News In Brief 

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Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases that we received from Jan 16 till the end of the week. This column updates regularly throughout the week.

Finsure Partners With Frollo

Sydney, Jan 16:  Finsure has become the first Australian mortgage aggregator to turn on Open Banking access for its brokers. In a partnership with Open Banking provider Frollo and lending technology provider NextGen, Finsure now provides its brokers access to the Open Banking powered Financial Passport, to collect customer data for use in their loan application process.
The solution is completely integrated into the broker workflow through NextGen’s ApplyOnline, significantly reducing the time brokers spend on reconciliation and processing applications.
The Financial Passport provides Finsure brokers with a complete financial picture of their clients, using bank-verified data as a single source of truth.
It includes a view of customers’ income, expenses, assets and liabilities and for those using Open Banking data has the benefits of being more secure and providing better privacy protection than traditional alternatives.
As one of Australia’s largest mortgage aggregation groups, with over 2,500 brokers nationally, Finsure’s launch demonstrates the enormous potential of the Trusted Advisor model to bring real productivity improvements and efficiency to the mortgage application process.

Breakthrough In Fighting Legionnaires’ Disease

Adelaide, Jan 16: A new study of domestic and hospital drinking water systems found Legionella in 41 per cent of samples – with Flinders University researchers making a key connection between the pathogen’s co-existence with a ‘host’ microorganism in all samples tested.   
The study found Legionella bacteria “infect the amoeba host and then once inside these hosts are protected from disinfection strategies,” Flinders University Associate Professor of Environmental Health Harriet Whiley, a co-author of the new journal article in Water Research said.  
Researchers tested for Legionella and its likely amoebae hosts in 140 samples of water or biofilm (the slime found on showerheads and end of faucets) to understand how the potentially dangerous bacterium colonises and proliferates in both domestic and hospital plumbing and poses a threat to human health.    
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia-like infection that can be fatal.
Globally the number of Legionnaires’ disease cases is increasing, with elderly and immunocompromised people at the highest risk.  

Heron Announces Incorporation Of Heron AirBridge

Singapore, Jan 16:  Singapore-based digital aviation and cybersecurity solutions provider, Heron Technology, today announces the incorporation of Heron AirBridge – the company’s standalone Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and drones technology business.
The formation of Heron AirBridge reflects the company’s steady progress in the development and testing of its proprietary Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) solution, AirBridge, in real-world conditions.
The newly formed entity will serve an essential role in enabling the fast-moving AAM industry by developing and providing customized digital platforms on which the industry’s hardware will operate.
Through the multi-year course of the AirBridge platform’s development, the company has worked closely with AAM industry partners, regulatory bodies, and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) across the region to design a secure, reliable and tailored solution that will form the bedrock of the AAM industry.
Established in 2021 after the management buyout of Nova Systems’ Asia business, Heron Technology has led the development of technology solutions to support AAM deployment in the region since unveiling Singapore’s first UTM system in 2021.

GHL Enables PayLater By Grab

GHL Enables PayLater by Grab for In-Store Purchases.

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 16: GHL Systems Berhad (GHL) continues the rollout of PayLater by Grab for its in-store merchants, giving consumers the flexibility of making payment in the following month or in four monthly installments, with zero interest.
GHL first announced the enablement of PayLater back in 2021 for online merchants. Current GHL merchants include All IT Hypermarket, Afterspring International, Thunder Match Technology, Astro GS Shop and many more.
Through this expanded partnership with Grab Malaysia, merchants using GHL’s terminals can now offer their shoppers more payment options when making purchases in physical stores.
GHL merchants in Malaysia offering PayLater by Grab include Senheng, Natural Health Farm, Photo Shangri-La, MU Optic, Yes Optical and other SME merchants.
Consumers can earn GrabRewards for every PayLater transaction, which allows them to enjoy more benefits and savings on Grab’s platform. 

5X Capital Acquires Stake In Colony Coworking

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 16: 5X Capital, a private equity fund with a diverse portfolio of companies including BFM Radio and Vida has acquired a stake in Colony Coworking Space.
Colony Coworking Space, which currently operates 12 locations in Kuala Lumpur between its namesake brand and its mass-market brand Jerry, has a total footprint of 170,000 square feet in Kuala Lumpur.
The group’s revenue grew 74 per cent in 2022 and EBITDA grew by 265 per cent year-on-year to an all-time high.
With this strategic investment, 5X Capital is looking to capitalize on the growing Flexible Workspace Market in Malaysia by investing in one of the largest Coworking operators in the country.
Colony earlier this month also announced a new deal with property developer Sunsuria Berhad to open a new Colony in Sunsuria Forum at Setia Alam.

