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 we received from March 20 till the end of the week. This column updates regularly throughout the week.

Freshable Partners with Celebrity Fitness

Freshable’s booth at the “Jom Fitness” event in conjunction with the International Women’s Day, featuring delicious samples of their ready-to-cook meal kits.

Kuala Lumpur, March 20: Freshable, the innovative ready-to-cook meal kit delivery service in Malaysia, partnered with Celebrity Fitness to host “Jom Fitness,” an event in celebration of International Women’s Day. Held last Saturday at Fahrenheit88  the event was a fantastic showcase of the brand’s commitment to promoting healthy eating and empowering women to take charge of their wellbeing.
A big hit among the participants of the event, Freshable’s booth featured its famous Tuna Patty with Green Goddess Salad and Three Cup Chicken with Rice for attendees to taste.
Additionally, samples of the delicious snack range of Mocha Coco Protein Bites, Sesame Noir Energy Balls, Chia Matcha Protein Bites, and Choco-Oat-Licious Bar were also offered for those interested for a quick energy-kick before gym.
Freshable was formed by passionate F&B specialists with the vision to create a delivery service for ready-to-cook meal kits.
Their service delivers prepared ingredients and meal plans right to the doorstep, making cooking easy and their meal plans are also designed to meet a wide range of dietary needs and are made with only the freshest ingredients.

FedEx Boosts Convenience with New Pick-Ups 

Web-based mobile shipping solution allows FedEx customers in AMEA and guest shippers in select markets to prepare label and schedule a courier pick-up without printing shipping paperwork

Hong Kong, March 20: FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) is enhancing the customer experience for shippers who can now access the shipping solution, FedEx Ship Manager® Lite (FSML) from the browser of their mobile phones and ship a package without having to print off documents.
The solution, previously only available to FedEx customers who drop their package off at a FedEx World Service Center, can now be accessed by FedEx account holders from the comfort of their homes.
In addition, the enhanced solution allows guest shippers in select markets who do not have a FedEx account to simply click and fill out the shipping information on their mobile devices to generate a QR code instead of printing shipment paperwork.
They can then order a pick-up at their home address or place of work and simply present their QR code to the FedEx courier.
They also have the option to use the same process when dropping off their shipments at a FedEx World Service Center as before.

SNS Network Supplies to Kumon Malaysia 

SNS Network to Supply Apple Products and Accessories to Kumon Malaysia

Ipoh, March 20: SNS Network Technology Berhad, an ICT system and solutions provider, is pleased to announce that the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SNS Network (M) Sdn. Bhd, has signed a collaboration agreement with Kumon Education (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (“Kumon Malaysia”) to supply Apple iPad products and accessories to Kumon Malaysia’s students and parents.
Kumon Malaysia is part of the largest established after-school enrichment programme in the world with over four million students currently enrolled across 50 countries and regions. The collaboration agreement covers over 200 Kumon learning centres and can benefit more than 37,000 students in Malaysia.
As part of the agreement, SNS will create and maintain a portal from which Kumon Malaysia’s parents and students can access while also undertaking all services related to the supply of Apple iPad products and accessories.

ASEAN Summit Explore Sustainable Financing 

Ethical Finance ASEAN Summit to explore sustainable financing for a prosperous future

Kuala Lumpur, March 21: The Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) and the UK-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) are collaborating to host the Ethical Finance ASEAN 2023 Summit, building on last year’s successful inaugural edition.
This virtual event, themed “Financing Transition” will be held on March 30 and is complimentary.
The ASEAN Secretariat has emphasized that “development has generated jobs, increased incomes and purchasing power”, but cautioned that this has been associated with unsustainable increases in natural resource usage.
Interested parties can visit to register by March 29.

‘Back to school’ Boost From MR D.I.Y.

The students of SK Lemoi, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, one of the recipients of the ‘Back to School’ kits from MR D.I.Y. in collaboration with UiTM.

Kuala Lumpur, March 21: A group of 570 school children and their parents in four states — Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur – were treated to a back-to-school surprise today, thanks to the nation’s largest home improvement retailer, MR D.I.Y Group Berhad [MR D.I.Y]. 
The retailer mobilised its MR D.I.Y. Cares team of volunteers, along with volunteers from their partner Soroptimist International Damansara, to ensure the schoolchildren were well equipped with school essentials when they head into the new academic year. 
The volunteers packed and distributed ‘Back to School’ kits for students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Payoh, Kemasik and Sekolah Kebangsaan Kijal; both in Terengganu. 
The retailer also collaborated with undergraduates from a local higher learning institution, Universiti Teknologi MARA [UiTM], who helped distribute kits to the children of Sekolah Kebangsaan Lemoi, Cameron Highlands, Pahang. 
The children received school bags, pencil cases, pencil sets, notebooks, pens, colour pencils, and files. 

