Highlights:
  1. Anwar Ibrahim to contest Port Dickson seat
  2. Malaysia exploring ways to facilitate e-commerce exports to China
  3. PATA Travel Mart 2018 kicks off in Langkawi
  4. Validus Boosts SME Lending
  5. Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day hits over 5.8 million orders in 24 hours
  6. Super Typhoon Mangkhut presents great danger to Hong Kong
  7. Taiwan braces for impact as approaches
Anwar Ibrahim to contest Port Dickson seat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will contest the Port Dickson parliamentary seat to enable the PKR president to return to Parliament. The announcement was made by Port Dickson Member of Parliament Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah at a special press conference in Petaling Jaya today. “I am now announcing my resignation as a Member of the House of representatives in the Malaysian Parliament with immediate effect. I have sent my resignation letter as MP to Dewan Rakyat Speaker earlier today,” he told reporters. In the 14th General Election, Danyal won the Port Dickson seat with a comfortable majority of 17,710 votes. Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof has confirmed receiving Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah’s  letter to resign as the Member of Parliament for Port Dickson. Datuk Mohamad Ariff in a statement said following receipt of the letter, he had officially notified the Election Commission on the vacancy. Malaysia exploring ways to facilitate e-commerce exports to China Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Meng said Malaysia is keen to explore ways to facilitate the export of its e-commerce goods to China. He said at this moment, there were no specific arrangements and cooperation in place between both countries to accord a special treatment on the export of Malaysia’s e-commerce items to China via the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ). Since the implementation of the DFTZ, more than 3,000 Malaysian SMEs have registered and exported their products through the Alibaba.com platform. “We are monitoring the export performance of the SMEs that participate in this programme to ensure their sustainability in a long run. “More concerted efforts will be undertaken in getting more SMEs to export through the DFTZ,” he said at the China-Asean Information Harbour Forum in Nanning, held in conjunction with the 15th China Asean Expo (CAEXPO) 2018. The DFTZ, launched in November 2017, is one of the key initiatives under Malaysia National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap.Bernama PATA Travel Mart 2018 kicks off in Langkawi 198 organisations from 60 countries have gathered in Langkawi for this year’s edition of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart which started today. Package buyers and sellers from countries like India, Thailand, China, Macau and South Korea are  among those taking part in the event, billed as the largest tour and travel business marketing event in the Asia-Pacific region. Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) chief executive officer, Datuk Azizan Noordin said for the first time, the travel mart also include a PATA youth symposium which attracted over 100 university students from within and outside the country. “We aim to attract more youths to be involved in the tourism industry and through this symposium, they will be able to identify the opportunities, whether around the country or abroad,” he said. Validus Boosts SME Lending, Helps Meet Rising Appetite for Growth Capital Singapore-based SME financing platform Validus Capital has surpassed over S$120 million in funding for local SMEs and businesses through its platform. It has financed more than 1,600 loans to date, each of which was approved under 24 hours. The average amount funded per request is S$70,000, with a high degree of diversification across various industry classes. Much of the company’s growth is in tandem with Singapore SMEs’ increased need for growth capital, with a financing gap of around S$20 billion. Established in 2015, Validus offers access to financing from accredited individual and institutional lenders. Backed by Temasek Holdings’ Vertex Ventures and licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Validus combines extensive experience in SME financing with a smart, data-driven approach. It acts as a peer‐to‐business lending marketplace that reduces financial intermediation costs — the benefits of which are passed to both borrowers and investors. This provides borrowers with quicker approval times and faster access to capital for business expansion; while simultaneously allowing for less stringent requirements to small businesses which have conventionally faced financing difficulties due to lack of collateral or cash flow records. Validus has also worked with various partners such as Visa, EQ Insurance and National University of Singapore (NUS) to create a better marketplace lending ecosystem for its investors and borrowers. Just last year, Validus and Visa had launched a virtual card-based solution to facilitate immediate and efficient cash flows. “Working with key banks in Southeast Asia, Visa and Validus are driving innovation in lending to the small business community,” said Vikram Kshettry, Head for B2B Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Visa. “Electronic payments bring small businesses greater efficiency, supporting them in capitalising on opportunities quickly and accelerating their growth. The Validus and Visa partnership is also delivering solutions that make it easier for banks and their small business customers to access and use a range of data, providing them with new insights.” Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day hits over 5.8 million orders in 24 hours Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, wraps up its biggest annual regional shopping event of the year, Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day, surpassing last year’s record on 9 September. This year’s Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day achieved a new milestone with the highest-ever single day sales performance in Shopee’s history, with over 5.8 million orders recorded; amounting to 3 times more than an average day. Over 15 million items were sold within 24 hours. On 9 September, the number of items sold across the region exceeded 99,999 in less than nine minutes. Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day boasted the support of more than 7 million sellers, and 10,000 brands across the region. In Malaysia, Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day was extremely well-received, as Health & Beauty, Home & Living, Mobile & Accessories, Baby & Toys and Women’s Fashion emerged as the top performing categories as Malaysians shopped over the 14-day event from 27 August to 9 September. Super Typhoon Mangkhut presents great danger to Hong Kong Super Typhoon Mangkhut is predicted to be one of the strongest storms to ever hit Hong Kong and presents a “great danger to Hong Kong”, a top weather expert said on Tuesday. The storm, which is forecast to be more powerful than any of the previous typhoons warranting Hong Kong’s highest warning signal, is predicted to pass within 100km of the city on Sunday. And, Queenie Lam Ching-chi, senior scientific officer at the Hong Kong Observatory, said even if the super typhoon was further away, it could impact the city. But, the forecaster’s tracking system shows a 70 per cent chance the tropical cyclone will deviate from its predicted path over the next four days. According to the latest update on Wednesday, the super typhoon is expected to be closest to the city on Sunday, about 100km southwest of Tsim Sha Tsui, where the Observatory has its headquarters. Taiwan braces for impact as Super Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Meanwhile Taiwan is bracing for Mangkhut, which may hit the island on the weekend. Mindful of the power of Jebi, which killed at least 11 people and left a trail of destruction in Japan last week, Taiwan’s government had already started preparing for Mangkhut, even before it was upgraded to a super typhoon on Tuesday, a government spokeswoman said. With maximum winds of 200km per hour, Mangkhut is moving at a speed of 21km per hour in a westerly direction, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau. As of Wednesday morning, the typhoon was spotted 1,865km east-southeast of Elunabi, the southernmost tip of the island. “If there is no change in its direction, we will not rule out the possibility of issuing a sea warning on Friday afternoon,” Cheng Chuan-fang, weather bureau forecaster, said. If the typhoon maintains its westward direction, it could strengthen further and whip the southern and southeastern parts of the island between Friday night and Saturday morning, she said.