Saturday 13 Apr 2024
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This article first appeared in Digital Edge, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on June 12, 2023 - June 18, 2023


ATTIA opposes Penang’s short-term rental ban

The Asia Travel Technology Industry Association (ATTIA), which represents online travel agencies operating in Asia-Pacific, says Penang’s ban on short-term rental accommodation (STRA) is impacting the rebound in travel, jeopardising tourism revenue for locals and the overall tourism economy of Malaysia. The restrictions have eliminated a vital option for travellers with varying needs and who seek a variety of accommodation experiences, says its managing director Chris Kerin.

On May 25, Penang effectively banned all forms of STRA, such as Airbnb or stays, at residential units on the island effective immediately. Penang Island City Council mayor Rajendran Anthony said the ban covered all private residential properties.

As the strata guidelines in place are currently recommendations, Kerin says the association encourages individual buildings to determine what works best for them. “At the national level, the federal government is in the process of developing comprehensive guidelines to regulate STRA, providing a framework for all states to adopt.

“ATTIA stands firmly in support of fair and sensible STRA regulations. We greatly look forward to collaborating with all relevant authorities to support and educate travellers and STRA owners on responsible STRA practices.” granted WhatsApp Business Solution Provider status

Omnichannel customer conversation management platform has achieved WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) status, joining the ranks of 150 BSPs globally. Local businesses using will now be able to directly integrate WhatsApp’s application programming interface from Meta’s worldwide network of cloud servers, enhancing message delivery times and overall customer engagement capabilities. now has direct access to Meta’s support team and can provide quicker assistance for common requests like WhatsApp business verification. Additionally, businesses will be able to manage their entire WhatsApp Business profile — from message template creation and approval to conversation charges — all from a single centralised interface.

TNG Digital granted ISO 22301:2019 certification

TNG Digital Sdn Bhd has been awarded the ISO 22301:2019 certification for establishing and implementing its business continuity management system. The award from Sirim is a recognition of the company’s commitment to delivering secure, reliable and trustworthy financial solutions for its user base of more than 19 million Touch ‘n Go eWallet users.

Touch ‘n Go eWallet is the first digital wallet to receive this accreditation in Malaysia. The ISO 22301:2019 certification specifies security requirements for disaster recovery preparedness and business continuity management systems. This accreditation is only awarded to companies that meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements that enhance customer satisfaction with their products and services.

The Simple Sum and XIXILI team up to provide financial empowerment

Personal finance platform The Simple Sum and premium female underclothing brand XIXILI are collaborating to get women talking, thinking and acting upon the type of support they need for their daily lives with The Right Support campaign.

The support will be provided in two ways. First, there will be a place for women to get personal advice — the Women Talk Finance community — to talk about all things related to money, whether it is learning how to invest and grow their wealth or make better financial decisions. Second, women will get help in discovering the right-size bra and receive tips on how to take better care of them for better durability.

From June 7 to 30, women can head down to any XIXILI boutique nationwide for a complimentary bra fitting and stand a chance of winning one of 33 free bras. Those who get fitted can also enjoy a special 20% off any full-priced bra at any XIXILI boutique (excluding GHPO and JPO) when they join the Women Talk Finance Facebook group (

Malacca Securities launches app for global trading platform

Local stockbroking firm Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd has launched M+ Global, a one-stop, all-in-one global trading platform. The company is a participating organisation of Bursa Malaysia and licensed by the Securities Commission Malaysia.

The M+ Global platform allows traders to access a range of international investment opportunities, starting with two of the world’s largest stock markets, the US and Hong Kong. It is supported by the Nasdaq and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. “M+ Global was developed to help Malaysians navigate the dynamic global market and take control of their finances,” says its managing director Lim Chia Wei.

Registered users will be able to access more than 7,000 stock listings in the US and 3,000 in Hong Kong as well as unlimited tradeable derivatives, including warrants, exchange-traded funds, callable bull/bear contracts and real estate investment trusts. This grants Malaysians access to notable corporations such as Apple, Tesla, Alibaba and Tencent.

Leveraging technology to capture real-time data, the app provides users with exclusive investment news, market insights, detailed financial reports and shareholder data. Through a partnership with the Nasdaq, Malaysians have access to real-time quotes, which will boost their investment experience and help them make better-informed decisions.

The app has a shariah screening function for global stocks through IdealRatings Inc, a leading provider of shariah-compliant investment solutions that offers shariah classification. M+ Global is available for download at the App Store, Google Play and Huawei AppGallery.

W Vault: Personal life manager for women

Wahine Capital Sdn Bhd has released W Vault, a digital vault designed exclusively for women, by women. The platform aims to simplify the lives of women by providing a secure and convenient platform to manage important information on their assets and liabilities, among others. It also ensures that their next of kin can easily access this information should the unexpected occur.

