Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi got DNAA-ed in Yayasan Akalbudi trial
The RM93.2 mil assets list revealed by former 1MDB lawyer Jasmine Loo. PDRM is considering to charge PAS President under Sedition Act. UAE potentially 1st Gulf state to legalise casinos & lottery.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
The US market was closed yesterday, Sep 4, for the Labour Day holiday.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
The travel sector is set to grow to USD15.5 tril by 2033, accounting for more than 11.6% of the global economy. This is a 50% increase over its USD10 tril pre-pandemic value in 2019. Before the pandemic, Chinese travellers accounted for 14.3% of global outbound travel spending, but their delayed return to international travel has hampered the sector’s rebound. By 2033, the Chinese share of global outbound travel is predicted to hit 22.3%, or every USD1 of USD5 spent globally.
Nearly everyone (apart from a small group of billionaire) in the world saw their household wealth taking a hit in 2022. Total global household wealth fell by 2.4% or USD11.3 tril to USD454.4 tril, based on a UBS study. This was due to a trifecta of inflation, rising interest rates and currency depreciation that squeezed global wealth for the first time since 2008. Average individual wealth also fell by 3.6% to USD3,198 last year.
1 Sep 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake in Tokyo that registered a 7.9-magnitude earthquake, which triggered fires that went uncontrolled and lasted for 46 hours and burned down 40% of the Japanese capital. The quake struck during lunch when many families were cooking over traditional stoves and charcoal grills, causing fire at numerous places and strong winds from a nearing typhoon caused the fires to spread rapidly. Nikkei’s animated infographic here shows how the fires spread for 46 hours.
"'Give yourself a lot of shots to get lucky' is even better advice than it appears on the surface. Luck isn’t an independent variable but increases super-linearly with more surface area—you meet more people, make more connections between new ideas, learn patterns, etc."
- Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAi
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi got DNAA-ed
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has had all 47 charges against him dropped after a four-year trial. The case is categorized as a "discharge not amounting to an acquittal" (DNAA), and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will continue to investigate these charges because of representations made by Zahid earlier this year. His defence team plans to appeal for a full acquittal. The decision was made at the trial's outset when Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar stated that he had orders from Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun to cancel the charges.
One reason cited by the prosecution for the DNAA is a Royal Commission of Inquiry into former Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas' controversial memoir. They believe this RCI is relevant to Zahid's charges, which could be considered as selective prosecution. The trial started in November 2019 and involved 77 days of trial with 99 witnesses called by the prosecution.
During the proceedings, Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah stressed that if the prosecution were to reopen the case in the future without intending to continue it, it would be a waste of the court's time and taxpayer money. However, he also mentioned that the Attorney General has the authority to bring or withdraw charges at any time, according to the law.
Zahid was earlier acquitted of all charges in the VLN case. He’s a free man - for now, as he could still be charged again on similar grounds. If he receives full acquittal, he can never be charged for the same crime again - the double jeopardy rule prevents a person from being tried again for the same crime.
Former 1MDB lawyer Jasmine Loo has revealed assets worth RM93.2 mil
Loo revealed assets worth RM93.2 mil to the police, and they were noted in her statement signed on August 23. These assets may be worth more now than when they were first bought in 2013. Loo, who's connected to fugitive businessman Jho Low, is currently in custody after five years on the run. She also admitted to receiving cash, luxury watches and several luxury handbags, including a Birkin from Jho Low. She's part of the 1MDB lawsuit along with former PM Najib Razak and former 1MDB officers.
Some of these assets:
Properties in Singapore, the US and London
A condo in One Madison Park worth RM21.4 mil
A condo in London worth RM12.9 mil
2 condos in Singapore worth SGD3.8 mil and bank account with SGD4 mil in it
9 paintings (2 by Picasso) worth RM8.1 mil
Bank account with current balance of RM23.2 mil
Police mull charges for Hadi Awang under Sedition and Communications Acts
Police are considering charging PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang under the Sedition Act and the Communications and Multimedia Act. The investigation will be completed in a week, according to Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay. This is in relation to his speech allegedly questioning the authority of the Pardons Board. Hadi Awang only answered five out of 24 questions from the police, and the rest will be dealt with in court. Perhaps, true to his style, on the other 19 questions, when asked on topic A, he answered on topic B - a common pattern observed in his interviews.
Former Bersatu assemblyman joins Parti Amanah
Former Bersatu assemblyman Mohd Izhar Ahmad has switched to Parti Amanah, a component party of Pakatan Harapan. He handed over his membership form during an event attended by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Mohd Izhar said he lost confidence in Bersatu's president, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. This follows a similar move by former Bukit Pasir PAS assemblyman Najib Lep, who also joined Amanah along with over 200 members from PAS and Bersatu.
