Climate Change
News

COP28: Malaysia Hopes For TOgetherness in Addressing Climate Change

Malaysia hope to see countries coming together with ambitious and concrete commitments to address climate change during the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), here. Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said through innovative solutions, sustainable practices, and collaborative initiatives, our nation will proudly showcase its role as a regional leader in addressing climate challenges at the Malaysia Pavilion. "There must be a sense of urgency and a willingness to work together. "As we navigate the complexities of climate negotiations, let us be mindful that our decisions today shape the world that our future generations will inherit," he said during the launchin...
Riyadh Secures Bid to Host World Expo 2030, Amidst Criticisms and Celebrations
Business

Riyadh Secures Bid to Host World Expo 2030, Amidst Criticisms and Celebrations

FILE PHOTO: A huge billboard advertising Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as candidate of the World Expo 2030 is seen in Paris as the host country of The World Expo 2030 will be elected by BIE Member States that will gather in the 173rd General Assembly in Paris, France, November 25, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo In a significant victory for Saudi Arabia, Riyadh has been chosen to host the Expo 2030 world’s fair, surpassing contenders South Korea’s Busan and Italy’s Rome for the prestigious event, announced by the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). Amidst the competition, Riyadh emerged victoriously with 119 votes, while Busan received 29 and Rome 17 from a total of 182 BIE members. The win in the first round required Saudi Arabia to secure two-thirds of the vote...
Saudi’s PIF Acquires 10% Stake in Heathrow Airport
Business

Saudi’s PIF Acquires 10% Stake in Heathrow Airport

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has finalized an agreement to acquire a 10% share in Heathrow airport from Ferrovial, a Spanish infrastructure company. Concurrently, France-based private equity fund Ardian will purchase an additional 15% stake in FGP Topco, the airport's parent company. Ferrovial, an investor in Heathrow since 2006, confirmed the transaction's value at £2.37 billion ($3 billion). However, the deal's completion is contingent upon regulatory approvals. This acquisition marks Ferrovial's divestment from the UK airports' operator, with its initial ownership of 56% in 2006 eventually reducing to 25% by 2013. Notably, other stakeholders in FGP Topco encompass Qatar Investment Authority, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Singapore's GIC, Australian Re...
Kingdom Holding Bolsters Citigroup Stake with $450 Million Investment from Saudi Prince Alwaleed
Business

Kingdom Holding Bolsters Citigroup Stake with $450 Million Investment from Saudi Prince Alwaleed

Kingdom Holding Co, an investment firm linked to Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has increased its ownership in Citigroup Inc to 2.2% by acquiring a $450 million stake from the Saudi billionaire. The previous stake held by Kingdom in the Wall Street firm was 1.63%, as revealed in a Saudi stock market disclosure on Wednesday. Further details regarding the transaction were not provided in the filing. Known for his significant investments in companies like Citigroup and Apple, Alwaleed has been a prominent Saudi investor. He has actively supported the modernization initiatives led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including advocating for women’s right to drive. Alwaleed's relationship with Citigroup dates back to 1991 when he became the bank’s largest shareholder after investing...
Uranium Market Gains Momentum: Surging Prices Herald a Bright Nuclear Energy Future
Business

Uranium Market Gains Momentum: Surging Prices Herald a Bright Nuclear Energy Future

Amid the glow of technological advancements in investment arenas, another segment is stealthily taking center stage, offering a contrasting and lucrative option. The uranium market is experiencing an impressive bull run, reaching levels not seen in 15 years. The surge in prices is being fueled by the escalating demand for the radioactive element, pivotal in nuclear energy production. Recent prices hit remarkable highs, showcasing a potential record-setting annual gain, spurred by a global shift away from fossil fuels. This extraordinary upswing has also propelled uranium mining companies like Cameco to soar, with the Sprott Uranium Miners Exchange-Traded Fund (URNM) surging by 42% this year, surpassing the Nasdaq 100 index's 40% rise. Cameco's stocks have skyrocketed by 83% year...
Malaysians Make a Splash in Thailand: Leading the Charge in Tourist Arrivals!
Culture

Malaysians Make a Splash in Thailand: Leading the Charge in Tourist Arrivals!

Thailand has welcomed over 23 million international tourists this year, marking a significant milestone in the nation's tourism industry. Malaysian travelers have notably topped the list among the top five nationalities visiting the country, with a robust arrival count exceeding 3.8 million, according to reports by Bangkok-based newspaper The Nation. Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol affirmed the statistics, stating, "Malaysian tourists to Thailand accounted for more than 3.8 million arrivals from January 1 to November 12 this year." She further highlighted the prominent positions held by other nations on the list, citing China with 2.9 million arrivals, followed by South Korea (1.37 million), India (1.35 million), and Russia (1.17 million). "The overall tota...
Australia to Implement Ban on Disposable Vape Imports from January
News

Australia to Implement Ban on Disposable Vape Imports from January

Australia has taken a firm stance against nicotine addiction among youth by announcing a ban on the import of disposable vapes effective from January. The move aims to tackle the rising trend of vaping among young people and curtail the potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes. Health Minister Mark Butler highlighted the concerning surge in nicotine dependency among the younger population, stating, "All Australian governments are committed to working together to stop the disturbing growth in vaping among our young people." The ban extends to the manufacture, advertisement, and supply of single-use vapes within the country, reflecting a broader initiative to phase out recreational vaping altogether. Vapes, powered by lithium batteries and containing nicotine-inf...
China’s fast-fashion giant Shein said to have filed for US IPO in major test of investor appetite
Business

China’s fast-fashion giant Shein said to have filed for US IPO in major test of investor appetite

Fast-fashion giant Shein has confidentially filed to go public in the United States, according to two sources familiar with the matter, in what is likely to be one of the most valuable China-founded companies to list in New York. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley have been hired as lead underwriters on the initial public offering, and Singapore-based Shein could launch its new share sale some time in 2024, the sources said. Shein has not determined the size of the deal or the valuation at IPO, the sources said. Bloomberg reported earlier in November that it targeted up to US$90 billion (S$120 billion) in the float. Shein and the banks declined to comment. The company founded in China in 2012 was valued at more than US$60 billion in a May fund-raising, dow...
Reddit weighing IPO as soon as first quarter of 2024
Business

Reddit weighing IPO as soon as first quarter of 2024

Reddit is again holding talks with potential investors for an initial public offering (IPO) for the social media company, according to people familiar with the matter, as hopefuls prepare for a long-awaited reopening of the market for new listings. The San Francisco-based firm, whose users helped fuel the meme stock frenzy that made 2021 a banner year for equities, is weighing an IPO as soon as in the first quarter, the people said. Reddit was working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs on the listing, Bloomberg News reported in 2022, and was considering a valuation of as much as US$15 billion (S$20 billion). Companies planning first-time share sales in the United States have been stymied for months by volatile markets and a relatively weak showing for four closely watched deb...
Farm Fresh Bhd Boosts Profits as Dairy Costs Decline
Business

Farm Fresh Bhd Boosts Profits as Dairy Costs Decline

Farm Fresh Bhd has reported a notable surge in net profit for the second quarter ending Sept 30, 2023, attributing the rise to a reduction in the cost of dairy raw materials, particularly whole milk powder. The company revealed that its net profit climbed to RM12.79 million from RM11.19 million in the previous corresponding period. Moreover, revenue witnessed a significant increase, reaching RM198.3 million compared to RM162.14 million previously recorded. This positive financial outcome translated to basic earnings per share rising to 0.68 sen from 0.60 sen in the preceding period. CEO Loi Tuan Ee expressed satisfaction at the company's achievements during the challenging period. He emphasized the hard work put in by Farm Fresh, stating, "The positive results posted for the...
Ex-Malaysian Cop Claims Silence Paid with RM1 Million in Mongolian Model Murder Case
News

Ex-Malaysian Cop Claims Silence Paid with RM1 Million in Mongolian Model Murder Case

Credit: Aljazeera Former Malaysian policeman Sirul Azhar Umar has made startling revelations regarding the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, claiming he received RM1 million (S$286,500) in hush money during his detention in Australia. In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera's 101 East program, Sirul revealed that the payment, facilitated by a prominent politically connected lawyer and a high-ranking Cabinet member, was to ensure his silence regarding the murder case. Insisting on his innocence, Sirul labeled himself a pawn in a political maneuver and emphasized his non-involvement in Altantuya's tragic demise, despite being convicted of the crime. While refraining from divulging the identity of the mastermind behind Altantuya's murder, Sirul asserted that a top...
Alibaba’s Co-founder Jack Ma Ventures into Food Business with “Hangzhou Ma’s Kitchen Food” Incorporation
Business

Alibaba’s Co-founder Jack Ma Ventures into Food Business with “Hangzhou Ma’s Kitchen Food” Incorporation

