Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ MACC: Over 500 misconduct reports not being acted upon by government agencies
The number of garments you should have to be considered planet friendly is 74. Penang consumes 2x water SG does. If you love Pokemon & Tamagotchi, meet Peridot.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
When you are one of the wealthiest people in the world, you can do anything. LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault ordered a revamp of Tiffany and Co’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York after getting lost in it. The revamp was believed to cost around USD500 million. The store opened in 1940 and has become a mainstay of the New York shopping scene. Scenes of Audrey Hepburn’s movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s were filmed in the same store. The previous management said the flagship store accounted for about 10% of global sales — about USD439 mil of revenue. This was in 2019. Arnault said the revenue at Tiffany’s doubled since LVMH’s takeover in 2021. Go figure.
274 million domestic trips were made nationwide in China during the Labour Day long weekend, which started from April 28 until May 3. It surpassed the 2019 level for the same holiday. During the holiday, domestic tourism revenue amounted to 148.056 billion yuan (around USD21.42 billion), according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
While electric vehicles may pave the way to a greener earth, there is another thing you can do at home — maintain a medium size wardrobe. A wardrobe consisting of 74 pieces of garments is considered planet-friendly. A report published in 2022 by Berlin think tank Hot or Cool Institute suggests that a “sufficient” wardrobe consists of 74 garments and 20 outfits, with no more than five new garments per year. The report’s researchers said that the fashion industry would have to reduce its emissions to 1.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to meet the Paris Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Government agencies’ HODs play dumb in the face of MACC reports against their officers
The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Azam Baki revealed more than 500 misconduct reports are not being acted on by government agencies’ department heads. Some of the reports dated back more than a decade ago. Azam stated that the main focus of MACC is to investigate corruption, but if MACC finds any element of misconduct, the anti-graft body will send a report to the various heads of government departments (HODs). As per the government’s circular, a committee consisting of selected HODs has the power to review the misconduct reports. Of the 553 misconduct reports that are gathering dust, about 23% concern the police, which is parked under the purview of the Home Ministry. Coming in second is the Road Transport Department.
A group of civil society organisations called the CSO Platform for Reform has called for the government to place the MACC under the purview of the Parliament instead of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC). The group believed that a public-voted institution such as the Parliament is more transparent in overseeing a powerful body such as the MACC.
Malaysia is going green down the legal path
No plastic bags by 2025 — Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi told the media that Putrajaya is targeting that in the year 2025, all premises and sectors of trade and commerce will adopt the zero plastic bags policy. Nik Nazmi said that he will leave it to the respective local and state governments to decide on the implementation plan, which will not solely be about issuing fines and compounds.
Malaysia lifts RE exports ban — To supercharge the growth of the renewable energy (RE) industry, Putrajaya will lift the ban on RE exports. With this, the government also raises the RE generation capacity from 40% to 70% of the nation’s total by 2050. It will be an uphill climb for the country to reach the target as, at the moment, only 20% of the country’s power generation is renewable energy, mainly from solar and hydro.
Putrajaya is monitoring for signs of water supply problems amidst the scorching heat
Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi said that his ministry is constantly monitoring for any water supply shortage throughout the country due to the current episodes of hot and dry weather. According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), lower rainfall is expected in most places from May 15 until September 2023 during the southwest monsoon.
Penang may be the first victim of the water supply shortage as the Air Itam Dam at Penang Island can only supply water until the end of June if the no-show from the rainfall department persists. Penang state exco Zairil Khir Johari said the high domestic water consumption rate, especially from hawker areas and food courts, is not helping the situation. Penang has the highest consumption rate in the country, with 286 litres per capita per day (LCD). Penang’s rate is more than double the rate of our neighbouring country Singapore. Penangites need to be more prudent in their water usage, or there will be a lack of the main ingredient that makes their food taste good.
UiTM has its tail between its legs
Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) has confirmed that the university has acted on a complaint that the MyKad numbers and emails of its 11,891 applicants have been leaked recently. This revelation came after a user on Twitter alleged that UiTM had published the information on a plain unsecured link to allow the candidates to double-check their particulars. If the incident is true, it is not the first time such a thing has happened. In 2019, it was reported that the records of 1,164,540 students had been leaked online.
