CloudMile opens first of its kind cloud CoE in Malaysia

Offers participants access to digital learning paths at no cost
CoE set to benefit 300k Malaysians by 2026 via upskilling programme

CloudMile has announced the opening of its CloudMile Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Malaysia, serving customers across Southeast Asia (SEA). The firm claims that the CoE, is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the cloud industry,…Continue Reading

CelcomDigi records strong financial performance and solid first year of integration

Integration & synergy targets met, network modernisation efforts ahead of schedule 
Service revenue rose 0.4% Y-Y, with 4Q FY2023 revenue up 0.9% across core segments

CelcomDigi Bhd (CelcomDigi) has announced its fourth quarter and full year results for the financial year 2023 marking a solid first year of operations as a merged company. In…Continue Reading

Chinese hand in global nickel price collapse - Asia Times

Australia’s nickel industry has been granted access to billions of dollars in federal funding as well as relief from royalty payments after a collapse in the global price of nickel that threatens thousands of jobs.

On Thursday (February 15), BHP wrote down the value of its West Australian nickel division Nickel West to zero and said it was considering placing the entire division into a “period of care and maintenance.”

Nickel is a metal crucial for the production of stainless steel, alloys, electroplating and the batteries used in electric vehicles.

The global price has dived from a high of US$50,000 in 2022 to just $16,400 per tonne on Monday in response to a huge increase in supply from Indonesia, much of it from Chinese-owned and operated mines.

On Monday ahead of this week’s Cabinet meeting in Perth, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Indonesia had increased its share of the global nickel market by more than ten times.

Last Friday, his government added nickel to the official Critical Minerals List, giving it access to grants under the A$4 billion (US$2.6 billion) Critical Minerals Facility.

And then on Saturday (February 17), the West Australian premier granted miners a temporary 50% rebate on royalties for the next 18 months whenever prices are below US$20,000 per tonne.

Lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite are needed for batteries and were touted by Treasurer Jim Chalmers as essential for powering the clean-energy technologies of the future.

Australia and Indonesia hold the world’s largest reserves of Nickel, each with about 21 million tonnes.

But China is by far the largest customer, accounting for 35% of the nickel processed worldwide plus about another 15% it processes in Indonesia.

China also accounts for about 80% of the rare earths processed worldwide, 90% of the lithium, 70% of the gallium and the 70% of germanium.

Its incredibly low cost of processing and competitive labor market give it an almost unassailable advantage, turning suppliers into price takers rather than price makers.

China helped fund the oversupply

So, what went wrong for Australia? To help keep prices low China invested in mines in Indonesia, hugely increasing their output.

Australia is attempting to establish alternative processing chains, entering into critical minerals partnerships with India, Japan, Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom.

But such attempts run the risk of strategic responses in the form of export bans on processed commodities (China has previously imposed bans on the export of Gallium, Germanium and rare earths) and moves to create oversupplies.

Australia is a leading producer of critical minerals, supplying all ten of the elements needed for lithium-ion batteries, and has the advantage of better environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards that make it an attractive destination for investment.

But it lacks the capacity to refine all of its own production, meaning it has to dispose of many of the critical minerals it extracts as byproducts.

Until Australia can find a way to break free of the market stranglehold of our biggest customer, those investments will remain at risk.

On Monday (February 19), Albanese said he was working on a larger response that would ensure Australia had an “ongoing industry in nickel”, which would be one of the resources of the 21st century.

One such effective response would be the creation of a large processing facility to service multiple mines, selling Australian-sourced and processed critical minerals that adhere to higher ESG standards compared to those sourced and processed elsewhere.

The prime minister said the decision wouldn’t be quick. He didn’t want a response that lasted “a day or two.”

Mohan Yellishetty is co-Founder, Critical Minerals Consortium, and Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Randstad Malaysia released the 2024 job market outlook & salary guide report

Companies seek talent in gaming, cybersecurity, renewable energy & data analytics
Cost, flexible work crucial in today’s talent market, with M’sians seeking higher-paying jobs, non-monetary benefits

Randstad, the world’s largest talent agency has released the 2024 Job Market Outlook and Salary Trends Report in Malaysia to help employers and job seekers navigate the…Continue Reading

A sensible alternative to ESG  - Asia Times

Capitalism Reconnected, a book by Jan Peter Balkenende and Govert Buijs, is a must-read, a tour de force of analysis and policymaking.

Why?

The book is an accurate assessment of our world currently, both in Europe and globally. Intellectually, it rests on very firm foundations of fact – historic and current. 

Second, it delivers on giving the reader practical but farsighted, idealistic but feasible, implementation proposals for businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations.

It is a roadmap laying out before us organizational structures and key performance indicators at the macro, meso, and micro levels of human endeavor. It assigns roles and responsibilities with clarity and conviction, making collaboration among multiple actors much more feasible.