Renowned as a pivotal figure in China's tech landscape, Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba, seems to be venturing into the food industry, as indicated by recent company filings. Reports reveal that on Wednesday (22 Nov), Ma incorporated a new company named "Hangzhou Ma's Kitchen Food" in the city where Alibaba is headquartered. Hangzhou, also Ma's hometown, became the base for this new endeavor. According to the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, the registered capital of the company stands at 10 million Chinese yuan (approximately $1.4 million). Hangzhou Ma's Kitchen Food is under Ma's investment vehicle, Hangzhou Dajingtou. The company reportedly focuses on the sales of pre-packaged food, processing, and retail of agricultural products. This shift towa...
No nation in the world is buying more planes than India. Here’s why
Business

No nation in the world is buying more planes than India. Here’s why

No nation in the world is buying as many airplanes as India. Its largest airlines have ordered nearly 1,000 jets in 2023, committing tens of billions of dollars to a spending spree that is unparalleled in aviation. In New Delhi, Indira Gandhi International Airport will be ready for 109 million passengers in 2024, as it prepares to become the world’s second busiest, behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States. And this is happening in a vast country still heavily reliant on trains – with 20 journeys by rail for every one by air. The enormous aviation build-up, with a surge of investment behind it, has pride of place in India’s case for a greater standing on the world stage. As it moves up the ranks of the world’s biggest economies, India is scramb...
Perodua eyes 20% EV sales by 2030, says president
Business

Perodua eyes 20% EV sales by 2030, says president

Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) is eyeing electric and hybrid vehicles to account for up to 20 per cent of new car sales by 2030. President and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad said this is possible “if all industry players can work together.” “We are working together with the government and other partners. We have been appointed in the new industrial plan to spearhead the EV development in Malaysia,” he told reporters after witnessing a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) signing ceremony at Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC), here yesterday. “We need to come up with a new product. We have not finalised the production timing, but the target given by the government — 30% by 2025 or 2030 — will materialise if all the parties cooperate,” he said. ...
PM Anwar Ibrahim Advocates Enhanced Collaboration Among Muslim Nations in Business and Investment
Business

PM Anwar Ibrahim Advocates Enhanced Collaboration Among Muslim Nations in Business and Investment

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's Prime Minister, urged greater collaboration among Muslim nations in business, investment, and economic realms during the Global Muslim Business Forum. He stressed the need for Muslim countries to unite and focus on collaboration rather than competition, especially when they are neighbors. Anwar highlighted Malaysia's positive relations with Indonesia, praising their collaborative stance instead of aggressive competition. Anwar disclosed discussions with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin at the Thai-Malaysia border, aiming to bolster ties, trade, and investments, in addition to noting the importance of fostering relationships, particularly in the impoverished areas of southern Thailand and northern Malaysia. “So, if they really take the initiative,...
REDtone, SpaceX ink deal to offer Starlink satellite broadband services across Malaysia
Business

REDtone, SpaceX ink deal to offer Starlink satellite broadband services across Malaysia

REDtone Digital Bhd and SpaceX have signed an authorised reseller agreement to offer Starlink satellite-based high-speed internet services across Malaysia. In a statement today, REDtone, which is an integrated telecommunications and digital infrastructure services provider company, said with its team of more than 150 dedicated engineers across the country, the company can quickly deploy Starlink’s broadband services to users in remote locations as well as areas with geographical and environmental constraints. REDtone chief executive officer Lau Bik Soon said the company’s strength as a network integrator will enable them to offer seamless satellite-based services to government and enterprise customers. “We are targeting sectors which are showing an increasing reliance on sate...
MACC Refutes Threat of Legal Action by Aman Palestin Over Frozen Accounts
News

MACC Refutes Threat of Legal Action by Aman Palestin Over Frozen Accounts

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has dismissed the ultimatum set by Aman Palestin, an NGO, to unfreeze its bank accounts within three days or face legal action. MACC's chief commissioner, Tan Sri Azam Baki, stated that the agency stands firm on maintaining the freeze on Aman Palestin's accounts. He emphasised MACC's readiness to address any legal challenge brought forth by the NGO. Addressing the media, Azam affirmed that MACC conducts its duties professionally, devoid of any malicious intent towards any party involved. He further noted that MACC has not received any formal correspondence from Aman Palestin regarding the matter. Earlier, Aman Palestin's lawyer, Rafique Rashid Ali, had issued the ultimatum, threatening legal action if the freeze on the accounts ...
2023 taxation: Without GST, Malaysia still on right track for fiscal consolidation
Finance

2023 taxation: Without GST, Malaysia still on right track for fiscal consolidation

The government is now looking at further narrowing its fiscal deficit which eased to 5.6% last year after hitting 6.4% in 2021 amid a much-needed pandemic-induced spending to boost the economy and safeguard Malaysian’s livelihood at large. Initiatives to ensure more effective and sustainable financial management for the country have been one of the measures by the unity government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Under the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) 2021-2025 launched in September this year, the government said it will look at ways to broaden its fiscal revenue, with efforts, among others, to improve tax collection by promoting voluntary tax declaration and the introduction of e-invoicing. No GST, for nowDespite the brouhaha about th...
Verdict in Isa Samad’s corruption appeal scheduled today postponed
News

Verdict in Isa Samad’s corruption appeal scheduled today postponed

The Court of Appeal has postponed its decision in the appeal by former Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad against his conviction, the six years’ jail sentence and RM15.45 million fine for corruption. The appellate court three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk S.M.Komathy Suppiah was Initially scheduled to deliver its decision on Isa’s appeal today. One of the counsels representing Isa, Siti Sarah Khalil, when contacted by Bernama said the defence team received a notice from the court informing that the decision date today has been vacated and it will be replaced with a case management to set the new date for the court to deliver the decision. On Oct 14, this year, the bench reserved its decision in the appeal aft...
Night Vision Goggle Market is Forecast to Reach US$ 3.2 Billion in 2028, Says Stratview Research
Business, Innovation/ Technology

Night Vision Goggle Market is Forecast to Reach US$ 3.2 Billion in 2028, Says Stratview Research

Stratview Research, a global market research firm has launched a report on the night vision goggles market which provides a comprehensive analysis of the global and regional industry forecast, current & emerging trends, segment analysis, and competitive landscape. Report Highlights Segment Insights on Night Vision Goggle Market The night vision goggle market is segmented based on product type, device type, platform type, technology type, and region. Based on product type- The market is segmented into helmet-mounted display and handheld goggle. Between these product types, the helmet-mounted display is expected to remain the biggest market category in the coming years. These night vision goggles efficiently track the area where soldiers see and can extrapolate the v...
NRECC, The Ocean Cleanup collaborate to reduce plastic pollution in Malaysian rivers
Environment

NRECC, The Ocean Cleanup collaborate to reduce plastic pollution in Malaysian rivers

The government is committed to fighting river pollution and providing a cleaner and healthier environment for the country through a collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit international project with a mission of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic. The Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) in a statement today said the collaboration was inked through a Memorandum of Cooperation, signed by the ministry’s secretary-general Dr Ching Thoo Kim and The Ocean Cleanup founder and chief executive officer Boyan Slat. The ministry said via the memorandum, the two parties will promote and develop cooperation in the removal and management of river plastic waste in Malaysia, to reduce ocean inflows of plastic. “Through this collaboration, the te...
30-day visa free entry for visitors from China, India beginning Dec 1
News

30-day visa free entry for visitors from China, India beginning Dec 1

The government will grant a 30-day visa-free entry for citizens of China and India from Dec 1, as part of the celebration of the 50-year strategic partnership between Malaysia and China next year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He said it is an additional facility to the existing visa exemptions currently enjoyed by citizens from Gulf countries and other West Asian nations, including Türkiye and Jordan. However, Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said that the visa exemption is subject to security screenings. “Initial screenings will be conducted for all tourists and visitors to Malaysia. Security matters are a different matter; if there are criminal records or the risk of terrorism, they will not be allowed to enter. “That comes under the authority of the...
Germany Embraces Affordable 3D-Printed Apartment Complex
Innovation/ Technology

Germany Embraces Affordable 3D-Printed Apartment Complex

In a pioneering move for affordable housing, a German city is set to introduce a cutting-edge apartment complex constructed with 3D-printed walls, offering modern living at an unprecedented price point. Peri 3D Construction, renowned for its innovative construction-tech endeavors, is taking its expertise to Lünen, Germany, using its BOD2 3D printer to craft a six-unit apartment building. This revolutionary approach aims to cap rents at a remarkable $528 for units ranging between 657 to 872 square feet. The project, commenced in September, harnesses the printer's capabilities, forecasting completion within 100 hours. While traditional methods will build the foundation, a "hybrid timber construction method" will grace the top floor, blending innovation with conventional practices....
Bhutan’s Secret Bitcoin Mining Operations Uncovered in Forbes Investigation
Finance

Bhutan’s Secret Bitcoin Mining Operations Uncovered in Forbes Investigation

An investigative report by Forbes has unveiled a clandestine operation in the remote reaches of the Kingdom of Bhutan: a series of undisclosed Bitcoin mining facilities quietly operating amidst the mountainous terrain. Through the use of satellite imagery from various sources and insider information, Forbes uncovered four covert crypto-mining sites concealed within Bhutan's dense forests. These sites showcased elongated mining units and sophisticated data center cooling systems tucked away in the Himalayan landscape. Additionally, images revealed robust power infrastructure, including high-capacity lines and transformers connecting Bhutan's hydroelectric plants to these clandestine facilities. These covert operations, seemingly initiated in 2020 based on construction pattern...
Fahmi Mulls Filing Defamation Suit Over Coldplay Concert
News

