Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Brace yourself for voting in the floods
PM Sabri says there's still time for GE15 this year despite upcoming monsoon season. Govt to remove death penalty on 23 offences,execution pause for 1,300+ inmates.Elon Musk college photos on auction.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”
— Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
8.3% — YoY increase of the heavily monitored US Consumer Price Index (CPI). Inflation increased by 0.1% in August despite the cooling oil prices. The figure is more than expected — economists expected headline inflation to fall by 0.1%. The Feds still have a lot on their plate as they have yet to get a hold of inflation.
There are approximately 185,000 UNHCR cardholders in Malaysia, according to Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin. The government is exploring the possibility of giving job opportunities in the country to refugees along with training in certain sectors under the Home Ministry’s Tracing Refugees Information System (TRIS) programme. As Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugees are considered undocumented migrants under immigration laws in Malaysia and are at risk of arrest, detention and deportation. They are not allowed to work legally.
USD19 mil worth of stolen art was returned to Italy after New York’s district attorney convicted two robbers who used a network throughout Italy to steal pieces from unguarded sites. The stolen artefacts — 58 pieces in total — were sold to museums and private dealers by convicted looters.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
With three months left in 2022 and less than two months away from the monsoon season, PM Ismail Sabri said we still have time for a general election.
PM Ismail Sabri stated that there is still time to hold a general election this year, but it will depend on the decision of the UMNO’s top 5 leadership (which includes him) that will meet soon to discuss the matter. As a reminder to the PM and all Malaysians, the next general election could be held at the latest in September 2023, so let’s focus on the important issues and not press the ‘election’ button too soon. We had to vote on a weekday during GE14. Let’s hope we do not have to vote on a wet day.
Generic medicine is just as good for Najib Razak, says Khairy.
The health minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, refuted Najib Razak’s family's claims that the doctor had changed Najib’s blood pressure medication, which allegedly led to the worsening condition of the imprisoned former PM. Instead, Khairy told the press that the formulation of the medicine given by the doctors to Najib was the same as the ones that he used to take, just the medicine was ‘generic’ and not original like the ones Najib was prescribed from private hospitals previously. Btw, generic drugs are cheaper.
The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial had to be vacated as Najib was hospitalised.
Malaysia’s expertise is in creating invisible ships — MMEA ships due in 2020 are still under construction.
Three Tun Fatimah class Damen 1800 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) tendered to THHE Destini Sdn Bhd for use by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), where the first ship was supposedly due in 2020, are still under construction. MMEA director-general said that the delay was due to the pandemic, and he expected the first ship to be handed to the agency by early 2023.
The mandatory death penalty for drug offences will be replaced by alternatives.
The de-facto law minister Wan Junaidi had announced that the government had agreed in principle to remove the death penalty for 23 offences under the law, including Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and alternative sentences will be given instead. While the government is fine-tuning the Bill that will be tabled to amend the relevant laws, the government announced a moratorium on the execution of the death penalty for 1,337 inmates. Malaysia is among the 55 countries in the world, with the likes of Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea, that still legalised the death penalty.
Former editor charged with criminal defamation for reporting stock manipulation activities.
The Edge’s former editor-in-chief, Ahmad Azam and his editor, Shanmugam Murugasu, were charged in court for criminal defamation in relation to two news reports on the abnormal surge in penny stocks of companies such as AT Systemization Bhd, MLabs Systems Bhd and Focus Dynamics Group Bhd.
Both Azam and Shanmugam were charged for defaming Datuk Kua Khai Shyuan, DGB Asia Bhd, Trive Property Group Bhd, Metronic Global Bhd and MNC Wireless Bhd, which according to the news reports published by the former, were among the gainers from the alleged stock manipulation. You can read about the news report which sits at the centre of this court case here.
MBSB — MIDF merger looks to be a reality.
The merger of two local financial institutions, Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF), will likely go ahead with a detailed merger proposal to be submitted to Bank Negara soon. If the merger goes through, the merged entity will be the second largest Islamic bank by assets with RM59.58bil, just below Bank Islam which accumulated RM80.03bil in assets.
According to sources, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which controls 65.87% of MBSB, will hold the controlling stake in the merged entity, while Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), which wholly owns MIDF, will end up with about a 20% stake in the merged entity. There is a possibility that the merged entity will call Menara Merdeka 118 its home, as the second highest skyscraper in the world is owned by PNB. Will there be a fight with Maybank on who gets the naming right for Merdeka 118?
airasia (lowercase intended) ride drivers can potentially earn RM8,000 as full-time employees.
airasia ride drivers will be offered full-time employment, a month after a similar offer was made to airasia food and airasia xpress delivery riders. Effective from Oct 1, qualified drivers can opt for the full-time drivers programme, where they would be given a basic income of up to RM3,500 and a potential monthly income of RM8,000 in total.
Flood is coming and we should be prepared for it.
PM Ismail Sabri had directed for the district disaster management committees to be activated promptly in order to coordinate responses in all flood-prone areas. Putrajaya had allocated RM8mil to state disaster management committees in 160 districts and a further RM2.59mil to upgrade facilities at all temporary relief centres.