Third, the book is values-based. It gets to the very heart of the human experience on this planet, generation after generation. The authors correctly recognize that outcomes (global warming, economic inequality) result from behaviors. and behaviors are the residual of values. 

But its call for values is not unrealistic, ideological or myopic. The book just provides comforting common-sense approaches to understanding and policymaking.

The book is a deft exercise in what Aristotle called phronesis – practical wisdom, and virtue. Aristotle said that the mark of a prudent person is the ability to “deliberate rightly about what is good and advantageous.” Such deliberation has as its end action in the arena of human goods. 

The insights of Capitalism Reconnected should supersede ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) as the mantra for our times. ESG is but gossamer, a display of prettiness to attract but is only a superficiality that falls apart in a slight wind or light rain.

Balkenende and Buijs would “reconnect” capitalism with its natural and inevitable stakeholders: society, values and moral purpose, government, and nature. 

The pillars they propose to hold up such a dynamic equilibrium are: ideals, inspiration, modernizing economic theory, creating and using indicators for actions and outcomes, and enlisting multi-actors in the work to be done. In erecting these separate but mutually supportive pillars, the authors seek a dynamic mix of liberty, equality, and solidarity for every society.

The different actors needed for this production of the common good in their minds are: business, finance, consumers, political institutions, civil society, communities, media, research and education, imaginative reflection, and nature.

One important use of Capitalism Reconnected would be to provide criteria for leadership.  What kind of person, with what qualities of mind and orientation of personality, can take firm hold of these recommendations and put them successfully to work? 

One looks around the world and sees few, if any, presidents, prime ministers, party leaders, or lingxiu (people’s leaders) who are up to this calling.

While the authors focus on recommendations for Europe in our new world order of post-moral internationalism centered on the United Nations and the rule of law to protect human dignity, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have jointly announced the new global order to be one of giving deference to “civilization states” that have the moral autonomy to do as they want.

The conclusion of Balkenende and Buijs is that Europe is such a “civilization state” and so must define with clarity the nature of its unique “civilization” and from that moral and political vantage point contribute to the wealth of nations and peace among nations. 

They rightly posture Europe between the unruly narcissism of the United States and the grim autocracies of Russia and China as a potential influencer promoting moderation and the common good.

They present the case for Europe having a “Third Way” that would champion human dignity, regenerativity, inclusivity, and co-creativity.

Also, very remarkable and impressive to this reviewer is the skill of the authors in integrating realities into a “field theory” of cause and effect, which enables us to find a kind of natural law driving human behavior and therewith empowering all of us to adroitly move levers of causation to bring about more wholesome conditions. 

Balkenende and Buijs integrate “discourses” one with the others of economics, politics, culture, the environment, business, government, values, civil-society dynamics.

They eschew silos and tunnels, seeking openness in analysis and collaboration in creating new realities. They seek, for example, a balance between globalization where each is subordinate to all and a particularism that seeks to protect the autonomy of each with local or regional specialization.

Their goal is a collaborative geo-economic power dedicated to the protection of the dignity of all. They want to see evolve joint efforts to achieve long-term sustainability for an inclusive economy.

They speak of keeping the “upsides” of market economics and avoiding its “downsides,” of the human person “in community,” and of wealth creation within the limits set by planetary possibilities, there being a limit on what nature has provided for our use and enjoyment.

Capitalism Reconnected by Jan Peter Balkenende and Govert Buijs is published by Amsterdam University Press. Balkenende is a Dutch minister of state and was from 2002 to 2010 prime minister of the Netherlands. Buijs is a political philosopher who currently holds a research chair at the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

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7-Eleven Malaysia launches 7EGoGreen campaign to strengthen its ESG commitment 

‘Buy Back’ programme for PPR communities to earn cash incentives when recycling
5% discount at all 7CAFé outlets when customers walk in with their own cups for beverages

7-Eleven Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (7-Eleven) has launched its 7EGoGreen Waste2Life campaign. This one-year program aims to empower Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) residents by raising awareness,…Continue Reading

Uni students win big at Hong Leong Bank’s generative AI hackathon

‘Can You Hack It’ saw solutions to improve customer & workplace experience
Alignment with HLB brand values which strongly promote a culture of innovation

Hong Leong Bank (HLB) organized Malaysia’s first Generative AI-themed hackathon in Dec, with its sixth annual ‘HLB Can You Hack It’ hackathon. With 90 teams of students, fresh graduates,…Continue Reading

Appointment of Anil Singh Gill as Chief Sustainability Officer for Silverlake Axis

Previously served as the group CRO & Senior EVP for Strategic Finance
Appointment highlights group’s commitment to sustainable, long-term business value creation

Singapore mainboard-listed fintech and digital banking solutions provider Silverlake Axis (SAL) has announced the appointment of Anil Singh Gill (pic) as chief sustainability officer. This appointment solidifies the group’s commitment to…Continue Reading