Fahmi Mulls Filing Defamation Suit Over Coldplay Concert

Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil is considering filing a lawsuit against those who have defamed him over the organisation of the Coldplay concert recently. Fahmi said there was an individual who made a graphic poster claiming he expressed the phrase 'Alhamdulillah' following the smooth progress of the programme at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium last Wednesday. He said the comment made by the individual was based on a media report on his response to the concert being held. "To me, this is defamatory, malicious, and actually taken out of context from what I had said and my full reply to the reporter can be found on the website. "I will ask my lawyer to investigate all parties involved in disseminating this defamatory graphic poster, and we will take lega...
Prince Albert II Affirms Stronger Malaysia-Monaco Ties with New Honorary Consulate Office
News

Prince Albert II Affirms Stronger Malaysia-Monaco Ties with New Honorary Consulate Office

Credit: Bernama Bilateral ties between Malaysia and the Principality of Monaco will be strengthened with the opening of the new Monaco Honorary Consulate Office here, said Prince Albert II of Monaco. The Prince, who is presently in Malaysia for his first-ever state visit from November 26 to 29, underscored the importance of this diplomatic step and expressed optimism for the further growth of the two countries' relationship. "Monaco is indeed the epitome of an international country as people from 140 different nationalities live in the principality within two square kilometres. "In that regard, the size of our territory has never been an impediment to our capacity to interact with the world but is in fact a strength," said Prince Albert II in his opening remarks during the ina...
Monaco’s Prince Albert II arrives in Malaysia for state visit
News

Monaco’s Prince Albert II arrives in Malaysia for state visit

Credit: Bernama Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert II, arrived here today to begin his four-day inaugural state visit to Malaysia. The special aircraft carrying Prince Albert II and his delegation including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco, Isabelle Berro-Amadeï and senior officials from the principality and business community, landed at the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) yesterday at 11 am. Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar and Malaysian Ambassador to France Datuk Mohd Zamruni Khalid were on hand to receive Prince Albert II and his delegation. Upon arrival, Prince Albert II walked passed a static guard of honour mounted by 28 officers and personnel from the First Batallion of the Royal Ranger Regime...
Huawei launches 2 more EVs after Aito’s instant success
Innovation/ Technology

Huawei launches 2 more EVs after Aito’s instant success

Stroll into a Huawei Technologies Co Ltd store in Shanghai or Shenzhen, and apart from the usual array of smartphones, laptops and tablets, shoppers can check out a 250,000 yuan (RM160,000) electric SUV. The Chinese tech giant is diversifying with electric vehicles (EVs) after landing at the centre of US-China trade tensions. Its access to advanced semiconductors was cut off and its 5G network equipment was banned in several Western countries because of national security concerns. Rather than build its own cars, Huawei has said it wants to be an auto supplier specialising in technologies like car operating systems and assisted driving — key growth opportunities as vehicles become increasingly tech-laden. Huawei has already partnered with at least five automakers to launch ele...
A 1962 Ferrari GTO race car auctions for a record RM245m
Lifestyle

A 1962 Ferrari GTO race car auctions for a record RM245m

A 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO by Scaglietti, the coveted Italian coachbuilder, sold for US$51.7 million (RM244.02 million) at an RM Sotheby’s auction on Nov 13 in New York City. It was the most expensive Ferrari ever to sell at auction and the most expensive classic car sold publicly anywhere in the world this year. Jim Jaeger, a prominent collector in Ohio and co-founder of the company that came to manufacture Escort radars, owned the car for nearly four decades prior to the sale. A spokesperson from RM Sotheby’s did not identify the new owner. The final hammer price was US$47 million — a buyer’s premium of 10% brought the tally to its total price to US$51.7 million. Despite the record, the final sale price was lower than expected. In the days leading up to the sale, RM So...
X may lose up to US$75m in revenue due to advertising freezes – Reports
Business

X may lose up to US$75m in revenue due to advertising freezes – Reports

Elon Musk’s social network X may lose up to US$75 million in revenue by the end of the year due to advertising freezes by major companies, reported Sputnik quoting a New York Times report. Internal documents seen by the newspaper indicated that over 200 brands, including Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft, stopped placing their ads on the social network or are thinking about doing so after Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory earlier this month. On November 15, Musk replied to a post on X, which claimed that Jewish communities were pushing hatred against white people, saying it is “the actual truth.” The next day, the Media Matters watchdog released a report arguing that X has been placing ads for Apple, Bravo, IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity next to “pro-Nazi conten...
Muhyiddin gives in to party voice, to defend Bersatu president post
Politics

Muhyiddin gives in to party voice, to defend Bersatu president post

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) has decided to defend his post and contest in the party election scheduled for next year. He said the decision was made after considering the call voiced by Bersatu Supreme Council (MPT) and delegates urging him to continue leading the party. “Actually, my wife asked me to stay for another term and not to disappoint them. She said carry on, Bersatu still need you and I said I will stay for the last term,” he said when delivering the adjournment speech at the 2023 Bersatu Annual General Assembly here today. Yesterday, Muhyiddin announced that he will not be defending his post in the party election next year to give way to other leaders to take over the party leadership through the democratic ...
Malaysia-Indonesia relations get stronger in a year of Anwar’s government
Politics

Malaysia-Indonesia relations get stronger in a year of Anwar’s government

Indonesia-Malaysia relations strengthened further over the past year since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim became Malaysian prime minister, especially in efforts to unite the ummah in both countries and the ASEAN region, according to Muhammadiyah, the oldest Islamic organisation in Indonesia. “The Malaysia-Indonesia relationship is very important to drive and establish a balance in this region and in the Islamic world,” said the Chairman of the central leadership of the organisation, Prof Haedar Nashir, in his congratulations to Anwar. In a video message broadcasted on Republikatv, Haedar emphasised the concept of Malaysia Madani brought by the prime minister, stating that it is in line with Islamic teachings. “Malaysia Madani aligns with Muhammadiyah’s vision to create Al-Madinah A...
Renowned Pianist Paul Barton Brings Harmony to Rescued Elephants in Thailand
Lifestyle

Renowned Pianist Paul Barton Brings Harmony to Rescued Elephants in Thailand

In a heartwarming tale merging music, compassion, and the majesty of nature, celebrated pianist and artist Paul Barton has captivated the world with his extraordinary performances for rescued elephants at the Elephants World sanctuary near Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Barton's enchanting journey began in the quaint town of Hornsea, East Yorkshire, in the 1970s, where his love affair with music blossomed. A chance encounter with Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at a local supermarket sparked his passion for the piano, leading him to hone his craft by ear on the instrument available at his grandmother's care home. Undeterred by the absence of a piano at home, Barton would trek miles to a village church, finding solace amidst pig farms and nettles while honing his musical talent. His dedica...
Muhyiddin Yassin’s Exit from Bersatu Presidency Tilts Power Play in Anwar Ibrahim’s Favour
Politics

Muhyiddin Yassin’s Exit from Bersatu Presidency Tilts Power Play in Anwar Ibrahim’s Favour

Muhyiddin, who heads both the Bersatu party and the broader Malay-majority opposition bloc Perikatan Nasional, revealed his intention to step aside and allow new leaders to assume control of Bersatu during its elections slated for the end of 2024. Under his leadership, the opposition made significant strides in provincial polls last August and in the nationwide vote the previous year. The absence of Muhyiddin at the helm of Bersatu is expected to diminish the opposition's strength vis-à-vis Anwar. Political analysts, such as Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, highlight that the stature and experience Muhyiddin possesses are pivotal. His departure leaves a leadership void that could potentially grant Anwar more stability...
K-pop stars Blackpink get UK honours for climate advocacy
Entertainment

K-pop stars Blackpink get UK honours for climate advocacy

The four megastar members of K-pop girl group Blackpink were given one of Britain’s most prestigious honours Wednesday by King Charles III, recognising their work as environmental advocates. The South Korean sensations received honorary MBEs (Members of the Order of the British Empire) from the British monarch, which reward outstanding achievement or service to the community. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and First Lady Kim Keon Hee — on a state visit to Britain — looked on as Roseanne Park (Rosé), Jennie Kim, Jisoo Kim and Lalisa Manoban (Lisa) were handed the honours at a Buckingham Palace ceremony. The K-pop quartet — and first couple of South Korea — were back at the palace just hours after attending a lavish state banquet held there for Yoon and Kim on Tuesday nig...
Chinese Scientists Develop Human-Like Sensory System for Robots and Prosthetics
Innovation/ Technology

