Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Curi-Curi Malaysia: SOCSO's PenjanaKerjaya RM100 mil false claims, RM24 mil suspected bribes to approve bank loan
RM787 mil to refurbish Shah Alam Stadium. 7-Eleven plans to sell Caring Pharmacy for RM1.78 bil, 6x its investment. Ghana confirms deadly Marburg virus outbreak, nearly 90% death rate.
Thousands of Malaysians enjoy our newsletter. Subscribe now and stay informed for FREE!
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
RM787 mil — the cost to refurbish the 28-year-old Shah Alam Stadium. The stadium is in tatters, with flooding issues and a polycarbonate roof that barely shields the audience from Malaysia’s weather. The Selangor government has appointed Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) to redevelop the Shah Alam Stadium. Selangor’s MB Amirudin Shari that the project doesn’t involve the use of state government funds (i.e. public funds).
Three tonnes of waste are collected in the Sungai Tebrau daily, according to the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) mayor, Noorazam Osman. Sungai Tebrau is currently a Class 4 river in the Department of Environment (DoE) classification — Class 1 being the cleanest, and Class 5 is considered as polluted.
216,000 — the estimated number of victims of child abuse at the hands of the Catholic church in France between 1950 and 2020.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
A chief executive officer and a director of a company believed to have defrauded RM100 mil from the PenjanaKerjaya programme have been arrested. The suspects were believed to have submitted false details to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) under its hiring incentive training programme. Last week, about 40 people were remanded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the same case.
MACC nabbed three individuals, including a CEO of a bank subsidiary, over suspicion of accepting bribes amounting to RM24 mil as a reward for approving a company’s application for a loan amounting to RM249 mil. That’s nearly a 10% commission of the loan amount.
The two ministers that have been sending many employers different messages have finally shared a stage to clarify the migrant workers’ situation. Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said the federal government has decided to allow migrant workers from 15 countries to be employed in the country’s manufacturing, construction and service sectors. The 15 countries are India, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Kazakhstan.
The Home Minister also said that the government is in talks with Indonesia after the latter temporarily froze the sending of migrant workers to Malaysia as he blamed there was a “misunderstanding” caused by “communication breakdowns”.
Politics in Malaysia is changing! DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said he is willing to work with former prime minister Najib Razak under one condition — if the latter condemns the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. Lim alluded that the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) confirmation of Jho Low’s settlement offers is evidence that the scandal exists. Caught you off guard with the headline, didn’t we? 😂
Levelling the playing field — Sabahan and Sarawakian voters may be allowed to vote in Peninsula Malaysia in the near future as the Election Commission (EC) is studying the possibility for them to do so, according to Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. Junaidi said he has raised this matter with Dewan Rakyat Speaker (Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun), who was also the former EC chairman.
Business as usual in the Dewan Rakyat — chaos erupted yesterday after several Opposition MPs raised the need to discuss the issue of the Sulu claim on PETRONAS's assets and Sabah, but was ignored by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun. Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Warisan-Kota Belud) was issued a two-day suspension for pressing the House to address the matter.
The Jihad Against Inflation task force targets a 10% decrease in the price of cooking oil within the next two weeks following the drop in palm oil prices. The price of palm oil has dropped more than 10% since the formation of the task force — a job well done by Annuar Musa’s team as they managed to turn things around so swiftly. Lembu punya susu, sapi dapat nama - the peribahasa’s meaning here.
7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd (7-Eleven) wants to realise its profits on its investment in Caring Pharmacy Group Bhd (Caring). Back in 2020, 7-Eleven had purchased Caring for RM292 mil. The convenience store operator is seeking a valuation for the pharmacy chain of about USD400 mil (about RM1.78 bil) — not too bad, only 6x of what it paid for. Inflation ftw! Some Japanese parties are said to be interested in taking over Caring. 7-Eleven’s largest shareholder is Berjaya Corp’s Vincent Tan, with a stake of 44.7%.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Ghana declared its first outbreak of the highly deadly and contagious Marburg virus, with 2 cases confirmed and 98 people under quarantine as suspected contact cases. Marburg is the cousin of the deadly Ebola virus that wreak havoc in West Africa between 2014 to 2018. This is the second time Marburg has been identified in West Africa. There was one confirmed case in Guinea last year, but the outbreak was declared over five weeks after the first case.
The death rate is high, ranging from 24% to 88% in the previous outbreak, and there is no vaccine or cure. Symptoms include fever, bloody diarrhoea, bleeding from the gums, skin, eyes and bloody urine. Marburg virus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can pass from animals to humans.
On the Russia-Ukraine conflict:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has fired 2 top executives - Ukraine’s prosecutor general and head of the powerful security service (a childhood friend of Zelensky) as many members of their agencies are collaborating with Russia to work against Ukraine. 651 treason cases have been opened, and more than 60 officials have been identified as working with Russia.
James Stavridis, a former NATO commander, said the war will evolve into a “frozen conflict” ending similar to the Korean War. The Korean War fought between North and South Korea between 1950 to 1953 ceased with an armistice in July 1953, but no formal peace treaty was signed, technically remaining in the war until today.
Space is still open for collaboration — NASA and Roscosmos have signed an agreement to exchange flights to the International Space Station. Russian cosmonauts will hitch a ride on Elon Musk’s SpaceX and US astronauts can fly in Russia’s Soyuz.
Starbucks is considering the sale of its UK business as growing competition from rivals such as Costa, Pret A Manger, and Tim Hortons and changing consumer habits are hitting its business hard. The coffee chain set up shop in the UK in 1998 and currently has about 1,000 outlets, of which 70% are owned by franchisees. Starbucks is pulling out from Russia after 15 years due to the war with Ukraine.
The Farnborough International Airshow, one of the biggest events in the aerospace industry held outside of London, is back after four years featuring some 1,200 exhibitors from 42 countries and attracting more than 80,000 visitors. At least USD21 bil worth of deals is expected to be announced. Amongst them, Delta Air Lines’s purchase of 130 Boeing 737 Max 10 jets worth USD6.7 bil and our very own Malaysia Airlines deal with Airbus worth USD10 bil for about 30 A330neo wide-body jets.
Boeing’s largest and the world’s largest twinjet, Boeing 777X, took its maiden flight in Farnborough in the video below. Incredible and also scary at the same time how such a large object can twist and turn swiftly in the sky.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been fined EUR3.3 mil (USD3.4 mil) by the Dutch central bank for operating in the Netherlands for a “prolonged period” without authorisation. The fine, however, was lowered by 5% as Binance applied for registration and was “relatively transparent” about its operations. Based on the central bank’s reasoning to fine Binance, seems applicable even in Malaysia - will SC follow suit and slap the crypto giant with a fine too?
North Korea’s state agency announced that it is on the path to “finally defuse” the Covid-19 outbreak. Of course, WHO doubted North Korea’s claims and that the situation is worsening instead of getting better.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The history of vacuum cleaners and how the physics of hurricanes made Dyson’s bagless vacuum cleaner a game changer.
Batman through the ages: 1939 - 2021