Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ GLC, GLIC heads and judges are now required to declare their assets
Mud volcano erupted in Lahad Datu, no need to panic. Protest in Iran sparked by woman's death due to "improper hijab". US x Taliban prisoner swap.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
27 women will be paid a total of 18.26 million yen (RM575,000) after the Tokyo District Court found that Tokyo Medical University has been discriminating against women for an entrance exam. The university is said to have rig test scores to favour male candidates.
45% of companies in Malaysia (n = 261) have yet to allocate a budget for sustainability initiatives, according to the Malaysia Businesses Sustainability Pulse Report 2022 by the UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB).
James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 in “No Time to Die” could be yours if you’re willing to fork out at least USD2.3 million. The “Sixty Years of James Bond” auction is being conducted by Christie’s. The DB5 will be released for public sale on Sept 28 — 8 more days for you to raise funds.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The first step is taken to give women equal powers in the matters of citizenship for children born abroad.
Pengerang MP, Azalina Othman, who is also the chairwoman of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Women and Children Affairs and Social Development, has submitted a Private Member’s Bill for the amendment of Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution that seeks to empower Malaysian women, where they can confer citizenship to their children born overseas. Previously, Azalina stated that the citizenship issue was one of the major reasons why Malaysian women think twice to return to the country again. Currently, 1.86mil Malaysian women live overseas, representing 12% of the country’s female population.
A Private Member’s Bill is on proposed law submitted by MPs, not from the executive branch of government.
Updates from the courtrooms:
Apex court dismissed the Bar’s application to review the judgement on its breach of statutory duty.
The Federal Court refused to review the final judgement on the Malaysian Bar’s breach of statutory duties to Shafee Abdullah. With this decision, the final judgement is upheld and Shafee is entitled to damages. In 2015, Shafee sued the Malaysian Bar and two other lawyers, Tommy Thomas and VC George, for publishing and submitting a motion to discuss his conduct in relation to Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial at the Bar’s annual general meeting (AGM). The High Court dismissed Shafee’s suit; however, when the matter was brought forward to the Federal Court, it was found out that the Malaysian Bar had committed a more severe breach of the law as the Bar has no authority to discuss the conduct of other lawyers at an AGM.
No more discrediting the key witness, said the prosecutor to Zahid’s team.
In Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akalbudi criminal breach of trust (CBT) trial, the prosecution led by Raja Rozella has called out the defence team for their attempt to water down the credibility of the key witness and Zahid’s former executive secretary, Mazlina Mazlan. During the trial, the defence team put forward Zahid’s former press secretary, Fadzlette Othman, who then attempted to discredit Mazlina in her witness statement to the court.
GLC heads and judges are now subject to the same scrutiny as politicians as PM Ismail Sabri said that they need to declare assets too
As part of PM Ismail Sabri’s initiative to introduce a new code of ethics, now judges and heads of government-linked companies (GLC) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) can no longer conceal their riches as they will be required to declare their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Other than that, the asset declaration mechanism for MPs, senators and government administration will be improved to uplift Putrajaya’s image.
Eyesore SUKE highway claimed its first victim.
The newly opened Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) recorded its first road victim as a motorcyclist rammed into the back of a stationary Perodua Myvi that was parked in the emergency lane, as the Myvi’s driver wanted to take photographs of the scenic city skyline. No life was lost, but both vehicles sustained damage.
Unrelated to the news, SUKE is a traffic dispersal highway that aims to reduce 30% of traffic congestion on MRR2 during peak hours. According to a report by Transportation for America (you can read it here), building more highways does not reduce traffic congestion but instead, they are making traffic worse as the theory of induced demand applies, where the appearance of traffic easing from the construction of new roads lead to increased congestion down the road. So, stop
enriching the cronies making more highways and improve public transportation instead.
Let’s turn our attention to the ‘negeri di bawah bayu’ — Sabah.
The state will launch its own Malaysia My Second Home (SMM2H) program soon.
In its bid to lure in more foreign investments by making Sabah an attractive place for foreigners to migrate, Sabah chief minister Hajiji Noor has said that the government will launch their own version of SMM2H soon. The state version of the program will not mirror the federal version and his administration is fine-tuning the final details before the final announcement is made soon.
No need to panic as a mud volcano erupted in Lahad Datu.
A mud volcano eruption that happened in earthquake-prone Lahad Datu, Sabah should not be a source of concern for local citizens as according to a geologist, Prof Dr Felix Tongkul, the eruption was a normal occurrence. The spew of volcanic mud was a result of a release of pressure from beneath the surface that occurred at regular intervals. The last time similar eruptions were reported were in 2014 and 2019.
