Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Najib Razak & Co's never give up attitude to appeal against SRC Int'l conviction
Klang MP filed for court injunction to stop GE15, citing monsoon. PH x MUDA x PSM - it's on. Facebook parent Meta now "terrorist" org by Russian authority. Elon Musk now selling perfumes.
Thousands of Malaysians enjoy our newsletter. Subscribe now and stay informed for FREE!
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD40 bil — the estimated total losses from Pakistan’s recent floods. The Pakistan government is appealing for debt relief from global lenders and more help from the global community in fighting the catastrophe, as its own economy is already in crisis. The catastrophic floods affected more than 33 million people (Malaysia’s population, btw) and killed more than 1,500 thus far.
A USD128 mil income earns Paris Saint Germain forward Kylian Mbappé the title of the world’s highest-paid soccer player in 2022, according to Forbes. The 23-year-old French player earns USD110 mil on the field and USD18 mil off the field.
Some 15 mil colonoscopies are performed in the US each year, but a study by The New England Journal of Medicine found only meagre benefits for the group of people invited to get the procedure: an 18% lower risk of getting colorectal cancer and no significant reduction in the risk of cancer death.
“Bila sampai satu peringkat yang rakyat dah sedar bahawa mainan ratib Cina, Melayu perkauman ini sebenarnya tidak menyelesaikan masalah. Punca kita bukan soal Cina, Melayu, India. Punca kita menteri bodoh. Punca kita menteri tak amanah, makan duit.”
- Rafizi Ramli, on racial issues not being able to solve the country’s problem
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Shafee’s relentless pursuit of the King’s counsel
Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said King’s Counsel Jonathan Laidlaw would represent imprisoned former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak if there is a rehearing of his appeal in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
Shafee filed an appeal after the High Courts had in July dismissed Laidlaw’s application to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Malaysia (to defend Najib). While the SRC case has since concluded, Shafee’s team maintains that the application pertains to Laidlaw’s involvement in all matters related to the main appeal — including a rehearing. Another case management for this has been set for Nov 8.
MRT Putrajaya Line Phase 2 is set to open to the public in January 2023
Final tests for MRT Putrajaya Line Phase 2 are underway as part of the prerequisites set by the authorities to test and measure the effectiveness of the system before the public can use it. MRT Putrajaya Line Phase 2, which runs from Kampung Batu to Putrajaya Sentral, is set to open in January of next year, just in time for a new PM to officiate the new line.
Malaysia is top-tier in building world-class infrastructures but with a brainless approach to maintaining them. An observation conducted by a good samaritan on Twitter revealed that 51 escalators at the country's latest MRT stations are faulty. You can view the thread here.
The UMNO president said, “This (15th) election is the mother of all general elections” in a speech at the MIC AGM. He suggested that BN leaders could face criminal trials if their coalition loses in the coming general election.
Incumbent Klang MP Charles Santiago takes to the court in an attempt to defer the upcoming elections, citing the rainy season and floods. The MP has filed an injunction at the KL High Court on the basis that the request of the prime minister to dissolve Parliament was not made in consultation with the cabinet.
Penang DAP is contemplating if it should dissolve the state assembly with Parliament because it seems like Penangites want both elections to be held simultaneously. The matter would be discussed with the Pakatan Harapan presidential council. Pakatan Harapan (PH) communications director Fahmi Fadzil said the decision would be announced within 48 hours.
Perak Mentri Besar Saarani Mohamad has made the request to dissolve the Perak Legislative Assembly and now the ball is in Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah’s court. His Royal Highness is said to be considering the decision.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) enlarged its tent as the coalition agreed to cooperate with the Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda) and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM). PH stopped short of admitting the parties into its coalition as it is an electoral pact for now. The pact means Muda, PSM and PH parties should not clash in any seats for GE15.
Bonus: Zunar’s alternative guide to voting for GE15.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for Malaysia in 2022 to 5.4% from 5.1%. However, for 2023, the fund projected Malaysia’s GDP to grow by 4.4% next year, citing the slowdown in the global economy. The fund said, “The worst is yet to come, and for many people, 2023 will feel like a recession.”
