Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ NGO MYMP uses Hansard data to identify most controversial, funniest MP - Arau MP Shahidan Kassim
Khairulaming's Sambal Nyet update: 2.4 mil bottles sold. Esports industry now on MACC's radar over corrupt activities. Elon Musk to sue NGO Anti-Defamation League - for defamation (the irony).
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
2.4 mil bottles and RM33.5 mil - the cumulative sales of Sambal Nyet since the brand’s inception by influencer and entrepreneur Khairul Amin 2 years and 8 months ago. According to a new video shared by Khairul, the brand’s daily sales is RM70k and is on track to hit RM100k. Through TikTok Shop, the brand generated RM5 mil, of which 76% of the sales came through live commerce. Back in Feb 2023, Khairul shared that Nyet’s cumulative sales was RM21.5 mil - in a span of 7 months, the brand generated RM12 mil in sales. Excited to watch the rise of Sambal Nyet to be a leading homegrown FMCG brand! Visit here to buy it - if there’s still stock!
155.2 mil people in developing Asia or 3.9% of the region’s population is living in extreme poverty, up by 67.8 mil due to the coronavirus pandemic and the rising cost of living, according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank. Developing Asia consists of 46 economies in the Asia-Pacific and excludes Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than USD2.15 a day, based on 2017 figures.
View report: Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2023
Meanwhile, billionaires have seen their fortunes grow a collective USD2.7 bil a day, up 109% over the past decade from USD5.6 tril to USD11.8 tril in total, according to Oxfam International. The top 10% of the planet’s richest individuals own 76% of the world’s wealth, while the bottom 50% of the global population only own just 2%, according to the 2022 World Inequality Report. More than 300 people, comprising of economists and millionaires, demanded in an open letter ahead of the G20 summit in India to impose taxes on the world’s superrich, warning of an unfolding “economic, ecological and human rights disaster” caused by escalating wealth inequality.
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3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Things MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki said
On Ahmad Zahid Hamid: The MACC is still probing new leads in Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akalbudi case. He declined to elaborate on the investigation and said he would leave it to his investigators.
On Jasmine Loo (1MDB): After PDRM, it’s MACC’s turn to start questioning former 1MDB lawyer Jasmine Loo over allegations of corruption and money laundering. When asked if MACC is getting closer to locating Jho Low with Jasmine Loo in custody, Azam Baki commented that it’s “still far”.
On esports: The esports industry is now on MACC’s radar as corrupt activities in the industry were believed to have occurred in the form of digital transactions involving Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. No elaboration on what kind of corrupt activities took place. Although there have not been any cases, the graft buster is aware of the situation and has to be prepared to address it when it happens, according to Azam Baki.
Most controversial, funniest MP goes to Arau MP
Arau MP Shahidan Kassim is the Dewan Rakyat’s “most controversial” and funniest MP for the current term from Dec 2022 to June 2023, according to NGO MYMP. How was this determined? MYMP identified keywords in the Hansard link to these adjectives - ‘dewan riuh’ and ‘dewan ketawa’, which appeared 72 and 25 times respectively linked to Shahidan. Trailing Shahidan is Pendang MP Awang Hashim, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer and Hulu Langat MP Mohd Sany Hamzan. This aside, Shahidan’s attendance is quite solid, with a 96% attendance rate (99 out of 103 parliament sessions) and asked 57 questions during the 14th parliament session from July 2018 to Oct 2022.
This is one of the initiatives by MYMP to make Hansard more fun so that rakyat will actually pay more attention and read it and scrutinise their MPs performance. Hansard keeps the records of parliament sessions. MYMP is an initiative by the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights launched in 2016 to help rakyat to get to know their MPs better.
Eco World Development Group Bhd plans to acquire 403.78 acres of land in Kulai, Johor, for RM211.065 mil, to develop it into a business park for medium and light industrial businesses with an estimated gross development value of RM1.58 bil. EcoWorld’s total industrial landbank now stands at 2,416 acres, of which 1,647 acres are located in Iskandar Malaysia. The company’s market cap stands at RM3 bil and is up 61.9% year-to-date.
In unrelated news, the next Yang di-Pertuan will be Sultan Johor, which will be decided in October.
YTL Hospitality REIT is acquiring 5-star Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection for RM138 mil cash in a related party transaction from Hotel 25 Sdn Bhd, which is an indirect wholly-owned unit of YTL Corp Bhd. Other hotels in its portfolio: JW Marriott Hotel KL, The Majestic Hotel KL, Pangkor Laut Resort, Melbourne Marriot - full list here. You can be a property investor (without having to fix broken pipes, chasing after late rent) and earn some dividend income from these hotels by investing in this YTL Hospitality REIT, which yielded 7.44% in the trailing 12 months - not financial advice.
Learn: What is Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)?