Najib’s trial had to be postponed as he got a bowel problem
Former PM Najib Razak’s misappropriation of RM2.28 bil 1MDB funds trial was postponed as he was down with diarrhoea. The former prime minister has been referred to
Cheras Bougie Hospital Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) for further treatment.
Something is not right with this whole situation. But then we realised that Najib forgot to release a PDF statement, as was done by his successor, Muhyiddin Yassin, during that one time he got cirit-birit.
Lucky shareholders of Autocount Dotcom Bhd are in cloud nine as the company performed well in its debut on the ACE Market, where the company’s shares closed with a 127.7% premium or 42 sen over its 33 sen a share IPO price. The company’s value in terms of market capitalisation stands at RM412.88mil.
It is rumoured, based on the grapevine, that PN17 designated Sapura Energy will merge with Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd (MHB). Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) is the largest shareholder in Sapura Energy, with a 40% stake. On the other hand, MHB is a subsidiary of 65.5% subsidiary of MISC Bhd that is 51% majority owned by Petronas. Does this sound like an indirect bailout by Petronas? Back on 20 Mar, Sapura said it found its white knight - what happened since then?
Putrajaya is becoming the saviour of property developers as a total of 92 problematic private housing projects with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM5 bil involving 6,700 units were revived in the first quarter of this year. As of March 2023, the Local Government Development Ministry had identified 657 problematic housing projects across the country.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Pay via WhatsApp has landed in Singapore
WhatsApp users in Singapore can make payments to local businesses via a new in-chat feature using their credit cards, debit cards or PayNow (SG’s equivalent of DuitNow). Consumers and businesses to buy and sell directly on WhatsApp without having to go to an external website or application to make their transactions. The service is free of charge for now. One scary thing is — there is no limit to how much users can pay in a single transaction.
LinkedIn bids its app farewell in China
LinkedIn is closing its app for those seeking jobs in China and has announced plans to cut 716 jobs in response to slowing revenue growth and changing customer behaviour. As the only major Western social media company operating in China, LinkedIn will retain a presence in China to help companies hire and train employees. Previously, LinkedIn faced criticism for cooperating with Chinese censorship, including blacklisting journalists critical of Beijing.
If you love Pokemon & Tamagotchi, meet Peridot
Niantic, the maker of Pokémon GO, has created another game — a pet simulator that takes place in augmented reality (AR) named Peridot (watch the trailer below). You can feed, play, walk, breed, forage and socialize with your Peridots. If you take a break from the game, your creatures will not poop all over your screen and/or die. The Peridot breeding system is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game — there are 2.3 x 10^24 possible Peridot combinations. Imagine 24 zeroes behind.
Credit crunches in the US
The US Federal Reserve warned of a broad credit crunch that risks slowing the US economy following the recent banking turmoil. The US central bank said in its twice-yearly financial stability report the dampening economic outlook, credit quality, and funding liquidity could lead “banks and other financial institutions to further contract the supply of credit to the economy”. A vicious cycle. The Fed also released the results of its quarterly Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey — no surprises, banks are expected to tighten lending standards in the rest of 2023.
President Joe Biden and his government is facing a credit crunch, too, as a default crisis looms. Biden will meet with top Republicans and Democrats from Congress to resolve a three-month standoff over the USD31.4 trillion U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a crippling default before the end of May. The Treasury warned last week that it could be unable to pay all its bills as soon as June 1. Republicans want Biden to cut his spending to address a growing budget deficit.
The former prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has been arrested on allegations of corruption and corrupt practices. Dozen of cases have been brought against Mr Khan since he was ousted from power. He said the charges against him are politically motivated - standard response, globally applied.
The ethnic clashes in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur have displaced more than 20,000 people. Sixty people have been killed in the clashes. The violence began last week after indigenous communities held a rally to protest against demands by the main ethnic group, the Meitei community, in the state for tribal status. The army says it is bringing the situation under control.
A leading investor of sportswear company Adidas AG, Union Investment, is asking the company to disclose the findings of a probe into its handling of misconduct allegations against Kanye West. Former employees in November accused Adidas of having turned a blind eye to alleged inappropriate behaviour by its former business partner also known as Ye.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
With the metaverse being a thing of the past (for most companies), tech firms are now going all out on artificial intelligence (AI).
How big is Apple? The iPhone alone brought in more revenue than Microsoft in 2022.