Chinese Scientists Develop Human-Like Sensory System for Robots and Prosthetics

Image credit: SCMP A team of Chinese scientists has developed an innovative sensory system resembling a human fingertip, aiming to bring the tactile experience of touch to robots or amputees. The cutting-edge sensor, created by researchers from SUSTech, Xidian University, and the University of Houston, can identify various textures in real time, including wool, linen, nylon, polyester, and twill, with remarkable precision. Published in Nature Communications, the study demonstrates the sensor's capacity to recognize 20 different textiles with 100% accuracy at a fixed sliding rate. Integrated into a prosthetic fingertip, this system holds potential for advancing sensory technologies in robotics, aiding patients using artificial limbs, enhancing haptic-based virtual reality experie...
Warren Buffett’s Investment Strategy Aims at Guyana’s Emerging Oil Supremacy
Business

Warren Buffett’s Investment Strategy Aims at Guyana’s Emerging Oil Supremacy

Credit: Reuters Warren Buffett, through Berkshire Hathaway's ownership of Chevron shares, is poised to gain indirect exposure to Guyana, an emerging oil powerhouse, following Chevron's planned acquisition of Hess. The acquisition, valued at $53 billion in stock, includes Hess's 30% stake in the Stabroek Block off Guyana's coast, where Exxon Mobil has discovered an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil. This move is hailed as an enormous asset for Chevron, expected to drive production growth for years. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway holds approximately 123 million Chevron shares, a 6.4% stake worth roughly $20 billion. The conglomerate stands to benefit from the Chevron-Hess merger and potential profits from Guyana, either through increased Chevron stock value or returns to shareholde...
Anwar Ibrahim’s Approval Rating Dips to 50% Amid Economic Concerns, Reveals Merdeka Center Poll
News

Anwar Ibrahim’s Approval Rating Dips to 50% Amid Economic Concerns, Reveals Merdeka Center Poll

Credit: Bloomberg An independent poll conducted by Merdeka Center revealed a decline in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s personal approval rating to 50%, largely influenced by escalating concerns about Malaysia's economic performance. The recent survey, released by Merdeka Center, disclosed that 48 percent of respondents in the October poll expressed dissatisfaction with the Anwar administration's performance. Merdeka Center highlighted that the fluctuations in voter sentiments primarily stemmed from economic worries affecting individuals’ livelihoods. Only 31% of voters believe the country is on the right track, while 60% believe it is heading in the wrong direction. The survey identified economic concerns as the primary reason for the negative outlook (56%), followe...
MACC Freezes Aman Palestin Bank Accounts Amid Alleged Embezzlement Scandal
News

MACC Freezes Aman Palestin Bank Accounts Amid Alleged Embezzlement Scandal

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has frozen 41 bank accounts associated with Aman Palestin Berhad and its affiliates, totaling over RM15 million amid suspected embezzlement allegations. MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki revealed that raids on Aman Palestin's office were conducted to secure documents and ensure cooperation for an ongoing forensic investigation. "Our focus is on procuring documents from both Aman Palestin and the banks. We're delving into donation collections and fund allocations," stated Azam Baki in today's statement. Preliminary inquiries by the anti-graft body uncovered potential embezzlement cases, indicating a diversion of approximately RM70 million from the intended objectives of the company. "Previous searches at the charity's ...
Altman’s Return to OpenAi Amidst Boardroom Drama
Business

Altman’s Return to OpenAi Amidst Boardroom Drama

Sam Altman is set to make a surprising return as CEO of OpenAI following a tumultuous period marked by internal strife and power struggles within the company's leadership. Altman, previously fired from his position, will be reinstated alongside former president Greg Brockman, who resigned in protest against Altman’s dismissal. In a late Tuesday statement, OpenAI confirmed an "agreement in principle" for Altman's return, forming a new board comprising Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. Notably, D’Angelo, retained from the previous board, maintains a seat in this arrangement to represent the former board's stance. Sources familiar with the negotiations reveal that this initial board's primary role is to nominate an expanded board of up to nine members, aiming to reset ...
LeBron James Becomes NBA’s First to Surpass 39,000 Career Points Milestone
Sports

LeBron James Becomes NBA’s First to Surpass 39,000 Career Points Milestone

LeBron James made history yet again, surpassing a monumental milestone as the first player in NBA history to achieve a staggering 39,000 career points. During the Los Angeles Lakers' dominant 131-99 victory over the Utah Jazz, James reached this unprecedented milestone with a 3-pointer in the first quarter. Finishing the game with 17 points in 24 minutes, he marked an unbeaten run through the NBA In-Season Tournament's Group Play. Despite this remarkable feat, James remained humble, acknowledging the significance while admitting he hadn't fully processed the moment's gravity. Reflecting on the accomplishment, he expressed gratitude for being able to achieve something unprecedented in a league graced by countless legendary players. In his ongoing 21st season, James continues t...
German companies in Malaysia expect 2024 to be challenging
Business

German companies in Malaysia expect 2024 to be challenging

Credit: Bernama German companies in Malaysia expect 2024 to be challenging due to geopolitical tensions playing out across the globe, the declining ringgit and high-interest rates, said the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC). MGCC’s bi-annual AHK World Business Outlook Fall 2023 survey, which captures the sentiments of German firms operating in Malaysia, revealed that 49% of companies said the outlook for Malaysia next year will remain the same, while 34% said the local economic development will be favourable. When asked about the economic risks for companies in the next 12 months, 51% of respondents said demand was a major concern, followed by a lack of skilled workers (46%) and high exchange rates due to the declining ringgit (46%). Based on current glo...
TRX Unveils Underground Connectivity: Tunnel, Mall, and Park Set to Transform Kuala Lumpur
Business

TRX Unveils Underground Connectivity: Tunnel, Mall, and Park Set to Transform Kuala Lumpur

The Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) is gearing up for a grand unveiling on November 29, as it prepares to open its highly anticipated tunnel to the public. Coinciding with this milestone, The Exchange TRX mall and the sprawling 10-acre TRX City Park will also welcome visitors. This five-kilometer underground vehicular tunnel is poised to seamlessly link TRX to an extensive network of 12 major roads and highways, including key routes like Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Maju Expressway (MEX), SMART Tunnel, and the Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway (SPE). TRX City Sdn Bhd, the mastermind behind the 70-acre TRX development, highlights the tunnel's strategic connectivity and its impact on traffic flow. Offering direct access to Jalan Tun Razak and the SMART highway, the TRX tunnel will e...
Amazon’s ‘AI Ready’ Initiative Aims to Train Millions in Revolutionary Skills
Innovation/ Technology

Amazon’s ‘AI Ready’ Initiative Aims to Train Millions in Revolutionary Skills

Amazon.com is stepping into the race for AI talent, launching a bold initiative named "AI Ready" to train millions of individuals in artificial intelligence skills. With an ambitious goal of educating at least two million people by 2025, the program aims to bridge the talent gap in AI expertise, an area where Amazon seeks to catch up with competitors like Microsoft and Google. The initiative, offering free online courses, focuses on a range of basic to advanced AI skills, notably generative AI, the technology powering language-based models such as ChatGPT. Amazon's aim is to prepare individuals for both technical and tech-adjacent roles, catering to beginners and experienced professionals alike. These courses are designed to equip workers with the essential skills demanded by the e...
Lionel Messi’s World Cup Winning Shirts Set for Blockbuster Auction at Sotheby’s
Lifestyle, Sports

Lionel Messi’s World Cup Winning Shirts Set for Blockbuster Auction at Sotheby’s

Lionel Messi's legacy continues to make headlines as six of his iconic Argentina captain's shirts worn during the World Cup triumph head to auction. The set, including Messi's shirt from the final, where Argentina claimed victory against France in Qatar last December, is estimated to fetch over £8m at Sotheby's New York auction. This collection is poised to rival the record-breaking sale of Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' jersey, which reached £7.1m in 2022. Sotheby's head of modern collectibles, Brahm Wachter, hailed the auction as a historic moment, marking Messi's association with the incredible 2022 Fifa World Cup, solidifying his status as football's greatest. Messi's World Cup performance made history as he became the first player to score in the group stage, last 16,...
Grab Malaysia Pilots Fare Bidding Feature for Transparent Ride Pricing
Business

Grab Malaysia Pilots Fare Bidding Feature for Transparent Ride Pricing

Grab Malaysia has introduced a new fare bidding feature, currently undergoing testing in selected towns across Malaysia. This feature allows passengers to propose their desired ride price, giving drivers the option to accept the offer or make a counter-offer. Confirming the trial, Grab stated, "We’re currently conducting a small-scale experiment to test the feature in selected towns in Malaysia," in response to queries from LifestyleTech. Reports surfaced on social media, indicating that users received notifications about the feature within GrabAcademy, an in-app learning section for Grab's driver-partners. Screenshots shared by users also shed light on the details of this new feature. Described as "optional" for both passengers and drivers, the existing fixed fare options li...
AirAsia X: Financial performance recovering, to exit PN17 status
Business

AirAsia X: Financial performance recovering, to exit PN17 status

AirAsia X Bhd’s (AAX) net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2023, fell to RM5.56 million from RM25.09 million registered in the corresponding period last year. However, revenue for the period under review soared to RM648.36 million from RM100.10 million a year ago, the long-haul low-cost airline said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday. It noted that the company commenced operations during the quarter that ended June 30, 2022, after two years of suspension of scheduled flights, and the majority of the aircraft fleet remained grounded during the quarter ended Sept 30, 2022. “As such, the performance indicators comparison quarter for the quarter is not meaningful. The tabular presentation of revenue and cost metrics in the quarter, therefore, will be presented w...
Sarawak Sets National Precedent with Landmark Climate Change Legislation
Environment

