Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Good Vibes Festival final warning to The 1975 to take responsibility, compensate damages or see them in English court
Only 7% of Bursa retail investors are below 45 years old. Defamation: Berjaya Boss vs Sanusi, Sanusi vs Home Minister. Assassination plot on Zelensky thwarted, woman accused of location betrayal.
1. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) is ranked #30 on Newsweek’s inaugural Best Specialised Hospitals Asia Pacific (APAC) 2023 in the field of cardiology. The survey ranks speciality hospitals in 6 medical fields (i.e. endocrinology, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, cardiology) across 9 APAC countries, namely Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
View all the rankings across the six medical fields here.
Monthly users on X (fka Twitter) has reached a “new high” of 541.5 mil, according to a chart tweeted by Elon Musk. In May 2022, Twitter had 229 mil monthly active users and in November, X had 259.4 mil daily active users. Though monthly users nearly doubled, its financials aren’t that rosy — Musk shared earlier in July that X’s cash flow was negative due to a 50% drop in advertising revenue and a heavy debt load (meaning high interest to pay). As for competition, X has little to worry about Meta’s Threads. After all the hype during its launch, daily users plummeted by 82% from 44 mil to about eight mil.
Luckin Coffee now operates 10,836 stores, adding net new stores of 1,485 (16 new outlets a day on average) in the quarter ending 30 June 2023. During the same period, there were an average of 43.1 mil monthly transacting customers. In June, it became the first coffee chain in China with 10,000 stores, making it China’s largest coffee chain brand. Earlier in March 2023, Luckin Coffee opened its first international stores in Singapore, with 12 stores in operation now.
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
- Unknown, though commonly attributed to Mark Twain, an American writer, entrepreneur and humorist
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Goodies for rakyat
RAHMAH Civil Servants Postpaid incentive — In conjunction with Merdeka Month, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that civil servants will now enjoy a monthly rebate of RM10 on their existing postpaid package effective 31 Aug, effectively saving RM120 a year.
5G Rahmah Package — The 5G data device bundle will provide 60 GB data plan worth RM60 per month and comes with a Samsung A14 5G and Honor 90 Lite 5G models for as low as RM240 (RRP: worth up to RM1,099). The plan is open to all Malaysians. For B40 rakyat, the first 100,000 customers will enjoy further discounts on the device from as low as RM120. The package will be effective 31 Aug and comes with a 2-year warranty instead of a one-year warranty. The catch - it’s a 24-month contract.
Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) — the Cost of Living Aid of RM300 per month will be extended to non-pensionable veterans from the age of 60 effective September and will benefit 41,970 individuals. The financial implication is estimated at RM151.1 mil per year.
Proposed Progressive Salary Policy to progress
The National Economic Action Council has decided to move ahead with the proposed Progressive Salary Policy, which will be brought to the Cabinet for fine-tuning and to study the need to provide funds as incentives for its gradual implementation. PM Anwar said this policy aims to improve the labour market to ensure workers will consistently get higher wages and make the wage distribution system more balanced. Corollary to this, Malaysian workers’ income ratio will be increased to 45% of total income from the current 32.4% recorded in 2022.
The proposed policy will not be forced onto stakeholders. It will be voluntary, incentive-based and productivity-linked. PM Anwar said preliminary engagements and surveys showed that 62% of workers and 80% of companies welcomed the proposed features of the policy.
Rather curious why the worker percentage in this survey is much lower than expected, as this would be directly beneficial to them. As for employers, since it’s voluntary and ‘incentive-based, it isn’t too hard to be welcoming of such a policy.
Defamation: Berjaya Boss vs Sanusi, Sanusi vs Home Minister
Got to admit that lately, Kedah caretaker MB and PN election director Sanusi Md Nor is living rent-free in our newsletter. Unlike Tun Mahathir, who is no longer relevant, Sanusi is very much an active force in the Malaysian political landscape, hence worth the coverage. Quite an entertainer, the man is as well.
Berjaya Group founder Vincent Tan has demanded a public apology and for him to pay RM200 mil in compensation over Sanusi’s claim of impropriety between the tycoon and Selangor caretaker MB Aminuddin Shari over the Klang River cleaning project. Sanusi has until the end of business today to agree to Tan’s demands or legal action will be taken against him.
Sanusi, now in his capacity as a victim, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution over Saifuddin’s allegations that Sanusi has abused his position to steal or cause the theft of rare earth in Kedah. Sanusi demanded an apology from Saifuddin, removing all related comments by Saifuddin on this matter in the media. As for the damages, no dollar amount is mentioned and will be assessed by the court. Perhaps he could now empathise with Vincent Tan.
Bersatu supreme council member resigns, citing party’s straying path
Muhammad Faiz Na’aman, a Bersatu supreme council member and amongst the first 100 people to join Bersatu in 2016, announced his resignation and explained his decision in a lengthy statement due to irreconcilable differences. Some highlights:
Faiz said Bersatu was envisioned as a “moderate nationalist” party, differentiating itself from the “Malay ultras”, “ultra-liberals”, or “religious extremists”, but recent additions to Bersatu brought the old mentality from their political platforms.
