Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Now anyone (including yourself) can be an election candidate through PKR's new "political innovation"
SPH - MINDEF's growing alphabet soup of controversies. Tealive parent Loob Holding to revisit IPO plans. 38 killed in Thailand's preschool mass shooting attack.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
46.2% of youths in Malaysia earn less than RM2,500 per month, according to PM Ismail Sabri. The glaring fact has propelled the PM’s government to act by providing incentives to employers and financing options for youths who want to be entrepreneurs. In a separate initiative, the government has also allocated RM4.8 bil to provide 600,000 job opportunities to the youths.
USD1.5 mil worth of coins was tossed in 2016 into Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain by tourists or about USD4,100 a day. Throw in one coin, and you will one day visit Rome again. Throw in 2 more coins, you will be met with a new romance and, eventually, a beautiful Roman wedding. This legend was started by the 1950s Academy Award-winning film “Three Coins in the Fountain”. The coins collected go to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports causes around the world related to health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.
Malaysia needs an estimated 218 palliative specialists to cater for the growing need for palliative services in the country. Palliative care is specialised medical care for people living with serious illnesses (e.g. cancer, heart failure) that aims to relieve their symptoms and focus on their quality of life. For now, there are only 19 palliative specialists, with 32 trainee medical specialists. An estimated 150,000 adult patients require palliative treatment in the country.
“Markets stop panicking when central banks start panicking.”
— Bank of America Merill Lynch strategists.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
After Yang Di-Pertuan Agong returned back from Singapore’s Formula 1, both PM Ismail Sabri and the King had their routine pre-cabinet meeting. However, amidst all the speculation, according to a ‘reliable source’ in the PM’s Office, the matter of the dissolution of Parliament was not one of the agenda of the meeting. So, the wait-and-see game continues.
To add more assurance to the matter that the Parliament will not be dissolved, at least not on Friday, as according to the communications minister, Annuar Musa, the Cabinet will have a meeting on Friday, thus signalling that the Parliament will still be intact to survive another day. Annuar also added that the Cabinet’s meeting is normally held on Wednesday, but because Parliament is in session, it is held on Friday instead.
While it is known that UMNO is all for an election immediately, it is not the case for Perikatan Nasional-bloc parties (Bersatu and PAS). The PAS deputy president, who is also the environment minister, stated that PN ministers had sent a letter to the King in order to voice out their disagreement on the general election to be held this year due to the imminent threat of the monsoon season. There is nothing in the Constitution that give the PM powers to ask for the dissolution of his own volition and instead, the PM acts under the general authority of the Cabinet. So, I guess PM Ismail Sabri need to convince his Cabinet first before all else.
After PH-led states (Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Penang) decided their respective state assemblies will only be dissolved next year, PAS will finalise its decision on Saturday on the matter to dissolve the state assemblies of Terengganu, Kedah and Kelantan if a general election is to be held soon. However, PAS has stated previously that the party will not dissolve the state assemblies. If PAS follows the footsteps of PH, six out of thirteen state assemblies will not dissolve even though a general election is to be held this year.
Now anyone can be an election candidate, says Rafizi Ramli.
Goodbye to the days that we need to witness certain individuals ‘jilat’ their way to candidacy in an election as PKR announced a new political innovation where anyone can nominate themselves to contest in the upcoming general election. The nominees will be assessed based on four criteria: their contributions to the community, social media influence, status in society, and standing in the party. From there, the top five for each constituency will be chosen manually. You can nominate yourself here.
Important court dates for politicians:
11 Oct - Najib Razak’s misappropriation of RM2.28bil 1MDB fund trial has been postponed to 11 Oct as Najib’s lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, had called in sick, yet again.
28 Oct - After hearing all the arguments by both sides, the High Court will decide at the end of the month on whether Syed Saadiq needs to enter his defence or be acquitted of the criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges that he is facing.
After LCS and OPV, SPH becomes another controversial military contract.
After the littoral combat ships (LCS) and offshore patrol vessels (OPV) scandals, we are now being made aware of another alleged military procurement scandal. Rafizi Ramli told the media that the company that was believed to be awarded the RM854mil self-propelled howitzer (SPH) contract, MA Analytics Sdn Bhd, is owned by the son and wife of the deputy defence minister, Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz. Rafizi claimed that the defence ministry had requested the procurement process to be done via a limited tender, but unfortunately, the application was denied by the finance ministry, which was in favour of a direct tender method.
