Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ In Parliament: Anti-sexual harassment bill passed, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman used the word 'p*k*m*k'
Govt to study period leave for women. Meet Centaurus - new Covid-19 variant. META suing Meta (Facebook). Russia x Iran (both US-sanctioned) USD40 bil gas deal. Twitter 1-0 Elon Musk - first legal win.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
24 — the number of people who have been to the moon, but only 12 have ever stepped foot on the moon. 20 Jul 1969 marks the 43rd-anniversary humans first walked on the moon - Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, with the former famously saying, “that’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
35,592 properties worth RM22.45 bil across the country are unsold as of Q1 2022 this year, according to the Housing & Local Government ministry, with the bulk of (10,501, 29.5%) being properties worth between RM300k - 500k.
RM126 bil was shed off the total market capitalisation (market cap) of companies listed on Bursa Malaysia in June 2022, making it the largest one-month drop in 2022 so far.
”Your biggest supporter is some stranger. Your biggest hater is someone you know.”
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
After several postponements over the past two years, the anti-sexual harassment bill has been passed at Dewan Rakyat via a voice vote. Moving forward, the government will organise a nationwide tour to educate the public on this new act. As we applaud the passing of this bill, the government is still dragging their feet on introducing period leave for women. The Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry is currently studying the need to provide period leave for women. The study should conclude by October this year.
Oh, one more thing, Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman hurled the vulgar word p***mak towards the female DAP MPs during the bill’s debate but wasn’t picked up by the microphone. And he wasn’t punished for it — he was politely asked to leave the Dewan Rakyat.
Sun Tzu’s Art of War has become a prominent guide in today’s corporate scene, and the Malaysian Government is also influenced by it. According to Dewan Rakyat’s speaker, Azhar Harun, the justification for why he shot down multiple motions to debate the Sulu arbitration issue is to conceal the government’s strategy in handling the matter. He said it is his responsibility to prevent others from figuring out Putrajaya’s strategy.
Is Putrajaya playing smart or just chickening out? Not sure, but I think a task force is needed to strategise. Jihad Sulu Protection - a pretty apt name.
Malaysia is paying the price for labour abuses as the country remains in the lowest tier (Tier 3) of the US human trafficking report. According to the report (read it here), they found alleged labour trafficking issues in the rubber manufacturing and palm oil sectors, and the government did not prosecute the government officials that are involved in it. Tier 3 are given to countries that do not comply with US minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to address the issues.
Convicted former PM Najib Razak, is criticising the government’s strategy to postpone any projects that have yet to commence in order to redirect the public funds toward the rakyat’s welfare. Najib said that the practice of cancelling projects is the modus operandi of PH and the government should do better and pursue projects that led to greater economic returns or did not directly utilise the government’s funds.
In Syed Saddiq’s trial, an audio recording between a Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) officer and Syed Saddiq revealed that the MACC officer had tried to convince the Muar MP to support then PM, Muhyiddin Yassin. Lead defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo suggested the agency was trying to protect Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, who allegedly withdrew party funds without prior approval from the party’s Supreme Council — the same thing Syed is charged for, which the officer denies.
FGV Holdings Berhad will still proceed in recruiting 1,210 Indonesian workers to address the current manpower shortage of approximately 10,000 migrant workers in FGV. Although Jakarta has frozen any export of workers to Malaysia, FGV said that this latest recruitment of Indonesian workers is part of the company’s agreement prior to the ban.
The second generation Perodua Alza has just launched, with a starting price tag of RM62,500 and received over 30,000 bookings, the highest ever in the brand’s history since orders started on 23 June. 2022 Perodua Alza is not a straightforward rebadge from the existing Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia, as Perodua has a huge influence on the outcome of the car, as Alza is an ASEAN car.
During the launching of the car that PM Ismail Sabri officiated, he said that the government is ready to assist Perodua in exploring new markets, but under one caveat, Perodua needs to enhance its production capabilities so that it becomes on par and competitive with other foreign automakers in the region.