Insolvencies To Hit Australian Economy


Brisbane, March 21:  Leading Australian law firm Taylor David is sounding the alarm on the number of insolvencies about to hit the Australian economy in 2023 with a warning that the number of companies facing financial headwinds is likely to be significantly larger than during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
Partner Scott Taylor is foreshadowing that the financial uncertainty facing Australian businesses, across all sectors, is only just beginning and will exceed the worst of the global slowdown in 2008.
The firm Taylor David is an internationally recognised leader in restructuring, bankruptcy annulments and insolvencies.
“In many ways, what we’ve seen over the last six months is the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
“When you start seeing global banks getting anxious, being sold off or collapsing, it’s a clear indication of wider uncertainty, with more to come,” Taylor said.

Airbnb: More Travelling Solo

Kuala Lumpur, March 21: Latest data from Airbnb has revealed that nights booked in Malaysia on Airbnb doubled last year from 2020, with domestic travel leading the way as Malaysia ranked as the top travel destination among locals in 2022.
Malaysians are going local for their travel adventures, with Kuala Lumpur claiming the top spot, followed by Penang, Kota Bharu, Petaling and Langkawi as Malaysians’ most booked domestic destinations.
Malaysians are also expanding their travel horizons and are eager to explore destinations both near and far. Asia Pacific featured strongly in Malaysians’ most booked overseas destinations – while the United Kingdom ranked; Australia, Thailand, Korea, and Indonesia rounded out the top five.
Malaysians’ most booked overseas cities last year were London, Bangkok, Melbourne, Paris and Jakarta.
Airbnb data also revealed growing momentum for solo travel in Malaysia, as solo travel bookings doubled year-over-year in 2022.
On a macro scale, solo travellers accounted for approximately one-quarter of all global nights booked last year.
Recognising the growing number of solo travellers, Airbnb recently launched its Solo Traveler Safety feature.
The feature is available in English, Malay and Chinese to enable safe and convenient travel for solo travellers in Malaysia.

WineTech Publishes Its White Paper

Paris, March 21: WineTech white paper on the Web3 theme: “How will web3 technologies revolutionise the world of wine” which highlights the solutions as well as the limits that NFTs can bring to the world of wine.
Based on interviews with web3 entrepreneurs and wine experts, this white paper attempts to provide some initial answers to better understand the impact of web3 on the wine industry, through 10 points.
The wine sector today seems to be running out of steam and needs to reinvent itself: declining consumption, particularly among the younger generation, climate change, carbon footprint, speculation and counterfeiting… the challenges are numerous and real.
The web3 can provide new solutions to these issues and help solve recurring problems in the wine industry.
The white paper on this topic is available here.

Ransomware Attacks in Malaysia Surges

Malaysia, March 22: Palo Alto Networks found that ransomware and extortion cases in Malaysia increased by 37.5 per cent in 2022 with 11 reported cases across key sectors.
Threat actors are utilising more aggressive tactics to pressure organisations, with harassment being involved 20 times more often than in 2021, according to Unit 42 incident response cases. 
This harassment is typically carried out via phone calls and emails targeting a specific individual, often in the C-suite, or even customers, to pressure them into paying a ransom demand.
The 2023 Unit 42 Ransomware and Extortion Report shares insights compiled based on findings from Unit 42’s incident response work from approximately 1,000 cases throughout the past 18 months. 

KoinWorks Levels Up Customer Support  

Malaysia, March 22: Freshworks Inc. announced that its Indonesian financial technology startup, KoinWorks, has increased customer satisfaction after implementing Freshdesk™ to unify its customer support across different channels.
KoinWorks, which started as a peer-to-peer financial lending startup in 2016, has grown to become the first credit-led Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) neobank with more than 2.5 million users.
As the company scaled, the volume of customer queries increased as well – especially between 2021 and 2022, when the customer support team handled close to 28,000 queries across multiple channels.
This led the company to use Freshdesk Omnichannel as a quick and efficient solution to continue providing timely responses to their customers.
The team utilized built-in features like the knowledge base and set up canned responses to help customer facing agents provide consistently helpful responses to users’ queries.
With Freshdesk powering the company’s customer service experience, KoinWorks support agents were able to access customer queries within a single platform, greatly improving agent productivity and hence reducing the average resolution time by 195 per cent.

South Korean Visitors To Sabah Rising

Kota Kinabalu, March 22: South Korean visitors to Sabah are on the rise with 21,541 arrivals recorded during the first month of this year.
This is a significant increase as the figure was nearly half of the 55,152 South Korean tourists arrivals recorded throughout last year.
“The Korean market is so important to us that it was the first country the Sabah Tourism Board team visited when the border reopened in April of last year to engage with airlines and travel agents there,” said Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board.
“The surge in Korean tourists is largely thanks to the increase in scheduled direct flight into Sabah, and of course, this could not have been possible without a close engagement,” he said, adding Kota Kinabalu is also well connected via Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, China, Taipei, and Brunei.
Joniston, who is Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, made this remark in an interview with the media team of the Korean-based Coceuco company, which had organised an incentive trip to Sabah for 450 top achievers.
Coceuco manufactures and sells multi-functional skin care products under the brand Repove.

