Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ PAC found irregularities in the procurement of MySejahtera app.
Two contractors make RM1.323 bil worth of claims against Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd. Ukrainian ambassador told Elon Musk to "f*ck off". North Korea launched a missile over Japan.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
At least 32 children died at the stampede that happened in the stadium in East Java, Indonesia, over the weekend. The unfortunate incident was triggered by fans of the home team storming the pitch, to which the police responded by firing tear gas into packed terraces. Spectators of the football match ran to the exits, where many were trampled or suffocated. The local police chief was sacked in lieu of the stampede.
Counterfeit ringgit circulation is relatively low at 0.3 part per million (ppm) of banknotes in circulation (in 2021) when compared to 12ppm in Europe, 10ppm in Australia and 8ppm in the Philippines, according to Bank Negara. The counterfeiting rate was also on a downtrend — 0.8ppm in 2020 and 1ppm in 2019.
RM3 million — the money a syndicate comprising six people with degrees in information technology (IT) and software development made by selling websites to 100 possible scammers. The websites were developed to get important details from victims, including their bank account details, before siphoning money from the victims’ accounts.
“If corruption was a disease, it is stage four cancer, that’s where we (Malaysia) are.”
Nazir Razak, chairman of Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd, during the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (MICPA) 64th anniversary.
The former chairman of CIMB Group Bhd had a few more interesting things to say about the country. Check out the report by The Edge.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
No more concerts in Kedah after a video went viral.
Kedah’s Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the Muda Mudi festival that happened last weekend overstepped local community norms as youths displayed unruly behaviours at the concert. The video didn’t contain any NSFW elements, it was just people enjoying themselves at a festival in the form of dancing at Balai Seni Alor Setar. The location could have been the issue — it was nearby Masjid Zahir.
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What is regular in Malaysia? Irregularities.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found irregularities in the procurement of the once-beloved MySejahtera App in a report tabled in Parliament on Oct 4. The appointment of KPISoft (Entomo) as the app’s developer was not done according to the government procurement procedures. KPISoft proposed a corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept for the app, a costly one at that. The ceiling cost for the procurement was RM196 mil for a period of two years — RM98 mil per year. Another irregularity — the owner of the app. The government claims to be the owner of the app, but KPISoft said it is the owner of the IP of the app.
PAC suggests for the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) to take over the app.
PM says only he has the prerogative for the proposal of dissolution of Parliament.
PM Ismail Sabri said there isn’t a need for other political parties to have a say over the matter, including his own party. The PM also confirmed that he will be having an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Thursday but did not link it to the dissolution. The PM said it is a norm to meet the YDPA before meeting with the Cabinet.
Well, the President of UMNO, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, wanted the audience to happen yesterday (or did he mean Monday, the yesterday of yesterday?).
The enforcement of the anti-hopping law is effective today!
In a written reply to lawmakers, law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the law was gazetted on Sept 6 after the King gave his assent to the constitutional amendment on Aug 31, but the enforcement date is yet to be determined.
After the parliamentary session yesterday, Wan Junaidi declared that the anti-hopping law will come into effect today (Oct 5) at the federal level. At the state level, the law is subject to the approval of the Sultan/His Excellency/state ruler concerned.
Why is this law important? The anti-hopping law punishes MPs who switch parties by disqualifying them as lawmakers and paving the way for snap polls. No more kataks!
PSA — The voting hours in the upcoming GE15 have been extended by another hour! Voters in West Malaysia can vote between 8am to 6pm whereas voters in East Malaysia can vote between 7:30am to 5:30pm. Certain conditions for postal voting have also been abolished. All Malaysians living overseas aged 18 and above can register online to vote by post!
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus asked Malaysian companies not to hoard USD nor frontload USD purchases amid the strengthening of the USD. The governor assured BNM will ensure that Malaysia's onshore foreign exchange market remains liquid.
The middlemen strike back! Two contractors of the combat ship (LCS) project — Contraves Advanced Devices Sdn Bhd (CAD) and Contraves Electrodynamics Sdn Bhd (CED) — whose contracts were terminated have sued Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd for outstanding payments and a declaration that the contracts are not void. CAD and CED are asking for RM880.07 mil and RM216.65 mil, respectively. Both companies are 51:49 joint ventures between Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC) and Germany's Rheinmetall Group.
