Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Five more Malaysians escaped the hellish job scam and returned home
Monster of a father to be jailed 45 years, 24 strokes of cane for raping his daughters. Top Glove first quarterly loss of RM52.6 mil since 2001. Spotify now streams audiobooks - 300k of them.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
The new iPhone 14 128GB — RM4,199 — will cost 13.90% of an average Malaysian’s annual salary. The annual salary figure is according to median salary data sourced from Our World in Data by CompareDial.
50 mil people are trapped in forced labour or forced marriages, according to International Labour Organisation (ILO). That’s one out of every 150 people alive. ILO said the figure is up nearly 10 mil from five years ago. The triple whammy of modern slavery — armed conflicts, climate change and the global pandemic.
While the world is grappling with poverty and forced labour, the US space agency (NASA) spends a cool USD280 mil for ONE astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA awarded SpaceX a USD1.4 bil contract for five astronaut missions to the ISS.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Father of three betrayed his daughters’ trust by raping them.
A 56-year-old man in Melaka pleaded guilty to the court for rape, unnatural sexual acts and sexual assault against his daughters, now aged 15 and 19. The individual male has violated his daughters multiple times since 2015 and below is the laundry list of charges laid against him:
13 charges of raping his 19-year-old daughter between 2015 and 2018.
8 charges of raping his 15-year-old daughter and five chargers for inserting objects into the victim’s private parts.
2 charges for sexual assault and for committing unnatural acts against his 15-year-old daughter between 2019 and 2022.
The predatory father has been sentenced to 428 years of jail and 240 strokes of the cane for his crimes. However, the sentences will run concurrently, meaning he will serve 45 years in jail and receive 24 strokes of the cane.
Five more Malaysians escaped the hellish job scam and returned home.
Thanks to the continuous effort by Putrajaya, five more Malaysians who were the victims of job scam syndicates returned home from Cambodia. Collectively, 148 victims out of the 158 cases reported in Cambodia have been rescued and the government is intensifying its efforts to track down the remaining victims. Apart from Cambodia, the government has also rescued 16 victims from Thailand, 27 in Laos and 5 in Myanmar, bringing the total number of Malaysians being successfully brought back home to 196 persons.
Putrajaya will also discuss at the cabinet level to set up a special committee at the Asean level in order to resolve the issues of Malaysians being lured into the job scams syndicate abroad. So you may wonder, how do these syndicates conduct their scams? First, they will scour potential victims on social media such as Facebook, where the victims will be offered lucrative job offers as customer service officers in countries such as Cambodia. Once the victims arrive, the syndicate will confiscate their travel documents and be forcing them into unpaid labour and the only way to escape is to pay RM50,000 to the syndicates.
Listen to the experience of some of the victims in the video below.
Attention to employees and fellow HR — returning a day before resuming work is now considered travelling to work.
In a landmark decision by the Court of Appeal, a three-member panel unanimously decided that any worker travelling to a workplace in another town can claim for Social Security Organisation (Socso). This ruling was made when a senior technician, N Sathiaseelan, filed an appeal to the appellate court regarding his rejected Socso claims, when he suffered multiple injuries and disabilities due to an accident that occurred when he was travelling to his workplace in Kulim from his hometown Ipoh. According to the Court of Appeal verdict, Socso Act should be interpreted liberally in the context of corporate social responsibility, allowing employees to travel to work during the weekends from their hometowns.
Putrajaya is targeting more electric vehicle sales under the newly announced National Energy Policy 2022-2040.
The government aspires for electric vehicles (EV) to constitute more than a third of the local automotive market by 2040 by capturing a 38% market share. Last year, electric vehicles only constituted a measly 0.05% (254 units) of the total industry volume (TIV) of 508,911 units. Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Aishah Ahmad said that the sale of EVs will increase steadily due to the duty exemption initiatives under Budget 2022. However, she wanted the tax breaks to be extended to 10 years, as any sunsetting of the tax exemption shortly will be a premature action.
Petronas struck fortune off the coast of Sarawak.
Petronas announced that the Cengkih-1 exploration well, located 220km off the coast of Bintulu, discovered more gas resources within Block SK320, which is jointly operated by Mubadala Development Company Oil and Gas Limited (55% stake), Petronas Carigali (25% stake) and Sarawak Shell (20% stake). In addition, this new gas discovery could be extracted faster at a cheaper cost due to the close proximity of the discovery point to existing facilities.
Top Glove went into a slump as the company is in the red for the final quarter of its financial year.
