Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Retirement crisis in the making - 6.62 mil (52%) of EPF members below 55 years old have savings of less than RM10k
DAP Sec-Gen not ruling out UMNO x DAP collab. Shelling at Europe's largest nuclear plant in Ukraine-Moscow, Kyiv blaming each other. Everything Excel: esports, shortcuts, its history.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD369 bil (RM1,645.4 bil) — the size of the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to improve US energy security and fight climate change. The target is the cut the country’s carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. The US Senate has approved the bill — a key plank of President Joe Biden's agenda — and it will now be sent to the Democrat-controlled House.
Did you feel less productive on June 29, 2022? That’s because it was the shortest day ever recorded — it was shorter than a typical 24 hours by 1.59 milliseconds. I swore I could have sent out another email if I had the time!
Despite all the hoo-hah lately about electric vehicles (EV), Malaysia’s EV adoption rate is rather low — only 0.96 EVs owned per 1,000 residents, according to EV Connection. Norway has the highest EV uptake in the world — 81 EVs per 1,000 residents.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
What do the LCS saga, 1MDB and the Scorpene purchase scandal have in common? Answer: Najib Razak. According to Rafizi Ramli, he is in possession of leaked documents that implied political interference in the procurement of the LCS ships and he stated that only Najib Razak has the political power to change the ships’ design, moving away from the navy’s requirement, as Najib Razak was then-PM.
Other news related to the LCS saga:
The current defence minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, told the Parliament that the first ship will be completed within two years, stressing that the project should be continued as it involves hundreds of vendors, mostly related to army veterans.
Then defence minister (when the LCS agreement was signed in 2014), Zahid Hamidi, expressed concerns that exposure of any LCS project’s documents might negatively affect national security as some state secrets might be exposed.
Anything is possible in the world of politics — UMNO x DAP could be a reality. DAP’s secretary general, Anthony Loke, is not ruling out any possibilities that both parties can work together as he thinks that all parties must move away from race-based politics to an agenda based. However, any cooperation will only be considered if Pakatan Harapan does not get a clear-cut majority in the next general election.
The High Court dismissed Zahid Hamidi’s injunction application regarding the defamation suit he filed against Muhyiddin Yassin, as Justice Rozana Yusoff stated that the matters are better decided at trial. Previously, Zahid Hamidi filed the defamation suit in response to Muhyiddin’s statements made during the 15th Johor state election campaign in Mersing that were allegedly malicious and defamatory in nature.
An interim injunction is a provisional measure sought during legal proceedings before trial. An injunction is an order of the court that requires a party either to do a specific act or to refrain from doing a specific act.
A retirement crisis is looming for Malaysia due to the fact that the level of savings of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members is low, citing 6.62 mil members under 55 have less than RM10,000 in savings, where 75% of them are Bumiputera.
The worrying statistics can be attributed to the implementation of Covid-linked withdrawals and employee share statutory contribution rate reduction program, which significantly reduced EPF’s coffers by an estimated RM155bil. To put into comparative terms, RM155bil is more or less the same as Coca-Cola’s revenue in 2021, plus minus RM10bil.
Shareholders of Gamuda and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings (or known as Litrak and is significantly owned by Gamuda) have greenlighted the sale of their highway assets to Amanat Lebuhraya Rakyat (ALR) for RM4.477bil. The identified highway assets are:
Kesas Holdings Berhad - 70% owned by Gamuda.
Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Holdings Sdn Bhd (SPRINT) - Gamuda and Litrak own 80% equity.
Projek Smart Holdings Sdn Bhd (SMART) - Gamuda owns 50% equity.
Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) - wholly owned by Litrak.
ALR is created to help restructure certain toll highway concessions and absolve the government from paying compensation to the concession companies. ALR is funded by the issuance of sukuk, collateralised by future toll collections.
FGV in the news for the right reasons:
In line with their ‘waste-to-wealth’ initiative and a move to reduce Malaysia's dependence on imported chicken feed, FGV Holdings is partnering with Padiberas Nasional (Bernas) to produce ‘ayam kampung’ chicken feed from rice byproducts. FGV is not an alien in the industry as they have produced chicken feed before, but a special formulation is needed for ‘ayam kampung’.
From oil palm-to-cow farm, FGV Holdings is partnering with Qatar-incorporated Baladna for Trading and Investment W.L.L, and Touch Group Holdings Sdn Bhd to develop an integrated dairy farm business on 3,259 hectares of identified land in Chuping, Perlis. This project is expected to produce 300 million litres of fresh milk in 10 years. To give an apprehension on how big they want to achieve, Malaysia’s milk production from 2017 to 2021 is about 323.3 million litres.
Farm Fresh, watch your cows.
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4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
A renewed shelling last Friday on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has raised alarms as Moscow and Kyiv accused each other of the latest attacks. Zaporizhzhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and has been under Russian control since the early days of the invasion.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the attack, calling it ‘suicidal’ following his visit to Hiroshima to mark the 77th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear bomb attack. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has warned of “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster” and demanded an IAEA team of experts to be allowed to visit the plant to assess the damage and safeguard it. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident also happened in Ukraine in the northern region.
Climate change is causing gender imbalance amongst sea turtles. All sea turtles that hatched in Florida recorded in the past four years were female as climate change warms the temperature of sand on the beach — sea turtle eggs incubated in sand hotter than 31C will be female. A similar trend is observed around the world as well. Male turtles are outnumbered around 10 to 1, though some experts argue that only a few males are required to fertilise all eggs.
Chinese internet search giant Baidu has received approval to offer a fully driverless commercial robotaxi in Chonqing and Wuhan with no human presence via its autonomous ride-hailing unit, Alpha Go. This is a big win for Baidu as this approval allows for commercial service, unlike in other Chinese cities where the approval is for the purpose of R&D.
The company has transitioned into artificial intelligence and self-driving cars as advertising revenue from its search engine business shrank in the mobile era. Its smart driving technology is used by carmakers like Geely, the owner of Proton.
Israel confirms Gaza ceasefire effective 2330 on Aug 8, 2022, (last night) after three days of conflict, which was brokered by Egypt. Similar, Cairo brokered the ceasefire that ended the 11-day war last year in the Gaza strip. More here to understand Cairo’s role in this conflict.
With flight cancellations occurring every other day — airlines are getting desperate for help. Australian airline Qantas’s head of operations, Colin Hughes, has asked senior executives and managers to volunteer and work as baggage handlers for three months at Sydney and Melbourne airports. The company is looking for at least 100 volunteers to work three or five days a week.
Amazon is acquiring iRobot in an all-cash deal that values the company at USD1.7 bil, making it Amazon’s fourth-largest deal. iRobot, founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists, is popular for its Roomba, a robotic vacuum cleaner launched in 2022. Data privacy experts and anti-trust researchers are raising alarms over this deal for the tech giant to “vacuum up” personal information from inside of users’ homes.
iRobot announced on Friday that second-quarter revenue came in at USD255.4 mil — annualise it, selling robot vacuums is a USD1 bil business.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Today’s section is dedicated to the most powerful software ever - Excel.
Excel as esports on ESPN — Excel pros battling it out!
You don’t have to be an Excel Ninja to know these keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work.
The history of Excel.
There’s even an Excel advertisement in 1992.
A meme — but there’s a lot of truth in it.