Sarawak Sets National Precedent with Landmark Climate Change Legislation

The Sarawak Legislative Assembly achieved a historic milestone by passing the groundbreaking Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Emission) Bill. This landmark move makes Sarawak the first state in the country to enact legislation specifically targeting climate change. Deputy Minister in the Premier's Department, Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, highlighted the bill's primary goal: safeguarding Sarawak's environment. The legislation outlines strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with the ambitious target of achieving net zero carbon emissions in the state by 2050. Sharifah Hasidah emphasized the absence of parliamentary laws addressing Malaysia's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 20...
Geely Enters Malaysian EV Market with Smart #1, Takes on Tesla and BYD
Business

Geely Enters Malaysian EV Market with Smart #1, Takes on Tesla and BYD

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, a Chinese automaker, has entered the Malaysian electric vehicle (EV) market with its Smart #1 EV, competing against established players Tesla and BYD. The Smart #1 EV, available in three variants, is priced from RM189,000 to RM249,000, similar to Tesla's Model 3 and BYD's Atto. Despite Malaysia's small EV market, Geely is making a strategic move, unveiling its Smart #1 EV in Kuala Lumpur and investing in a high-tech automotive city in Tanjung Malim. The Smart cars will be distributed in Malaysia by Pro-Net, a subsidiary of Proton, in which Geely holds a 49.9% stake. Pro-Net also plans to expand distribution to Thailand and the east Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah, targeting 10% of the country's EV market share. Proton's CEO, Li Chunrong...
Singapore and Indonesia Launch Cross-Border QR Payment Linkage
Finance

Singapore and Indonesia Launch Cross-Border QR Payment Linkage

Singapore and Indonesia announced the launch of a cross-border QR code payment linkage, allowing customers of participating financial institutions in both countries to conduct retail transactions seamlessly. Additionally, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) introduced a real-time payment systems linkage between Singapore's PayNow and Malaysia's DuitNow, enabling instant, secure, and cost-effective cross-border funds transfers. The initiatives aim to enhance regional payment connectivity, promoting economic connectivity and digital integration. MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon expressed the significance of the linkage, stating, "This linkage represents another step towards ASEAN’s vision for regional payments interconnectivity." Indonesi...
Taiwan’s Sinyi Group, InterContinental Hotels building RM1 bil resort in Papar, Sabah
Lifestyle

Taiwan’s Sinyi Group, InterContinental Hotels building RM1 bil resort in Papar, Sabah

Taiwan's Sinyi Group and UK-based hospitality company InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) are constructing a RM1 billion five-star luxury resort in Melingsung, Papar, further catalysing Sabah's hospitality and service industry. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the strategic investment is set to provide a multiplier effect on the state's economy, growing the tourism sector and providing employment opportunities. "Your [Sinyi and IHG's] decision to invest in this property demonstrated a larger strategy of not merely building a facility to fill rooms with visitors but also making a strategic investment in Sabah. Hajiji said the 450-room resort would create more than 500 employment opportunities and contribute to the growth of the tourism sector. "We also want to see...
Average salary in Malaysia to increase 5.1% in 2024 – Mercer survey
News

Average salary in Malaysia to increase 5.1% in 2024 – Mercer survey

The average salary in Malaysia is expected to increase by 5.1% in 2024, according to Mercer’s Total Remuneration Survey 2023 released yesterday. The growth, however, was slightly lower below the Asia average of 5.2%, reflecting the varying pay progression between emerging and developed economies in the region. The survey showed that India, Vietnam, and Indonesia are set to report the highest projected median salary increments in 2024 at 9.3%, 7.0% and 6.5%, respectively. Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are expected to register the lowest at 2.6%, 3.8% and 3.9%, respectively. Other countries included in the survey are the Philippines at 5.7%, China at 5.2%, Thailand at 4.7%, South Korea at 4.4% and Singapore at 4.2%. Mercer Malaysia market leader Koay Gim Soon said that des...
Microsoft ends weekend of OpenAI drama with coup of its own
Innovation/ Technology

Microsoft ends weekend of OpenAI drama with coup of its own

After three days of high drama at the world’s most closely watched startup, which many compared to a coup, Microsoft Corp. capped the weekend with one of its own: the software giant hired ousted OpenAI chief Sam Altman. The moves reshape the world of artificial intelligence given that OpenAI is behind the hugely popular ChatGPT app that took generative AI into the mainstream, and Altman was its figurehead. He was unexpectedly fired by OpenAI’s board on Friday, setting off a frenzied weekend campaign to reinstate him, led by OpenAI executives and key investors — including Satya Nadella, the chief executive officer of Microsoft, which had pledged more than $10 billion for the startup. Instead, OpenAI’s board replaced Altman with Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, in a stin...
Xiaomi posts first sales rise since 2021 after market stirs
Business, Innovation/ Technology

Xiaomi posts first sales rise since 2021 after market stirs

Xiaomi Corp. posted its first revenue gain in almost two years, a welcome boost for a smartphone maker that’s begun aggressively attacking its Chinese rivals with higher-end models at home and abroad. It posted sales of 70.9 billion yuan ($9.9 billion) for the September quarter, versus average projections for 70.5 billion. Net income was 4.9 billion yuan, compared with the average estimate of 4.3 billion yuan. The smartphone maker is hopeful that global phone shipments will jump during the holiday quarter though on a full-year basis, Xiaomi and its rivals should sell about 5% fewer devices in 2023. Shipments should bounce back in 2024, executives told reporters after the earnings report. Xiaomi is emerging from a years-long funk, when global demand for smartphone and other el...
CelcomDigi Reports Strong Q3 2023 Results with 32.66% Increase in Net Profit
Business

CelcomDigi Reports Strong Q3 2023 Results with 32.66% Increase in Net Profit

Telecommunications giant CelcomDigi Bhd reported a 32.66% quarter-on-quarter increase in net profit to RM455.72 million for Q3 2023, citing lower costs in regulatory and network-related areas and reduced marketing expenditure. Despite a 0.61% decline in revenue to RM3.1 billion, the company added 123,000 subscribers, expanding its base to 20.6 million. CelcomDigi declared a third interim dividend of 3.3 sen per share, bringing total dividends for the financial year to 9.7 sen per share. The company is on track with its merger integration efforts, including network integration and modernisation, reaching over 4,400 sites by end-October 2023. “Capital expenditure (capex) increased 8.6% y-o-y to RM385 million in 3QFY2023, as the company prioritised investments in network capa...
Malaysia’s Economy Defies Odds with 3.3% Growth, Setting Optimistic Tone for 2024
Business, News

Malaysia’s Economy Defies Odds with 3.3% Growth, Setting Optimistic Tone for 2024

Malaysia's economy demonstrated resilience in the third quarter of 2023, expanding by 3.3% compared to the same period the previous year, surpassing the 3% median forecast in a Reuters economist survey. Despite weak external demand impacting exports, domestic demand remained robust, with household spending supported by employment and wage growth. Bank Negara Governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour projected a 4% expansion in 2023 and 4-5% in 2024, driven by domestic demand, infrastructure projects, and Budget 2024 measures. "Growth will continue to be driven by the expansion in domestic demand amid steady employment and income prospects, particularly in domestic-oriented sectors. "This growth performance along with other favourable economic developments would provide support...
Google Reveals Top 3 Most-Googled Jobs with Six-Figure Salaries, And It Requires No Degree
Lifestyle

Google Reveals Top 3 Most-Googled Jobs with Six-Figure Salaries, And It Requires No Degree

Americans are shifting their job aspirations away from degree-centric roles, opting for well-paying, college-free careers. Searches for "no degree jobs" hit a record high on Google in the U.S. this year. While about 75% of U.S. jobs paying over $35,000 annually traditionally require a college degree, only 38% of Americans hold a bachelor's degree. Google's research highlights a growing interest in jobs offering travel opportunities, flexible schedules, and paths to entrepreneurship. The three most Googled jobs in 2023 are Real Estate Agent, Notary, and Travel Agent, all of which generally require a high school diploma and specific certifications but no formal degree. Job seekers are increasingly drawn to high-paying roles without the need for a degree, noting the importanc...
Jack Ma Affirms Confidence in Alibaba Amid Share Sell-Off Plans
Business

Jack Ma Affirms Confidence in Alibaba Amid Share Sell-Off Plans

Jack Ma's office has issued a statement expressing his continued optimism and confidence in Alibaba, emphasising that he remains a major shareholder through his family trust. The assurance comes after units of Ma's JSP Investment and JC Properties filed plans to sell $870 million in Alibaba shares, prompting a sell-off in the company's stock. The phased sale, scheduled to start on November 21, is part of a long-term plan adopted in August, and Ma's office clarified that no shares have been sold yet. Alibaba's recent decision to halt the full spin-off of its cloud computing unit also impacted its stock price. Ma, who retired as Alibaba's chairman in 2019, has been actively engaged in philanthropy, education, and various personal projects during his retirement. In additio...
Xiaomi Unleashes Its First Electric Car
Innovation/ Technology

