- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ First man charged under anti-stalking law pleads guilty
☕️ First man charged under anti-stalking law pleads guilty
Weekend disasters: storm, flood, alleged murder. The original Mickey Mouse to be copyright-free this 1 Jan 2024, free to use. Domestic helper to inherit half of Hermès heir's USD11.7 bil fortune.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
25,642 instances of harmful content were flagged on social media platforms and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Meta and TikTok, according to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) statistics. It is a drastic 24x increase compared to 1,019 in 2022. The content in question encompasses scams, illegal sales, gambling, fake news, and hate speech. Collectively, these elements pose threats to the social fabric and institutions in Malaysia.
Are people becoming more vigilant or is the government stifling dissent online?
Data published by Meta and TikTok showed that the platforms had restricted a record number of social media posts and accounts in Malaysia in the first six months of 2023. From July 2022 to June 2023, Meta reported that it restricted access to over 3,500 items in response to reports from Malaysia's communications regulator and other government agencies. TikTok, in a similar report released last month, stated that it received 340 requests from the Malaysian government to remove or restrict content between January and June 2023, impacting 890 posts and accounts.
According to Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil, the local media suffers losses of RM2 bil annually in advertisement revenues from a total of RM4.5 bil to three social media giants — Meta, Google and TikTok. The ministry intends to gather the media organisations and social media platforms to get the latter to share a piece of the pie. Fahmi hopes the engagement sessions with media organisations will help them use the social media platform effectively and efficiently. In Canada recently, Google struck a deal to pay media companies CAD100 mil (RM348.7 mil) annually to support them financially.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
All things disasters, both natural and man-made
Last Saturday’s heavy downpour wreaked havoc in all parts of the Klang Valley. This included the severe flooding at IOI Mall Puchong that damaged seventy-one stores and left 65 vehicles stranded in the water. Other than that, a landslide that was believed to be triggered by the same heavy rain had occurred at Taman Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong. According to Asst Comm AA Anbalangan, the Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) utilised approximately 375 iron-cored sheet piles, each about 6 meters long, to prevent any further soil movement at the area of the landslide. A couple’s luck was unfortunate as their car was submerged in the flood less than an hour after receiving it brand new.
The episodes of heavy downpour may not be ending anytime soon. Although it may not pose any real threat to Malaysia, a tropical storm dubbed ‘Jelawat’ is moving westwards at a speed between 20km — 65km per hour. The nearest Malaysian town to the storm is Sandakan, which sits about 1,254km from the storm.
From natural disasters, we now move to a disaster caused by the cruelty of humans. In regards to the unfortunate passing of a 17-year-old student who was hit by a car driven by a police officer, Perak police chief Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri told the media that the police is still looking for video evidence of the incident as no one has come forward to provide such evidence. Speaking on the matter, Attorney-General Ahmad Terrirudin Salleh said that the senior police officer who allegedly rammed his car into the schoolboy will be charged with murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
Safiq Rosli pleaded guilty to stalking a female photographerMohamad Safiq Rosli, a part-time event management consultant, pleaded guilty to stalking and harassing a female photographer via X (formerly known as Twitter) last July. Previously, in August, Safiq pleaded not guilty and on the same day, he was referred to the Forensic Psychiatric Unit of Ulu Kinta Hospital for observation. The medical report states that he is “fit for trial, also fit to plead”. One interesting fact is that Safiq is the first to be charged under the new anti-stalking law under Section 507A (1) of the Penal Code. If found guilty, he could be imprisoned for up to three years.
While we are on this topic, according to the Bukit Aman’s Sexual, Women, and Child Investigations Division (D11) principal assistant director, Asst Comm Siti Kamsiah Hassan, police have investigated nine cases under the new anti-stalking law, where two have been resolved and the remaining are still open cases. ACP Siti Kamsiah also stated that based on the reported cases, stalkers would typically use social media platforms to harass their victims.
Transport in the spotlight
Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that his ministry will introduce the on-demand transit van service dubbed demand responsive transit (DRT) in Klang Valley to solve the first-mile and last-mile public transportation connectivity issues. Loke said that the budget for the DRT initiative will come from the RM50 mil allocated under Budget 2024 to purchase vans, which subsequently will be handed over to Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana) to oversee the operations. DRT will start in locations that are not being served by existing bus routes. The ministry welcomes cooperation from existing van-on-demand service providers.
Loke also stated that the My50 travel pass will continue next year as the initiative has garnered huge subscriptions from the public, with approximately 200,000 monthly subscribers in the Klang Valley. To further support the travel pass, Putrajaya has increased the allocation from RM115 mil in 2023 to RM200 mil in 2024. The My50 travel pass is an initiative that enables residents to access services like MRT, monorail, LRT, and BRT under the Rapid KL network for only RM50 per month.
Done with the good news, now comes the not-so-good news. Lawyer Salim Bashir questioned why the Barisan Nasional — Perikatan Nasional (BN-PN) caretaker government hastily signed an RM3.46 bil deal to award the concession for the multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) toll plaza project to a YTL Holdings Bhd subsidiary merely a few days before GE15. Recently, this shady deal has angered 32 highway toll concessionaires that opposed the direct appointment of the private company. The wrath of the highway concessionaires was later calmed by the Works Minister, who reiterated that the award for the project had yet to be finalised and that the government only approved an ‘appointment agreement’.
