当新加坡为全球气候变化行动…

在马来西亚决策者仍对投资重心犹豫不决的当儿,新加坡已经为全球气候变化的解决方案投入大量资源。

新加坡早已意识到能影响其国家兴衰存亡的因素。水资源为其中之一:经过敦马哈迪在80与90年代施加的压力后,新加坡进行了大规模的海水淡化厂建设计划,废水回收与循环以及增加水库容量。

如今,危机不再是马来西亚的政客所为,而是源自于大自然。上星期六,新加坡的降雨量在仅仅4小时高达半个月雨量之多,海平面测量也显示比70年代上升了17厘米。

因此,新加坡开始采取行动。海上防御工程的建设费用高达1000亿新元;所有建筑物需在海拔4米以上再多建一米。他们正在考虑使用全新的海岸管理技术,例如荷兰人开发的圩田(以旱地为缓冲区的海堤)。同时间,大量支持全球气候变化的研究,特别是影响热带地区的项目,并成为气候方案研究中心。

#全球气候变化 #海平面上升

马力克 . 阿里
原文: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/malekali_climatechange-sealevelrise-activity-6790799927007170560-j9DO/

Why did TV3 call Kamala Harris’​ Mother an Illegal Immigrant?

Shyamala Harris – New York Times

It’s a media owner’s nightmare (I ought to know). TV3, the TV arm of Malaysian media conglomerate Media Prima, recently apologised for describing Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris as a daughter of an “illegal foreign immigrant” (or more literally, a “foreign arrival without permission”) from India.

Is this a simple mistake or does it betray something more insidious?

Well for one, there was no wire news or other news outlet that described Kamala Harris’ mother as an illegal immigrant. So this descriptor originated from TV3. Ouch.

Was it intentional? No, I don’t think so. It’s actually worse.

It’s reflex.

In Malaysia, we are used to prefixing the word “immigrant” with the word “illegal”. That’s because there are probably at least 2 million undocumented foreign workers in Malaysia. And we have used it so much in the context of domestic issues that we forget 2 things:

First, we do have legal foreign workers in Malaysia who have working and residency status in Malaysia. So let’s not assume that just because someone is brown and foreign, he is an illegal immigrant (yes, we never have that assumption when someone is white and foreign).

Second, foreign workers, whether legal or illegal, are an important contributor to the Malaysian economy. Instead of demonising them for everything (crimes, jobs, Covid-19), let’s recognise them for their contributions and make their path to being legal painless. They are just trying to earn a living and feed their families like the rest of us, and need us to protect them from the rogue elements of Malaysian police and immigration personnel. With proper documentation, we can funnel them to sectors where Malaysians do not want to work in, so there’s no displacement of Malaysian workers.

It does not help that Malay supremacist politicians in Malaysia use the Malay word “pendatang”, which loosely means “immigrant” (but more literally means “arrivals”), to describe fellow Malaysians who are from non-Malay descent. It normalises the word, resulting in the current situation describing Kamala Harris as a “pendatang asing tanpa izin” or a “foreign immigrant/arrival without permission”.

How Trumpian of Malaysia.

For more articles by Malek, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/malekali/detail/recent-activity/shares/

六件大马选民似曾相识的美国大选事实

虽然美国总统选举尚未结束,感觉上自由世界领袖的政治似乎变得马来西亚化。以下是目前的一些观察结果:

一. 政治修辞胜过事实
只要您常称拜登(Biden)为社会主义者,您就能让近一半的人口相信您。这是迈阿密戴德县(Miami-Dade)的古巴裔美国人和第一代越南裔美国人被煽动的反应。更不用说什么特朗普躲避服兵役没参与越战对抗南方政府了。给马来西亚的教训是:民主行动党是华裔沙文主义政党的言论将永远不公平地跟随着民主行动党。

二. 种族政治现在成为了美国政治的特征
即使这不是外在的说法,但种族政治已在美国占了上风,观看大卫·普度(David Purdue)参议员对卡马拉·哈里斯(Kamala Harris)姓名的种族歧视即明白。白人因为人口变化将成为美国的少数民族。在马来西亚,当然不必担心巫裔变成少数族裔,但他们对华裔自古以来的内心恐惧仍然存在。

美国的城市县为未来进展而投票,乡村县为保守主义而投票。在马来西亚,我们也有同样的现象,乡村选民担心未知,宁愿维持现状,而城市选民则倾向改革,向前迈进。显而易见的是,在美国和马来西亚,思想前卫的城市居民应该了解并解决乡村居民内心的担忧。他们要这么做就得踏出弗吉尼亚州(Virginia), 阿灵顿(Arlington)或孟沙(Bangsar),走进爱荷华州的格兰杰(Granger, Iowa) 和吉打州的彭当(Pendang, Kedah)。