Searches for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Rises

London, March 23: Analysis of Google search data reveals that online searches for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ increased 1,044 per cent worldwide after the 2023 Academy Awards, as the comedy-drama movie directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won a whopping seven awards at this year’s ceremony, including Best Picture. 
New insights by Celeb Tattler reveal that searches for the movie have reached an all-time high, surpassing search interest for the week it was released in March 2022 by 3,233 per cent.
Moreover, Michelle Yeoh also got deserved attention for her role, as she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the first Asian woman in history to do so, which caused searches for ‘Michelle Yeoh movies’ to explode by 3,024 per cent as well.
Searches for Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis movies also soared after scooping the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
Following her big win, Michelle Yeoh gained over 450,000 Instagram followers, statistics from Social Blade confirm.
Yeoh’s Wikipedia page views also exploded overnight, gaining 1.87 million in two days, an 8,301 per cent increase compared to her usual 22,259 daily page views.

AU Govt Requests 4x More Data

Sydney, March 23: The latest Surfshark report analyses the number of accounts specified in user data requests for Big Tech by the local authorities and law enforcement agencies.
In total, over 6.6 million accounts were requested in 177 countries from 2013 to 2021, with a steady increase in the latest years.
Australia ranks 9th globally with 315.6 accounts requested per 100k people.
The research shows that US and EU authorities request data the most.
Apple complied with the most user data requests (82 per cent), compared to Meta, Google, and Microsoft  (72 per cent, 71 per cent, and 68 per cent, respectively).

Foodpanda Partners With Gogoro

Singapore, March 23: Gogoro Inc. and Cycle & Carriage Singapore (C&C) announced a partnership with leading food delivery platform foodpanda in a battery swapping pilot that will support smart electric two-wheel vehicles for last mile deliveries in Singapore.
The partnership follows Singapore Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) announcement last year that it awarded Gogoro and C&C with a battery swapping sandbox pilot for electric two-wheel vehicles.
As announced in September 2022, Gogoro and C&C have partnered to introduce a new and more efficient approach to electric refuelling for two-wheel delivery fleets using Gogoro’s six-second Swap and Go battery swapping.
The addition of foodpanda as a partner allows for the trial of Gogoro’s Smartscooters and leading battery swapping platform to conduct last-mile deliveries.
Insights from the trial will be used to guide next steps to accelerate the adoption of sustainable mobility as Singapore moves towards a transportation system using cleaner and more sustainable energy.

Aussies Too Busy To Cook

Too Busy To Cook: Two-Thirds Of Us Are Ordering Takeaway Every Week

London, March 24: Google searches for ‘quick recipes’ have increased 22 per cent in the last month as being ‘busy’ continues to be a constant lifestyle for many across the nation.
In 2023, we’re living in a time where individuals have their main hustles, side hustles and passion projects whilst raising families all at once, but what effect is this non-stop lifestyle having on the nation’s eating habits?
Healthy, nutritious meals are imperative when it comes to fuelling a busy lifestyle, however, new data from HelloFresh reveals that the busy lifestyles of working Australians mean over two-thirds (68 per cent) have to order takeaway food at some point during the week because they don’t have the time or supplies to cook a meal at home.
What’s more, over half (54 per cent) of working Australians say they have to eat out at a restaurant at some point in the week for the same reasons.
The survey revealed that over one in six working Australians are unable to tear themselves away from their work, and don’t sit down to dinner until after 8.30pm.
Employees in administration roles are deemed the worst culprits as they don’t sit down for dinner until after 10pm.

Race Highlights Historical Sites in KK

Kota Kinabalu, March 24 : An exciting game race is set to take place in September and will highlight historical buildings or sites within Kota Kinabalu city.
Organised by KSRun Athletics Club, the running event dubbed North Borneo Race is limited to only 70 teams, each of which comprises four people.
The race will take participants on a nostalgic journey, during which they must decipher riddles to get to the next checkpoint in the run. 
The winning team will receive RM3,000, the first-runner up RM2000, and the second-runner up RM1000. Those interested in participating could visit the KSRun Athletics Club Facebook page. 

Kerry Launches Dedicated ESG Recruitment Practice

Singapore, March 26: Executive recruitment firm Kerry Consulting announced today the launch of its Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) recruitment practice, which will focus exclusively on hiring mandates for senior sustainability roles in Asia.
The new ESG practice will be led by Adnan Atan, Executive Director at Kerry Consulting, and industry veteran recruiter in Singapore.
ESG is now an essential consideration for businesses, as investors and stakeholders increasingly demand that companies operate with transparency, accountability, and responsibility.
The ESG recruitment practice at Kerry Consulting will be dedicated to supporting clients in identifying and attracting top-tier talent who can support organisations in sustainability initiatives and change programmes.
The practice will focus on recruiting senior-level executives with demonstrable experience in driving positive social and environmental impact.

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