W Vault offers a comprehensive solution for women to store, manage and retrieve crucial information such as financial documents, insurance policies, investment details or any other vital data. What sets it apart is its commitment to empowering women — users gain access to an extensive network of experts who provide free micro-consults on a wide range of topics, from mental health to business, finance and investments.

To celebrate the launch of W Vault, Wahine Capital has an exclusive introductory offer for new users. They will have the opportunity to experience the full potential of the vault and gain insights from its network of experts at no additional cost for a period of three months.

For more information on W Vault, visit

Tune Protect Group launches digital solutions to serve MSMEs

Tune Protect Group has introduced a first-in-market online employee health and life insurance, a comprehensive digital proposition tailored to the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help them better protect their employees’ well-being and manage their business risks.

The offering under Tune Protect Life, called SME EZY, allows business owners to plan their budget. It comes with a unique three-year fixed premium guarantee, where businesses need only pay the same amount every year for three years. The insurance includes the Activ8 rewards programme, aimed at improving employees’ health, well-being and productivity through annual health screenings and digital coaching.

Tune Protect Malaysia’s SME microsite is a one-stop platform for small businesses to obtain customised insurance solutions. The microsite offers easy access to information, enabling MSMEs to make informed decisions on their coverage needs. It also provides a marketplace for MSMEs, offering profession-based insurance bundles such as Business Shield with platform-exclusive premium rebates of 15% and connecting them with its partners’ offerings.

DearTime offers democratised group insurance

DearTime, Malaysia’s first life insurer in the Bank Negara Malaysia Fintech Regulatory Sandbox, has launched its democratised group insurance policies available to legal entities via the launch of its corporate portal. Companies, organisations and societies, among others, can now purchase the insurance policies for staff, customers, members or anyone else who may require such coverage.

The democratisation of group insurance allows legal entities to purchase insurance for staff directly via DearTime’s corporate portal without needing to liaise with an agent. Claims made under these insurance policies do not require the involvement of the legal entity, making it a hassle-free process.

The democratised group insurance service is in line with DearTime’s “insurance for all” ethos, which ensures insurance policies are individually owned. This means that although the insurance is purchased and paid for by the legal entity as a “group”, every policy is individually owned with its respective benefits.

Moreover, the new service gives companies the opportunity to include insurance in their business models by selling products or services that come with life insurance. For example, they can purchase insurance for customers as a form of marketing promotion or as part of renewing loyalty memberships; loan or credit providers can include life insurance to recover unpaid instalments upon the borrower’s demise; fund management houses can include life insurance so that capital is guaranteed to the investor’s family should the investor pass away; and charity or religious organisations can purchase insurance for the poor. The possibilities are endless, subject to the relevant requirements and legislation in place.



TotallyAwesome appoints new CFO

TotallyAwesome, a youth-first specialist marketing and media platform, has announced the appointment of Raja Kanniappan as its chief financial officer (CFO). With 35 years of agency experience across Australia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, he brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of financial and operational management and leadership in his capacity as a CFO.

Sanjay Sarma to lead Asia School of Business

Professor Sanjay Emani Sarma has been appointed to serve as the next CEO, president and dean of the Asia School of Business. Sarma is the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which he has been a part of since 1996.

He spearheaded MIT’s Open Learning, which he led as director, dean and vice-president from 2012. Open Learning houses MIT’s online courses and programmes, including MIT OpenCourseWare, MITx, MIT xPRO, Bootcamps and Horizon, as well as digital learning innovation and research efforts, and reaches millions of learners around the world.

Sarma co-created the MITx MicroMasters programmes, which allow working professionals to pursue master’s degree-level courses online to accelerate their progress towards an advanced degree, and have garnered 1.3 million unique enrolments. He has also published the books Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn with Luke Yoquinto and Workforce Education: A New Roadmap with Bill Bonvillian.



A glimpse into galactic gastronomy

US-based design and innovation firm Nonfiction has developed the Space Culinary Lab, a compact kitchen-style system to keep astronauts fed and healthy on long-term space missions. The system includes stations for growing algae and leafy greens, blending creamy coffee and even grilling meat.

The Space Culinary Lab was founded to create a space kitchen and provide the means for astronauts to keep up a strong appetite to prevent weight loss and have access to optimal nutrition. The culinary laboratory is designed in a way that allows it to fit seamlessly into an already existing spacecraft, requiring minimal resources and effort from the astronauts.