Xiaomi Unleashes Its First Electric Car

Xiaomi's inaugural electric vehicle, the SU7 (Speed Ultra 7), has received approval from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, signaling an imminent debut. The SU7 series includes three variants: SU7, SU7 Pro, and SU7 Max. The SU7 model features a single motor with 220kW (295hp) peak power, LPT batteries from FinDreams (BYD's battery arm), and optional LiDAR for driver assistance. The SU7 Pro and SU7 Max boast dual motors, 220kW (295hp), and 275kW (386hp) respectively, with Li-ion ternary batteries from CATL. The series is slated for mass production in December 2023, with deliveries expected to start in February 2024, and a rumored starting price of 149,000 Yuan (~$20,500). The design, created by the main designer of BMW iX, features a sporty aest...
Trump vows to kill Asia trade deal being pursued by Biden if elected
News, Politics

Trump vows to kill Asia trade deal being pursued by Biden if elected

Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, said on Saturday that he would kill off a Pacific trade pact being advanced by U.S. President Joe Biden if he were to win the 2024 election and return to the White House. Speaking to supporters in Iowa, Trump said he was against the regional trade deal being negotiated by the Biden administration with 13 other countries, arguing that it would hollow out U.S. manufacturing and trigger job losses. Talks on the trade sections of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which is aimed at offering the region an alternative to China's growing trade clout, stumbled in recent days after some countries, including Vietnam and Indonesia, declined to commit to strong labor and environmental standards. Trump, who...
OpenAI Board Ousts CEO Sam Altman Over Communication Concerns
Innovation/ Technology

OpenAI Board Ousts CEO Sam Altman Over Communication Concerns

OpenAI's board has removed CEO Sam Altman from his position, citing a lack of confidence due to inconsistencies in communications. The decision comes after a thorough review process, with the board expressing the view that Altman's communication hindered its ability to fulfill responsibilities. Altman, who oversaw the development of the ChatGPT platform, a groundbreaking artificial intelligence program, confirmed his departure on social media. In a statement, the board announced that Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati would serve as the interim CEO. The board emphasized its commitment to OpenAI's mission and expressed gratitude for Altman's contributions while signaling the need for new leadership. "I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally, and ...
Anwar: Malaysia bags investments worth RM63.02b in US
News

Anwar: Malaysia bags investments worth RM63.02b in US

Credit: Bernama Malaysia has secured a total of RM63.02 billion in proposed investments in the United States (US) mainly from technology giants, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday. Out of the total, RM8.33 billion investments were from the trade and investment mission to the US organised before the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), while the remaining investments were from the various one-on-one meetings held by Anwar here. The investments from the trade mission are from Abbott Laboratories, Mondelez International, Amsted Rail, Hematogenix, PerkinElmer, Ford Motor Company, Boeing, Amazon Web Services, Enovix, and Lam Research. “The remaining (investments) have been secured from one-on-one meetings with technology giants such as Google, ...
Muslim businessmen, technology experts in San Francisco keen to invest in Malaysia
Business

Muslim businessmen, technology experts in San Francisco keen to invest in Malaysia

Several Muslim businessmen and technology experts based in San Francisco, United States have expressed their interest to invest in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar ibrahim. Anwar in a Facebook post today said the matter was relayed to him during their meetings, among them SpaceX Commercial Marketing director Omar Kunbargi; Rembrand chief executive officer Omar Tawakol; Ornovi chief executive officer, Fauad Hassan; Z2Data president and chief executive officer, Mohammad Ahmad; Whizz System president, Muhammad Irfan and Z2Data communications chief, Osama Ahmad. Anwar who is also the Finance Minister said they stated their interest after getting clarifications on the country‘s future direction. He said also discussed in the meeting was the need to give more attentio...
Toyota Commits to EVs Through Battery Recycling Deal with Redwood Materials
Innovation/ Technology

Toyota Commits to EVs Through Battery Recycling Deal with Redwood Materials

In a significant move affirming Toyota's commitment to electric vehicles, battery recycling startup Redwood Materials, led by Tesla cofounder JB Straubel, has announced an expanded agreement with the Japanese automaker. This deal allows Redwood to recycle batteries from older Toyota vehicles, particularly the iconic Toyota Prius hybrids that revolutionized the automotive industry two decades ago. Under the agreement, Redwood Materials will salvage materials from aging Prius batteries and use them in the production of new EV batteries. Toyota plans to source Cathode Active Material and Anode copper foil from Redwood for its upcoming electric vehicles (EVs). This initiative aligns with Toyota's broader strategy to recycle, remanufacture, and repurpose nearly 5 million units,...
Binance and Thai Billionaire to Launch Crypto Exchange in 2024
Finance

Binance and Thai Billionaire to Launch Crypto Exchange in 2024

A joint venture between Binance Holdings Ltd and Gulf Energy Development Pcl is set to introduce a cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand early next year, following regulatory approval. Gulf Binance Co received the green light from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission on November 10 to commence operations, as revealed in a late Wednesday stock exchange filing. The platform will initially operate as an invitation-only exchange before opening to the general public, with the anticipated launch in January, according to a presentation by Gulf Energy. Previous filings indicated that Gulf Energy held a 51% stake in the joint venture, while Binance owned the remaining share. Despite being the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, Binance and its founder, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, ...
Pandas could return to US after Xi-Biden summit
News

Pandas could return to US after Xi-Biden summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping appears ready to deploy his country’s soft power after his summit with US President Joe Biden — in the form of cuddly pandas. Tensions between Washington and Beijing mean that only a handful of the black and white bears remain in the United States, with three having left the national zoo in Washington earlier this month. But Xi told a dinner after meeting Biden in California on Wednesday that China could send new pandas as “envoys of friendship between the Chinese and American people.” The White House said it would be happy to have more bamboo-chewing bears. “Should the decision be made by the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to restore some of the pandas to the United States, we would absolutely welcome them back,” National Security Council sp...
China’s experts hope Malaysia can complete ECRL project faster
Business

China’s experts hope Malaysia can complete ECRL project faster

Experts from China hope that Malaysia can complete the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project quicker and become the second country in Southeast Asia to acquire high-speed trains after Indonesia. Beijing-based Centre for China and Globalisation vice-president Victor Gao said that apart from an earlier completion, it was also possible for the ECRL train speed to be increased from 160 kilometres per hour (kph) to 351 kph. “Hopefully, it (ECRL train) will be faster. It will be 351 kilometres per hour rather than that of the Indonesian high-speed railway (HSR) at 350 kilometres per hour. Malaysia can have an advantage of one hour extra,” he told the media after Concorde Club’s forum discussion on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in ASEAN here today. Also present was Malaysian Nati...
Berjaya Construction Secures $50 Million Loan for Four Seasons Okinawa Project
Business

Berjaya Construction Secures $50 Million Loan for Four Seasons Okinawa Project

Berjaya Construction Bhd, the construction arm of Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand), has successfully obtained a $50 million construction loan from Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (EXIM Bank) for the Four Seasons Resort & Private Residences Okinawa project in Japan. Seikou Okinawa Construction KK, a subsidiary of Berjaya Construction, will spearhead the project as the primary contractor. Berjaya Corp Bhd founder and adviser Tan Sri Vincent Tan expressed, "This venture is more than just building a luxury destination; it’s about contributing to the growth of our nation’s businesses. We are committed to showcasing Malaysia’s expertise in the global market and creating a world-class destination that reflects the best of Malaysia." The Four Seasons Okinawa project, covering 32 ac...
Rolex, Patek prices hit fresh two-year lows: Subdial Index
Lifestyle

Rolex, Patek prices hit fresh two-year lows: Subdial Index

Prices for used Rolex and Patek Philippe watches fell to fresh two-year lows on the secondary market last month as demand for pricey timepieces continued to decline amid rising supply. The Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index dropped 1.8% in October, sinking to its lowest level since 2021. The index, which tracks prices for the 50 most traded watches by value on the secondary market, is now down 42% since a high in April 2022. The declines follow a massive surge in prices to record levels for the most in-demand Rolex, Patek and Audemars Piguet models during the pandemic. Now that interest rates have jumped amid strong inflation coupled with rising geopolitical tensions and shaky economic growth, watch collectors are curbing timepiece purchases. Christy Davis, the co-founder of Subdi...
Google, Malaysian govt on strategic collaboration, skill opportunities for 300,000 by 2026
Innovation/ Technology

Google, Malaysian govt on strategic collaboration, skill opportunities for 300,000 by 2026

The Malaysian government and Google today announced a strategic collaboration to create inclusive growth opportunities for more Malaysians and homegrown companies in the fast-growing digital economy. The collaboration brings both parties together to help businesses of all sizes advance their digital competitiveness through skilling programmes, investment in digital infrastructure, responsible artificial intelligence (AI) innovation, and cloud-first policies, Google said in a statement here today. “This latest commitment by Google, aimed at accelerating local innovation and talent development in the field of AI, will certainly boost the nation’s digital competitiveness, in line with the Madani Economy Framework and the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030),” Prime Minister,...
Temasek-backed Carsome cutting hundreds of jobs to reach profit
Business

