Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ eWallet operator TNG Digital raised RM750 mil led by Lazada Group
More UKSB political donation recipients revealed-Tun M, MCA leaders, Shahril Hamdan. Mat Kilau continues breaking record: RM90 mil box office sales in 33 days. Tom Cruise's Top Gun payday:>USD100 mil.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
MYR depreciated to its lowest level against the Singapore dollar at 3.2142.
“Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don't want..to impress people that they don't like.”
— Will Rogers, American humourist and Broadway actor.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
RM90 mil — the ticket sales of ‘Mat Kilau’ keep breaking records after just 33 days of screenings in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. The local movie is now the highest-grossing local movie in Malaysia, beating Munafik 2 and also Hollywood movie Avengers: End Game from 2019. Have you watched it yet?
>USD100 mil — Tom Cruise’s expected earnings from “Top Gun: Maverick”, making it one of the biggest paydays for an actor in a single movie ever. Cruise opted for a smaller upfront fee of USD13 mil in exchange for a richer backend deal, in which he gets a cut of the movie’s ticket sales. The movie has grossed USD1.24 bil at the global box office.
665,200 Malaysian users had their data breached from April to June 2022, according to cybersecurity company Surfshark. As a result, Malaysia was the 11th most data-breached country in the second quarter of 2022. Surfshark data researcher Agneska Sablovskaja said an average Malaysian had been affected by data breaches at least once. Not surprised — how many of you have received texts from TikTok’s “recruitment team”?
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
In Zahid Hamidi’s Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) corruption trial, one of the witnesses and UKSB administrative manager, David Tan Siong Sun, revealed that several prominent persons received kickbacks from the company. In UKSB ‘buku 555’, below are the names that received UKSB political funding contributions:
Shahril Hamdan (codename ‘S Pat’) received a total of RM1.16mil by virtue of being a close ally to Khairy Jamaluddin.
MCA leaders Chan Kong Choy (codename ‘Prof’) and Ong Ka Chuan (codename ‘OKC’) received a total of RM7.86mil and RM0.92mil, respectively. However, OKC denies new reports saying he has received political donations.
Tun Mahathir received RM2.6mil via his nephew, Rahmat Abu Bakar, right after the 14th general election.
Political donation and contribution seem to be the workaround for businesses and politicians to CYA.
As the award announcement for the multi-billion ringgit Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) tender for 18 light combat aircraft (LCA) moves closer, there are allegations that some parties are lobbying and offering kickbacks in order to secure the tender. When contacted to comment on this issue, the Defence Minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, said that any disgruntled parties can report to MACC.
In today’s episode on how the ‘law and order’ are being overprotective of a group of people that brings little value to the country — Noor Jehan Abu Bakar, head of Pahang Malaysian Nature Society, has been summoned by the police for writing a Twitter thread, venting her frustration because the Pahang Regent, Tengku Hassanal, is two-hours late for a tree-planting event in Kemaman, Terengganu.
In an unrelated event, an RMAF asset was allegedly used to ferry the Pahang Regent for a bird-watching competition at Fraser’s Hill. I will end this with a quote by the great Jose Mourinho - ‘I prefer not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble’.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok demanded the special functions minister, Abdul Latiff to disclose the total bill on the prime minister’s trip to Japan in May. She said that Abdul Latiff has not yet disclosed the breakdown of expenditure for the trip. Teresa said that she has never encountered such a problem in the past, even during Najib Razak’s premiership.
In the latest round of equity funding led by Lazada Group, TNG Digital, the owner and operator of Touch ‘n Go Wallet, has raised RM750mil, though valuation was not disclosed. This new investment solidifies the existing relationship between TNG Digital and Lazada, as the former is one of the payment options in the latter’s e-commerce platform. To sum things up, TNG Digital has raised over RM1bil in the past 18 months.
A win for housewives below the age of 55 as the Dewan Rakyat today passed the Housewives’ Social Security Bill 2022. The bill states that housewives who contribute to the Housewife Social Security Scheme (SKSSR) are entitled to disability benefits, medical coverage, permanent disablement benefit, constant attendance allowance, survivor’s pension and funeral benefits.
Our mini-Singapore, Iskandar Malaysia, has received committed investments of RM13.2bil in the first half of this year. Year-to-date, Iskandar Malaysia has recorded total investments of RM367.8bil, where 60% of it has been realised.
Founder of property developer Emkay Group, Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar, has passed away at age 73. The father of affordable housing died at the National Heart Institute and was buried at the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetary.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
China will set up a RMB300 bil (USD44 bil) real estate fund to support the beleaguered property sector crippled by a debt crisis. The fund will be first seeded with RMB80 bil by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and will be used to purchase unfinished home projects and complete their construction, and subsequently rent it out to individuals as part of the government’s objective to provide more affordable housing.
This marks the first significant step taken by the state to intervene and support the property sector since the crisis unfolded last year. As the crisis shows no sign of easing, the state eventually has to step in as the property and related industries are colossal, contributing nearly 25% (USD4.5 tril) to China’s GDP and mortgages make up almost 20% of all outstanding loans in China’s entire banking system.
Myanmar junta has come under heavy criticism over its execution of 4 democracy activists, believed to be the first use of capital punishment in more than three decades since 1988. The four amongst them, including a close ally of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, were sentenced to death in a closed-door trial and were accused of committing “terror acts”.
Suu Kyi has been detained under house arrest following the military coup in Feb 2021 and slapped with a litany of charges, which could see her serving a sentence of up to 150 years.
Rights group The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has documented alleged abuses in Sri Lanka and has filed a criminal complaint with Singapore’s attorney general seeking to arrest Sri Lanka’s former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa over grave breaches of the Geneva Convention during the civil war in 2009 when he was the country’s defence chief. Singapore’s foreign ministry said Rajapaksa entered the city state and had not sought or been granted asylum.
Elon Musk is in the spotlight once more for the wrong reason. The Wall Street Journal reported that the world’s richest man had a brief affair in December last year with Nicole Shanahan (an accomplished woman herself), the wife of Google’s co-founder, Musk dropped down to his knees to beg for Brin’s forgiveness at a party earlier this year, the WSJ added. Sergey Brin, resulting in their divorce. Brin was an early investor in Tesla in 2006.
Elon Musk denied WSJ’s reporting and claimed that he was at a party a few nights ago with Brin.
We know South Korea as a nation famous for its exports of cars, electronics and culture (e.g. Kpop, Kdrama). It has now emerged as the fastest-growing arm exporter in the world, hitting record high exports of USD7 bil in 2021 — 177% higher during 2017-2021 vs 2012-2016. It’s now the eighth largest exporter in the world and second in Asia, behind China, with Indonesia and the Philippines being its two biggest buyers.
Twitter disclosed during its Q2 earnings report that it has already incurred USD33 mil in costs related to its “pending acquisition” by Elon Musk.
US telco T-Mobile US Inc. proposed to pay a group of victims USD350 mil to settle a class-action lawsuit over a 2021 hack of sensitive customer information affecting 76.6 mil of its customers. In Malaysia, crickets are what we got for all the data breaches that happened.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Despite high-profile incidents (e.g. Fukushima, Chernobyl), nuclear is amongst the safest and cleanest energy sources. That said, it’s quite hard to shake off the perceived danger of nuclear.
Buddhism has one of the most elaborate and extensive hell realms in the history of religion.
South Korea’s innovative 32km solar bike highway where the solar panels shield the bicycle path underneath it from the sun and traffic.