Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Malaysians lured by human traffickers, forced to work 15-hour day in online scam call centre in Cambodia
Anti-Hopping Bill facing resistance from Bersatu. Meet Amber Leong-1st Malaysian to close a deal on Shark Tank, made Kevin O'Leary cry. Uber to be super app - allow booking of planes, buses, trains.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
100,000 South Koreans are estimated to be addicted to sleeping pills. South Korea is one of the most sleep-deprived nations because its people are overworked and stressed out. The sleep industry is worth USD2.5 bil in 2019.
USD144 mil — the amount raised by Fortnite in a fortnight. Its developer Epic Games said that it would be donating all of its proceeds from the game.
Huawei Technologies workers are smiling to the bank as the company paid USD9.65 bil of dividends to current and retired workers in its employee shareholder scheme. About 131,507 current and former workers were part of the scheme. That’s an average of USD73,380 per employee.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
A new study in the BMJ medical journal shows Covid-19 raises the risk of blood clots — pulmonary embolism — for up to six months after the infection, even for mild cases.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The government has decided to push back the implementation of the mandatory MS Sirim certification and labelling of non-medical face masks to Jan 1, 2023, after obtaining public feedback on this matter. On Tuesday, the government announced that the certification requirement was effective July 4. This raised concern over a potential increase in cost for suppliers and eventually consumers and also the timing of the requirement 2 years after the pandemic has started. See below - a face mask model modelling without a face mask.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi clarified that the ministry will not fine people wearing non-medical face masks without the Sirim certification — action will only be taken against manufacturers and importers. The confusion arose (from bad copywriting) after an infographic that implied individuals will be fined RM100,000 for wearing non-compliant masks.
Prosecution witness Ismee Ismail, former director of 1MDB told the court that RM2.28 bil from 1MDB had entered into the personal accounts of former PM Najib Razak after he was shown the flow chart of funds, which was not shown to him during his earlier cross-examination. Ismee added that he believes Jho Low and Najib's relationship was close during Ismee’s tenure as director of 1MDB.
The Anti-Party Hopping Bill deferment saga continues:
UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi asked aloud if the delay in tabling the law was due to sabotage and urged UMNO cabinet ministers to be stricter in resolving this issue.
The Vibes reported that the deferment to table the bill is due to the lack of support and strong resistance from Bersatu, with PAS being on the fence - both part of the PN coalition. Recall how did Langkah Sheraton start.
Minister in PM’s Department Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar expressed his frustration over the delay after having worked on the bill for the past 8 months and there was no sabotage, responding to remarks made by UMNO President.
News on scams:
Police warn that Macau scam syndicates are now targeting bank accounts linked to Tabung Haji, the pilgrimage fund.
Malaysians are held captive after being tricked by human trafficking syndicates to leave the country, having to work in an online scam call centre in Cambodia. A victim said he was among 50 Malaysians held by the syndicate. They were forced to work 15 hours a day scamming people around the world and girls were threatened with rape if they did not hit their targets.
They could not run away as the compound was secured by men with guns and handcuffs. Syndicates used agents to demand large ransoms from family members in order to release them.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the ministry welcomes submissions for clinical studies and trials for the use of medical marijuana and advocacy of it so far is largely interest, talk and on social media.
The Health Ministry plans to introduce the Drinking Water Quality Act soon to enhance protection against health hazards due to unsafe drinking water. Government on the East Coast, please take note.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the country urgently needs more weapons from NATO to defend itself against Russia. Kuleba said more weapons could prevent atrocities against civilians like in Bucha. However, Russia doesn’t like it and said such moves would harm peace talks.
As many as 1,100 train wagons carrying grain are stuck near the main rail border crossing of Ukraine and Poland. Ukraine is struggling to export its grain and other goods due to Russia’s invasion. Before the war, Ukraine exported 98% of its cereals via the Black Sea. The port closures have disrupted the country’s ability to export a commodity that makes up nearly a fifth of the country’s exports — USD12.2 bil in 2021.
The Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami had a bullish opening, but the price of the cryptocurrency went south. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez unveiled a laser-eyed bull statue, which weighs 3,000 pounds, meant to symbolize Miami becoming the self-proclaimed “world’s capital of crypto.” Wall Street bull vs Miami bull, who will prevail?
Warren Buffett is bullish on Hewlett-Packard — Berkshire Hathaway revealed a USD4.2 bil stake in the technology company as Buffett continues his buying spree (or, shall we say, buffet?). HP generated USD6.5 bil net income in its last financial year, but its modest valuation (market cap of USD37 bil) has caught Buffett’s attention.
Uber Technologies wants to take a crack at becoming a super app as customers on the platform will soon be able to book long-distance travel on planes, trains and buses. The pilot project is available in the UK. Uber will not provide the travel service itself, but third-party booking agencies will.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd reported yesterday an estimated 50% jump in its first quarter’s earnings at USD11.6 bil, beating market expectations. The world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker benefited from a disruption at a rival NAND Flash chip plant and brisk smartphone (Galaxy S22) sales.
JD.com’s billionaire founder Richard Liu (pictured below) has stepped down as the CEO of the Chinese e-commerce giant. Liu will be replaced by the president of JD.com, Xu Lei. JD.com is one of the few technology companies that have escaped any major regulatory action thus far.
6. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Amber Leong - the first Malaysian to pitch her idea, Circadian Optics, on Shark Tank and closed a deal with Mark Cuban and Greiner and made Kevin O’Leary cry (which is a big deal). Check out her company here.
Damn it, Elon Musk, you can’t be rich and funny at the same time. Context: Elon Musk will be joining Twitter’s board of directors.
Eco-Ark - become a high-tech fisherman.
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Enjoy your weekend!