Executive chairman of Eco World Development Group Bhd, Liew Kee Sin, has been named as an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to successful regeneration and development projects in the UK and for his contribution to the UK-Malaysia trade and investment ties. Liew, formerly the CEO of S P Setia Bhd, was the person behind the Battersea Power Station in the UK. Watch a YouTube documentary released recently on this development.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
North Korea startled Japan
The Japanese government warned its citizens to seek shelter as North Korea fired a missile toward the east. The missile appears to have flown over Japan before ultimately ending in the Pacific Ocean. The missile launch was North Korea’s fifth test in the span of 10 days. The country launched 23 ballistic and other missiles this year. According to the South Korean military, the missile flew about 4,500 km and hit a top speed of 970 km/h.
The deathly forces of economics — inflation, rate hikes and recessions.
According to the United Nations trade group, advanced economies would need to change course on aggressive monetary policy to avoid sparking a global recession. The global inflationary forces have forced central banks such as the Fed and ECB to raise interest rates in order to combat increasing inflation. The UN suggests that it would be a gamble to bring down prices by relying on higher interest rates without generating a recession. It seems likely that Fed’s tightening will be more severe for vulnerable emerging economies with high public and private debt.
Elsewhere, the RBA is starting to pivot from its aggressive rate hiking cycle. Their latest 25 basis points hike signals a more dovish approach to addressing rising inflation. The RBA expects inflation will peak around 8% before declining next year.
Turkey is experiencing multi-decade highs as inflation climbed above 83%, with transport, food and housing sectors have seen the biggest rise in prices. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took an unorthodox approach last year by cutting interest rates from 19% to 14%. The move led to a decline in the Turkish lira, which indirectly contributed to higher import costs for the country. The lira hit a record low of 18.56 against the greenback.
Fossil fuels to the rescue!
Energy giants are returning to fossil fuels as Europe braces for winter. Energy firm Orsted is restarting operations at three fossil fuel facilities to ensure electricity supply in Denmark. There were two decommissioned power stations and one which has been slated for decommissioning on March 31, 2022. The company said it had been ordered to keep the three units running until June 30, 2024. This comes as energy supplies have been disrupted due to unexplained leaks affecting both the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.
End of an era at Bridgewater Associates.
The billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio, finally gives up control of the hedge fund after 12 years after initiating his succession plan in 2010. He transferred all of his voting rights to the board of directors and stepped down as one of Bridgewater’s three co-chief investment officers on Sept 30. The timing is apt as the fund’s flagship Pure Alpha strategy has advanced 34.6% this year through Sept 30.
Dalio has no plans to sell his minority stake in Bridgewater and looks forward to mentoring the firm’s investors for years to come. Read his farewell tweet here. He famously said, “cash is trash”, and just changed his mind and thinks cash is no longer trash.
Elon Musk is in the spotlight again because of 280 characters.
The billionaire posted a poll on his Twitter account asking his 107 million followers to vote on ideas that included ceding territory to Russia. Ukraine’s president Zelensky didn’t like the tweet at all and he posted his own poll asking users if they liked the world's richest person more when he supported Ukraine. Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, didn’t hold back — told Musk to “f*ck off”. Notwithstanding, it is a busy week for Musk as he is due to give evidence to lawyers acting for Twitter ahead of a trial set to begin on Oct 17.
Gaming platform Roblox has recently removed two games depicting war within Ukraine which violated community standards. The game featured real-world locations and experiences which mimicked the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Scientists Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. The trio’s experiments in quantum mechanics — quantum entanglement, where two particles are linked regardless of the space between them — laid the groundwork for rapidly-developing new applications in computing and cryptography.
Schoolgirls in Iran have joined the movement that has swept Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini, who was detained for breaking the hijab law. The schoolgirls removed their headscarves in protest after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave his first public comments on the unrest. The leader claims “riots” had been "engineered" by Iran's arch-enemies and their allies.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The top 15 countries with the most number of billionaires in the world.
How to win Rock Paper Scissors?