Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ UMNO emergency meeting held yesterday, not attended by PM Ismail Sabri
Health Minister KJ goes high up north to learn more on medical marijuana. PH offers legal action help to aid online banking scam victims. Taiwan's "porcupine" strategy to defend against China.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
HSBC estimates almost one in five people (18.5%) in Singapore will be a millionaire by the end of the decade, up from 7.5% in 2021. Singapore is expected to lead APAC by millionaires per capita. Mainland China’s millionaire count is expected to reach 50 million by 2030, about 4% of its population.
30 to 40-year-olds make up 41.6% of 387,000 individuals who had enrolled on the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency’s (AKPK) Debt Management Programme (DMP). Be mindful of your financial health if you’re in this age range. AKPK said people in this age range are prone to financial difficulty due to family and heavy commitments.
USD465 mil (RM2.085 bil) — the rumoured production cost of “The Rings of Power”, a drama based on the “Lord of the Rings” books. The series will be released on Sept 1 on Amazon Prime Video. Morgan Stanley estimates Amazon will spend USD16 bil on media content this year, eclipsing Netflix’s USD14 bil.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Updates on politicians’ court cases (not Najib Razak’s, though, as his SRC International final appeal resumes on Tuesday)
In Zahid Hamidi’s graft trial, the session on Monday was adjourned earlier than usual as the defence team forgot to bring important documents related to the case. Coincidentally, there was an emergency UMNO meeting on the same day to discuss the party's future (read: Najib Razak’s future). During the cross-examination of the trial by the deputy public prosecutor, Zahid Hamidi burst out by saying that the prosecutor should be a minister one day to understand the workings of a ministry, to justify that the decision made by him was not his decision alone, but a collective decision based on recommendations by other parties.
Moving to Syed Saadiq’s criminal breach of trust (CBT) trial, the High Court rejected the defence team’s application to discredit a key prosecution witness, Rafiq Hakim Razali, that had given different testimonies to the court and MACC back in 2020 about the matter of the RM1mil withdrawal from Armada’s bank account. The court found out the differences were minor and non-material.
Rafizi Ramli, in all fanfare, exposed that the offshore company involved in the scandal, Alizes Marine Limited, was linked to an individual named Zainab Mohd Salleh, who is allegedly the second wife of Abdul Latiff Ahmad, who was then the deputy defence minister when Zahid Hamidi was the defence minister, between 2008 until 2013. However, the Zainab Mohd Salleh mentioned by Rafizi is not the CFO of Dialog Group Berhad, which bears the same name. This fact is double confirmed by both Dialog Group via a statement and her daughter, Syaza Nazura, on social media.
UMNO’s turn in the limelight
In an emergency UMNO meeting held at UMNO headquarters in PWTC, the majority of UMNO division heads that attended the meeting rejected the motion to push PM Ismail Sabri to intervene in Najib Razak’s SRC International case as they believed that this act would jeopardise their chances in the next general election.
In the same meeting, over 150 UMNO divisions (UMNO has 191 divisions nationwide) want the general election to be held immediately, citing the momentum that the party has gained from victories in Johor and Melaka’s state elections. Need to be mentioned that PM Ismail Sabri did not join this emergency UMNO meeting.
KJ going up high to the north — destination: Bangkok.
At the invitation of Thailand’s deputy PM and Minister of Public Health, our health minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, is visiting the land of smiles to assess the potential of marijuana and ketum for medical purposes. He is set to meet Thailand’s major cannabis and ketum industry players, including visiting the infamous Siam Cannabis Land that houses the greenhouses and drying centre. You may ask, why Thailand? That is because Bangkok is the first one in the region to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.
To tackle rising scam cases, Pakatan Harapan will form an action committee to aid scammers’ victims in taking up legal action, citing inadequate actions by the government and other related parties to solve this issue. According to PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil, RM2mil is stolen daily from our bank accounts by these scammers.
92 individuals that entered the country illegally were nabbed by the Kelantan police, the biggest bust by the authorities this year. All of the illegal immigrants caught were from Myanmar. All of them are expected to be transported to other states, such as Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, before they were caught by the police.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Filipino kids rejoice — schools reopen after one of the world’s longest shutdowns.
Millions of children in the Philippines have resumed in-person schooling since the pandemic struck the nation more than two years ago, making it one of the last countries in the world to do so. One of the worst hit by the pandemic, former President Rodrigo Duterte rejected calls to reopen due to fears it could cause another outbreak.
This lockdown has heightened concerns over the literacy rates of Filipino children, which were already at alarming levels even pre-pandemic. A World Bank study last year showed that 9 out of 10 children in the Philippines suffer from “learning poverty” — the inability of children by age 10 to read and understand a simple story.
To fight a bigger opponent, be like a porcupine.
Taiwan is taking good notes on Ukraine’s defence strategy against Russia to protect itself against a possible attack by China — use small weapons to fight back. This aligns with Taiwan’s “porcupine strategy” introduced in 2017, also known as asymmetrical warfare, and involved stocking up on anti-air, anti-tank, and anti-ship weapons rather than larger equipment, which could be easily destroyed. Like the animal, it tries to inflict as much pain on the larger attacker that it stops attacking.
China’s military is estimated to be two mil troops compared to Taiwan’s 200,000.
For the love of our mothers, read and learn this
A massive yet much silenced and ignored healthcare issue faced by women due to stigma and silence — menopause. How to raise further awareness and education? TikTok. Several women experiencing menopause have since gained a significant following by sharing their experiences and dispelling myths through the short-form video platform such as this “34 Symptoms of Menopause” video. It goes to show TikTok ain’t just for Gen Z kids dancing around.
About a quarter of the world’s female population is set to experience menopause by 2030. The global market for menopausal products is growing rapidly at more than 5% per annum, rising from USD15 bil in 2021 to reach an estimated USD24.4 bil in 2030, translating to a spend of USD2,100 a year per woman.
World’s second-largest cinema chain to consider bankruptcy.
Blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick and Thor: Lover and Thunder came too late to save Cineworld from filing for bankruptcy. The cinema chain employs more than 28,000 people and operates 750 sites globally. A combination of factors led to it considering filing for bankruptcy - the pandemic (no doubt), the growing popularity of streaming services and, of course, a USD5 bil debt on its books. Debt always exacerbates already a bad situation. Along with its bankruptcy, it’s also facing a protracted legal battle with Cineplex, which is claiming substantial damages after Cineworld called off the takeover of Cineplex.
Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong announced that the country will decriminalise sex between men, repealing a colonial-era law, but will continue to uphold the legal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
FTX, the crypto exchange that has been playing white knight during the recent crypto blowout, saw revenue grow 1,000% during the crypto craze in 2021 from below USD90 mil to more than USD1 bil, generating a net income of USD388 mil.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Strong winds at the Menara Dato’ Onn yesterday during UMNO’s meeting after Najib Razak’s sumpah laknat (curse swear). Coincidence?Tiktok failed to load.
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