The design consists of several modules named Munch, Sizzle, Yum and Snap. For instance, Snap offers a refreshing wall of green where astronauts can tend to microgreens without soil such as baby bok choy and butter greens. Pink lights provide the proper wavelength that accelerates the growth of the greens, and timed spritzes furnish the exposed roots with water and nutrients.



“Telegram has a high level of end-to-end encryption and enables large-scale data sharing on cloud services, which makes it popular. There is also no need to register, demonstrate credentials or invitation to join a chat group, neither are there administrators, which open up risks of cybercrime activities. This makes it the platform of choice for cybercriminals who can move from the dark web to Telegram.” 

Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin, chief compliance officer at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

Following Telegram’s snub, MCMC is considering taking significant measures against the instant messaging platform to address issues related to scams and cyberthreats.

Telegram refused to cooperate with the regulatory body since the messaging app did not want to participate in “any form of political censorship” as reported by the New Straits Times last month. Its spokesman Remi Vaughn said the messaging app has actively moderated harmful content on its platform, including the sale of illegal substances and public pornography, and that it proactively monitors public parts of the app as well as accepts user reports through the app and email in order to remove content that breaches its terms of service.

Zulkarnain said Telegram had risen to one of the top five platforms with the most cybercrime activities, from being in the top 11 between 2019 and 2020. He added that the popularity of Telegram stems from its ability to provide users with advanced security features, including anonymity, secure end-to-end encryption and the capability to securely share large amounts of data in the cloud.



I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

It is no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we live, work, love and entertain ourselves. Dating apps are using AI to pick potential partners. Retailers are using AI to predict our behaviour and desires. Rogue actors are using AI to persuade us with bots and misinformation. Companies are using AI to hire us — or not.

In I, Human, psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic takes readers on an enthralling and eye-opening journey across the AI landscape. Though AI has the potential to change our lives for the better, he argues, AI is also worsening our bad tendencies, making us more distracted, selfish, biased, narcissistic, entitled, predictable and impatient.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Filled with fascinating insights on human behaviour and our complicated relationship with technology, I, Human will help us stand out and thrive when many of our decisions are being made for us. To do so, we’ll need to double down on our curiosity, adaptability and emotional intelligence while relying on the lost virtues of empathy, humility and self-control.

This is just the beginning. As AI becomes smarter and more human-like, our societies, economies and humanity will undergo the most dramatic changes we’ve seen since the Industrial Revolution. Some of these changes will enhance our species. Others may dehumanise us and make us more machine-like in our interactions with people. It is up to us to adapt and determine how we want to live and work. The choice is ours. What will we decide? — Amazon



Code 7 launches protection app for community response services

Community response and safety technology platform Code 7 has come up with an inter-ecosystem digital app, CODE7 Protection App, to integrate community response services into a single platform. Code 7 provides a range of services to assist Malaysian communities — both residents and businesses — with community response services such as stranger approach, loitering, CCTV/alarm alert and emergency assistance with just a push of the button.

This app is a much-needed safety measure that can be a lifesaver in times of emergency, allowing people from vulnerable communities to quickly access assistance from their community, ensuring that they receive the help they need as soon as possible. The app allows users to request an unlimited number of community response services, starting at RM35 a month.

Users will be able to access real-time location tracking of Code 7 responders as well as have two-way communication with the responders in case there is an emergency situation that requires immediate assistance. This feature can be especially useful in situations where customers are unable to provide their location or are in danger.

The platform has registered more than 4,000 responders across the nation who are trained to handle community response measures and security situations. The majority of them are retired military personnel who have undergone extensive training to ensure they are fully equipped to handle emergencies and security threats in a timely and effective manner.



Build the perfect CV in minutes

Krenovator Technology Sdn Bhd, an artificial intelligence-driven (AI) tech talent and placement platform, has introduced an AI curriculum vitae (CV) maker on its tech talent platform. The tool lets users create a digital CV in just a few minutes using a four-step process. In addition to making CVs available on the platform, the AI CV Maker also creates an Applicant Tracking System-compliant (ATS) CV in PDF format that users can download.

The tool is available for free to users worldwide. It is the latest AI tool added to the platform after the launch of the Abraham AI coding assistant recently.

“Creating a CV that captures the attention of hiring managers is a common challenge faced by many tech talents. Our recognition of this situation has motivated us to add the AI-powered CV Maker to our platform, which creates ATS-compliant CVs,” says CEO Mahadhir Yunus.

An ATS-compliant CV is important because it allows users on Krenovator’s platform who are searching for remote jobs to communicate their qualifications and background using a format that is already accepted by hiring companies worldwide. In addition to the PDF format, each CV created will be available online in the public domain via a dedicated web link, making it easy for employers to access it any time and from anywhere.

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