Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ MACC speedy action to investigate Judge Mohd Nazlan, Anwar Ibrahim says could be seen as "political interference"
Political artist Fahmi Reza banned from travelling abroad. Enhanced TNG card-reload via app, no more visiting kiosk. Elon Musk rejected Bill Gates charity discussion due to his Tesla shorts.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
Indonesia announced plans to ban exports of the most widely used vegetable oil — crude palm oil — to ensure the availability of food products at home. Indonesia counts for more than half of the global palm oil supply.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
4.8% — China’s economic growth in the first three quarters of the year, above the forecast of 4.4%. 87 out of China’s top 100 cities by economic size are under pandemic restrictions, mounting fears of a sharp slowdown.
USD1 bil — the interest payment Elon Musk would have to pay if he takes Twitter private with loans from his banks. The banks offer to lend him an additional USD12.5 billion for the takeover effort.
Toymaker Mattel created a Barbie doll as Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 96th birthday. It is part of the Barbie tribute collection. Queen Elizabeth II's barbie doll is being released to commemorate her 70 years on the throne. Your Majesty would be pleased indeed.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Sa wa dee krap, sa wa dee ka — Thailand will remove on-arrival Covid tests for travellers vaccinated against Covid-19 from May 1, 2022.
The situation in Shanghai isn’t looking great as authorities erected mesh barriers outside some residential buildings, sparking a fresh public outcry over a lockdown that has forced much of the city’s 25 million people to stay home.
Our neighbour down south is moving toward pre-pandemic living — Singapore no longer requires fully vaccinated travellers to take Covid tests before departing for Singapore. Social distancing has also been removed.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Updates on Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s allegation on the “unexplained wealth” of Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, the judge that convicted former PM Najib Razak in the SRC International case:
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed that an investigation has been initiated on Mohd Nazlan following a report that has been officially lodged, and not because of claims on portals or social media. However, this is not necessarily the case, according to lawyer New Sin Yew as MACC should only investigate if they have grounds to suspect that an offence has been committed.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim expressed his opinion that MACC’s investigation could be seen as political interference and said that the judicial institution has its own regulatory body that governs and controls the integrity of judges - this is done to ensure a clear separation of powers in the system.
DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng calls out the MACC for its speedy action against the judge, but not its chief commissioner Azam Baki over his share ownership controversy.
Political artist Fahmi Reza has been blacklisted by the Immigration Department and is banned from leaving the country. According to Fahmi, the order came from Bukit Aman and he is trying to get clearance from the police as he needs to travel to Europe in May for a theatre performance. Had he used reasons like umrah, medical treatment or visiting a family member that is giving birth, he probably would have been cleared to travel. He will be launching an NFT to sell his ‘Monyet Istana’ art piece - 100% of proceeds to go to charity.
Following Serba Dinamik Bhd, the embattled oil and gas company, 26-page bourse filing explaining why it was compounded by the Attorney-General with no criminal charges, the Securities Commission has lodged a police report against the company as SD’s filing to the bourse is in breach of Section 499 of the Penal Code, which covers criminal defamation. The SC said the filing “contained statements that are baseless and malicious” which could “mislead or confuse members of the public.”
International figures, including billionaire Richard Branson and comedian Stephen Fry have called for the life of Malaysian inmate Nagaenthran K.Dharmalingam who is on death row in Singapore, to be spared and to receive a presidential pardon as he has been living with intellectual disability. He was caught smuggling drugs into the republic in 2010 and is to be hung this Wednesday.
The other side of the story - the Singapore Court of Appeal says that Naga’s lawyers have been abusing the court process and could not present any evidence showing Naga’s decline in his mental state.
The Cabinet has no objections and “green light” the growing of hemp and ketum for medical purposes and will further discussions with Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Touch ‘n Go launched its Enhanced Touch ‘n Go card - you can top up your physical card straight from your TNG eWallet app without visiting any kiosk, provided your smartphone is NFC-enabled. Downside: it’s a new card that you need to purchase through the app for RM10 + RM5 shipping fee.
11,133 summons have been issued to those found smoking in restricted in 2022 until 6 Apr (that’s 115 summons daily), according to Health Minister KJ. If you see someone smoking in places they are not supposed to, report it directly here via Whatsapp.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Emmanuel Macron has won five more years as French president, beating Marine Le Pen by a bigger than expected margin.
Russia-Ukraine war updates:
At least eight people, including a mother and a child, were killed by a Russian missile attack on Odesa. Russia continues to deny targeting civilians.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky claims US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be visiting Ukraine on Sunday to discuss the types of weapons Ukraine needs.
Zelensky wants to meet with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin to “put an end to the war.” Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has offered to help the negotiation process.
Binance denied it had helped Russian authorities track down donations to the opposition in response to an investigation published by Reuters on Friday. The investigation is in relation to Russia’s anti-money laundering agency, Rosfinmonitoring or Rosfin, which was seeking to trace millions of dollars in bitcoin raised by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Kazu 1, a sightseeing boat, went missing off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The Kazu 1 is believed to have been on a three-hour sightseeing voyage around the Shiretoko Peninsula. 26 people were on board, with 10 confirmed dead, according to the Japan Coast Guard.
Sri Lanka will receive USD300m to USD600m from the World Bank over the next four months to buy medicine and other essential items. The country is on the verge of bankruptcy and has a huge bill ahead — USD7 bil of its total USD25 bil in foreign debt due for repayment this year Neighbouring India has also agreed to provide USD500m to buy fuel.
A multi-year, USD100 million Xprize competition for startups trying to remove or reverse carbon emissions has its first crop of big winners. The Musk Foundation, which funds the competition, will give 15 carbon removal projects USD1 mil each to keep the lights on til 2025. Xprize isn’t looking for profitability but rather demonstration and execution of an idea.
Big Tech companies will have a tough time in the EU as legislators in Brussels endorsed measures preventing companies such as Facebook and Google from targeting minors with online advertising. Tech companies will also be required to disclose how they are tackling fake news and war propaganda.
Elon Musk rejected Bill Gates’ invitation to discuss philanthropy possibilities — because Gates has a half-billion short against Tesla.
Sorry, I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change. — Musk
6. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Interesting billboard ad by Eco-Shop
Maraya concert hall in Saudi Arabia holds the Guinness World Records title for the largest mirrored building in the world, measuring 104,840.5 sq feet.
Balik kampung season is coming. Be safe on the road. Learn the meaning of the colours and text on Malaysian road signs.