Winter might be over soon for the gloves industry. Big 4 glove maker Hartalega Holdings Bhd believe glove demand already bottomed out and may recover in the second half of next year at the earliest, as resumption of stockpiling activities as stockpiles caused by panic buying during the pandemic expire.
Hartalega’s utilisation rate on its production lines currently hovers between 40-50%. Due to low average selling prices and utilisation rate, the group has suffered net loss for 3 consecutive quarters. With an RM1.6 bil cash pile, the group is not ruling out diversification from the glove business but limited to the healthcare industry. The company’s market cap stands at RM6.78 bil.
RapidKL is set to introduce a women’s coach for trains operating on the MRT Kajang Line. Though no dates were announced, RapidKL, in a tweet said sticker installation and operation testing for the women’s coach will be completed by 17 Sep 2023.
An unemployed man was sentenced to 6 months in prison and fined RM10,000 by the Sessions Court after pleading guilty to posting an offensive message against the Sultan Selangor and failing to provide his Facebook password (yes, not revealing his password to authorities is an offence). He was charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act for both offences.
Tasik Chini is healing as 80% of once bare land is now covered in greenery. The country’s second-largest freshwater lake was on the verge of collapse several years ago due to environmental destruction and was facing the risk of losing its biosphere reserve status accorded by UNESCO. A stop-work order was issued to 2 mining operators near the lake, and now no longer has any mining activities.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
X owner Elon Musk has threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League for defamation (the irony), which would include seeking damages up to USD22 bil, equal to the loss of half of the company’s value. Musk argued that the anti-Semitism accusations levelled by the US-based civil rights organisation against X led to lost revenue, as the complaints against him and X scared away potential advertisers.
Musk’s USD44 bil to purchase Twitter was also partly funded by borrowings from rocket maker SpaceX, of which Musk is the CEO. While he fronted about USD25 bil for the acquisition of Twitter, his loan of USD1 bil from SpaceX in October 2022 represented more than 20% of the company’s standing cash reserves at the time, though he returned the amount with interest to SpaceX a month later. He also made loans tied to his Tesla shares to fund the rest of his purchase. It was later revealed this was not the first time he tapped SpaceX’s resources, as he previously borrowed USD20 mil to shore up Tesla in 2008. SpaceX also spent USD330 mil between 2015 to 2016 buying bonds issued by SolarCity, which had Musk as its largest shareholder.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s Cybertruck, first announced in 2019, was supposed to arrive later this month after years of delays but may see more delays yet again. It was reported that Musk made last-minute demands regarding the truck’s appearance, which would be impossible at the production phase. At the same time, no specific launch date has been announced for the Cybertruck, with order-holders expressing concern at how few details have been shared to them regarding their purchases. It would be quite a view to see a Cybertruck on the road in Malaysia.
Study shows rising cancer cases in under 50s
Researchers found a 79% increase in new cases of cancer in those aged under 50 between 1990 and 2019. While genetics are a factor, the study found that smoking, alcohol consumption, and diets high in meat and salt but low in fruit and milk are the main risk factors, along with obesity, low physical activity, and high blood sugar. The largest proportion of cases was breast cancer (13.7 per every 100k people), with windpipe and prostate cancer cases growing the fastest.
Diamond market hit hard as buyers prefer lab-grown gems
Engagement ring buyers in America have shown an increasing preference for lab-grown stones, known for being faster-made, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly compared to mined diamonds. This led to diamonds used in lower-priced bridal rings seeing a sharp drop in prices beyond the softened demand for diamonds and luxury goods caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Diamond giant De Beers had to slash prices by more than 40% for rough diamonds between 2 and 4 carats that can be furnished in bridal rings that are high quality but not perfect. Last June, these “select makeable” stones were sold for about USD1,400 per carat, but were priced at USD850 per carat by July this year.
China warns against "new Cold War" at ASEAN Summit
Chinese Premier Li Qiang cautioned nations against “taking sides” to avoid “bloc confrontation and a new Cold War” during the ASEAN Summit, calling for countries to “appropriately handle differences and disputes”. Notably, this comes right after China released a revised “10-dash line” map staking an even wider claim of the South China Sea.
Plane forced to turn around after passenger's severe diarrhoea case
A Delta Airlines flight headed to Barcelona was forced to return to its departure point of Atlanta after the pilot reported a “biohazard” situation. A passenger experiencing severe diarrhoea had left a trail along the plane’s aisle (warning - graphic).
Birmingham City Council declares itself "effectively bankrupt"
Europe’s largest local authority declared itself effectively bankrupt, faced with a GBP760 mil bill for equal pay claims. However, the council leader, John Cotton, insisted that essential services will continue to be provided to Birmingham City’s 1.1 million taxpayers. The authority also blamed the implementation of its Oracle IT system for the bankruptcy, along with the budget shortfall of GBP87 mil this year. Cotton claimed he only learned about the financial crisis at the same time as other councillors during a Cabinet meeting.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
The rise and fall of WeWork
2. Fukushima reporting by themokumentary