MR D.I.Y. is ‘Putra Enterprising Brand of the Year 2022’

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 16: 2023 is off to a great start for Malaysian home improvement retailer MR D.I.Y. Group [M] Berhad [MR D.I.Y.]. 
The retailer has been named ‘Putra Enterprising Brand of the Year’, one of the coveted awards in the recently-concluded Putra Brand Awards 2022 edition.
This is the second year running that MR D.I.Y. has been accorded a Putra Brand Award; in 2021, the retailer took Gold in the award retail category. 
The Putra Brand Awards are unique in that they are based on the people’s choice — the awards invite members of the public to cast their votes for their favourite brands in various categories. This year’s awards were announced and presented on Jan 13 at the One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya.   

Parkroyal Langkawi Resort Opens

PARKROYAL Langkawi Resort To Brush The Shores of Langkawi

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 16: PARKROYAL Langkawi Resort, a property under Pan Pacific Hotels Group, will be opening its set to welcome guests on 15 February 2023.  The idyllic seaside haven is a 301-room beachfront resort strategically located along the pristine Pantai Tengah. Poised to be a leading resort of choice in The Isle of Legends, PARKROYAL Langkawi offers a collection of six types of rooms, eight types of suites, and seven spacious and exclusive villas with unique facilities and amenities.
Guests will be met with first class hospitality experience at CASSIA, an all-day dining venue that showcases culinary theatrical local and international cuisines.
The scenic island rich with a mysterious charm is also conveniently positioned within proximity of local attractions such as Underwater World, Langkawi Sky Bridge, Langkawi Wildlife Park & Bird Paradise, and many more.
LANCAVA best meets the needs of guests who prefer to unwind over a delicious meal with an extraordinary view.
The vibrant, modern restaurant and wine bar specializes in oceanic, coastal food with Southeast Asian influences, which embraces the farm-to-table philosophy by having an onsite garden to grow fresh herbs and aromatics.
Guests who prefer a laid-back tropical atmosphere, can head over to the Ocean View Lounge, which has sweeping ocean views. The popular beach lounge offers daily happy hours, themed events like Fiery Friday and Sunday Funday, as well as a variety of activities at the beach and pool, such as DJ and live band entertainment. 

ESPL Brings Esports To Web3

Singapore, Jan 16 Esports Players League (ESPL), a global amateur esports tournament platform provider, announced that it would launch ESPL Arena, the first true Host-to-Earn esports platform geared for Web3, named the ESPL Arena. 
The Web3 esports platform will introduce its much anticipated User-Generated Tournament (UGT) solution to a global audience and offers tournament contestants the ability to win tournament prizes in the form of digital assets.
With over 280,000 active gamers globally and a presence across 17 countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America, ESPL is a well-established Web2 and Web3 amateur esports platform, hosting over 2,000 tournaments since 2019 and reaching over 33 million global users.
ESPL is supported by a strong list of global investors, including Warner Music,  500 Startups, Genting Ventures, iCandy Interactive, RightBridge Ventures AB, CRAES, Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC) and Arcanum Capital.
Froyo Games, a popular Web3 casual game platform, will support ESPL’s Web3 efforts by providing investments and strategy support for ESPL’s Arena launch.  

Mambu Partners With Tyme Group

Singapore, Jan 17: Newly launched Filipino digital bank GoTyme Bank has partnered with global cloud banking platform Mambu to deliver an innovative digital banking solution that is aiming to improve access to high-quality financial services for Filipinos.
Singapore-based Tyme Group, which has partnered with Gokongwei Group to launch GoTyme Bank in the Philippines, has had a long-standing relationship with Mambu, with the organisations working together for many years in South Africa, where Mambu powered South Africa’s TymeBank to transition into a fully-fledged digital bank.
In a similar approach to TymeBank in South Africa, GoTyme Bank in the Philippines offers next-level digital banking services via kiosks set up in retail outlets belonging to Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc under the Gokongwei Group.
GoTyme Bank will have 348 kiosks in operation by the end of 2023. These GoTyme kiosks, which will be opened right across the country, to enable access to secure, convenient and high-quality financial services to the millions of Filipinos who are currently excluded from the formal banking system.
GoTyme Bank will roll out a number of innovative new products and services through the banking app in the coming months.

