Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Govt launches Malaysia-SuluCase.gov.my to provide info, fight disinformation against Sulu Sultanate heir claims
Country Heights tycoon Lee Kim Yew declared bankrupt by court. FBI: avoid using free phone charging kiosks as cyber thieves can steal your data. Bye Twitter, Inc. Hello X Corp.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
1,242 accidents involving food delivery riders have been recorded since 2018, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke. Of this, 112 of them died, or 9% of those that got into accidents and 82 (6.6%) suffered severe injuries. Tough and dangerous job - make sure you tip your Abang Grab or Foodpanda next time, and probably all the time.
Amazon’s “Lord of The Rings: The Ring of Power” series, believed to be the most expensive television series produced, costing nearly USD500 mil in its first season, only had a completion rate of 37% in the US, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It fared better in international markets at 45%, but this means less than half of viewers did not complete the series, suggesting it may not have been a blockbuster hit. Industry insiders say that even a 50% rate is not a spectacular result.
USD377 mil — the global box office taking of the animated Super Mario Bros Movie, making it the most successful global opening of all time for an animated film, which was previously held by Frozen 2 (USD358 mil). The box office response defied poor reviews by critics - the movie scored 56% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes but eclipsed by the 96% audience score. Watch the trailer here. There was a 1993 live-action version of Mario, too — seems a bit weird — trailer here.
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3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Government gets creative in combating Sultan Sulu’s heir claims
The government has launched a website, Malaysia-SuluCase.gov.my — a joint effort of the Legal Affairs Division, the Prime Minister’s Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Multimedia — for people to provide information and combat disinformation related to the ongoing case of the so-called heirs of Sultan Jamalul Kiram II (Sultan of Sulu) against Malaysia.
The website was launched in response to the case by those asserting heirship to the Sultan of Sulu, as there is still no evidence to show that they are the heirs. The Home Ministry has also declared Fuad A Kiram, one of the self-proclaimed heirs of the Sulu Sultanate as a terrorist. He has been linked to the Royal Sulu Force, a terrorist group that was prosecuted for the armed incursion of Lahad Datu, Sabah, in 2013
Declassified report on ‘Double Six’ plane crash revealed no foul play
The 1977 investigation report on the fatal plane crash, which killed then Sabah chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens and ten others onboard, revealed there is no evidence of sabotage, fire or explosion. The earlier section of the 21-page report said the aircraft was found to be incorrectly loaded for the flight, as the centre of gravity position was significantly beyond the aft limit.
On the day of the incident, the pilot had already flown twice before piloting the fatal flight in the afternoon. There was also evidence suggesting he was tired and had a mild stomach disorder, as he had complained of being unwell.
Read the full report here.
“Rahmah” service packages for Perodua and Proton car owners
Proton car owners can enjoy a free 40-point safety check and a service package priced at RM150 as part of its Rahmah Campaign launched yesterday. The offer is valid until May 31 for owners of models Persona, Iriz, Exora, Saga and discontinued models, including the Inspira, Waja and Wira.
Perodua didn’t want to be left out and launched its Rahmah Package for Bezza and Axia owners. Perodua is offering a 30% discount on all labour and parts costs as part of its Auto Rahmah Package for 2023 until May 15, 2023, in line with Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
Only 47% of applicants eligible for EPF’s Account 2 Support Facility
Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan revealed a total of 59,230 contributors have applied for the Employees Provident Fund's (EPF) Account 2 Support Facility (FSA2) as of yesterday since it opened on April 7. The sad part is — only 27,705 eligible, but that’s because they are aged under 40 years old. Not even approved. FSA2 involves a maximum financing of RM50,000 (subject to an EPF contributor's Account 2 balance) and a repayment period of up to 10 years.
Find out more about FSA2 here.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry has been rebranded and will now be known as the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI). The decision was made to be in line with MITI’s function to drive investment in the country. In unrelated news — Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz is now the treasurer of Selangor UMNO after being appointed by the state UMNO liaison committee on April 11.
Country Heights founder Lee Kim Yew was declared bankrupt by the Shah Alam High Court on January 26, 2023, over a RM3 million suit. The tycoon said he was not bankrupt as he did not file for bankruptcy. Lee owns a 57.64% stake in listed Country Heights Holdings Bhd — valuing his stake at RM61.4 mil - he just needs to sell 5% of his stake to settle this suit.
AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) asked for another extension to submit its regularisation plan from the original deadline of April 28 to July 28. Surprise surprise. The regularisation plan is supposed to lift both AAX and its sister company Capital A Bhd out of Practice Note 17 (PN17) status.