On top of that, PM Ismail Sabri is proposing to multiple parties such as Perodua, Tenaga Nasional and Telekom Malaysia to improve the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem in the country. Among his few ideas is that Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) could introduce an affordable EV charging rate to the public while Perodua could provide high-quality EVs that everyone could afford.
In collaboration with Intrack Market Services
How big are the FMCG retailers by categories (e.g. hypermarts, pharmacies, convenience stores)? How much revenue and profit did Lotus, Grab’s Jaya Grocer, and KK Mart make in 2020*?
All this information is available in the 2020 Intrack Market Size Report - view the brochure and sample report here. Get 15% OFF with the promo code TCB15 (inform the rep when they contact you).
*Why not 2021? The current financial year’s financials will only be out the earliest 6 months after the company’s financial year has ended.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Move aside Omicron - a new Covid-19 variant dubbed Centaurus (BA.2.75) has been detected in at least 10 countries and was first detected and rapidly spreading in India. The variant has been escalated to variant of interest on 14 Jul from variant under monitoring by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). It’s still too early to draw any conclusion on this variant - the ECDC said there is no solid scientific evidence on its transmissibility, severity or immune escape.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first trip outside of Russia to Iran since launching the invasion of Ukraine. Apart from the leaders of Iran, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was present too. The national oil company of both nations, Gazprom (Russia) and the National Iranian Oil Company, signed a USD40 bil deal to develop Iranian gas fields and build new gas export pipelines. Russia and Iran (over their nuclear programme) are both heavily sanctioned by the US, thus limiting their access to international technologies and capital.
Tech giants’ legal battles:
META is suing Meta. A 12-year old VR company called Meta is suing Facebook, which changed its name to Meta also, over trademark infringement and damages due to confusion caused by Facebook’s rebranding. Even the logos are “conceptually similar”, resembling the letter “M”. A customer had once asked whether its product was “a Facebook thing”.
The original META, founded in 2010, applied for its trademark in 2016 and successfully registered it in 2016. It claimed Facebook is aware of its existence as the company was in touch with some senior execs in 2017.
If you used the 2015-2019 versions of MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, Apple’s “butterfly” keyboard was really rubbish. The tech giant has agreed to pay USD50 mil to settle a legal action that they knowingly sold the laptops that had unresponsive and sticky keys that were easily damaged by dust or debris.
Didi, the Chinese ride-hailing giant, is reported to be facing a fine of RMB8 bil (USD1.28 bil) by Beijing, about 4.7% of its RMB174 bil (USD25.8 bil) revenue in 2021. No small amount, but this is all good news to the company as it brings to an end after a year of turbulence with regulators. It will be allowed to restore its app to domestic app stores and proceed with its listing plan on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
A good read here on Didi’s run-ins with regulators and their botched IPO in the US that saw USD60 bil in market cap wiped out.
foodpanda has picked Singapore as its regional HQ, housing 1,200 employees across local and regional operations as well as its global tech hub.
Twitter 1 - 0 Elon Musk. The social media platform scored its first legal win as the judge ruled in Twitter’s favour to expedite the trial, which will take place in October as Elon Musk pushed for a trial in February.
Investigators identified methanol as the possible cause of the mysterious death of 21 teenagers in a bar in South Africa last month as it was found in all their bodies. Methanol is an odourless liquid that can be found as a contaminant in illegally produced liquor, is poisonous and can be absorbed through the eyes, skin, lungs and digestive system.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The below is not a movie scene. A decommissioned military ship was blown up during the 28th iteration of RIMPAC, the world's largest maritime military exercise. Royal Malaysian Navy’s KD Lekir had the honour to fire one of the missiles that blew the ship up.
The amount of C02 our food products emit. The biggest culprit — beef.
4 Fingers salary - MY vs SG