Hong Kong pension fund losses, Singapore minister’s ‘cringe’ advice, Chinese scientists inspired by worms: SCMP’s 7 highlights

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2. Hong Kong’s MPF poised for unprecedented third year of losses

The MPF reported a loss of 0.28 per cent in 2021, followed by a 15.7 per cent decline last year, according to MPF Ratings data. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), the pension fund covering 4.7 million people in the city, suffered an investment loss of HK$30.8 billion (US$3.9 billion) in the third quarter that wiped all gains made in the first half of the year.

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3. Singaporeans ‘cringe’ over advice on discarding drink packet with founder’s image

Singaporeans have ridiculed a minister on social media for suggesting a drink packet that features the image of the city state’s late independence leader Lee Kuan Yew should be disposed of in an “appropriate and responsible manner”.

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4. Chinese scientists create low-carbon building materials inspired by worms

The team looked to the underwater structures built by sandcastle worms and say their materials – made from grains including sand, coal cinder and brick rubble – meet compression standards for construction.

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5. Why Hong Kong factory restaurants ‘have no choice’ but to flout the law

Illustration: Davies Christian Surya

Under government regulations, restaurants that open to the public are not allowed to operate in factory buildings. Despite the risks, however, many operators of such businesses continue to flout the rules, lured by cheaper costs and larger spaces.

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6. ‘Small fish’ retailers choose defiance as Indonesia targets sales over TikTok

A sales woman showcases a dress as she live-streams on an e-commerce platform at a shop in Depok, Indonesia. President Joko Widodo’s administration has outlawed commercial transactions on all social media platforms. Photo: EPA-EFE

The ban, introduced on September 25, follows lobbying by retailers saying their businesses are being killed by online sales. But experts believe it will not last, given the economic heft of TikTok in Indonesia, and urged improving regulation instead.

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7. ‘They owe me’: man, 28, PhD student at 16, still financially dependent on parents

Zhang Xinyang, a Chinese prodigy who won a university place at the age of 10 and went to graduate school at 13, now says “sitting around and doing nothing is the key to lifelong happiness”.

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