- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ Never ending politicking - after PRN, now National Day logo and theme
☕️ Never ending politicking - after PRN, now National Day logo and theme
WIP: Separation of power between AG, Public Prosecutor. MOT: Elmina plane crash report to be completed <30 days. Evergrande, one of China's largest property developer seeks US bankruptcy protection.
1. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
Malaysia’s economy showed a 2.9% year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2023, as indicated by its gross domestic product (GDP). The growth was primarily propelled by increased private-sector spending, boosted by an improving job market, growing domestic demand, and a rise in tourism activities. Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) governor Shaik Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour expects the full-year GDP growth to be at the lower end of the central’s bank’s forecast range of 4.0% - 5.0%
Australia's Victoria state is set to pay AUD380 mil (RM1.13 bil) to Commonwealth Games organisers after stepping back from its role as the host for the 2026 event. The decision came as Victoria withdrew due to concerns about rising costs, which could potentially exceed the initially budgeted AUD2.6 bil and reach over AUD7 bil. The decision has sparked concerns that the Commonwealth Games might be cancelled for the first time since the Second World War.
The Asia Pacific region is set to become the world's largest 5G market, and a recent study by Ookla, the company behind the Speedtest website, has highlighted the leading countries in terms of 5G performance. Malaysia is among the top performers for median 5G download speeds (512.10 Mbps), with South Korea closely following at 503.99 Mbps.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Do Malaysians trust the idea of a Malaysian for all races? Well, politicians don’t.One week after the state election, Selangor is the only state that has yet to swear in its chief. This was due to the state ruler, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, having had a medical procedure abroad. A statement from the place said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has consented to the swearing-in and oath-taking ceremony to be held on Aug 21 (today).
However, it is said that there is infighting between Pakatan Harapan’s factions on the seat allocations for its 10-member executive council (exco) — the intended distribution reportedly comprises seven Malays, two Chinese, and one Indian executive councillor. The allocation structure has triggered discontent because the prevailing sentiment is to have two Indian excos, to acknowledge the Indian community’s unwavering support to the party and the unity government. Shouldn’t the exco represent the interest of all Malaysians, regardless of race? Will the state government lose support from the Indian community in the next elections?
Fun fact — Barisan Nasional will be included in the exco for the first time since 2008.
PN states might go rogue on the Merdeka themeCommunications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced “Malaysia Madani: Tekad Perpaduan, Penuhi Harapan” as National Day and Malaysia Day (HKHM) 2023 theme. However, it seems like some idiots have proposed different National Day logos and themes just because of differences in political ideas.
PN Youth leader Ahmad Fadhli Shaari said the four states under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government might use different National Day logos and themes for state-level celebrations instead of those announced at the federal level. This angered Fahmi, and the minister reiterated the message that there should be no differences between at the Federal and state levels for the National Day celebrations. Netizens even pointed out the discrepancy of the star in the logo — why are there two additional points (16) in the star? If Fadhli had paid attention in class, he should have known the 14 points of the Malaysian flag represent 13 states and the federal territories.
MOT: Report on Elmina plane crash to be completed within 30 daysThe Ministry of Transport (MoT) has announced that a preliminary report on the plane crash at Bandar Elmina, Shah Alam, will be completed within 30 days of the incident. The Air Accident Investigation Bureau (BSKU) is conducting a technical investigation in line with the guidelines of Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and will be assisted by US aviation experts. MOT also urged witnesses to come forward to assist with the investigation.
Selangor police chief Comm Hussein Omar Khan said all ten victims have been identified and through various pathology techniques; by matching fingerprints, DNA and dental records.
Home Ministry is afraid of booksToko Buku Rakyat, a bookstore owned by local author and educator Benz Ali, was raided by the Home Ministry on Friday. Two books were confiscated from the bookstore — Marx Sang Pendidik Revolusioner, a Malay translation of Karl Marx: The Revolutionary as Educator by Robin Smalls, and Benz’s own book Koleksi Puisi Masturbasi. Kicker — they weren’t on the banned books list. No reasons were disclosed as to why the two books were confiscated, but the authorities cited the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984 for the confiscation. What’s happening Saifuddin?
CelcomDigi Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter of 2023 surged by 56.11% to RM343.52 mil compared to RM220.04 mil in the previous year. Revenue doubled to RM3.12 bil from RM1.54 bil. The telecom company also announced a second interim dividend of 3.2 sen per share, totalling RM375 mil, with an entitlement date of September 6 and a payment date of September 29. The strong revenue growth in Q2 2023 was attributed to increased device sales and the subscriber base expanded by 3% with a net addition of 599,000. The blended average revenue per user (ARPU) slipped to RM41 from RM42 a year ago. View its quarterly Bursa announcement here.
Furniture retailer SSF Home Group Bhd (SHG) has entered into an underwriting agreement with M&A Securities Sdn Bhd for its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia. Wong Choong Loong, the Managing Director and CEO of SHG, emphasised that this IPO goes beyond raising funds. The listing status is expected to enhance SHG’s reputation with customers and suppliers, reinforcing the company's image and creating new growth opportunities. IPO price yet to be set. View the prospectus here.