Temasek-backed Carsome cutting hundreds of jobs to reach profit

Carsome Group, which operates a Southeast Asian used-car online marketplace, is cutting hundreds of jobs to reduce costs as it works to reach profitability ahead of a potential stock-market listing. The company is eliminating positions across Southeast Asia, with Indonesia and Thailand the hardest hit, people familiar with the matter said. Carsome has scaled down its operations significantly in those two markets, which it entered in 2017, the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans aren’t public. It has about 4,000 employees. Malaysia’s most valuable technology startup last year delayed its dual listing plans in Singapore and the US on concerns that deteriorating macroeconomic conditions could dent its valuation. The company expects to break even this year and is s...
Meta Approves Threads App Update Allowing Independent Deletion Without Instagram Loss
Innovation/ Technology

Meta Approves Threads App Update Allowing Independent Deletion Without Instagram Loss

Changes are underway for the Threads app, granting users the ability to delete their account separately from their linked Instagram account. While an Instagram account is a prerequisite for Threads sign-up, users were previously unable to delete Threads without impacting their associated Instagram profile. Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, announced the modification in a post on Threads. Originally touted as a potential "Twitter-killer," Threads faced challenges in maintaining its initial record-breaking growth. In October, Meta's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, revealed that three months after its July launch, the app garnered approximately 100 million monthly users, marking a decline of over half. Initially positioned as a direct competitor to Elon Musk's X (formerly Twitter), Threads lau...
Nepal Declares Ban on TikTok Citing Disruption to Social Harmony
News

Nepal Declares Ban on TikTok Citing Disruption to Social Harmony

In a recent announcement, Nepal has revealed plans to ban TikTok, citing concerns about the app's negative impact on social harmony. The decision, made during a cabinet meeting on Monday, was communicated by Nepal's Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma. According to Sharma, TikTok has been misused to share content that "disturbs social harmony and disrupts family structures and social relations." Sharma mentioned that the ban is being pursued to address rising demands for control over the popular video-sharing app due to its perceived negative influence. She stated, "Colleagues are working on closing it technically," without providing specific details on the triggering factors for the ban. TikTok has faced partial or complete bans in various c...
Hyundai Motor breaks ground on $1.5 bln EV plant in South Korea
Innovation/ Technology

Hyundai Motor breaks ground on $1.5 bln EV plant in South Korea

A Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric vehicle is charged at Chaevi Stay Charging Station in Seoul, South Korea. Credit: Reuters Hyundai Motor Co broke ground on Monday on a 2 trillion won ($1.52 billion) plant dedicated to making electric vehicles (EVs) in South Korea, as the automaker accelerates a shift away from petrol-powered cars. Hyundai Motor, the world's No.3 automaker by sales with its affiliate Kia Corp, plans to begin mass production from the plant in the first quarter of 2026. Construction is expected to end in 2025. The factory in Ulsan, in the southeast, will have an annual capacity of 200,000 units and the company said its first model will be an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) from its luxury brand Genesis. Hyundai Motor Group, which encompasses Hyundai Motor, Kia and...
Global EV sales stay strong, China hits record despite end of subsidies
Business

Global EV sales stay strong, China hits record despite end of subsidies

Electric-vehicle sales are seeing continued strength globally with China reporting record monthly sales in October despite the end of subsidies, according to market research firm Rho Motion. China ended an 11-year subsidy scheme for EV purchases in 2022, but some local authorities have continued to offer aid or tax rebates to attract investments as well as subsidies for consumers. EV sales in China, the world's largest auto market, increased 29% year-to-date in September. The global EV market showed 34% growth in the same period. China is entering the final two months of the year which are seasonally high for vehicle sales, according to Rho Motion. "What's notable about October's figures is that EV demand in China continues to reach record highs even though the subsidies w...
Tencent, Alibaba hold key to US$44bil tech run
Business

Tencent, Alibaba hold key to US$44bil tech run

Signage at the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. Alibaba is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings this week. Source: Bloomberg Financial results from Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will likely test the strength of a US$44bil rally in China’s technology sector this month. As the country’s major tech firms start reporting third-quarter earnings this week, expectations are for Tencent to show strong growth given cost reductions and a friendlier regulatory climate for gaming that also benefits rival NetEase Inc. Alibaba, however, likely continued to suffer from a broader consumption slowdown that pressured competitor JD.com Inc too. The sector has outperformed China’s broader stock market this year, ...
Over 95% of Eligible Inmates Seek Sentence Reviews as Malaysia Embraces Discretionary Justice and Human Rights Reforms
News

Over 95% of Eligible Inmates Seek Sentence Reviews as Malaysia Embraces Discretionary Justice and Human Rights Reforms

Law Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has announced that a staggering 95.8% of eligible death row and natural life imprisonment inmates—978 out of 1,020—have submitted applications for the review of their sentences since November 9. The latest data from the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia reveals that there have been 871 applications for death sentence review and 117 applications for natural life imprisonment review under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act. In a statement, Minister Azalina said that the unity government wants to stress that the death penalty remains a sanctioned punishment for criminal offenses in Malaysia's criminal justice system. However,...
Ipsos Malaysia Advocates Review of “Outdated and Arbitrary” 30% Housing Affordability Rule
News

Ipsos Malaysia Advocates Review of “Outdated and Arbitrary” 30% Housing Affordability Rule

Ipsos Malaysia is urging Putrajaya to reconsider the existing 30% housing expense-to-income rule, labeling it as "outdated and arbitrary" and emphasising its adverse impact on policy effectiveness. The current standard, deeming a home unaffordable if households spend over 30% of their income on it, lacks alignment with Malaysian household needs, Ipsos Malaysia asserted in a statement. A recent study conducted on Selangor households in collaboration with researchers from Sunway University, Monash University, and Durham University suggests a more accurate threshold at 23.5%. The study reveals that using the new threshold would categorise more households as "house poor." Ipsos Malaysia stated, "The study of households in Selangor has shown that 23.5% is the more accurate expe...
Grab Holdings President Ming Maa to Depart in April 2024
Business

Grab Holdings President Ming Maa to Depart in April 2024

President Ming Maa of Singapore-based Grab Holdings is set to step down from his position at the end of April 2024, as announced by Grab on Tuesday. The departure of Ming Maa, who joined Grab in September 2016, will see him focusing on corporate development responsibilities until his exit, according to Grab's statement. Maa played a crucial role in Grab's merger with Uber's Southeast Asia operations in 2018 and the company's successful public listing on NASDAQ in 2021. Grab clarified that there are no plans to fill the president role, and the responsibilities currently under Maa will be distributed among other leaders within Grab. Ming Maa's planned exit follows the announcement in May by co-founder Tan Hooi Ling, who stated her intention to step down from operational role...
Celebrity Chef and Wife Tana Welcome Sixth Child, Jesse James Ramsay!
Entertainment

Celebrity Chef and Wife Tana Welcome Sixth Child, Jesse James Ramsay!

Credit: Gordon's Instagram Renowned British chef Gordon Ramsay, 57, and his wife, Tana, 49, joyfully welcomed their sixth child, a baby boy, completing the Ramsay family. The news was shared by the 57-year-old MasterChef judge on social media last Saturday, coinciding with his recent birthday. In his online announcement, Ramsay expressed his excitement, saying, "What an amazing birthday present. Please welcome Jesse James Ramsay, 7lbs 10oz whopper. One more bundle of love to the Ramsay brigade. Three boys, three girls… Done." The accompanying photos captured tender moments, with Ramsay kissing Jesse's head and Tana providing skin-to-skin contact on a hospital bed. The couple, who exchanged vows in 1996, already have five children – Megan, 25; twins Jack and Holly, 23; Matil...
Malaysia’s MSPO certification gets global recognition, at par with RSPO, says Fadillah
Business

Malaysia’s MSPO certification gets global recognition, at par with RSPO, says Fadillah

Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof The Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification is constantly receiving recognition globally and has been perceived to be at par with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), according to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof who is also Plantation and Commodities Minister. "For Malaysia, the MSPO is more comprehensive, encompassing greater perspective when compared to the RSPO," he said after awarding the MSPO certificate to Chinese company Grand Oils and Fats (Dongguan) Co Ltd here yesterday. He said Malaysia hopes that its MSPO certification would be further recognised at the global level. Fadillah added that India has recognised the certification. Both China and India are Malaysia’s top importers of palm oil alongside Tu...
Singapore Surges Ahead as the Global AI Skills Leader, LinkedIn Report Reveals
Leadership

Singapore Surges Ahead as the Global AI Skills Leader, LinkedIn Report Reveals

Singapore leads the global charge in embracing artificial intelligence (AI) skills among workers, outpacing all others, according to LinkedIn's recent Future of Work report. Derived from data across 25 countries, the report reveals that Singapore boasts the highest "diffusion rate," with members adding AI skills to their profiles experiencing a growth rate 20 times higher than in January 2016. This significantly surpasses the global average of eight times, marking Singapore as the fastest adopter of AI skills. Following closely are Finland (16x), Ireland (15x), India (14x), and Canada (13x) in the top five countries with the highest rates of AI skills adoption, according to LinkedIn's report. LinkedIn's Pooja Chhabria, the Asia-Pacific head of editorial, attributes Singapo...
Switzerland Once Again Reigns Supreme as World’s Top Talent Magnets
Leadership

