Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ PAS gets in bed with Bersatu while PH still unsure about MUDA & PSM
Najib's lawyers in 1MDB Tanore trial got an earful from the judge. RMB1 mil bounty on M'sians who escaped slave labour in Laos, dead or alive. Greenhouse gas-burping animals to be taxed in NZ.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
Phone scams reported from Jan 2018 to Sept 15, 2022, have caused victims to lose RM2.51 billion, according to Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin. 79,559 cases were reported in the same period. Who is the most vulnerable? Those aged between 21 and 40 years old.
Chinese gangsters in Laos have apparently placed a bounty of RMB1 mil (RM650,000) on four Malaysians who have escaped slave labour from them, dead or alive. The Malaysians escaped with the assistance of the Malaysian embassy in Laos.
263,000 new jobs were added in the US in September, the fewest since April 2021. It could be a sign that the labour market in the world's largest economy may be starting to cool. However, the dollar strengthened following the report, as investors expect interest rates to continue to rise.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Right after the #UndiBanjir bombshell that PM Ismail Sabri dropped last Monday, the reception from all four corners was mixed
Of course, UMNO was delighted with the news (especially Zahid Hamidi), but the upcoming GE15 has already faced its first objection, which came from Selangor. Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari confirmed that he had already received the Selangor Sultan’s nod not to hold the state election this year so that the state government can focus on tabling its annual budget and preparing for the monsoon season.
PAS were so disappointed with the dissolution announcement that they had decided to be in bed with Bersatu under the Perikatan Nasional banner instead of siding with UMNO for GE15. However, in Sabah, Bersatu and UMNO are getting in bed together as it is an “extraordinary situation”, according to Bersatu President Muhyiddin Yassin.
With less than 60 days to go for the general election, the Election Commission (EC) is set to meet on Oct 20 to finalise the dates for GE15.
PH is still undecided about which right-hand(s) they want to bring along to the battlefield as they have not yet decided on whether either MUDA or Socialist Party Malaysia (PSM) should be accepted to join their ranks.
Tun Dr Mahathir, arguably the oldest active politician in the world, is set to defend his Langkawi seat in GE15. Drop me your longevity routine, please.
Sabah-based Warisan party, on the other hand, is expanding its wings to the peninsular, aiming to contest in seven peninsular seats, particularly Johor, to take advantage of the emigrating Sabahans living in the southern state.
Markets welcomed the dissolution
Unsurprisingly, the market is receptive to the Parliament dissolution news, even though the FBM KLCI fell 1.5% yesterday — which was actually in line with global markets. One key factor behind positive growth for the economy is political stability (which led to consistent policymaking) and that is what the investors are hoping for after GE15 in order for them to plan their businesses with peace of mind for the upcoming years, according to the Center for Market Education CEO Carmelo Ferlito.
Stop dragging your feet, says judge to Najib Razak’s defence team
In Najib Razak’s misappropriation of RM2.28bil 1MDB fund trial, High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah was tired of the defence team’s antics in dragging the trial further and asked Najib’s lawyers to complete the cross-examination of several witnesses after the defence lead counsel, Shafee Abdullah cannot appear in court, yet again.
Najib’s defence counsel Wan Aizuddin said he was not prepared to cross-examine the witness at this juncture 🤦♂️
In the same trial, the prosecution is looking to call former BNM governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz to the stand in order to provide answers, following Shafee’s earlier allegation that the country’s most wanted fugitive, Jho Low, was a frequent visitor to Zeti’s home.
Cyberjaya Hospital will become a fully-fledged public hospital
After the previous intention to operate 288-bed Cyberjaya Hospital under a public-private partnership model, Putrajaya had a u-turn on its decision and, for the better, decided to fully operate the hospital as a public hospital. Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin stated that the hospital would eventually have provision for 14 specialists and healthcare services. A new health clinic will be opened at the hospital on Nov 1 for outpatient treatment, which will relieve the existing congestion at the Dengkil Health Clinic.
Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), the master developer of KL Sentral, purchased a 39% stake in Sentral REIT’s manager Sentral REIT Management Sdn Bhd (SRM). Sentral REIT owns and invests in real estate such as Menara Shell along Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Quill Building 3 – BMW in Cyberjaya and Lotus Building in Penang.
In a surprise move, Disney Cruise Line is rumoured to purchase the not-yet-completed 9,000-passenger Global Dream cruise ship built by Genting Hong Kong Ltd (Genting HK), which is the largest cruise ship by passenger volume. Prior to this, the Global Dream’s fate was heading to the scrapyard after its owner, Genting HK, could not foot Global Dream’s bills due to pandemic-induced financial difficulties faced by the company. Disney will only pay a fraction of the RM7.3bil initial construction cost of Global Dream to own and complete the 75%-completed vessel.
WCE Holdings Bhd, via its 80% owned subsidiary, West Coast Expressway Sdn Bhd (WCESB), had bagged RM400mil from the government to partly finance the land acquisition cost for the RM5.044bil West Coast Expressway project. The 233km highway that runs parallel to the PLUS North-South highway started construction in 2014 and will be the third-longest highway in the country.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Coinbase received approval in Singapore to offer payment services
The largest crypto exchange in the United States, Coinbase, said it had received approval from Singapore's central bank to offer payment services in the city-state. Coinbase called it a “significant milestone” as it has been building up its presence in Singapore with nearly 100 employees. The exchange sees Singapore as a strategic market and global hub for Web3 innovation.
Burping cows could be taxed
Modern problems require modern taxation — New Zealand is looking to tax the greenhouse gasses that farm animals produce from burping and urinating by 2025 in the name of climate change. Nearly half of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the taxed income would be pumped back into the industry to finance new technologies, research and incentive payments for farmers. Farmers are unhappy and have condemned the plans.
Ukraine wants more air defence weapons
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was asking the leaders of the G7 group of nations to supply Ukraine with air defence weapons urgently. The White House said U.S. President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders met virtually to discuss what more they can do to support Ukraine and listened to Zelenskiy. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such actions would only prolong the conflict.
All prior federal offences of simple marijuana possession in the US were pardoned
US President Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign pledge to erase prior federal possession convictions by pardoning all prior federal offences of simple marijuana possession. The move would affect thousands of Americans charged with that crime. The announcement is timely as it comes a month ahead of critical November elections that will determine control of Congress.
The President has also tasked the Department of Health and Human Services and Attorney General Merrick Garland to “expeditiously” review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
On the low, but you need to know:
You can officially start a movement on WhatsApp as the platform has raised the maximum number of members allowed in a group chat to 1,024. Or maybe, create a group to answer the world’s toughest question — “What’s for lunch today?”
PayPal accidentally leaked its not-so-popular Acceptable Use Policy, which it has since redacted after the company said it was posted “in error”. Those who violated the policy — promoting misinformation or presenting a risk to user safety or wellbeing” — could be subject to a fine of USD2,500 debited from their PayPal account.
Forgot the minutes of the meeting that you didn’t care to attend? Google has got you covered. The company announced that it is bringing automatic meeting transcriptions to its Meet video conferencing service. The feature will dump the transcript in Google Docs. You’re welcome.
The Bank of England is doubling the maximum size of its planned £40 bil debt buy-back to £10 bil daily as it wants to ease concerns about the expiry at the end of this week of its emergency programme. Thus far, the BoE has only bought £5 bil worth of gilts — gilts are bonds issued by the British government.