He claimed that Bersatu was not being respected by the “largest” PN component party.
The party leadership had allowed a certain “cartel” to appoint Bersatu’s candidates for Selangor, causing unhappiness at the grassroots level.
In response to critics saying he was throwing a tantrum for not being fielded in the state elections, he said his decision was made after considering several factors and pointed out that he did not throw a tantrum when he was not appointed to contest in GE14.
Future Sound Asia, the organiser of Good Vibes Festival, said it has issued The 1975 with a Letter of Claim - essentially a final warning - demanding they acknowledge the liability and compensate the organisers for damages incurred, though no amount was mentioned. The organiser will pursue the band in English courts should they fail to do so.
The MACC is on the hunt for two individuals to assist in the investigations into the projects regarding the registration and storage of biometric information of foreign workers. One of them, Muhammad Adlan Berhan, is the son-in-law of Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin.
E-commerce platform Shopee has taken down a listing that reportedly offered access to a Telegram group sharing explicit content involving minors for a fee of RM39.99. Shopee is currently reassessing its platform to prevent the appearance of such listings and protect its users.
In an edited clip, PM Anwar Ibrahim replied rather harshly to a student who had asked if he would scrap the quota system, claiming that there were many Indian students who failed to get a place in public universities or colleges and had to appeal for a spot. The PM said the PH-BN coalition would lose all future elections if the unity government were to abolish Bumiputera quotas in higher learning institutions. Watch the full video here to get a better context of the PM’s response.
Business Spotlight: Bursa Malaysia
Some interesting statistics on the local stock exchange:
In July, Malaysia saw a total inflow of RM1.4 bil in foreign investment flow, pushing the FBM KLCI up by 6% in July. In the first half of 2023, the benchmark index fell by 7.9% with an outflow of foreign investment of RM4.2 bil.
As of 3 Aug, Bursa Malaysia recorded 22 Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) listings with a total market capitalisation of RM16 bil.
Individual or retail investors accounted for as much as 28% of the total average daily trading value as of the end of July. In other words, the remaining 72% is dominated by funds and institutions, making them the primary market movers. In order to make money, watch what the big boys are doing.
Only 7% of investors in the stock market are under the age of 45, and even a smaller percentage are between the ages of 20 to 30. With inflation eating into savings and surviving through the rising cost of living, how will the young ones fork out capital, or even savings if any, to invest?
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
A looming fourth indictment against Trump
A potential fourth indictment looms as Fulton County's determined Democratic district attorney, Fani Willis, has wrapped up her probe into Trump's alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election. The focus might be on a recorded call urging the discovery of more Republican votes and fraudulent elector paperwork, aimed at demonstrating a comprehensive attack orchestrated by the Trump administration. With three criminal indictments already, the former U.S. president maintains his lead in the Republican primary race. Surprisingly, these charges seem to have bolstered his popularity in polls and campaign funding.
Assassination plot against Zelensky thwarted by Ukraine, a woman accused of location betrayal
Ukraine's security service said it recently prevented an assassination attempt on Ukrainian President Zelenskyy through an airstrike after they detained a woman accused of potentially aiding the attackers by revealing Zelenskyy's location. The woman was also trying to locate Ukraine’s electronic warfare systems and ammunition warehouses. Zelenskyy survived at least three assassination attempts from Russia-backed agents in the first few weeks of the invasion.
In its bid to revive its culture and identity, Ukraine last week replaced the Soviet hammer and sickle symbol with a trident - the Ukrainian coat of arms - on the shield of the Motherland Monument in its capital Kyiv.
Mattel: USD1 bil Barbie milestone, Uno movie next?
3 weeks after its premiere, “Barbie” achieved the Barbillion - it surpassed USD1 bil in global box office earnings, making the movie’s director Greta Gerwig to become the first woman to reach the milestone as a solo director. There were other USD1 bil movies (e.g. Frozen, Captain Marvel) that had female directors but were co-directed with others.
Still in the Mattel universe, the toymaker put up a new job ad (apply here) looking to hire a Chief Uno Player (CUP) to “create and star in social content”. The pay isn’t too bad if you are not too Chinese — Mattel is paying this CUP USD4,444 per week or about USD17.8k per month. Is this a precursor to an Uno movie? Would prefer Barney the dinosaur movie instead, which Mattel also owns.
A bad year of extreme climate for the world’s largest scout gathering
The World Scout Jamboree is currently ongoing in South Korea, running from 1 to 12 Aug and is attended by some 43,000 scouts from 156 countries. In just a short span of 2 weeks, the world’s largest scout gathering is plagued by two extreme weathers. Just last week, extreme heatwaves caused hundreds of scouts to fall ill, prompting American and British scout groups to withdraw from the event. Now, the weather took a turn with Typhoon Khanun heading towards South Korea, forcing the evacuation of the scouts from the campsite.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Not that we are promoting MUDA, but got to give it to them for an interesting campaign ad. Sharing here for entertainment purposes. The old boys really need to up their digital PR and campaign game.
What is sexual consent? A PSA brought to you by Ova, Galen Centre for Health & Social Policy and the High Commission of Canada in Malaysia.