News from the corner office of the corporate world -
The country’s aviation regulator, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), told the airlines that they should step up and quickly address the increasing number of complaints from users. In the period 1H22, Mavcom received 1,251 complaints, where 1,240 were airlines related, 8x more than the same corresponding period last year. Topping the list with the most complaints - AirAsia with 527 (42.5%).
The former top executive of ENRA Group Berhad, Idzham Mohd Hashim, was appointed as the new president and CEO of Iskandar Investment Berhad, an investment holding company responsible for the development of Iskandar Malaysia.
UOB Malaysia partnered with Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd (SJPP) to provide RM1bil worth of financing towards local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that look to contribute toward smart, sustainable cities. SJPP will guarantee up to 80% of the loans given to any qualified firms.
After a ten-year hiatus, Proton Holdings Berhad, came back to South Africa, with the launch of two completely built-up (CBU) models, the Proton X70 and Proton X50. Proton Saga will join the pair in South Africa later in the year or beginning of 2023.
Genting Malaysia’s indirect subsidiary, GMM SA, has been conditionally accepted to participate in a bid to operate a casino in Macau. The company now needs to comply with the requirements under the Macau gaming law, among others, before being finally accepted to win the 10-year gaming concession.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Iranian woman alleged death in custody over “improper hijab”, protests ensue.
The protest broke out on Saturday at the funeral of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died after being arrested by Iran’s Islamic morality police, known as Gasht-e Ershad. Her death has sparked a wave of anger and a series of demonstrations. She was arrested for allegedly not following strict rules relating to hijab-wearing. Head covering has been mandatory since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. The police said she died after suffering a stroke and cardiac arrest and denied that Amini was beaten or mistreated.
Volkswagen AG to list Porsche.
In what could be Europe’s largest listing since 1999, the initial public offering (IPO) will raise EUR9.4 bil (USD9.41 bil) and might happen this or next month. Volkswagen, which also owns other brands like Audi, Skoda, and Lamborghini, is seeking a valuation of EUR70-75 bil, lower than the top-end goal of EUR85 bil, not surprising given current market sentiment. At the mid-valuation point, the IPO would value Porsche at 10.2 times earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA). For comparison, Ferrari’s is trading at a 23.1x EBITDA multiple. Porsche is expected to bring in EUR39 bil in revenue this year.
Some governance issues were raised by investors as Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume will double-hat as Porsche’s CEO, giving rise to a potential conflict of interest and just 12.5% of Porsche’s total capital is being offered to external investors, leaving them with little influence over the company.
Europe’s energy crisis is its own doing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denies that Russia is responsible for Europe’s energy crisis and said that the EU could just turn on the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline if it wants more natural gas from Russia. Europe relies on Russia for about 40% of its gas supplies. The USD11 bil pipeline that runs in parallel to Nord Stream 1 was completed in Sep 2021 but was never operational as Germany shelved it days before Russia invaded Ukraine. As for Nord Stream 1, Russia has completely turned off gas flow since early September, blaming technical issues.
Taliban-US prisoner swap, frozen funds released.
Afghanistan’s foreign minister announced a prisoner swap with the US - it traded Mark Frerichs, a US navy veteran who was kidnapped whilst working in Afghanistan, for Bashar Noorzai, a strongman and Taliban ally imprisoned for 17 years.
The US earlier this month also released USD3.5 bil of Afghan’s USD9 bil central bank assets. It was not released to the Taliban government directly but to a Swiss-based trust fund which will manage the deployment of the funds “for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan”.
Saturn’s iconic rings — moon fragments.
New models might suggest how Saturn got its iconic rings. 160 mil years ago, Saturn’s gravity shredded a moon, Chrysalis. The moon was destabilised, fell into the planet’s orbit and when it got too close to the gas giant, the moon was ripped apart. 99% of Chrysalis plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere and the remaining 1% stayed in orbit, leaving a debris-strewn ring that forms Saturn’s iconic large rings.
Saturn is still well-off in moon terms — it still has 82 moons, making it the planet in our solar system with the most moons, followed by Jupiter with 79 moons.
More layoffs at Sea - Sea is firing 3% of its Shopee workforce in Indonesia though no absolute figures were available. The company ended 2021 with more than 67,000 employees. Last week, Sea’s co-founder Forrest Li announced that its top management would forgo their salaries and tighten expense policies.
Whilst Malaysia is still trying to figure out how to deploy 5G, LG Electronics has already successfully tested 6G over 320m in an outdoor environment.
TIkTok parent ByteDance will buy back as much as USD3 bil shares from investors after its long-awaited IPO was stalled due to Beijing’s crackdown on tech companies. The deal values ByteDance at USD300 bil, making it the world’s most valuable startup.