TNG Digital commits to compliance after RM600,000 penalty for Financial Services Act breach
TNG Digital is fully committed to adhering to Bank Negara Malaysia's standards after the central bank imposed an Administrative Monetary Policy on the company for breaching the Financial Services Act 2013. BNM imposed an RM600,000 penalty on TNG Digital for onboarding two sanctioned individuals without proper screening. Although the breaches occurred over three years ago, TNG Digital promptly reported them and has since enhanced internal procedures to prevent future occurrences. TNG Digital made the payment on May 31, 2023. An expensive lesson.
Lion Industries Corp Bhd is selling two pieces of land in Banting, totalling almost 27 acres, for RM92.03 mil. This decision follows the cancellation of its plan to purchase 80 acres of agricultural land in Sepang for RM23 mil. This sale will give Lion Industries about RM57.10 mil in net gain, which they can use to cover their working capital needs. The sale was agreed upon in two agreements with Unichamp Mineral Sdn Bhd and should be completed by early 2026.
Bursa Malaysia has granted FGV Holdings Bhd its fifth 6-month extension since Mar 2021 to comply with the minimum public shareholding spread requirement of 25% of the total number of shares in the hands of of at least 200 public shareholders. Its public shareholding spread was 13.09% as at Aug 22. Felda currently owns 81.9% of FGV following an unsuccessful privatisation offer.
Read guidelines: Bursa Malaysia Guidance Note 13: Public Shareholding Spread
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
UAE to potentially become first Gulf state to legalise casinos, lottery
The United Arab Emirates has established a regulatory body to regulate the gaming industry, potentially making it the first Gulf state to legalise gaming activities, including casinos and lottery. This comes a month after Wynn Resort Ltd, which is building a USD3.9 bil gaming resort in UAE, said it expects to obtain a license soon.
Earlier this year, senior government officials said there were no imminent plans to allow gambling, but it seems that changes have taken place. This would be a huge step up change for the UAE as the nation is governed by the Islamic, or Shariah law, where gambling under Islam is illegal under the country. On the economic front, easing rules around social behaviours has been a consideration given the rising competition in the region to be the tourism hub amongst its neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Applying a top-down estimate, if UAE’s gaming revenue reaches 1.6% GDP as in the case of Singapore, this would contribute as much as USD6.6 bil to its economy. In Macau, 36% of its GDP is driven by gaming revenue, contributing USD19.6 bil to the economy annually.
Qantas sold cancelled flights tickets, regulatory action taken
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has initiated legal action against Qantas Airways (QAN), accusing the airline of engaging in false, misleading, or deceptive conduct. The ACCC alleges that Qantas continued to advertise tickets for over 8,000 flights that had already been cancelled but were still available for sale on its website. These flights were scheduled to depart between May and July 2022, and tickets were sold for an average of more than two weeks after their cancellation, with some flights still available for up to 47 days.
Qantas has taken the step to remove the expiry dates on COVID travel credits totalling AUD570 mil. These credits were issued to Australian and international customers until September 30, 2021, and were initially set to expire at the end of this year. This move aims to provide customers with more flexibility in utilising their travel credits.
Flora & fauna: Radioactive pigs, blue ocean turning green
A new study published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal (view study here) may have just solved the “wild boar paradox”. Wild boars in Germany have puzzled scientists as the animals continue to be more radioactive than other animals in the area. Radioactivity found in wild boars was initially blamed on the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, but more research concludes that nuclear weapons testing was the significant cause. Wild boars were more affected as they fed on deer truffles, which grew underground and accumulated radioactive material from the weapons testing.
If you are noticing that the ocean is turning green, you are not wrong and your vision is all good. A study (view here) on 2 decades of satellite imagery found that about 56% of Earth’s oceans have seen significant changes in colour, which have become greener. There’s no specific reasoning at the moment for this phenomenon but is likely attributed to climate change. Scientists fear this could be harbinger of another global crisis in ocean food chains. Deep blue sea indicates little life in that upper layer but a green colour, usually means the ocean is teeming with phytoplankton, tiny organisms that form the basis of a complex food chain that feeds everything from sea birds to whales. More doesn’t mean good as it would cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.
India’s moon rover clocks out, enters ‘sleep mode’
The Pragyan rover has been in service for 1 lunar day, which is equal to 14 days on Earth and entered into “sleep mode”. All its data has been transmitted to Earth for further analysis. So far, there’s no word on the outcome of the rover’s search of frozen water on the moon’s south pole, though it confirmed that sulphur and other elements such as aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium and titanium were detected.
Pragyan might be sleeping permanently as its electronics were not designed to withstand temperatures less than -120 degree Celsius during the nighttime on the moon. The next lunar day starts on 22 Sep - may Pragyan awake from its slumber to advance humanity’s knowledge of the moon.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Below tweet by Zaid Ibrahim, a former minister. The rich whining about the richer bullying them in golf clubs and called for the government to intervene. So disconnected with the reality on the ground.
Know Your Rice - TIL that the colours on rice packaging indicate whether it is domestic (purple), imported (light blue) etc.Tiktok failed to load.
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