Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Political graphic artist Fahmi Reza charged for 'obscene' post that annoyed former health minister
Pahang govt demands apology and RM1 mil damage from environmentalist. Meta threatens to pull FB, Instagram out of Europe, politicians say lives better without it. Beginner's guide to moonwalking.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
1,900 SpaceX satellites have been launched to orbit the earth, causing an unexpected problem — the satellites are reflecting sunlight and corrupting astronomers’ images. Eric Bellm, a University of Washington astronomer, said the satellites could complicate efforts to detect potentially hazardous asteroids.
RM165.73 bil has been invested by American companies into the Malaysian economy, according to the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham). Amcham added its members have employed more than 130,000 employees in Malaysia.
USD856 bil — Americans’ credit card debt as of end 2021, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Covid-19 vaccinations for kids aged five to 11 will be administered in schools throughout the country from Monday onwards, said deputy health minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
Four more vaccination centres (PPVs) has been opened in Perak to administer booster doses — Taiping, Ipoh, Lumut and Kuala Kangsar.
Two doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine with a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose is less effective against the Omicron variant compared with other strains, according to a study conducted by Yale.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
MUDA seems to have shot itself in the foot after its Kedah branch posted the now-deleted image in the tweet below on its Facebook page and was on MUDA’s own Twitter account. This contradicts its president’s statement, Syed Saddiq, calling for all opposition parties to stay united. MUDA information chief, Luqman Long, has apologised on this matter and is taking full responsibility.
TIL: using social media to post something that annoys another person can be a criminal offence.
Political graphic artist Fahmi Reza claimed trial today for a Twitter post against a minister (hint: this minister suggested drinking warm water to kill the Covid-19 virus) last year, which was considered to be obscene. He is charged under Section 233(3) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for the offence of improper use of network facilities to make an obscene posting with the intent to annoy another person, which could land him in jail for up to a year and/or a fine not exceeding RM50,000 if found guilty. He did not plead guilty — keep up the fight!
Fun fact: Jester, or what we commonly call clown, plays an important role in medieval times. Apart from entertaining the king and court, the jester plays a role to keep the rulers in check and do get away with their blunt and honest comments.
The Pahang government has demanded an apology and RM1 mil in compensation from Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil, an environmental activist for alleged defamation over comments made on the state’s involvement in logging activities through Shariffa’s personal Facebook account. Shariffa is the president of Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka).
She called out the state government’s legal action as a fear tactic and action “outrageous” as she was merely raising issues of concern.
Malaysia recorded total exports of RM123.8 bil (+29.2% YoY) in Dec 2021. Top state exporters according to the Statistics Department:
Penang - 33.9% (RM64.3 bil)
Selangor - 17.2%
Sarawak - 7.6%
Sabah - 3.8%
Khariruzzaman, a retired army major, was accused of participating in the 1975 Jail Killing case but was acquitted and subsequently appointed as Bangladeshi’s High Commissioner to Malaysia in 2007. However, after the Awami League-led government came to power in 2009, he was recalled to Dhaka. Sensing that he was in danger, he obtained the UN Refugee Card in KL and continued staying in Malaysia for the past decade. What has changed recently that triggered his arrest but not in the past decade - this was not reported.
Berjaya Food Bhd, the operator of Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Kenny Rogers Roasters in Malaysia, reported a sterling set of quarterly results. Its Q2 FY2022 revenue for the quarter ended 31 Dec 2021 grew 56.7% to RM272.75 mil from RM174.1 mil YoY whilst net profit tripled to RM38.88 mil from RM11.12 mil YoY.
The company attributed its performance to the resumption of interstate and overseas travel, festive sales and the Christmas season. Its market cap stands at RM934.9 mil.
Asia Media Group Bhd has filed a legal suit against its former CEO and founder Ricky Wong after discovering discrepancies in the accounts relating to the company’s funds used to acquire property, plant, and equipment. Amongst its demands is special damages for a sum of RM170.54 mil. The company’s market cap stands at RM48.3 mil.
Ricky Wong is currently on the run and an arrest warrant is issued against him.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
China has suspended imports of beef from Lithuania amid escalating Taiwan row. What happened? Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in its capital Vilnius last year. Countries would usually half meat imports if exporting nations report outbreaks of disease in livestock.
The UK, US and Australia have all voiced their support to the European Union in a case against China at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over Beijing’s alleged trade sanctions against Lithuania.
A decision by a college in Karnataka state to allow students to wear the hijab on campus but not in the classroom has sparked protests that escalated into violence. Hundreds of people demonstrated against the ban in Kolkata and Chennai, two of India’s largest cities. Karnataka Education Minister Nagesh BC has backed college authorities who say both saffron scarves and headscarves should be banned on campuses. Justice Krishna Dixit, who was hearing two petitions filed on behalf of the Muslim women protesters, said the matter should be referred to a larger bench.
Meta threat’s to pull Facebook and Instagram out of Europe because of blocked talks over privacy rules fell on deaf ears as two top German and French politicians said they could live without Facebook. Meta responded via a press release, saying Meta is absolutely not threatening to leave Europe.
Walt Disney Co reported better-than-expected revenue of USD21.81 bil for 1QFY22, contributed by a steady recovery in its domestic theme parks during the holiday season and strong streaming subscriber growth. Disney+, the company’s two-year-old streaming service, subscribers stood at 129.8 mil at the end of the quarter. Will Disney+ hit the CEO’s forecast of at least 230 mil subscribers by 2024?
Twitter missed analyst estimates on earnings, revenue and user growth for the 4th quarter in its earnings report. Twitter reported revenue of USD1.57 bil vs USD1.58 bil, whereas its monetisable daily active users (mDAUs) stood at 217 mil vs expected 218.6 mil. Twitter also announced a new USD4 billion share buyback program. Why do companies do share buybacks? Read here.
The US inflation rate climbed again in January to 7.5% and stayed at a 40-year high. The consumer price index rose 0.6% in the first month of the new year.
Switzerland will vote on becoming the first country to completely ban medical testing on animals after animal rights campaigners gathered enough support to stage a referendum in the country. However, the ban is not expected to pass as the pharmaceuticals sector warned the move would halt new drug development and threatened to relocate.
Bob Saget’s family has revealed the late comedian’s cause of death — an accidental blow to the head. They added that authorities had concluded that drugs and alcohol were not involved in his death. Saget thought nothing of the accident and went to sleep.
West Ham United’s defender, Kurt Zouma, was fined £250,000 and dropped from the squad over a video showing how he kicked and slapped one of his animals. Adidas cancelled his boot deal, while Vitality UK suspended its sponsorship with West Ham.