After all the drama that ensued, Caely Holdings Bhd founder and former non-executive director Fong Nyok Yoon has withdrawn her suit against the company and six former directors. On Apr 26, Fong sought to prohibit the former directors from allotting and issuing new shares in the company through a private placement exercise pursuant to the resolution passed at Caely's annual general meeting (AGM) held on Sept 22, 2021.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Nissan sells Russian business for EUR1, Mercedes impressive sales growth
Japanese carmaker Nissan has sold its Russian business to NAMI, the Russian state-owned Central Research and Development Automobile and Engine Institute, for just a single euro. The company suspended operations in March. It will incur a one-time loss of JPY100 bil (USD700 mil) from this sale and exit from Russia, meanwhile preserving 2,000 jobs. Despite that, Nissan is still maintaining its full-year guidance as it expects to increase revenue in 2022 by 18.7% while operating profit remains flat.
Nissan’s future in Russia is not completely over. It could still make a re-entry without starting from scratch — included in this deal is an option for Nissan to buy back the entity within the next 6 years.
Supply-chain bottlenecks and bleak economic outlook aren’t stopping Mercedes-Benz AG from selling more cars. The German carmaker sold 517,800 cars globally in its third quarter, up an impressive 21% year-on-year as growth is recorded in all key regions. As for its competitor BMW AG, quarterly sales were flattish at just under 588,000.
NASA’s DART attempt to divert an asteroid’s trajectory a success
NASA’s fridge-sized Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft that was designed to deliberately smash into the asteroid Dimorphos has successfully changed Dimorphos’ trajectory into a smaller, faster orbit around its big brother Didymos. The collision happened on Sept 26 but analysis of light patterns from ground telescopes needed a few weeks to confirm the success. This proof-of-concept of using the “kinetic impact” method of planetary defence could one day protect Earth from approaching objects from space.
There will be no need to use a nuclear bomb and sacrifice Bruce Willis. But if we do need a hero to save Earth from an asteroid armageddon, Tom Cruise could be a candidate. Tom Cruise, known for doing his own stunts, is taking his game to the next level — to space. He could be doing a spacewalk at the International Space Station in an upcoming adventure movie that could cost USD200 mil in collaboration with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA.
TikTok - profiting from Syrian refugees, growing ambition to eat Amazon’s pie
A BBC investigation found that TikTok took up to 70% of proceeds from refugee families in Syrian camps that were seeking donations through TikTok’s live stream, pleading for digital gifts with cash value. Some Syrian refugee live streamers were earning an hourly rate of USD1,000 but received far less. BBC tested TikTok’s gifting system by having one of its journalists live stream from his Syrian-based TikTok account. BBC donated USD106 to the journalist account and received only USD33.03. Watch the investigation here.
TikTok is planning to build its own fulfilment centres and supply chain system in the US, based on a dozen new job openings posted on Linkedin in the past 2 weeks. This marks a significant move for the social media giant to diversify its revenue stream away from ads, but with physical capex investment and cut-throat e-commerce margins, this sounds like a money-burning pit. TikTok should exchange notes with Shopee.
Facebook parent Meta now a “terrorist” organisation and Putin is coming near us
Following Facebook and Instagram ban in late March, Russia has added Meta Platforms Inc to its list of “terrorists and extremists” for “carrying out extremist activities”, accusing the tech giant of tolerating “Russophobia” during Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. Ironically, Russia leveraged Facebook and other social media platforms to meddle in the 2016 US elections through its disinformation efforts.
If you want to protest the Ukraine war in front of Putin’s face, your chance might be here in November. Bangkok Post reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted Thailand’s invitation to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok next month.
Myanmar’s Nobel laureate and deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to three years in jail by the court for accepting bribes, which she called absurd and denied any wrongdoing. The sentence would run concurrently, bringing the 77-year-old’s jail term to 26 years long. If she makes it out of jail, she will be 103 years old.
The world’s richest man Elon Musk is now selling perfumes through The Boring Company, naming it “Burnt Hair” with “the essence of repugnant desire”, as described by its website. 10,000 bottles are up for sale at USD100 a pop, to be shipped in the first quarter of 2023 — buy it here if you are keen for RM476. Other quirky items Musk has sold previously — Teslaquila (Tesla’s own-brand tequila), flamethrowers and Boring Company hats (I have one!)
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Drone footage, part of BBC’s “Frozen Planet II”, showed how killer whales used rare hunting techniques to trap and kill a seal. Some Sun Tzu’s Art of War moves in the animal kingdom.
When Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) met Princess Diana in 1984