Sultan Johor, via the Sultan Ibrahim Johor Foundation (YSIJ), had donated 103,000 units of cubic tents worth RM19mil nationwide (RM184 per unit) to provide temporary shelters to disaster victims such as floods. Each state will receive about 5,000 cubic tents.
Putrajaya is collaborating with Petronas to deploy the latter’s mobile refuelling service trucks or also known as Petronas ROVR, during the annual flood season. The truck that can carry between 4,000 to 11,000 litres can provide quick access to fuel to the public and rescue teams at places that faced any supply disruption.
Kuala Lumpur, a metropolis that still utilises sandbags to manage floodwater, had requested its waste contractor, Alam Flora, to clean out its drains weekly instead of once a month. Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had identified 25 flood hotspots in the city and stated that it is important for drains to be cleaned regularly as clogged drains are one of the main causes of flash floods.
According to the KL Mayor, Mahadi Che Ngah, DBKL is in the midst of planning an underground flood water storage system, similar to the current Smart Tunnel system and the ones in Japan. He said that the feasibility study would take about five months to be completed.
Do you know why KL is called Kuala Lumpur? The literal translation means muddy confluence. A confluence is where two or more flowing bodies of water join to form a single channel. KL is at the confluence of two rivers — Sungai Kelang and Sungai Gombak.
Still wondering why KL is prone to floods? Not nature, but mediocrity.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Another war broke out — renewed border clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Armenian military positions were attacked by Azerbaijani forces. Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said 49 Armenian soldiers have been killed, with the number expected to rise. Russia, Armenia’s closest ally, brokered a truce (i.e. ceasefire) between the historic rivals. The root of the conflict is the highly contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, where two wars have been fought over in the 1990s and, more recently, in 2020. The region is recognised as Azerbaijani territory, but it is populated with ethnic Armenians who either want to secede or join Armenia.
Ukraine retook more than 6,000 sq km from Russian control this month.
While the figure is not verified, Russia admitted losing key cities in the north-eastern Kharkiv region due to Ukraine’s counter-offensive. Russia said its troop withdrawal as a “regrouping” with the aim of focusing on the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine's east. The advancement showed two crucial things:
Ukraine can recapture territories.
Ukrainian forces can use western weapons effectively.
Xi Jinping gets out of China for the very first time since the beginning of Covid-19.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin his visit to Central Asia — Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan — today. Xi will also be meeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's summit in the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Vladimir’s meeting with Xi shows Russia’s tilt toward Asia and it will not appease the West.
Revenge porn assailant convicted — sentenced to 24 weeks’ jail.
A Singaporean man who engaged in sexual activities with at least 20 women he met on the dating application Tinder pleaded guilty to five charges, including insulting a woman's modesty, selling obscene videos and criminal intimidation. The perpetrator often recorded or photographed the sex acts, sometimes without the consent of the women.
One of Elon Musk’s ex-girlfriends did the opposite of revenge porn — auctioning photos (no nudes) of Musk from his college days.
Jennifer Gwynne, who dated the world’s richest man when they were both studying at the University of Pennsylvania, is auctioning 18 photos capturing the billionaire's youthful moments as a college student, a handwritten birthday card and a gold necklace. Gwynne decided to sell the items to raise money for her stepson’s college tuition fees.
Missing the land of the rising sun?
Good news for you, as the Japanese government is looking to waive tourist visa requirements as part of a further easing of border controls enacted to stop the spread of Covid-19. Individual travellers should be able to visit Japan without travel agency bookings and a daily cap on arrivals may be scrapped by October. The announcement on the easing may be made as early as this week.
Peloton is changing its cyclists and Apple’s supplier is slowly leaving China.
Fitness equipment company Peloton announced the resignations of two of the company’s founders — John Foley and Hisao Kushi — and another top executive — Kevin Cornils. The company’s shares hit a high of USD167 in October 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, as gyms shut down and people purchased exercise equipment while working from home. The stock closed at USD11.05 on Monday, down nearly 70% YTD.
Global manufacturing giant Foxconn and Indian oil-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian state of Gujarat to set up a USD20 billion semiconductor and display unit. Foxconn will bring technical expertise to the venture, whereas Vedanta will finance the project and the state of Gujarat will offer subsidies on capital expenditure and electricity for the project.
Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae and Hwang Dong-hyuk created history.
Lee became the first Asian star to win the Emmy award for best male actor in a drama, while Hwang won the best drama series director prize. Ted Lasso also won big — best comedy series for the second year in a row and Jason Sudeikis won best leading comedy actor. Unfortunately, one of our favourite shows — Better Call Saul — went home with nothing despite having seven nominations.
The Emmys are voted for by more than 25,000 members of the US Television Academy — those in front of and behind the cameras.
Squid Game stars tease details of Season 2 - watch here.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
One of Warren Buffett’s favourite ways to value the stock markets — the ratio of total market capitalisation to gross domestic product. The metric compares the total value of public equities with the actual economic output of the country as a whole.
Do the mixed rice hawker stalls discriminate? The team at Mr Money TV decided to find out! Watch their video below. #Pray4Peter