四. 乡村选票比城市选票更重要
美国选举制度是根据建国期原始概念而设计的(其中,各个州为主要个体)。因此,美国各州不论其人口多寡,都有一定数量的选票计入总统大选。赢了州相等于胜者全得。

这在马来西亚是熟悉的政治现象。选区的人口数量并非关键,每个选区都会派出一名联邦议员。因此,在砂拉越的伊甘(Igan),19,592名登记选民投选1名联邦议员,而在雪兰莪邦吉(Bangi),则需要178,790名登记选民投选1名联邦议员。简而言之,伊甘(Igan)票数的“影响力”是班吉(Bangi)票数的9倍。

五. 赢得普选票不再意味什么
这不是什么新的发现,美国在2000年戈尔对布什(Gore vs Bush)总统竞选以及最近2016年特朗普对克林顿(Trump vs Clinton)竞选都经历了这一点。自2013年大选以来,马来西亚的国阵也是如此。今天,尽管他们在2018年只赢得了36%的普选票,但他们还是马来西亚政府国民联盟的一部分。

六. 不择手段操纵大选
美国人也开始使用马来西亚多年来出神入化的技术:如何运用“杰利蝾螈”手段 ,利用选区边界划分手法(让投票结果有利于某方)增加胜利的机会。当然,美国共和党全力以赴压制某些战场州的选票,例如不允许前重罪犯在佛罗里达州 Florida投票,并且在该法律废除之后,不允许欠款者投票。

让我们欢迎美国加入我们的“进化式民主国家”俱乐部!

马力克.阿里: https://www.linkedin.com/in/malekali/detail/recent-activity/shares/

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6 US Election Features that are Familiar to Malaysian Voters

Spitting Image Biden vs Trump
Credit: Spitting Image/Avalon

The American presidential election hasn’t finished yet, but it really feels that the leader of the free world is now becoming more Malaysianesque in its politics. Here are some observations so far that resonate:

1. Rhetoric trumps facts

Call Biden a socialist often enough, and you get the almost half the population believing you. It’s a visceral reaction among the Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade county and first-generation Vietnamese-Americans. Leave alone the fact the Donald Trump dodged fighting for the Southern Vietnamese government in the Vietnam war. Lesson for Malaysia: The rhetoric that DAP is a Chinese chauvinist party will always plague the DAP, unfairly, in my view.

2. Race-based politics is now a feature in American politics

It’s not outwardly spoken, but race-based politics are taking hold in the US (just check out Senator David Purdue’s racist interpretation of Kamala Harris’s name). Demographic changes are soon making whites the minority population in the United States, and this seems to have made a certain segment of the white population fearful and defensive. In Malaysia, although there really should be no fear of Malay Malaysians being the minority population, the age-old visceral fears about Chinese Malaysians (which is largely rhetoric) remain.

3. There is a huge world view divide among rural and urban voters

Urban counties in the US voted for progressiveness, rural counties voted for conservatism. Sometimes, this phenomenon is framed in language that says urban elite looking down on their rural counterparts. In Malaysia, we have the same phenomenon too, rural voters fear the unknown, and prefer the familiar, whereas urban voters want an agenda for change to progress ahead. What is clear though, that in both US and Malaysia, the onus is on the urban progressives to understand the fears of their rural counterparts, and address them. And they have to do this not from the urban enclaves of Arlington, Virginia or Bangsar, but from Granger, Iowa and Pendang, Kedah.

4. Rural votes carry more weight than urban votes

The US electoral system is designed by the original conception of the “United States” (where the individual state is the primary entity). So the US states, regardless of its current population, gets a certain number of historical electoral votes that count towards the presidential election. Win the state, and for the most part, you win all the votes which the state is allocated.

This has a familiar ring with Malaysian politics. It doesn’t matter what the population of our constituency is, each constituency delivers one federal MP. So whereas in Igan, Sarawak, 19,592 registered voters vote in 1 federal MP, in Bangi, Selangor, it takes 178,790 registered voters to vote in 1 federal MP. Simply put, the weight of the Igan vote is about 9 times than that of Bangi vote.

5. Winning the popular vote is irrelevant

This is not a new lesson, the US has experienced this in the 2000 Gore vs Bush presidential campaign and more recently, the 2016 Trump vs Clinton. Same for Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional since the 2013 elections. And now, they are part of the Malaysian Perikatan Nasional government even though they only won 36% of the popular vote in 2018.

6. Use all means to manipulate the vote

The Americans are beginning to use the same techniques that Malaysia has perfected over the years: How to increase your chances by gerrymandering, particularly with delineation of the American equivalent of our constituencies. But in addition, the Republican party pulls out all the stops to suppress votes in certain battleground states, e.g not allowing ex-felons to vote in Florida, and after that law was repealed, not allowing people who owe fines to vote.

Let’s bid welcome to the United States of America to the League of Developing Democracies!

Follow more articles from Malek, follow him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/malekali/

Which Acronyms Should You Invest In?