FGV Holdings Bhd’s subsidiaries have been sued for RM24.95 million by Euggne Kousai for alleged fraudulent transactions and continuing trespass on lease agreements for 41 parcels of land. Kousai claimed to be the registered owner of the said lands, which were held under native title, said the agribusiness and food company.
“One sign that determination matters more than talent: there are lots of talented people who never achieve anything, but not that many determined people who don’t.”
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
About your smartphone
Whatsapp finally allows multi-device linking
After so long, Whatsapp has come to its senses to allow users to link their account with up to 4 secondary devices. The feature, known as “companion mode”, is not publicly available yet and only accessible through a beta update and is limited to Android devices for now. The secondary devices will still be able to make calls and send messages even when the primary device is offline.
FBI warns about “juice jacking”, avoid using free charging stations
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning about free cell phone charging kiosks as cyber thieves could steal your data in a method called “juice jacking”. The FBI said to avoid these charging stations at airports, hotels and shopping centres as criminals can use the USB port to install malware and monitoring software (i.e. keystroke monitor) onto a user’s device. Therefore, to avoid juice jacking, bring your own power bank.
EY breakup no more
Big 4 Ernst & Young announced in a note to its more than 13,000 EY partners globally that it is axing its plan to split its auditing and consulting arm after having spent more than a year and over USD100 mil on this initiative. This plan was upended by a small group of US audit leaders complaining that the consulting business gets the bulk of the firm’s lucrative tax business and would leave the audit business too weak to compete. The US arm holds sway over this decision as it contributes some 40% or USD18 bil of the firm’s USD45 bil annual global revenue.
The breakup project involves some complicated financial plans to pay the audit partners a boatload of money — USD2 mil per partner — for giving up the consulting business. EY had planned for the consulting arm to borrow billions of dollars and raise billions more in an IPO to pay these auditing partners. However, rising interest rates and volatile markets had brought strong headwinds to its financing plan.
Read the summary of the structure of the initial breakup plan proposed.
New Zealand: # of males = # of females in cabinet for the first time and the diversity of its leadership
New Zealand cabinet will see an equal number of men and women for the first time after a female MP of Maori descent was promoted to cabinet minister. There will be 10 women and 10 male members of the cabinet following this promotion.
The country has elected one of the world’s most diverse parliaments in its 2020 elections:
NZ has the highest number of female lawmakers in the OECD — 58 women were elected into NZ’s 120-member parliament.
Maori, the native ethnic population of NZ making up 15% of the nation’s population, has seen growing representation - 6 were appointed as cabinet ministers, and 25 were elected as members of Parliament.
About 1 in 10 of the country’s MPs identify as LGBTQ+.
Bye Twitter, Inc. Hello X Corp
Twitter the company is no more after being merged with X Corp, according to a court filing. Elon Musk aspires to build a superapp on top of the social media platform, calling it the “X for everything app”. The name harkens back to X.com, Musk’s financial services that evolved into PayPal. In an interview with BBC, Elon Musk is displaying some buyer’s remorse with this USD44 bil Twitter purchase - asked if he went through with the deal willingly, Musk admitted that he only went through with it as he was legally bound to do so.
NASA unveils its new 1,700 sq feet Mars-simulation habitat where four volunteers will live for a year in it and will be monitored on their physical and mental health. The first batch of volunteers will begin the first trial this summer.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett visited Japan for the first time in 12 years. Read excerpts of his interview here with Nikkei Asia. He shared his thoughts on the Japanese market (Buffett up his investment in five Japanese conglomerates to USD14 bil recently) and explained why he exited semiconductor giant TSMC in a span of few months after making a USD4.1 bil investment (China risk too hot for him to handle).
If you have been an active ChatGPT user and have been spotting issues with it, report these issues and stand to make money out of it. OpenAI has just launched its Bug Bounty Programme, offering cash rewards between USD200 for “low-severity” findings to up to USD20,000 for “exceptional discoveries”. Since it was launched on Tuesday, it has already rewarded users for seven vulnerabilities. Check out the programme and submit reports here.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Michelle Yeoh brought home her Oscar award to show to her mama and brought it to Qing Ming to honour her late father. She will be doing a meet and greet with fans in Pavilion KL on Apr 18.
The trailer of the talk of the town — Beef. I’ve watched a few episodes, and they are quirky. From the same production company that produced Uncut Gems, Everything Everywhere All At Once and many more.
A funny GIF on email communications with clients