Trading suspension of Apollo Food Apollo Food Holdings Bhd, the household brand of chocolate wafer products and layer cakes among schoolchildren in Malaysia, had its request to suspend the trading of its shares approved by Bursa Malaysia. The trading suspension will take effect today amidst a major ‘material announcement’ of a take-over. At the moment, Apollo is 51.31% owned by Singaporean Liang Chiang Heng and his younger brother Liang Kim Poh via their investment vehicle, Keynote Capital Sdn Bhd. Apollo shares closed at RM5.40 on Friday, up 50% from a year ago, with a market capitalisation of RM432 mil.
Revisions to the MM2H ProgramPutrajaya will relax the requirements for its non-performing Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program to attract high-income foreigners into the country, starting with China. Three distinctive categories will be introduced under the revamped MM2H, with the ‘Platinum’ category — for those keeping RM5 mil in FD — eligible to obtain permanent residence (PR) status. The ‘new’ MM2H will undergo a one-year trial period.
CTOS IPO — thumbs up or down?CTOS Digital Bhd was listed on Jul 2021, raising RM1.2 bil. It’s arguably the highest-profile IPO of the past decade with a lofty valuation. The Star’s take on whether the company has lived up to expectations.
PSA — The 10% sales tax on low-value goods (LVG) sold online will start on January 1, 2024. However, newly sliced Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil clarified that the new tax only applies to imported goods valued under RM500.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The original Mickey Mouse copyright to expire in 2024, free for allThe original Mickey Mouse which was featured in the 1928 animated short “Steamboat Willie” (watch here) is set to enter the public domain on Jan 1 2024 as its 95-year copyright lifespan comes to an end. Current copyright law dictates that copyright must expire after 95 years and we have Disney to thank as the House of Mouse had lobbied multiple times to extend the copyright lifespan from the original 28 years with an option to extend another 28 years in the copyright law dating back to 1909. Works created after 1 Jan 1978 have a copyright term of life of the author plus seventy years after the author’s death.
To be clear, only the original Mickey Mouse featured in Steamboat Willie will be in the public domain — Mickey’s legal team has pulled out all stops to copyright and trademark all iterations and depictions of the mouse. In 2022, another iconic character entered the public domain and became free to use — the initial version of Winnie the Pooh. A year later, Pooh starred in a violent movie, “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” (watch the trailer here).
Israel mistakenly killed 3 of its own during an intense combat with Hamas fighters. The 3 hostages between 22 to 28 were shirtless and one of them was holding up a white flag, The case has added pressure on the Israeli government to reach a deal for the release of the more than 120 captives who remain in Gaza.
MSC, the world’s largest shipping carrier, joined shipping giants Maersk and Hapag-Llyod to stop travelling the Suez Canal (see map here). The passage feeds into the Red Sea, which is facing a security threat as Iranian-backed Houthi militants from Yemen have been attacking vessels headed for Israel. Approximately 12% of the world’s trade moves through the Suez Canal. Egypt, which operates the Suez Canal is expected to take a hit from this. Essentially operating a toll on water, the Suez Canal Authority generated a record USD9.4 bil in the 2022/23 fiscal year.
Stories of the billionaires
83-year-old Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim has joined the USD100 bil club for the first time, a dozen years after he was crowned the world’s wealthiest person. A combination of the surge of the Mexican Peso of 14% against the USD this year (PMX, MK2, do we have something to learn from Mexico?) and the 109% spike in Slim’s conglomerate Grupo Carso SAVB added USD27 bil to his fortune this year, and making him the richest Latin American. Read here for more of Slim’s background.
Meanwhile, in France, a domestic helper is set to become a billionaire. Nicolas Puech, a descendant of Thierry Hermès, who founded the luxury French fashion house in 1837, is planning to leave half of his vast fortune of USD11.7 bil to his domestic helper of decades. Puech, who is single and has no child, has started adoption proceeding of his domestic helper, who remains unnamed. Puech owns 5.7% of Hermès, making him the single largest individual shareholder. Hermes is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and last traded at EUR2,023.50 per share and has a market cap of EUR213.9 bil at the time of writing.
Life just gets tougher for women in AfghanistanThe Taliban government is putting women abuse survivors in prison, claiming it is for their protection instead of the abusers. Before the Taliban took over, there were 23 state-sponsored women’s protection centres or shelters in Afghanistan and now all has vanished as the government sees no need for such centres. The Taliban’s suppression of women’s rights in Afghanistan is one of the harshest in the world.
HKD1 mil bounties for 5 HK activistsHong Kong police are offering bounties for information leading to the arrest of 5 activists living overseas. These 5 were prominent members of the 2019 protest movement and moved overseas following the national security law imposed by Beijing. The move has been criticised by the UK and the US for restricting democracy.
Kuwait’s Emir passed away at 86Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has passed away, though authorities did not give any cause of death. Sheikh Nawaf came into power in Sep 2020 following the death of his half-brother and now, Kuwait’s Crown Prince and his half-brother Sheikh Meshaal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, 83, will be named the new emir. The government announced a 40-day official mourning period and a 3-day closure of government departments.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Mr Money TV interviews a former (or is he?) government insider, Dr Ong Kian Ming on his hot takes on the recent cabinet reshuffle. OKM was the former Bangi MP and former deputy minister of MITI.
Why do many Middle Eastern nations’ flags have the same colours? The same goes with Eastern European countries.
WFH definition might take a different meaning towards the year-end.