MSN, FAANG or BAT? (No, MSN is not Messi, Suarez, Neymar). I heard a new catchy one today: ATM, as in the cash machine, courtesy of BFM 89.9 – The Business Station.

The A= Alibaba Group, T=Tencent, and M=Meituan-Dianping. Alibaba and Tencent’s potential is long well-known (and I have been an investor in them for some time), but I was intrigued by Meituan-Dianping.

Think Meituan-Dianping as a super app, that allows users to order food, travel services, and more. Like Grab or Gojek but without the ride-sharing part.

But unlike Grab/Gojek, it’s profitable. It also has a positive (and growing) operating cash flow.

Their stock price has almost quadrupled since the March lows, but I’ll be watching, and gnawing…

Meituan Dianping Stock Price
Can Meituan Dianping’s stock price grow even more?

#Chinatech #superapp #MalekPortfolio

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创始人质押股份是您的危险信号!

您是否应该投资业主/创始人质押股份以保证公司贷款的公司呢?云顶香港公司首席执行官, 丹斯里林国泰(Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay)也为他的邮轮业务做出这么一步。

除了游轮业务(或公开宣布暂停偿还债权人的公司)以外,创始人/多数业主质押股份以担保贷款的公司,都是危险的投资。如果公司的股价继续下跌,银行放贷人可能会强制出售已抵押的股票,从而引发一波抛售浪潮并导致股价突然爆跌。

我个人就在上市的马来西亚石油服务公司KNM Bhd体验过这种状况。从2006年到2008年,我最初享有超正常的股票价格回报,但随后股票突然开始下跌。后来我从经纪人那里发现,这是由于KNM的银行强行出售了创始人的质押股份。多希望我一早就已经了解这种质押安排会促使股价的突然下跌。值得庆幸的是,我最终能够在早期卖出股票获取可观的回报,但我损失了大约一年的升值率。

消息人士告诉我,My E.G Bhd也曾在2018年5月发生这样的状况,当时国阵的“灾难性”选举令MyEG的股价下跌,而银行强制出售创始人质押的股票。

身为企业家,我会拒绝质押我在公司中的股份以担保银行贷款。但有时侯,我们别无选择;为了从银行获得成长资本,我们会被要求抵押我们的股份获取贷款。假设一切都顺利进行,这么做就不会是个问题, 因为一旦还清贷款就能解除我们质押的股票。但是如果事与愿违,企业家就有可能失去对公司的控制权,而投资者承担很大的风险。因此,您应当远离创始人质押股份以担保公司贷款的上市公司。

马力克 ‧ 阿里 – BFM 89.9 马来西亚首家商业电台 (www.bfm.my) 以及Fi Life 马来西亚首家线上人寿保险运营商 (www.fi.life) 的创办人

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Lim Kok Thay just pledged his shares, should you sell your Genting shares?

According to Singapore’s Straits Times, Lim Kok Thay, head-honcho of the Genting Malaysia Berhad. just pledged all his shares in Genting Hong Kong Limited, his cruise ship business, to guarantee loans. Straits Times has also pointed out he has pledged 32 per cent of his holdings in Genting Malaysia Berhad.

What does this mean for you, if you’re an investor?

Should you invest in companies whose owner/founder have pledged their shares to guarantee their company’s loans?

Aside from the fundamentals of investing in a cruise ship business right now (or a company that has openly declared a moratorium on paying its creditors), a dangerous investing situation arises when a founder/majority owner pledges their shares to guarantee company loans. If the stock price of the company continues to fall, the bank lenders might force-sell the pledged shares, triggering a wave of selling that might trigger a sudden downward spiral of the stock price.

I experienced this personally in the case of KNM Bhd, the Malaysian oil services company, listed on Bursa Malaysia. I had initially enjoyed supra-normal stock price returns from 2006 to 2008, but the stock then suddenly started tanking mid-2008. I found out from my broker later that this was due to KNM’s banks force-selling the pledged shares of the founder. I wish I had known of this pledging arrangement earlier, it certainly ratcheted the stock price downwards suddenly. Thankfully, I managed to sell the stock early enough to obtain a decent return, but I lost about one year’s worth of appreciation.

Sources told me that this happened to My E.G Bhd too in May 2018 when disastrous election results for Barisan Nasional triggered a share price drop for MyEG, which opened the threat of forced selling by banks on shares pledged by the founder.

Although, as an entrepreneur, I will resist pledging my shares in my company to guarantee a bank loan, sometimes, we do not have a choice. To obtain growth capital from banks, we will be asked to pledge our shares so that our company will be given loans. And if things go to plan, it is not an issue. Loans get paid back and our shares get unpledged.

But if things do not go to plan, then the entrepreneur runs the danger of losing control of her company. And the investor risks losing his shirt.

So when you see an owner/founder of a public company pledge her shares to guarantee her company’s loans, you should think about heading for the exit door.

#investing #genting #financialwellness #notsyariahcompliant