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  1. China projects to hit Singapore
    CHINA’S current mega belt-road projects in Malaysia, once completed, will alter trade routes in the region and this may divert hundreds of billions worth of trade from Singapore, according to industry players.
    “This is a dream of a lifetime for Malaysia to eventually stop cargoes transiting through Singapore, with the generous inflow of direct investments and expertise from China now. In 10 years or so, Malaysia can say bye-bye to Singapore,” says a veteran port operator and logistics consultant with experience in Malaysia, Singapore and China.

    • Malaysia Focuses on FinTech, Gives Alibaba Founder Jack Ma Important Role

      Jack Ma, the founder of the $239 bln e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, was appointed by the Malaysian government to mentor companies in the various sectors of its digital economy.

      “We will be in partnership with Jack on the path and route to the future. You can see that China is the place to be. It has 300 million middle-class people, larger than (the) US population. We hope, together with Alibaba, we can make Malaysia and China more prosperous.”

      The appointment of Ma is a part of a larger plan of the Malaysian government to boost the growth of the country’s digital economy. The government believes the emergence of new and innovative technologies will allow the country to be at the forefront of a technological revolution.

      Two of the many industries which Ma specializes in are e-commerce and Fintech. Ma’s Alibaba is the second largest e-commerce company behind Amazon. Alibaba operates a $60 bln Fintech application known as Alipay, which has a market cap four times larger than Bitcoin, due to the vast user base of the Chinese market.

      The Malaysian government hopes to benefit from Ma’s expertise in the fields of Fintech and e-commerce and expects Ma to advise leading companies in establishing efficient business models and establishing both short and long-term growth strategies to compete on a global level.

      Ma’s extensive involvement in the Malaysian digital economy will also aid the development and emergence of unique Fintech service providers looking to overtake the traditional financial industry with cheaper, faster and more robust alternatives.

      Alipay, a financial application developed by Alibaba’s subsidiary company Ant Financial, is currently used by hundreds of millions of Chinese users to settle payments nationwide. Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Alipay is being used by Chinese employees to receive salaries, as the general consumer base prefers to receive payments through a non-bank alternative like Alipay due to low fees and reduced confirmation periods.

      In the next few years, the Malaysian economy will see a significant change in the Fintech industry.

  2. The Australian Federal Police say they are working with international law enforcement agencies to investigate companies linked to Malaysia’s scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund.

    1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is the subject of money laundering investigations in at least six other countries including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

    Civil lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice allege more than $US3.5 billion ($4.76 billion) was misappropriated from the fund.

    The lawsuits seek to seize $US1 billion ($1.36 billion) in assets allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB and diverted into luxury real estate in New York, Beverly Hills and London, valuable paintings, and a private jet.

  3. Faiz’s spellbinding goal lands him FIFA Puskas Award 2016
    Malaysia’s Mohd Faiz Subri has netted the FIFA Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal of 2016, putting his name on the same list as past winners such as famed football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

    The 29-year-old player was handed the award for his spellbinding freekick at a glittering ceremony in Zurich on Monday (early Tuesday in Malaysia) as he brought joy to millions of Malaysians thousands of kilometres away from the wintry conditions of the lakeside Swiss city.

  4. The Hypocrisy of Progressives and Refugee Placement
    In 2016, the Obama administration told Congress it intended to permanently resettle 110,000 refugees in 2017, about half of them coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Burma, and other countries that are jihadist hotspots where proper vetting of refugees is virtually impossible.

    To further complicate matters, the Obama administration has reclassified many of the people from Central America who are flooding into the U.S. as refugees. Like those from the Middle East, these immediately qualify to receive federal food stamps, Medicaid, and other federal benefits as well as placing them on a fast-track to full citizenship within five years.

  5. We’ve heard of ghost ships, now there’re ghost jets
    Kim Quek: The Najib family’s 13-day holiday in Australia must have cost taxpayers easily more than RM10 million in flight cost alone, keeping in mind that the rate for Airbus 319 is US$15,000 per hour (at such a chartered rate, the cost would have been 13 x 24 x 15,000 x 4.4 = RM20,600,000).
    Members of parliament should insist on Najib giving a full account of how much his family’s holidays have cost the nation. In addition, Parliament must request that the PM’s family cease to use government ‘air buses’ for their personal travel.
    If families of heads of government of wealthy democracies like the US, Japan, the UK, Canada and Australia are paying for their own personal flight costs, is it sensible for relatively poor Malaysia to indulge its leader’s family with luxurious jet flights on taxpayers’ expense?

    • The Secret History of ISIS

      Please watch this recent documentary by PBS USA.
      Interesting to see that Bush and Obama has indirectly created IS when they ignored the advice from CIA.
      Not surprisingly the Americans voted for Trump after all the mess.

    • CNN: George Michael’s rise to fame also came during one of the most horrific times for the LGBT community: the AIDS crisis. Famously, Ronald Reagan refused to address the AIDS crisis until near the end of his second term, despite the hundreds of thousands of people who were living and dying with the disease.

