Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Peninsular Malaysia's daytime 'Earth Hour' - what happened and the political jokes that followed
Former politician sentenced to 13 years jail, 2 whips for rape. PTPTN funded the education dreams of 3.67 mil Malaysians. US-China tension escalating over 3rd most senior US politician's Taiwan trip.
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To CTOS Digital Bhd shareholders, we are terribly sorry for yesterday's blunder; the interim dividend is 0.59 sen (RM0.0059) per share instead of RM0.59. No durian runtuh.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ‘The Black Swan.’
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
88 outlets — the number of Econsave outlets in Malaysia, with the one in Pandamaran Klang being the latest. Founded even before Merdeka in 1955 by the Lai family, the hypermarket, known for its “Bandingkan Harga Kami” (Compare Our Pricing) tagline, has been crowned champion five times by Hargapedia for the “Lowest Price Fresh Product” and “Lowest Price Grocery Product” categories!
The National Higher Education Fund Corp (PTPTN) has helped a total of 3.67 million Malaysians (yours truly included) thus far fund their higher education amounting to RM66.87 billion! PM Ismail Sabri announced that borrowers who graduated with first-class honours from 2019 onwards would not need to repay their study loans. 22.2% of borrowers have never made a single repayment. This is what happens when one does not pay back their PTPTN loan.
6 winning numbers and you can win USD1.02 bil as no ticket matched the winning numbers during the Mega Millions (in the US) jackpot’s draw on Tuesday night. The next drawing is on Friday and if there is a winning ticket, it will be the third largest Mega Millions jackpot prize in the game’s 20-year history. The largest was USD1.537 bil (Oct 2018), followed by USD1.05 bil (Jan 2021). Life changing — for the better in the short term, for the worst in the long run. The lottery curse stories here of those who won big and yet lost everything.
Malaysia’s Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the prices of goods at factory gate, increased by 10.9% in June from 11.2% in May, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Peninsular Malaysia did its own ‘Earth Hour’, but during day time. A fire at a transmission main intake station in Yong Peng, Johor, has wreaked havoc across Peninsular Malaysia as major cities suffered power outages. Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s (TNB) investigation found that the supply disruption started at 12:39 pm. The fault in one of the equipment has led to load-shedding of 2.2GW, which is 10% of the total supply demand in Peninsular Malaysia. TNB managed to restore the electricity supply by 3:02 pm. Kudos! Malaysiakini compiled a list of previous major blackouts.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Federal Government and the Opposition will not be extended, according to PM Ismail Sabri. Both parties have agreed there is no need for a new MOU or agreement. On another note, Ismail Sabri said the parliament would be dissolved when it has “reached its term” and he feels it is right. No indication of when that would be — he just quipped, “It could be this year or next.”
The Anti-Hopping Bill, which penalises party-hopping elected representatives, was tabled for the Second Reading in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. PM Ismail Sabri said the Bill is a historic milestone for the nation's political stability. Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun said about 600 minutes have been allocated for the debate of the Bill, which Ismail Sabri hopes will get unanimous support from lawmakers. The Bill seeks to amend Article 10 of the Federal Constitution; here are some of the amendments:
Members of Parliament (MPs) who defected from the political party they represented as election candidates or those who became independent will have to vacate their Parliamentary seats.
MPs who are sacked from political parties will not lose their seats.
Malaysia's Tobacco Product and Smoking Control Bill 2022, tabled for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, introduces a generational endgame law. The Bill aims to prohibit the smoking of cigarettes among persons born in 2007 (change from the earlier proposed 2005) and after. If it is passed into law, both perpetrator and accomplice can be fined!
Those born after Jan 1, 2007, can be fined up to RM5,000 if they smoke or possess smoking-related products like cigarettes or vape products.
Any person caught selling tobacco or vape products to those born after 2007 can be fined up to RM30,000 and/or jailed for up to two years.
Companies caught doing so can be fined up to RM20,000 but not exceeding RM100,000.
