Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ AG proposed BM to replace English as the authoritative version of the Constitution - why it matters
RM 2.8 bil allocated to improve train, bus services including KJ route. Dell’s bold attempt to remove ‘Made in China’ completely from its supply chain. Brazil Insurrection - govt buildings stormed.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Discount of up to 50% for traffic summons — a mega sale combo that traffic offenders always look forward to. The police are offering a 3-day discount period for selected traffic summonses up to 50% from today until Thursday, 12 Jan. The catch - payments have to be made in-person at the Jalan Tun H.S. Lee Traffic police station.
USD69,000 (RM303.8k) per kg — the wholesale price of 1 kg of cocaine in the US in 2019, or RM304 per gram. North America remains the biggest consumer of this drug, with around 2% of its people aged 15-64 (6 mil people) estimated to have consumed it in 2020. 2020 was also the year cocaine production hit a record high of 1,982 tonnes, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The farther it gets from Latin America, the more expensive it gets. In Australia, a kilo cost USD152k in 2017. The Economists argues for the legalisation of cocaine here. Read here on UNODC’s report and statistics on the cocaine market.
USD450 mil — the value of the private island compound featured in Netflix’s Knives Out sequel Glass Onion (watch the trailer here), featuring Daniel Craig, which is listed on Zillow for sale. Even if you are Elon Musk rich and make an offer of 5x the price with a lifetime supply of Teslas and free trips on SpaceX to the ISS, you still won’t be able to buy it — the place doesn’t exist. The listing is a marketing stunt by Netflix and the price tag refers to the price Netflix paid for the rights to Glass Onion and Knives Out 3.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Sabah Political Drama: Bung Mokhtar has not conceded defeat yet
As the meeting between PM Anwar Ibrahim and leaders of Sabah political parties, including Sabah UMNO’s top chief, Bung Mokhtar, convened on Monday night, Bung declared beforehand that he will not stand down yet on his attempted coup to topple the Sabah state government. Bung has stated that Sabah’s chief minister, Hajiji Noor, has corrupted the five UMNO members that have decided to support Hajiji instead of him. UMNO, regaining grassroots support would be a better move than a political manoeuvring of creating yet another backdoor government.
Tian Chua felt sad that he knew of his expulsion from PKR via media
Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president Tian Chua was among four others to be sacked from the party for disobeying the party’s orders and contesting against the party in GE15 and the Sarawak state election. Although he understood the logic behind the party’s action to maintain organisational discipline, however, he felt disappointed that he and four others were informed of the news via media. For those who did not remember or were too young to witness, Tian Chua was one of the early activists fighting for the reformist idealogy when PM Anwar Ibrahim was jailed back in 1998.
AG proposed Bahasa Melayu to replace English as the authoritative version of the Constitution
The attorney general, Idris Harun, has proposed to reprint the Federal Constitution in order to make the Malay translation the authoritative version. This proposed amendment is in line with Article 160B of the Federal Constitution, which states that upon the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s approval, the Malay translation can replace the English as the authoritative text. Currently, the English version is still the authoritative text and has caused several arguments in court, such as in M. Indira Gandhi's case in 2018.
Empower TalentCorp instead of throwing it under the bus, says former deputy trade minister
Ong Kian Ming, the former deputy trade minister, said that instead of putting all the blame on TalentCorp for the brain drain issue that the country is experiencing, Putrajaya needs to give more power to TalentCorp to do its job. Ong said that people always misinterpret the purpose of TalentCorp, which is created to ensure the availability of high-skill talents in Malaysia via programs such as returning skilled Malaysians and expedited work visas for expatriates. The United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affair (UNDESA) report in 2020 shows that the number of Malaysian diasporas is 1.86 million.
The first LCS to be ready by next year says minister
Fingers crossed as the defence minister Mohamad Hasan said that the first ‘complete and visible’ littoral combat ship (LCS) will be ready for sea trials in 2024. For the remaining five ships, the construction of those ships is on schedule. Previously, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, which investigated the project, had recommended that several people be charged. So far, only a former Boustead top executive, Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, was charged with crimes related to the LCS saga.
Choo choo, train-related news coming through:
Putrajaya has allocated RM2.8bil for Prasarana Malaysia Berhad to spend on improving the train and bus services, including the 25-year-old Kelana Jaya train line that was plagued with incidents and delays.
CGS-CIMB Research predicted that the tenders and awards for the MRT3 line would be slightly delayed from its initial expectations in 1Q2023 to the end of 1H2023. Mega companies such as Gamuda, IJM Corp and Malaysia Resources Corp were expected to bid on the project.
As part of the Sabah government's drive to participate more in the state’s oil and gas industry, state-owned SMJ Sdn Bhd acquired a 25% equity interest in PETRONAS Chemicals Fertiliser Sabah Sdn Bhd that owned an integrated ammonia and urea production complex in Sipitang, Sabah.
