Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ PM Sabri awarded Honorary Doctorate from Japan's Nihon University - for his contributions and efforts in the fight against Covid-19
Largest police raid of cannabis trees in nation's history at 78-yo ex-diplomat's house. Grab explains wild price fluctuations of its ride fares. Airbnb to cease business in Mainland China from 30 Jul.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
MYR all-time low against SGD, hitting RM3.1993.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
49.3% of US President Joe Biden’s Twitter followers are found to be fake, a new audit revealed. Twitter bot and fake accounts problem have led to Elon Musk re-negotiating his acquisition deal of the social media company.
USD143 mil - the price of the ultra-rare 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe fetched at an auction, making it the most expensive car ever sold, beating the previous record of USD95 mil held by a Ferrari.
1 in 6 (9 mil) premature deaths globally were caused by pollution (e.g. air, water) in 2019, according to a global report by The Lancet Commission.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
MACC had its Malaysian Anti-Corruption Forum yesterday. Some highlights:
The investigation into 1MDB is still ongoing until all money is recovered and every perpetrator punished, says MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki. In 2020 and 2021, MACC had recovered about RM20 bil worth of 1MDB assets through compounds and settlements.
The anti-graft body has also opened investigations against corrupt practices in medical procurement during the pandemic, such as the diversion of aid and stimulus packages and fraud related to medical PPE in terms of quantity and quality.
As of April, MACC has opened a total of 379 investigations, arrested 425 individuals, seized RM12.58 mil in worth of assets and total forfeitures of RM59 mil. Last year, 829 investigation papers were opened, resulting in 851 arrests, RM162 mil assets seized and RM5.13 bil forfeited.
Former chief justice Raus Sharif attributed the erosion of MACC’s reputation in recent years to the appointment of an ‘active politician’ as its chief commissioner in the past. No specifics were given, but it could be in reference to the appointment of Latheefa Koya, who was appointed by the then PM Tun M. She gave up her PKR membership to take up that role, which didn’t last long with the fall of PH government.
PM Ismail Sabri, on his maiden official working visit to Japan, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine by Nihon University, one of the most distinguished and oldest private universities in Japan, for his efforts and contributions in the fight against Covid-19.1. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri has received an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from Japan’s Nihon University. According to Bernama, he was awarded the honorary degree in recognition of his contributions in the fight against Covid-19. 📸: Bernama
Sabri, during his stint as a senior minister, said no quarantine was needed for those back from Sabah state election to Peninsular. All hell broke loose with that decision.
A former 78-year old diplomat was arrested by the police for allegedly planting 102 marijuana trees around his residence in Janda Baik, Pahang, making this case the largest raid of cannabis trees in the history of narcotics in the country. The trees are worth RM61.2k (RM600 per tree). 1.02kg of dried marijuana was seized, worth RM2,500, which can be supplied to 1,020 users, the police said.
The diplomat previously worked in the Malaysian embassy in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Seems like a serious agriculture business this diplomat is trying to pull off in his post-retirement life.
Grab Malaysia has responded to criticism over its volatile ride prices recently that went up as high as 400% during peak period. Some reasons offered:
No changes to fare structure were made — a dynamic pricing model was in place to fairly compensate its driver-partners.
The reduced number of Grab drivers met with the sharp increase in ride demand resulting in price fluctuations.
As of mid-May, the number of driver-partners fell by more than 30% compared to pre-pandemic.
Many drives dropped out during the pandemic over Covid-19 concerns and lack of demand.
Stringent onboarding processes increase barriers to entry for new drivers, hence taking a much longer time to add a new driver to the system.
An increase in traffic congestion reduces the effective capacity of drivers to serve more rides.
The effect of lockdown is now showing cracks across the supply chain and wider economy, not just with chickens. The supply chain might take a while to readjust. Rising Grab fares technically shouldn’t catch people by surprise. Grab is after all a listed for-profit entity and for the longest time has offered subsidized pricing, artificially reducing prices for its services. Good things don’t last forever. There are 31 other alternatives to choose from as of Apr 2022. Sapot the competitors!
Engineering firm KNM Group Bhd has disposed of its entire stake in its German subsidiary, Borsig GMbH for EUR220.8 mil (RM1.03 bil) and is expected to make a loss of RM490.55 from the disposal, which it acquired for EUR350 mil (RM1.67 bil) in 2008. The market did not take the news well, leading to a sell-down of its share by 17.95%.
The proceeds will be used to repay bank borrowings of RM874.23 mil, reducing it to RM391.53 mil from RM1.28 bil and for working capital purposes as well. It will save a significant amount in interest payment to the tune of RM85 mil per annum. An analyst commented that Borsig is KNM’s “cash cow that KNM needed to subsidise all the other bad apples”. The company’s market cap currently stands at RM588.5 mil.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
90 cases recorded to date in a dozen countries.
A leading adviser to the WHO suspects that the spread of the disease was through sexual transmission at two raves held in Spain and Belgium.
WHO is with the position that mass vaccinations for Monkeypox are not needed for cases outside Africa as the current cases are still controlled and preventable with good hygiene and safe sexual behaviour.
US health officials said there is a stockpile of vaccines and antivirals which are ready to use if needed.
David Beasley, Head of the UN’s World Food Programme, warned that Putin’s war on Ukraine has strained the global food supply and called this ‘the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II”. Around 1.7 bil people across 94 countries become at higher risk of hunger with food price spikes around the world. Beasley then calls upon the billionaires of the world to step up as the world now needs them. Help the world now before we eat the rich, basically.
Airbnb will cease operations in Mainland China as of July 30 this year as COVID-19 lockdowns across the country. The company will remove 150k listings in China out of 6 mil worldwide and stay in China, accounting for just 1% of its business in recent time. The company’s office in Beijing will remain to employ their hundreds of staff and will change to focus on outbound travel business instead of accommodation to travellers. Chinese users are still able to use the service outside the country during their trips overseas.
The Samsung group plans to increase their spending up to US$360 billion over the next five years, focusing on its chips and biopharmaceuticals businesses with a particular focus on Samsung Electronics, its crown jewel. Samsung Electronics is building an advanced USD17 billion chip plant in Texas as Biden focuses on safeguarding supply chain security for the US.
South Korea's new conservative President, Yoon Suk Yeol, says the age of appeasing North Korea is over after past peace talks had only led to the North’s increasing missile tests. He has decided to focus on increasing the South’s nuclear forces to be ready for any of the North’s provocations but also expressed his goal of wanting shared and common prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.
The man once known as “America’s Dad”, Bill Cosby, is on trial for sexually assaulting a teenage girl almost 50 years ago at the Playboy Mansion. The trial was held in California this Monday after being on hold since 2014 whilst the actor faced other assault charges in Pennsylvania. The plaintiff is only one of several women who have claimed to have been assaulted by Cosby.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Malaysia's national men’s singles badminton player Lee Zia Jia went up one spot to rank 5th in the Badminton World Federation rankings. Watch below a compilation of amazing LZJ’s plays.
With Sabri’s honorary doctorate, the Bolehland spirit has been exported to Japan. Been wearing this t-shirt for a while - comfy! Get it at Apom.my. Check out their other collections based on Malaysian culture.