Southeast Asia’s biggest bubble tea brand to revisit IPO plans
Tealive brand owner Loob Holdings intends to revisit its initial public offering (IPO) plans once the company reach its target of opening 1,000 Tealive stores in Malaysia by 2024. Loob opened its 800th Tealive store last month. Loob previously put a stop to listing the company on Bursa Malaysia due to the pandemic in 2020.
Apart from Malaysia, Tealive has expanded to Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia and the UK. The company is bullish about its prospects in the Philippines — it plans to double the store count annually, with a target of 300 stores by 2024 from 25 currently.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Thailand — mass shooting in the preschool attack.
38 people have been killed, mostly children, in a gun and knife attack at a preschool in northeast Thailand. The attacker opened fire whilst the children were sleeping and most of them were stabbed to death, according to police. He returned home and shot himself, his wife and his child. His motive remains unclear. The police identified the attacker as Panya Khamrab, a 34-year-old former police officer who was dismissed from the force last year for methamphetamine (aka ice, crystal meth) possession.
OPEC+ to slash production, angering the US.
The OPEC+ meeting in Vienna, Austria, has agreed on its deepest cut to oil production since the pandemic erupted, announcing it will slash production by two mil barrels less a day. This move has angered the US - President Joe Biden’s administration has called it “shortsighted”. The US has repeatedly called on the energy alliance to pump more to help the global economy with lower fuel prices. Partly, Washington wants lower oil prices to deprive Russia of oil revenue.
OPEC+ has said that its “decision is technical, not political” as it seeks to prevent volatility rather than target a particular oil price. Following this decision, Malaysia, one of the 10 non-OPEC participating countries in the OPEC+ cartel, will cut its daily production by 27,000 barrels to 567,000 barrels per day. Brent crude oil, currently trading at USD94, means Malaysia is giving up USD2.5 mil of oil revenue per day.
Iranian schoolgirls join anti-government protests over its treatment of women.
Iran’s leadership is facing greater challenges as schoolgirls across the country are joining in on the latest wave of protests. The nationwide protests were initially triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in mid-September in government custody. She was arrested by morality police over violation of rules forcing her to wear a hijab. They took to the streets and chanted “death to the dictator”, referring to the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A number of students were also photographed raising their middle fingers at portraits of the supreme leader in their classrooms with their heads uncovered. Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group, estimated that at least 154 people had been killed by security forces so far in the nationwide protests.
World Bank: Goal to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 unlikely.
In its report, the World Bank finds the Covid-19 pandemic dealing the biggest blow towards its goal of eliminating extreme poverty and the Ukraine war threatens to make matters worse. The global extreme poverty line is defined as those living on less than USD2.15 a day. Currently, 574 mil people (nearly 7% of the global population) are living below this threshold. Extreme poverty is concentrated in parts of the world where it is hardest to eradicate - Sub-Saharan Africa, conflict areas and rural areas. The report can be viewed here.
The EU Parliament have voted into law requiring all portable devices to use USB-C charger from 2024, whilst laptop manufacturers have until 2026 to transition. The most affected company? Apple. This is a thunder strike to Apple’s Lightning connector - its standard for its iPhone range.
Warren Buffett’s conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, is having an outsize impact on the S&P 500’s second-quarter earnings. With a massive portfolio of USD323 bil as of 30 June, Berkshire Hathaway incurred investment losses of USD66.9 bil that is estimated to drag down the S&P500 earnings by 10%. To be clear, the losses are unrealised and it’s mark-to-market.
Expect to see more ads on Instagram. Meta announced that it will be increasing its ad load on Instagram with 2 new ad slots — ads on the Explore home page and in profile feeds.
The Washington Post conducted its own review on the Indonesian football stadium stampede, examining more than 100 videos and photographs, interviews with 11 witnesses and analyses by crowd control experts and civil rights advocates — it reveals that the police action of firing tear gas triggered the stampede.
Weekend read: This Founder Has a Can, a Brand, and a Plan
We featured the water-in-can brand Liquid Death in yesterday’s issue. Here’s the latest writeup on them by Inc. on how they got started and beat out 231 other water brands of various types (eg. still, sparkling, CBD-infused) to launch since 2019 to become the No. 1
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
How Denmark promotes public transportation.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer is out. Epic soundtrack!
PM Ismail Sabri’s speech at the UN General Assembly. Observe.