Singapore-based AEM Holdings opened its second manufacturing plant in Penang after its first plant in Bayan Lepas. The new RM65mil, 365,000 square feet plant located in Prai Industrial Park will house an assembly area, a quality assurance section, a warehouse and a research and development lab.
Citaglobal has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Indonesia Battery Corporation, an entity formed to maximise Indonesia's natural resources via the development of the battery industry, for the proposed development of a battery cell manufacturing plant and battery energy storage system (BESS). The MOU will be in force for one year. Citaglobal is partly owned by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, holding a minority 12.4% stake in the company worth RM79.8 mil at the time of writing.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The US Jan 6 insurrection just happened in Brazil
Supporters of Brazilian far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro, who refused to accept and yet to concede his electoral defeat in October, have stormed the presidential palace, Congress and the Supreme Court in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia (not Rio de Janeiro, not Sao Paolo). This incident is similar to Jan 6 in the US two years ago when Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol. Bolsonaro is affectionately known as ‘Tropical Trump’.
Videos showed Bolsonaro supporters smashing videos and destroying furniture in those buildings. The siege lasted a little over two hours and came just a week after the inauguration of Bolsonaro’s leftist rival, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Bolsonara has been peddling false claims that Brazil’s electronic voting system was prone to fraud.
Parts of FTX’s assets are in high demand from acquirers
Court documents showed that the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has received interest from 117 parties in purchasing at least one entity owned by FTX and 59 confidentiality agreements have been agreed upon. No identities were disclosed. Some of the hot assets: LedgerX, an exchange platform acquired by FTX in Oct 2021 (at least 50 interested parties), FTX Europe and FTX Japan (at least 40 interested parties). Former CEO and founder of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried, responsible for the downfall of FTX, faces up to 115 years in jail if found guilty of all eight criminal charges against him.
The sale of these assets will allow FTX to repay its customers. However, authorities aren’t keen on these transactions at the moment - the United States Trustee, a unit of the federal justice department, objected to the sales as the sales could see business records being sold off, hindering potential investigations into alleged wrongdoing at FTX.
Dell’s bold attempt to remove ‘Made in China’ completely from its supply chain
The world’s third-largest computer maker by shipments aims to stop using chips made in China by 2024 and has informed its suppliers to significantly reduce the amount of other “made in China” components in its products. This goal is considered aggressive as its determination to diversify away from China is extended to facilities in China of its non-Chinese suppliers. Apart from chips, Dell has requested the same from its suppliers of other components, such as electronic modules and print circuit boards.
This move is the latest example of escalating tension between the US and China. Dell’s rival HP has started surveying the feasibility of moving its supply chain away from China. Combined, both giants shipped more than 133 mil notebook and desktop computers in 2021. China’s loss will be a massive gain for other countries, giving rise to new regional production hubs in India, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
Switzerland’s central bank suffers the largest loss ever of 132 bil francs
Switzerland government will not receive a payout from its central bank, the Swiss National Bank (SNB), for 2022 as the bank projects to suffer its biggest loss in its 116-year history of 132 bil francs (USD143 bil, RM624.39 bil). This is more than 5x the previous record, it announced in its preliminary results (full results out on 6 Mar). How did this massive loss occur? A large part of it, 131 bil francs, was due to the collapsed valuations of its large holdings of foreign currencies it acquired over the past decade to weaken the franc.
Random: What’s the capital of Switzerland? It’s not Zurich, not Geneva.
A provincial official in Henan, China’s third most populous province, revealed that nearly 90% or 88.5 mil people there have been infected with Covid. The Henan provincial figure is a huge contrast to figures from the central government. Official data showed just 120,000 people in the country of 1.4 bil have been infected and 30 died since China moved away from its zero-Covid policy.
Gen Z now has another reason to use Google Search less. TikTok has tied up with IMDb (not 1MDB), the movie database owned by Amazon, that will see TikTok licensing IMDb data to power a new movie feature on its social platform that will allow users to embed movie info (eg. titles, cast members, release date) into their content. A Google exec revealed last year that nearly 40% of Gen Z go to TikTok or Instagram to search for a place to dine, not Google Maps or Search.
How to grow taller? Go for leg-lengthening surgery. A 30-year-old man spent USD26,850 for this surgery to make his legs longer, adding nearly 5 inches (12.7 cm) to his height. The procedure involves cutting the leg bones and inserting a device into the hollow part of the bone that extends 1mm a day to give the added height. Inspired by his own ‘heightened’ success, he started his clinic offering a similar procedure called Wanna Be Taller.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Are you looking to start investing in 2023? Here are some tips from the Stockbit team!
One of the most iconic moments in sports history - Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali ‘floating like a butterfly’. Watch the tease at the end.
Creativity level 99.