Review An Opportunity To Rethink Policy

Sydney, Jan 17: ACS has called for prioritizing IT workers’ visas while rejecting automatic approvals for employers in its submission to the Federal Government’s skilled migration review. 
In ‘A Migration System for Australia’s future’, ACS flagged the importance of skilled migration to Australia’s economy and society while recommending a revamped system that targets specific skill areas.
Australia’s IT sector is particularly dependent on skilled migration as the nation looks to fill 1.2 million technology jobs by 2027, according to ACS’ 2022 Digital Pulse report.
“In the short term, IT professionals need to remain a high priority for migration inputs and processing,” ACS said. 
“Technology touches every business and every industry, it is a key enabler of productivity growth, and Australian employers are desperate for skilled professionals to fill in gaps left by a weak domestic pipeline.”

Alibaba Cloud Named a Visionary in Gartner

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 18: Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, has been recognised as a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services (Magic Quadrant for CIPS) 2022 report for the second consecutive year.
Alibaba Cloud believes the recognition for two years in a row demonstrates its key strengths in regional and engineering leadership, technology partner ecosystem, and data analytics capabilities. 
Alibaba Cloud retained a leading position in engineering capabilities, reflecting its progress in sustainable data center initiatives by adopting self-developed immersion cooling technology, the company has significantly reduced the energy consumption of its data centers, with power usage effectiveness (PUE) reaching as low as 1.09 – a world-leading level.
Drawing on its big data and analytics capabilities, Alibaba Cloud has positioned itself as a provider of choice among businesses in Asia looking for a digital transformation partner.   
Alibaba Cloud is a good fit for cloud-first digital business workloads for customers that are based in China or Southeast Asia.
Earlier this year, Alibaba Group was shown as the third largest IaaS provider in the world and the biggest in Asia Pacific for the fourth consecutive year in Gartner’s Market Share: IT Services, 2021.

Slash Coffee-Table Book, Available Now On

Nashville, Jan 18:  The rock icon SLASH, has created The Collection: Slash, a premium, hardcover coffee-table photo book where SLASH tells the story behind the instruments, he has used throughout his legendary music career, on countless hit records, and on stages worldwide in front of millions of fans. The Collection: Slash is available now in Custom, Deluxe, and Standard editions on
Due to the success of the premium Custom and Deluxe editions, Gibson Publishing announced Today, a new Standard edition of The Collection: Slash. The Standard edition offers a widely accessible version of the coffee-table book featuring 364 pages in hardcover, in a slightly more compact size of 240 x 340 mm (9.45 x 13.39”).
The Collection: Slash Standard edition is offered at $149, order now, HERE.

Ku Gets Redesignated 

Ku Chong Hong

Petaling Jaya, Jan 18: Bintai Kinden Corporation Berhad, a mechanical and electrical engineering services specialist, is redesignating Ku Chong Hong to Group Managing Director from Executive Director effective 18 January 2023.
Ku was appointed to the Board of Directors as an Executive Director on 24 February 2022. He joined Bintai Kinden as Group Accountant in June 2019 and was subsequently redesignated Head of Finance and Accounts on 17 September 2019 and then Chief Financial Officer on 12 October 2020.
He is a member of the Executive Management Committee of the Company. Besides Bintai Kinden, he is also an Executive Director at Sarawak Consolidated Industries Berhad and an Independent Non-Executive Director of Malaysian Genomics Resources Berhad. 
Ku worked for several audit firms before joining Grant Thornton Malaysia as an audit senior manager in 2017. He has over eight years as an auditor with exposure to audit and assurance as well as business advisory in a broad spectrum of industries such as property development, construction, manufacturing, trading, poultry, agriculture, aquaculture, service provider, trading of software and real estate. He is also a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. 

Commonwealth Funding Reopens 

Sydney, Jan 19: Project proposals are being sought from across NSW for Round One of the Australian Government’s Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) to invest in disaster risk reduction projects.
Acting CEO for the NSW Reconstruction Authority Mick Cassel said the DRF – which provides up to $1 billion over 5 years – demonstrates commitment to natural disaster resilience and recovery.
“The DRF will inject vital funding into communities across the State to help them prepare, mitigate and reduce the impact of natural disasters, while ensuring they are best prepared to reduce infrastructure damage and protect life,” Cassel said.
“Over the past couple of years, our State has been hit by compounding natural disasters from the Black Summer bush fires of 2019 and 2020 to the devastating 2022 floods, which resulted in significant trauma and loss.
“So, we’re committed to working with the Australian Government to bring the most sophisticated and top-tier funding model to deliver the infrastructure, technology and security to help better prepare for future natural disasters, help reduce damage and save lives.”
Under Round One of the DRF, up to $200 million is available to Australian states and territories, with projects to commence from 2023-24.

