Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Najib Razak's lawyer's health issue for the 4th time leading to court trial being postponed
Malaysia Digital Initiative replaces MSC. China's largest cyber hack - 1 bil Chinese personal data stolen. TikTok sued for recommending "blackout challenge", linked to deaths of >5 children.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
5,000 — Malaysia’s target for the number of EV charging stations by 2050. According to Science, Technology, and Innovation (Mosti) Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, there are 611 EV charging stations nationwide. To achieve the target, we need to build 157 stations annually.
£27.3 million (RM147.42 million) — the additional amount UK taxpayers need to pay over the next two years to plug a funding gap at the royal family and cover a drop in profit at the Crown Estate. Sounds familiar?
Vietnam aims to make coffee one of its main commodities with a plan to replant or transplant 107,000 hectares of coffee by 2025. The country’s coffee farms are productive — they field over three times higher than the world’s coffee yield — 2.8 tonnes/hectares.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Syed Saddiq’s CBT trial — one of the prosecution witnesses, Abdul Hannaan Khairy, admitted to the court that he agreed to testify against Syed Saddiq as he was scared he would be charged for other cases by the authorities. Hannan was a Bersatu member until he was sacked in August 2020.
Former PM and DPM court trial updates:
Najib Razak’s 1MDB audit report tampering trial was postponed as his lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, was down with laryngitis, a condition where his vocal cords were inflamed. He obtained his MC from KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital.
The High Court rejected Zahid Hamidi’s application to stay the prosecution from cross-examining him further. Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah believes Zahid is not being denied a fair trial if the cross-examination continues.
The Health Ministry has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic is yet to be over. The ministry said the new sub-variants, Omicron BA.4 and Omicron BA.5, are more infectious than other Omicron sub-variants. However, it is unsure that the new variants can cause more severe infections.
Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB) expects that the central bank will raise the overnight policy rate (OPR) in stages by 100 basis points (100 bps = 1%) for a period of 12 months. This monetary policy strategy addresses the growing domestic demand and core inflation.
Core inflation is the change in the costs of goods and services but does not include those from the food and energy sectors. Food and energy prices are exempt from this calculation because their prices can be too volatile or fluctuate wildly.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri launched the Malaysia Digital initiative, a mere rebranding exercise of the existing Malaysia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) program — kinda like how Keluarga Malaysia is a rebrand of 1Malaysia. The Communications & Multimedia Ministry and Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will be leading the initiative.
Cuepacs’s president, Datuk Adnan Mat, said the effort to study the feasibility of four workdays per week is a waste of time and stated that the government should focus on other issues that are beneficial to the workers.
His statement came after a study released by Gallup, which mentioned that workers in South Asia have the lowest level of well-being in the world, evidently represented in a statistic where only 11% of workers in South Asia are thriving.
Khazanah Nasional’s operating profit in 2021 (RM670 mil) is lower compared to 2020 (RM2.9 bil) due to financial support provided to investee companies in the airlines and tourism industry, which are badly affected by the pandemic. Among the investee companies that were affected by the pandemic are Malaysia Aviation Group (MAS) and Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels, which owns Legoland and Desaru Coast.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Britain and China got hacked:
British Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were taken over by hacker(s) (identity not known yet) to promote cryptocurrency scams.
In China’s largest cybersecurity breach, unknown hackers claimed to have stolen the personal data of as many as a billion Chinese residents after breaching a Shanghai police database. The hackers have offered to sell over 23 terabytes of data for USD200,000.
Last week, Ukraine blamed Russia for firing missiles at a mall and residential area. Now, Russia is accusing Kyiv of firing three missiles at a residential area in a Russian city near the Ukraine border, killing three people and damaging 11 apartment buildings and 39 private houses. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility but described the incident as payback and “karma” for Russia’s action.
The European Investment Bank, the lending arm of the European Union, is proposing funding of up to EUR100 bil (USD104.3 bil) to rebuild Ukraine. War sucks — the EUR100 bil could have other better use in the absence of war.
More than 30,000 people are forced to evacuate southwest Sydney, Australia’s largest city, due to floods from torrential rain and an overflowing dam. Back in March, the same state New South Wales, was hit by major flooding. Australia has been on the sharp end of climate change, getting hit by droughts, deadly bushfires, bleaching events of its Great Barrier Reefs and floods.
Sovereign and corporate deals:
China’s Silk Road Fund, a state-owned investment fund, intends to invest USD3 bil into Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF), Indonesia Investment Authority (INA), which invests in its local economy. INA, started in 2021, aims to oversee USD200 bil within 2-3 years of its founding and counts Abu Dhabi Investment Authority amongst its investors.
Softbank-owned private equity Fortress Investment Group has offered to acquire Japanese department store unit Sogo & Seibu for USD1.48 bil from its parent Seven & i Holdings (owner of 7-Eleven). That’s the same Sogo in Malaysia but is now owned by Alfred Cheng, the nephew of Parkson owner William Cheng.
TIkTok is being sued after two young girls, aged 8 and 9, died while trying to recreate the “blackout challenge”, a viral trend on the app in which participants attempt to choke themselves into consciousness. This is not the first incident — the challenge is linked to the deaths of at least another five children around the world.
Zhou Guanyu of Alfa Romeo survived a horrific crash in the F1 race in Silverstone, UK and is miraculously uninjured. He attributed his survival to the halo safety device, which can withstand the weight of a 12,000 kg double-decker bus that was implemented since the 2018 season. The halo was designed by Mercedes and has since saved two lives, including Lewis Hamilton’s. Watch the crash here — every single second after the 22nd second is worth watching.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
There’s Kepci, there’s Mekdi. Now, there’s Sabweh, Subway Malaysia’s mascot. The mascot was unveiled at Pavilion KL’s 3D billboard — watch it here. This is a rare collaboration between an international brand and local comic artist Ernest Ng. Nice! It all started with the viral comic he made in 2019.
Been procrastinating on something? Here’s some motivation from Nike to get you started on it.
An avalanche caused by a glacier in the northern Italian Alps killed at least seven people. Mario Draghi, Itali’s president, said the incident was “without doubt” caused by climate change.