Switzerland Once Again Reigns Supreme as World’s Top Talent Magnets

Switzerland has maintained its status as the world's most talent-competitive country for the tenth consecutive year, as reported in the 2023 Global Talent Competitiveness Index by business school INSEAD. This European nation's enduring leadership is attributed to its "high levels of social protection" and the quality of its natural environment, according to the annual report. Singapore continues to secure the second position, owing to its highly educated workforce and innovative economy. The United States has climbed to the third spot after ranking fourth in 2022, showcasing its ability to draw, grow, and retain talent effectively. The report, which evaluates 134 countries based on their talent competitiveness, highlights a consistent top-ten presence for Switzerland and Sin...
Temu, Chinese Fast Fashion Retailer That is Overtaking Shein
Fashion, Finance

Temu, Chinese Fast Fashion Retailer That is Overtaking Shein

Chinese fast fashion giant Temu has emerged as the dominant force in the Japanese and South Korean app markets, surpassing its competitor Shein following a successful expansion into Western markets. Goldman Sachs, in an Oct. 4 report, stated, "Temu has rapidly expanded its footprint beyond the U.S. and into a number of international geographies and we believe it is now available in 40+ countries … where we continue to see opportunities for growth in the quarters ahead." The investment firm estimates that Temu, owned by PDD Holdings, now generates more than $1 billion of monthly transaction value and anticipates continued growth into the second half of 2023. In contrast, media reports suggest that its rival, Shein, was on track to hit $30 billion in transaction value in 2022. ...
China weighs ending freeze on Boeing purchases with 737 Max deal in US
Business

China weighs ending freeze on Boeing purchases with 737 Max deal in US

China is considering resuming purchases of Boeing's 737 Max aircraft when the U.S. and Chinese presidents meet this week at the APEC summit, Bloomberg News reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. Chinese President Xi Jinping is not expected to unveil a formal order for the 737 Max aircraft commitments that are not a firm sale and often take the form of a memorandum of understanding or letter of intent, the report said, adding that the terms of any potential agreement were under discussion and could change or fall apart before the heads of state meet on Wednesday. Boeing is still waiting to resume deliveries of its bestselling 737 MAX to Chinese airlines, more than four years after they were halted following two deadly crashes. The company had said that as of ...
USM and SpaceIn Launch First Picosatellite, SpaceANT-D, on SpaceX Rocket
Innovation/ Technology

USM and SpaceIn Launch First Picosatellite, SpaceANT-D, on SpaceX Rocket

In a groundbreaking achievement, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and SpaceIn Sdn Bhd, a USM spin-off specialising in small satellite and IoT services, successfully launched Malaysia's inaugural picosatellite, SpaceANT-D, using SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. Measuring a mere 5x5x5 cm and weighing less than 250g, SpaceANT-D is poised to revolutionise data storage and forwarding for IoT applications. Scheduled for release from the AlbaPod deployer within the next seven to 10 days, the picosatellite will soon establish its first communication link with the ground station. The mission, a collaboration between USM, SpaceIn, and the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS), holds significance in Malaysia's pursuit of Space Explora...
APEC Outlook: Promising Growth Amid Challenges – Balancing Acts in the Wake of Pandemic Legacy
Business

APEC Outlook: Promising Growth Amid Challenges – Balancing Acts in the Wake of Pandemic Legacy

Economic resurgence is on the horizon for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region, comprising 21 member nations, with an anticipated growth of 3.3% in 2023 compared to 2.6% in the preceding year, as outlined in the latest APEC Regional Trend Analysis report. The rebound is fueled by a resurgence in tourism and domestic consumption, although the lingering impacts of the pandemic, coupled with challenges like inflation, increased debt, climate change, trade protectionism, geopolitical tensions, and economic fragmentation, continue to cast shadows on the outlook. The report underscores the uneven economic growth in the APEC region while acknowledging signs of stability moving forward. Carlos Kuriyama, Director of the Policy Support Unit, remarked, "There are promisin...
The Fairphone Revolution: Empowering Users and Pioneering Sustainability in the Smartphone Industry
Innovation/ Technology

The Fairphone Revolution: Empowering Users and Pioneering Sustainability in the Smartphone Industry

In an era dominated by technological advancements and constant upgrades, Fairphone emerges as a trailblazer, challenging the norms of the smartphone industry. Born out of a mission to promote ethical practices and sustainability, Fairphone introduces a unique concept – a phone designed not only for the user but also for the planet. A Phone You Can Fix Yourself: The Fairphone Difference Fairphone stands apart by offering a device that users can repair themselves. The modular design of Fairphone encourages easy disassembly, allowing users to replace or upgrade individual components without the need for specialized tools. This groundbreaking approach not only extends the lifespan of the device but also reduces electronic waste, a major concern in the age of planned obsolescence. ...
Sarawak Metro Awards RM570 Million Tender for Groundbreaking Hydrogen-Powered Rapid Transit Line
Business

Sarawak Metro Awards RM570 Million Tender for Groundbreaking Hydrogen-Powered Rapid Transit Line

In a groundbreaking move, Sarawak Metro, the urban transit company in the state, has granted a substantial tender worth nearly RM570 million. The contract is for the construction of infrastructure for a revolutionary 15km-long autonomous rapid transit line, featuring tram-like electric vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel. The prestigious project, a key component of the Kuching urban transport system initiative, has been assigned to a joint venture company formed by Ibraco Construction Sdn Bhd, China Railway Engineering Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd, and Nanyang Tunnel Engineering Sdn Bhd. The scope of the project involves constructing infrastructure for the Blue Line, spanning from a depot in Rembus, Kota Samarahan, to Stutong in Kuching. This route will parallel the Kuching-Sam...
Former Malaysian Police Officer, Sirul Azhar Umar, Released from Australian Detention Center
News

Former Malaysian Police Officer, Sirul Azhar Umar, Released from Australian Detention Center

In a significant development, Sirul Azhar Umar, a former Malaysian police officer sentenced to death for the 2006 murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, has been released from an immigration detention centre in Australia. The release follows a High Court decision overturning the legality of indefinite immigration detention for non-citizens without visas. Sirul's lawyer, William Levingston, confirmed the release, stating that his client would not be deported to Malaysia due to the death penalty he faces. Levingston emphasised, "My client is facing death by hanging in Malaysia for a murder conviction, and until the death penalty is abolished by the Malaysian government, the Australian government is unable to deport Sirul Umar due to non-refoulement obligations." S...
Google to delete inactive Gmail accounts in December
Business

Google to delete inactive Gmail accounts in December

Gmail users who don’t regularly use their accounts risk losing them in December when Google begins deleting accounts that have remained inactive for at least two years. The purge of inactive accounts also includes Google Photos libraries, Google Calendar appointments, and Google Docs archives, reported United Press International. Google’s vice-president of product management Ruth Kricheli said the company is deleting accounts to reduce any vulnerabilities it has to bad actors. The policy only applies to personal accounts. She said forgotten or unattended accounts often use old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, have not had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the users. Compromised accounts can be used for anything from ...
Germany’s Tiny Gem with a Thatched Roof Lighthouse and a Population of 16!
Travel

Germany’s Tiny Gem with a Thatched Roof Lighthouse and a Population of 16!

So, there's this tiny spot in Germany called Oland – like, super small. It's one of those halligs, you know, those landmasses that are kinda connected by narrow-gauge railways to the mainland and this other hallig called Langeneß. Population? Well, unofficially, they're rocking a whopping 16 people as of 2019. Now, here's the kicker – Oland is home to Germany's tiniest lighthouse. And get this, it's the only one sporting a cool thatched roof. I mean, how quaint is that? It's like the little lighthouse that could, holding it down in the middle of nowhere with its unique vibe. Oland, you're a gem in the German landscape, even if you're just a blip on the population radar. Watch more about the island here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jqv-fK44Zg
LTAT Commits to Boustead Plantations Acquisition at RM1.55 per Share
Finance

LTAT Commits to Boustead Plantations Acquisition at RM1.55 per Share

Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) has officially fulfilled its commitment to acquire Boustead Plantations Bhd (BPlant) shares, solidifying the deal after a prior arrangement with Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK). In a recent exchange filing, BPlant confirmed the receipt of LTAT's unconditional mandatory takeover offer at RM1.55 per share. The agreement stems from LTAT's entry into an unconditional share sale agreement with Boustead Holdings Bhd (BHB) on November 10. LTAT is set to acquire 739,199,966 BPlant shares, representing a 33% stake, for a cash consideration of RM1.146 billion, equivalent to RM1.55 per BPlant share. Following the completion of this transaction, LTAT's shareholding in BPlant will surge to 43.59%, a significant increase from the initial 10.59%. This trigg...
Disney delays ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Captain America’ films as strike ends