      Sadly, being gay or queer was equated with AIDS. Therefore, there was no space for a pop star like George Michael to be “out and proud.” He was locked in the music industry’s closet. However, in “Freedom! ’90,” he set fire to his former image of the ass-shaking singer in a leather jacket. Without being explicit, George Michael liberated himself within the lyrics of the hit song: “Think I’m gonna get myself happy/I think there’s something you should know/I think it’s time I told you so/There’s something deep inside of me/There’s someone else I’ve got to be.” George Michael decided to be himself, regardless of the risk.

  6. Trump frames Europe attacks as clash of religion
    It is not a question of clash of civilisation, but a choice of whether to deal with it affirmatively.
    Obama did a lousy-apologetic job & we reap the consequences.
    High time for a change of thinking away from politico-religious bigotry.

  7. Malaysia’s Vulnerability Exposed by Dollar’s Ascent
    Foreign investors are fleeing the country’s stock and bond markets

    Malaysia has been one of Asia’s worst-hit economies amid the continued climb of U.S. interest rates and the dollar.

    Foreign investors sold $5.3 billion of Malaysian stocks and bonds in November, the largest monthly outflow since September 2011, according to ANZ Bank.That is almost a quarter of the $22.1 billion pulled from emerging markets in the region, excluding China..

    The bulk of the selling was in Malaysia’s bond market. The $4.5 billion of bonds sold by foreigners in November, in ringgit terms, marks the biggest monthly debt outflow on record, according to ANZ.

    The ringgit was one of Asia’s worst-performing currencies in the aftermath of the U.S. election, and Malaysia’s central bank has been tapping the country’s already low level of reserves to support it. Last month, Bank Negara clamped down on offshore currency speculators, a worrying echo of its maneuvers to stem capital outflows during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

    Despite the government’s various attempts to support the currency, the ringgit has lost 6.5% of its value against the greenback since the U.S. election, hitting a nearly 19-year low on Nov. 30. On Thursday, the currency weakened 0.9%, following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of its first rate increase in 2016.

    Malaysia’s Achilles’ heel is the high level of foreign ownership of its government bonds. Foreign money is flighty, a factor that can accelerate a liquidity crunch during times of stress. While the latest rash of selling cut the proportion of foreign ownership to 48% in November from 52% a month earlier, the percentage is still very high for an emerging market.

    —Carolyn Cui contributed to this WSJ’s article

  8. Economist: Income gap among Chinese higher than other races
    Some can easily drink BirdNest or Gingseng 247365,
    while some of us can barely afford to sip one cuppa of Kopi-O Cap Tabik per day!
    But does income gap reflect genuine happiness in life?

  9. SHOCKING but TRUE: Eating beef is bad for Earth
    That the greenhouse gas emissions of the meat industry are greater than every plane, train, car, lorry and boat – put together.
    That the cattle industry is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss and erosion of topsoil – this sector is responsible for 91% of the destruction of the Amazon forests, with the clearing of 550 billion square metres of rainforest.
    It has been calculated that a whopping 3,000 litres of water is used (to grow grain to feed cows among other things) to make just one hamburger. This is equivalent to water used for two months of showering. Similarly, 1,000 litres of water are used to produce one litre of milk.
    In terms of animal waste, Andersen demonstrates how the amount of waste from 2,500 dairy cows is equivalent to the waste generated from a city of 411,000 people.
    “Of all the reasons for tropical deforestation, the foremost is beef. Beef is one of the most inefficient use of resources on the planet. In the USA, 47% of land is used for food production and, of that, the lion’s share is just to grow feed for cattle. The things that we (humans) actually eat – fruit, vegetables, nuts – is just ONE percent.

  10. Dr M has right to attend Agong installation, says law don
    I sincerely believe our Agong is not that petty.
    The Palace should explain with a good reason since our Agong is for all Malaysians,
    & not the exclusive ‘use’ of Naik Jeep & his merry-dedak-men.

  11. China’s economic largesse to Malaysia was back in the spotlight on Wednesday following an apparent renewed effort by Beijing to bail out the Southeast Asian country’s beleaguered 1MDB state investment fund.

    Political observers say such multibillion-dollar favours is likely to continue unabated as China seeks to bring a key Southeast trading partner closer into its strategic orbit and as Prime Minister Najib Razak turns away from the West, where he is accused of running a kleptocracy.

    The Financial Times newspaper in a report on Wednesday said China “had been approached” to help 1MDB – embattled by a long-running money laundering scandal linked to Najib – pay off a US$6.5 billion debt to an Abu Dhabi state investment arm.

    • Worry not for Singapore as the islanders have overcome the odds for 50 years with meritocracy system, aided by the foreign talents imported from Malaysia. Singapore is acknowledging the structural change in its economy, and is proactively diversify its economy be better trained workforce and high quality education. Each adult citizen is given $500 skills credit for upgrading via SkillFuture program yearly. No direct handout like BR1M in order for its people to learn to fish and stay hungry to meet the future challenges.

    • Credit ratings agency Moody’s has stuck with Singapore’s triple-A rating – the agency’s highest rating – and maintained a stable outlook for the country due to its fiscal discipline and financial stability.

      Even though Singapore’s economy faces short-term challenges, its strong institutions, ample reserves and effective government policies will help it stay resilient in the longer term, Moody’s noted. But it warned that Singapore must manage its transition to structurally lower growth smoothly. Otherwise, the rating could come under pressure.


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