Former Perak executive council member Paul Yong has been sentenced to 13 years in jail and two lashes of the cane by the Ipoh High Court for raping his Indonesian domestic helper three years ago. The 52-year-old Tronoh assemblyman was guilty of the crime after considering all the evidence submitted. Paul’s legal counsel said they would be filing for an appeal.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s nephew, Rahmat Abu Bakar, said he has cut ties with Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd’s (UKSB) and returned the money he received as its chairperson and advisor. Former UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun testified in court that the company paid RM2.6 million to Mahathir and Bersatu through Rahmat. However, Rahmat denied allegations that the money he had received was a political donation. Take a guess what his monthly salary as the company’s chairperson and advisor was? RM1.3 million. Something’s fishy here.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cuts Malaysia’s 2022 GDP growth forecast for Malaysia from 5.6% to 5.1%. The IMF said taming inflation should be the first priority for policymakers — and it is the first priority! Jihad Tangani Inflasi.
OMS Group Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-based company that installs cable underwater, is eyeing a USD300 mil IPO on Bursa Malaysia with a valuation over USD1 bil, making it Malaysia’s biggest IPO in over a year after Mr DIY’s USD363 mil IPO in Oct 2020.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
US-China tension is at risk of escalating further as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reported to be planning a trip to Taiwan, the self-governing country that China claims to be its territory. The unconfirmed trip struck China’s nerve as Pelosi, third in line to the US presidency after Joe Biden and his VP Kamala Harris, would be the highest-ranking US official to travel to the island since 1997. Beijing has shown a forceful rebuke to the trip and warned that its military would “take strong and resolute measures”. The Associated Press reported that Pentagon is prepared to send fighter jets and warships to protect Pelosi.
An interesting read here on America’s involvement in coups, with 72 attempts alone during the Cold War, the US government tried to change other countries’ governments.
Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled The Line, an ambitious gigantic megastructure that can contain nine mil people, designed as two parallel buildings with mirrored surfaces, rising 500m above sea level, 200m wide and stretching horizontally for up to 170km running on 100% renewable energy. This is part of the prince’s USD500 bil Neom project, aiming to turn the desert the size of Belgium into a high-tech region.
Effective this month, the Hong Kong stock exchange requires any company seeking to list in Hong Kong to have at least one director of a different gender on the board majority. A 3-year deadline is set in January for every listed company, new or old, to ensure a gender-diverse board. It is estimated this ruling will create more than 1,300 director positions exclusively for women by the end of 2024.
There are more than 2,500 listed companies on HK’s stock exchange; 815 have no female directors.
English Premier League appointed Alison Brittain as its first female chair after clubs “voted unanimously in favour” of her appointment. She is currently the CEO of a GBP5.4 bil hospitality group, Whitbread Plc.
Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ), the CEO of Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, is suing a subsidiary of Bloomberg, Bloomberg Businessweek, for defamation over a translated article to Chinese that portrayed CZ as running a “Ponzi scheme”. The original article on CZ’s profile published on 23 June titled “Can crypto ‘s richest man stand the cold?” ran a different headline in Hong Kong: “Zhao Changpeng’s Ponzi Scheme”, which CZ’s representative said was designed to spur “hatred, contempt and ridicule”.
Car giant Toyota plans to invest IDR27.1 tril (USD1.8 bil) in Indonesia in the coming five years to produce electric vehicles as the country aims to become a global hub for producing and exporting EVs. The nation aims to sell only electric cars and motorcycles by 2025.
Earlier, South Korea’s LG Energy Solution and Hyundai Motor Group are building a USD1.1 bil EV battery plant (first in Southeast Asia, according to Indonesian President Joko Widodo) to leverage Indonesia’s nickel reserves, which are the largest in the world.
A fascinating documentary on the EV industry:
Singapore has allowed former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to extend his stay in the city-state by another 14 days until Aug 11. Sri Lankan cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena said Rajapaksa was not in hiding after mishandling the nation’s finances and he is expected to go back to Sri Lanka.
Wuhan, where Covid-19 originated from, has shut down its Jiangxia district, home to more than 970,000 people, for three days after detecting four asymptomatic Covid-19 cases.
A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the northern Philippines on Wednesday morning, killing at least five people and leaving 60 others injured. The tremors were felt 400km away in the capital Manila and caused high-rise towers to shake.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Many Malaysians made light of power outages in major cities in Malaysia yesterday.There was a power outage, so we couldn't use the usual door. We had to use pintu belakang to enter the office. For a moment there, I felt what it was like to be Azmin Ali.
We hope Grab will get the driver on board.
Mesmerizing arrival of the rain