Opportunity Knocks For Sydney Businesses

Opportunity knocks for Sydney businesses.

Sydney, Jan 19: The City of Sydney will supply cash grants of up to $50,000 to business sector groups for projects that increase the capacity and capability of local businesses.
The City’s grants program has been revised to specifically target not-for-profit, local business chambers, industry, sector and precinct-based associations and member organisations with an economic focus.
Applicants must operate within the City of Sydney’s local area or be able to demonstrate significant benefits for the area’s residents, workers, sector/industry and/or visitors.
Grant applications will be assessed against a range of criteria including evidence of the need for the project and proposed outcomes, capacity and experience of the applicant, and evidence of diversity, inclusion and equity in the planning and delivery of the project.
Register for the business sector support grant information session on Feb 1 through Eventbrite. Registration closes on Friday Jan 27.

dobiQueen Launches 6-Hour Laundry Service

dobiQueen Launches 6-Hour Laundry Service.

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 19: dobiQueen, the innovative, premier self-service laundry provider in Malaysia, is excited to officially announce the launch of its new “6-Hour Laundry Pick-Up.”
The first of its kind in Malaysia, this service allows customers to have their laundry picked up, cleaned, and returned to them in as little as six hours.
It is perfect for the New Year season spring cleaning of curtains, duvets, and larger launderable items.
With dobiQueen’s new 6-Hour Laundry Pick-Up, time-starved individuals are now able to unburden themselves from the stresses of everyday chores with a service that seems almost miraculous.
For those wishing they can simply place their dirty laundry outside their door, to be picked up and cleaned, and returned fresh and folded within hours – that is now a reality.
Fast, easy, and processed entirely online, all orders for the new service can be fulfilled within six hours, or at another convenient time, if placed before 12:00 p.m.

Lion & Lion Launches Film Production Studio

Lion & Lion’s Film Production Studio team; (L-R): Rachel Lian, Senior Producer; Johnson Ling, Head of Production; Asher Cheelip Ong, Regional Chief Creative Officer; Emelly Lim, Motion Graphics Designer; Mohamad Khairul Shafit, Videographer. 

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 19: Southeast Asian agency network Lion & Lion is expanding its offerings with the launch of a Film Production Studio, that connects across its integrated creative, social and digital experience solutions.
While multi-channel creative storytelling has always been a strong suit for Lion & Lion, with the establishment of a dedicated in-house film production team, the agency is now fully
The launch of the in-house Film Production Studio marks a significant milestone in Lion & Lion’s expansion strategy.
In line with this growth plan, the agency will build new data capabilities, while expanding its local presence in Singapore.

Aneka Jaringan Posts Revenue Of RM53M In 1Q FY2023

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 19: Aneka Jaringan Holdings Berhad a basement and foundation construction specialist, today announced that the Group recorded a 26.92 percent gain in revenue to RM 52.85 million for the first quarter ended 30 November 2022 compared with RM41.64 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.
In the quarter under review, the Group registered a narrower loss after tax (“LAT”) of RM4.62 million compared with LAT of RM5.41 million in 1Q FYE2022. Gross loss decreased to RM0.95 million in 1Q FYE2023 compared with gross loss of RM2.88 million in 1Q FYE2022 on a decline in material costs.
Aneka Jaringan has an order book of RM145.73 million as of Oct 31, with Malaysian operations contributing RM138.97 million and Indonesian operations contributing RM6.76 million.
As of 31 October 2022, the Group’s tender book stood at RM969.45 million, with tenders in Malaysia valued at RM 873.85 million and tenders in Indonesia valued at RM95.60 million.

MR D.I.Y. And HATI Distribute ‘Wang Nilai CNY’

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 20: With Chinese New Year [CNY] just around the corner, Malaysia’s favorite home improvement retailer wants to ensure that communities in need also have the opportunity to celebrate.  
MR D.I.Y Group {M} Berhad [MR D.I.Y.] has partnered with Persatuan Kebajikan Menyentuh Hati Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia [HATI],  an organisation that built Malaysia’s largest open directory of NGOs and social organisations, to roll out a ‘Wang Nilai CNY’ programme that will see these communities receive angpows and other goodies to mark the season.
The two organisations recently mobilised their volunteers to visit Persatuan Kebajikan Rumah Victory Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, a home for children, youth, and the elderly in Selangor, to celebrate the festive season.  It was a time of fun and merriment as the volunteers hosted games, helped the residents put up Chinese New Year decorations, and hosted ‘Lou Sang’ sessions.  The home also received RM1,000 in MR D.I.Y. cash vouchers to help the home source their everyday essentials. 

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