Notion VTec Bhd indicated in its latest quarterly report that it aims to exit the glove business in the future. Notion VTec was one of those companies that made early inroads into the glove business at the beginning of the pandemic. The company even clinched a major contract worth RM337.8 mil (then) to supply gloves to a European company.
Parliament wants to 10x the punishment for “unparliamentary acts” by MPsDewan Rakyat speaker Johari Abdul has announced plans to raise the maximum fine for parliamentarians who breach rules, increasing it from RM1,000 to RM10,000. The amendment to the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act aims to penalise MPs for making “unparliamentary remarks” or engaging in “unparliamentary actions” such as uttering racist, sexist, or derogatory remarks.
Separation of power between AG and Public Prosecutor in the worksMinister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman said a comprehensive empirical study would be undertaken for one year before finalising the proposed separation of powers between the Attorney-General (AG) and the public prosecutor. Azalina added that about 19 existing laws, as well as the Federal Constitution, need to be amended for the separation of power implementation.
Two deputy public prosecutors (DPP) and 15 policemen arrested at entertainment outletThe Integrity and Standards Compliance Department (JIPS) from Bukit Aman raided a karaoke centre at Wisma Punca Emas, Seremban, around 2:30 am on Saturday. Urine drug tests were conducted, revealing that 14 of the 15 police officers, including a senior officer and the two deputy public prosecutors, had tested positive for drugs.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Quick Update: Just as fast as Phma Nhat Vuong, the founder of Vietnamese EV maker VinFast, made nearly USD40 bil a single day from the company’s listing on Nasdaq via a SPAC, its share price is now coming back to Earth, wiping out USD18 bil from his fortune.
British nurse Lucy Letby found guilty, becoming UK’s most prolific child killerLucy Letby, 33, has been found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies and attempting to kill six others at the hospital neonatal unit where she worked. She will be sentenced today. Letby was accused of injecting sick or premature babies with air, overfeeding milk, and poisoning them with insulin. She was arrested following a string of baby deaths; all occurred during her shifts between June 2015 and June 2016.
Until now, her motivation for committing these heinous crimes may never be fully explained, although prosecutors and other experts had several theories presented to the jurors, amongst them: Letby enjoyed ‘playing god’, she ‘got a thrill’ from baby deaths, and she wanted the attention of an anonymous doctor.
BBC investigated this matter and broke down the timeline. Suspicion towards her crime was raised as early as Oct 2015 by other doctors, but management failed to act on their concerns, fearing for their reputation taking a hit. She went on to attack five more babies, killing 2. Some of the institutional failures found by the BBC investigation:
Management even demanded the doctors write an apology to Letby;
Management ordered two other doctors to attend mediation with Letby and;
She was moved (not suspended) from her position and reassigned to the risk and patient safety office, giving her access to sensitive documents of the neonatal unit.
Since Letby left, there has only been one death in the hospital’s neonatal unit.
One after another, Chinese companies start failingOne of China’s largest developers, China Evergrande Group, has filed Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the US, which shields non-US companies that are undergoing restructuring from creditors that hope to sue them or tie up assets in the US. Evergrande is the world’s most indebted property developer with more than USD300 bil liabilities and offshore debt restructuring totalling USD31.7 bil. The property sector’s debt problem started brewing in 2021 and has since seen companies accounting for 40% of Chinese home sales default. Quick read: Overview of bankruptcy chapters in the US
The problem didn’t stop just at the property sector and has spread to another corner of the economy. Chinese shadow banking giant ZhongZhi Enterprise Group Co is facing a liquidity crisis and has hired KPMG to audit its balance sheet. Zhongzhi, while little known outside China, is one of China’s largest private wealth managers in China’s USD2.9 tril trust industry, with more than USD137 bil in assets. China’s trust industry pools savings from wealthy households and corporate clients to make loans and invest in real estate, stocks, bonds and commodities. Many of these trust products are backed by real estate projects run by troubled developers such as China Evergrande Group.
Brace yourself for the ride — we might just be seeing the early stages of financial contagion in China. Macro stats (i.e. exports, industrial production, retail sales) published last week didn’t look great either.
Spain has won their first Women’s World Cup after beating England 1-0, making them the fifth winner in 9 editions of the Women’s World Cup. Spain and Germany are now only the two nations to win both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Just like its failed expedition to invade Ukraine, Russia’s first attempt to land on the moon in 47 years since 1976 ended in disaster when Luna-25 spun out of control and crashed onto the surface, according to the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The lunar probe was scheduled to land on the lunar south pole on Monday, the first in history. India is now next in line to claim this title, as its probe is expected to land at the south pole on 23 Aug.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX made a small profit in the first three months of the year after two years of annual losses. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company made USD55 mil profit on USD1.5 bil revenue in the first quarter of 2023. In 2022, the company saw revenue doubled to USD4.6 bil, with losses improving from USD968 mil to USD559 mil.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Feel good content to cure your Monday blues.
The powerful sniffing capabilities of dogs. Learn how to escape them, just in case you are on the wanted list and on the run.