For the fourth quarter ended Aug 31 (4QFY22), the company recorded a net loss of RM52.59mil, the first quarterly loss since 2001 listing, in comparison to a net profit of RM447.4mil in the same period last year. The company blamed the loss on the rising cost and the normalisation in demand and average selling prices (ASP) for gloves. However, according to its managing director, the current situation is only a temporary setback as the market’s supply and demand reconcile. Currently, Top Glove’s market cap stands at RM5.75 bil, a dismal compared to its share price during the peak of the pandemic in 2020, reaching as high as RM78.2 bil.
Agong is now a substantial shareholder of conglomerate Citaglobal Berhad.
After purchasing 32.1mil shares last week, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, emerged as a substantial shareholder of Citaglobal Berhad, controlling 12.44% of the company. Citaglobal is a conglomerate that is involved in facilities management, telecommunications, energy, infrastructure and technology sectors. The company, once known as WZ Satu Berhad, recently won a RM373.5mil contract to design, construct and equip Phase 1 of Perlis Inland Port (PIP).
Two cousins of the King, Tengku Datuk Seri Uzir Tengku Ubaidillah and Tengku Datuk Indera Zubir Tengku Ubaidillah, resigned from the company to pursue ‘personal interests’. Both cousins of the King held a total of 2.95% stake in the company.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Of inflation and rate hikes.
China kept its benchmark lending rates unchanged — the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was held at 3.65%, while the five-year LPR was unchanged at 4.30%. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) move to maintain the rates could further heap pressure on the Yuan.
Japan’s core consumer inflation of 2.8% in August — hit its fastest annual pace in nearly eight years and exceeded the central bank’s target of 2%. The Bank of Japan’s dovish policy stance is meant to support a weak economy, but it’s fuelling an unwelcome slide in the yen that pushes up import costs.
On the other side of the world, Sweden’s Riksbank increased its main policy rate by 100 basis points to 1.75% as inflation is too
damnhigh (9%)! It is the most significant rate hike in three decades. Riksbank said monetary policy would need to be tightened further to bring inflation back to its 2% target.
Any fans of the Serial podcast here?
There’s a new development in the story of Season 1 — Adnan Syed has been released from prison after a Baltimore judge overturned Syed’s conviction for the 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee. Syed spent more than two decades behind bars after he was convicted of strangling 18-year-old Lee. However, the prosecutors stopped short of exonerating Syed. The murder case is still open.
Give the podcast a shot, it is one of my favourites ever (Season 1). Sarah Koenig’s mesmerising voice and great storytelling kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the season.
Good guy Elon Musk wants to provide its Starlink service in Iran.
Satellite-internet service Starlink will request exemptions from sanctions against Iran to provide service in the country after a Twitter user asked Elon if it’s possible to provide Starlink to Iranian people. The death of Mahsa Amini last Friday in police custody has sparked anti-government protests across Iran. Internet users in the country have been reporting disrupted internet services.
Strong USD doesn’t only impact manufacturing — it impacts the App Store too.
Apple said prices of apps and in-app purchases on its App Store will be increased as early as Oct 5 in all of the eurozone and some countries in Asia and South America. The starting price for paid apps in the eurozone will be €1.19. In addition, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea and Vietnam in Asia and Chile in South America will also see price increases.
Spotify’s next bet — audiobooks. The streaming giant wants to be the one-stop shop for all listening needs.
Spotify users in the US will be able to purchase and listen to the audiobooks — more than 300,000 titles are available. Currently, the service is only available in the US. The titles are editorially chosen but will eventually be tailored according to the recommendation algorithm. The UX is slightly off — users will be required to complete the purchase of the audiobook outside of the app, most likely due to Apple’s 30% commission.
A tycoon’s USD3 billion failure to create China’s LVMH
Six years ago, a little-known textile maker called Shandong Ruyi Group snapped up assets from the boulevards of Paris to the heart of London, tailoring on Savile Row in a bid to become China’s version of luxury powerhouse LVMH. However, spending money — in this case, USD3 bil — could only buy the heritage of the luxury brands, but not build upon the success. Ruyi purchased French fashion brands Sandro and Maje as well as heritage British trench coat maker Aquascutum and the maker of Lycra stretchy fabrics. The Covid-19 pandemic deflated demand for formalwear as people were working from home. And now, Ruyi is left to face the music from its creditors — with court cases in England, Luxembourg, France and Singapore. The lesson here is — money cannot create class.
Do Kwon, where art thou?
The co-founder of collapsed cryptocurrency operator Terraform Labs is being sought after by South Korean authorities for the investigation surrounding the USD40 bil implosion of the TerraUSD and luna tokens. South Korean prosecutors have asked Interpol to issue a red notice against Do Kwon.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
From Joe Biden to the late Queen Elizabeth II’s cute corgis — find the pictures of the Queen’s funeral here.
The number of cinema-goers (in the US) has been dwindling, even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new iOS 16 update is perfect for men who are afraid of running out of ideas about what to wear.