Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ "Ibu Bangsa Malaysia": Zuraida Kamaruddin
Annuar Musa:Ahmad Zahid's standing ovation orchestrated. First-ever case of NFT insider trading crime. Turkey will be known as Türkiye. 18 more mass shootings since Uvalde, 233 cases recorded in 2022.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
Opec and its allies agreed to accelerate oil production in July and August to cool a crude price rally that has threatened to stall the global economy. The cartel said it would increase output by almost 650,000 barrels a day.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD8 mil (RM35.06 mil) — the amount spent by Russian officials on virtual private networks (VPN) to circumvent their own censorship, analysis by digital rights group Top10VPN found.
“Stranger Things” Season 4 was watched 286 million hours over its debut weekend, making it the biggest series premiere for Netflix ever. If you spotted typos over the past few issues, it’s because I have been losing sleep binging on the final season. #SorryNotSorry
HKD60 million (RM33.58 mil) — the inheritance of Hong Kong singer and actress Joyce Cheng as she turned 35 on Monday. The fortune was left by her late mother, the renowned comedian-emcee Lydia Shum, who passed away in 2008. Based on Shum’s will, Joyce would only get the money at 35.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) open season:
The anti-graft body has opened 25 investigation papers over the alleged mismanagement of Covid-19 involving various offences. MACC did not rule out roping former health minister Adham Baba to assist in the investigation. He previously said he was willing to cooperate with MACC and admitted that he did receive complaints about allegations of corruption and irregularities in Covid-19 related procurement at the administrative level.
French authorities have sought mutual legal assistance from Malaysia over allegations of bribery involving the MRT and LRT projects, according to the MACC. The French authorities are investigating certain companies both in Malaysia and France.
Former PM Najib Razak’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is singing the praises of Queen’s Counsel from the UK, Jonathan Laidlaw. Laidlaw is seeking to represent the former PM’s final appeal in the apex court in his SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
“I further believe that no advocate and solicitor practising in Malaysia can be said to possess an equal degree of accomplishment, experience and expertise which has been acquired by the applicant.”
- Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
Shafee is also tested positive for Covid-19 — the trial today will once again be postponed.
It seems like the standing ovation BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi got during his rally calling for an election during the BN Convention was orchestrated. Communications and Multimedia minister Annuar Musa said in his Facebook post that the standing ovation was “instructed” and some leaders were seen awkwardly standing and seeing around if their friends were standing in support of Ahmad Zahid’s rally. Annuar Musa admitted he did not stand.
During a press conference on her return from a working visit to Turkey in KLIA2, Plantations and Commodities Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said she would discuss with PM Sabri her status in the government and that her entry into Parti Bangsa Malaysia is “in the process”. Her return was greeted like a celebrity, nearly like PM Sabri when he came back from the US as though he had won the World Cup. There was a banner hailing her as “Ibu Bangsa Malaysia” or “Mother of the Malaysian People”.
Should be corrected — she is “Ibu Parti Bangsa Malaysia”. She ain’t our mama that we would be proud of.
Trading in the counters of snack and candy maker (i.e. Lot100 Fruity Gummy), Cocoaland Holdings Bhd Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) both were suspended today pending a material announcement. F&N is the second-largest shareholder of Cocoaland, with a 28% stake. The Edge previously reported that a European private equity firm and an Asian buyout firm were eyeing Cocoaland. It’s an open secret that the co-founding brothers of Cocoaland intend to exit the business — seems like F&N will be making an offer to acquire the brothers’ shares. The brothers have a 40% stake in the company — at a current market cap of RM585.7 mil, assuming no premium on the offer, their stake is worth at least RM234.2 mil.
Some reprieve for Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd as it reached a settlement with its six lenders on the scheme of arrangement with the lenders withholding their applications to wind up SB companies. SB said its restructuring proposed “a 100% return to the company’s creditors” (very confident!), and it has identified “some assets for immediate sale”. This winding-up petition against SB companies came after the companies failed to service their RM1.2 bil loans.
Following UPSR abolishment last year, the Form 3 Assessment (PT3) will be discontinued starting from 2022, announced by senior Minister of Education Radzi Jidin. More focus will be placed on school-based assessment instead.
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4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Caught in the act — former OpenSea Head of Product Nate Chastain was arrested Wednesday and charged “with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading.” Chastain was accused of the first-ever case of front-running purchases of NFT collections he knew that were going to be featured on the homepage of OpenSea. The great thing about blockchain — everything has a trace. NFT buyers analysed his transactions on the Ethereum blockchain and caught his behaviour.
Facebook veteran executive and renowned author Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as the COO of Meta Platforms Inc after 14 years in the role. Shares of Meta fell about 2.5% Wednesday afternoon following the announcement. Sandberg was vague about her future, but a political consultant said she may pursue politics. She’s stepping down as a billionaire with a net worth of USD1.6 bil.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia is currently occupying about 20% of Ukraine's territory during an address to Luxembourg’s parliament. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke silence on Ukraine, calling Russia’s war barbaric. Merkel has been criticised in the last few months for her history of expanding economic ties between Russia and Germany.
Turkey will be known as Türkiye at the United Nations from now on in a rebranding exercise. “Made in Türkiye” will feature on all exported products. Some critics have said the move by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a distraction from the upcoming elections.
Thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee — she has been on the throne for a record-breaking 70 years. Prince Louis stole the show at the Queen’s Jubilee. There was also the past Silver (25 years), Ruby (40 years), Golden (50 years), Diamond (60 years) and Sapphire (65 years) Jubilee.
Ford Motor Co said it will invest USD3.7 billion in assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri for the production of both electric and gasoline-powered vehicles. The company has the goal of building more than 2 million EVs manually by the end of 2026. CEO Jim Farley said Ford will only sell its EVs online — 100% remote pickup and delivery. Farley shared the car manufacturer’s next focus — building an electric vehicle for ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber.
Less than a fortnight since the deadliest shooting in the US in the last decade, another shooting happened at a medical centre in Oklahoma, making it the 233rd mass shooting incident recorded in 2022. Four lives were claimed by the gunman, who also died of an apparently self-inflicted wound. A US Senator said there have been 18 mass shootings since Uvalde. A shoot-demic?
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Netflix’s Stranger Things casts playing Batu Seremban. Probably useful skill in The Upside Down.
Johnny Depp won his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, with the jury awarding him USD15 mil in damages. Too soon?
Hey TCB readers, we will observe the public holiday on June 6, 2022. Enjoy your long weekend!