☕️ Former PM Muhyiddin Yassin: 1MDB trial must be expedited so that justice can be dealt swiftly
UMNO President's passport released for second time to perform umrah. Russia suspended from UN Human Rights Council, Malaysia abstained from voting. SpaceX launched first all-private astronauts to ISS.
You may have received two additional newsletters from us last week — Substack has clarified it was an error on their end. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Who says Gen Z are snowflakes? 236,000 people worldwide applied for Goldman Sachs internships, despite reports of gruelling working conditions.
USD48 mil — the price of Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet. Sina Estavi, the chief executive officer of Malaysian blockchain service Bridge Oracle, paid USD2.9 mil for the non-fungible token in March 2021. Hyperinflation is real.
SGD99,999 — the cost of buying the right to own a car in Singapore, i.e. the certificates of entitlement (COE). Historical premiums for motor vehicles at the close of the latest bidding tender. Imagine needing to pay SGD72,996 before you can buy a Myvi in Singapore, which starts at SGD69,999. SGD142,995 to buy a brand new Myvi (RM442.7K)
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
The US FDA and CDC say that the current COVID booster strategy is not sustainable. Instead, new vaccines that target multiple Covid-19 variants may be required to tackle the disease completely.
Shanghai residents had to resort to barter trade — trading food items like eggs and fruit to sanitary items — as the megacity of 25 million people remains under lockdown after almost two weeks.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
After an eight-week trial in New York, ex-Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng has been found guilty of his involvement in the 1MDB scandal. He faces as many as 30 years in jail. US Attorney Breon Peace said this verdict is not just a victory for the rule of law but also the people of Malaysia. It’s just a small tiny victory — the big fishes are still roaming free. Commenting on Roger Ng’s verdict, former PM Muhyiddin Yassin said the 1MDB court case in Malaysia “must be expedited so that justice can be dealt swiftly”, though he did not name names.
More on the Anti-Hopping Bill:
Undi18 is against the proposed amendments to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution in lieu of an anti-hopping law as it would give the government too much power to determine party memberships for MPs. The matter is simplified by lawyer New Sin Yew in the thread below.
Special advisor and former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman said a recall vote mechanism is the best way to end party-hopping, returning the power to voters in a constituency to decide for a by-election if an elected representative defects to a different party.
PM Ismail Sabri has set a target for the Anti-Hopping Bill to be tabled in Parliament in July. This is the second time the bill has been postponed for debate.
The MACC has nabbed 8 individuals, amongst them a CEO and owner of a company, to assist in its probe into an RM2.3 bil corruption case involving a GLC (not named). The corruption allegedly was committed between 2017 and 2021.
Meanwhile, national oil and gas company Petronas has confirmed that one of its junior-level executives has been arrested by the MACC. There is no further information linking both cases, but the timing of the announcements and the scale of the projects seem to indicate both could be the same case.
The KL HIgh Court has granted UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi a temporary release of his passport for him to perform umrah. This is the second time the court allowed for the release - back in October, Ahmad Zahid’s passport was released for him to undergo surgery in Munich, Germany. He’s facing 47 criminal charges in court now.
3 of the 4 scuba divers that went missing at Pulau Tokong Sanggol, Johor were rescued. However, the 14-year old son of one of the scuba divers did not make it and died at sea. The island is known for the strong and uncertain currents surrounding it and is not ideal for first-time divers. They got stranded in the sea last Wednesday after they surfaced from a dive but could not find their boat. The captain of the boat that took them to the dive sites has been arrested for testing positive for drugs.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership. Opposition parties brought a motion against him last week but Khan blocked it by dissolving parliament. Supreme Court ruled in favour of opposition parties and said that Mr Khan had acted unconstitutionally, hence the motion went through and Khan was voted out. Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif is expected to be the new PM of Pakistan.
The Russian government said it has increased its reserve fund used for emergency spending by USD3.5 billion to ensure economic stability against the backdrop of Western sanctions. The funding will be used to support social payments, businesses and families with children, which will take up all of this year’s incoming revenues, so there will be no budget surplus.
Russia was suspended from the UN Human Rights Council over the Ukraine war. Ninety-three countries voted in favour of the resolution to expel Russia from the Council. Malaysia abstained from voting. 93 state members voted in favour, 58 abstained and 24 countries voted against the resolution.
Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has received in-principle approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate as a broker-dealer in virtual assets. Binance needs to complete the full application process to operate.
The first all-private astronaut team flew to the International Space Station (ISS) last week for a nearly 10-day stay. The SpaceX flight was hailed by industry executives and NASA as a milestone in the commercialisation of low-Earth orbit. NASA has long opposed the idea of space station visitors. The visitors’ tickets include access to all but the Russian portion of the space station. Price tag per seat: USD55 mil.
24-year-old Charles Leclerc claimed his second Grand Prix win of the season in Melbourne, Australia. With the win, he now leads the Formula 1 Championship by 34 points.
Australians will vote for a new government after May 21, 2022. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called a federal election after talks with the Governor-General in the capital, Canberra. Morrison needs to hold 76 seats in the House of Representatives — the minimum needed to retain power. The opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is tipped to take office.