Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ PM Ismail Sabri invites UAE to invest in Bandar Malaysia
MY wants to learn from the Dutch on how to prevent floods. Ebit Lew faces 11 charges in a sexual harassment case. Auction house Christie’s launching a new dept to sell rare collectibles (eg. sneakers)
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
“I do not like the idea of happiness — it is too momentary. I would say that I was always busy and interested in something — interest has more meaning to me than the idea of happiness.”
Georgia O'Keefe, award-winning painter.
Quote found in James Clear’s 3-2-1 Newsletter.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
US consumers are expected to spend USD10.6 bil (RM48.77 bil) this coming Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation. The trade group’s survey found that consumers plan to spend an average of USD100 on costumes, candy and decor. My Halloween costume of choice is the percentage (%) sign to symbolise inflation, the scariest thing in town.
437 full days — the longest-ever trip to space, the record held by Valery Polyakov. He orbited the Earth more than 7,000 times. Polyakov passed away last week at the age of 80. His cause of death was not disclosed by the Russian space agency or authorities.
54% of Malaysia’s land mass are forested areas, a figure shared by PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last week. The PM promised the figure would only increase as the country is carrying out aggressive
de reforestation measures.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Power distance in action — former Minister of Finance official said, “I cannot bypass my bosses to go to the PM”.
The former MoF official, Siti Zauyah Mohd Desa, said the issuance of a government letter of support (LOS) to secure a USD3 bil loan for the joint venture between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Aabar Investment BVI Co was first of its kind and done in great speed. No due diligence was conducted on the cash flow. The entire USD3 bil loan’s approval only needed one signature — Najib Razak’s. Despite the abnormalities, the 26th prosecution witness did not approach Najib Razak, then finance minister, to voice her concerns as she cannot bypass her bosses (i.e. Finance Minister II).
The prosecution has rested Syed Saddiq’s case. Court to decide whether to call Muar MP to enter his defence.
Syed Saddiq’s defence lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo, questioned why the investigating MACC officers were not given the defence statement so they could look into the source of Syed Saddiq’s income. One of the MACC officers, Nurul Hidayah Kamarudin, did not know the existence of the Muar MP’s campaign expenditure for GE14. Gobind brought the issue up to prove that the money raised and used by Syed Saddiq during his campaigning in Muar was for political purposes and not for his personal use.
Celebrity preacher Ebit Lew’s sexual harassment case got off to a cracking start yesterday.
Mohd Fairuz Abu, a witness, testified he was contacted by a woman after he uploaded a post about a preacher involved in a case of sexual harassment with a woman. The woman confided in Fairuz and sent screenshots of her conversation with Ebit as well as pornographic images sent by Ebit via WhatsApp. Lew faces 11 charges in the sexual harassment case.
Malaysia wants to look west in learning how to better manage floods.
Putrajaya is seeking lessons from the Netherlands’ flood management experience in order to improve ours. The Netherlands is a world leader in flood management, as about two-thirds of the country is vulnerable to floods. So, managing the water flow is crucial for the survival of the Dutch. You can see below how the Netherlands is not flooding anymore.
The awkward situation caused by PAS Sec-Gen Takiyuddin Hassan:
Takiyuddin Hassan said PAS will not accept the stance of labelling any Malay-Muslim group as their “main enemy”. He added the party is confident that unity among Malay-Muslim parties would ensure stability and fairness and would protect the interests of all Malaysians.
The situation is awkward because PN’s chairman Muhyiddin Yassin, who said BN is the main enemy, met with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang for two hours on Monday (after Takiyuddin’s remarks) to discuss the coalition’s preparation for GE15.
Paramount Group will proceed with its planned exit from the education industry by proposing to dispose of the company’s remaining equity interest in Paramount Education Sdn Bhd (PESB), Sri KDU Klang Sdn Bhd (SKK) and Sri KDU Sdn Bhd (SK) to XCL Education Malaysia Sdn Bhd for RM120mil cash. The proposed disposal will lead to a pro forma net loss on disposal of RM38.96mil to Paramount Group.
Rubberex Corp (M) Bhd’s shares will be traded under the new name of Hextar Healthcare Bhd from Thursday (Sept 29) after receiving its shareholders’ approval for the group’s diversification into the healthcare business.
Bandar Malaysia may be making a comeback as PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob has invited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in the development of the project during a meeting with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al Nahyan. PM confirmed the Cabinet has agreed to “revisit” the project.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), designed to deflect an asteroid from its trajectory, has successfully collided into the asteroid Dimorphos, about 11 million kilometres (6.8 million miles) from Earth. The mission was devised to determine whether a spacecraft can alter the trajectory of an asteroid through sheer kinetic force, nudging it off course just enough to keep Earth out of harm’s way. Successfully colliding into the asteroid is one-half of the story. Whether the asteroid will change trajectory will not be known until further ground-based telescope observations are completed next month
The Collector’s Market
British auction house Christie’s is launching a new department to capitalise on collectible sneakers, streetwear and sports history. The new department, dubbed Department X, will sell rare collectibles across music, fashion, art, and sports history, but sneakers and streetwear will be among its biggest categories. It will hold online auctions, with live previews in New York and private selling exhibitions throughout the year. The move comes as younger collectors are redefining the collectibles world.
Snowden’s Russian Citizenship
Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Snowden leaked domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA. US authorities have for years wanted him returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges (former US President Donald Trump is investigated under the same act). Snowden fled the US and was given asylum in Russia. Putin, a former Russian spy chief, said in 2017 that Snowden was wrong to leak US secrets but was not a traitor. As the old saying goes, my enemies’ enemies are my allies.
That’s +1 to Russia’s population vs the exodus of Russians due to Putin’s mobilisation.
Nord Stream Leaks
The European energy crisis continues as reports of gas leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines flood the headlines. Gas is seeping into the Baltic Sea from three separate leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. German sources suggest that three separate leaks occurring at the same time were far from being a coincidence and could have been deliberately damaged. We’ve lost count on how many issues have beset the pipeline and at this point, it feels like Putin is outright weaponising the energy supply.
Apple Diversifying Supply Chains - your new iPhone 14 could be made in India.
Apple is shifting its production to India as tensions rise between Washington and Beijing. Apple’s decision aims to diversify supply chains to avoid supply chain disruption and trade tensions. China's ‘zero-Covid’ policies, which have triggered widespread lockdowns, have also caused major disruptions for Apple during the pandemic. JP Morgan analyst expects Apple to move about 5% of production to India this year.
James Earl Jones, the actor that created Darth Vader’s iconic voice, will be stepping away from the role. The 91-year-old actor has signed off on archival voice recordings, which enables artificial intelligence synthetic speech technology to recreate Jones’ younger voice for future Lucasfilm projects.
Cows let loose into a government building in Gujarat, India, to protest against the lack of promised government aid. The Indian Express reported that nearly 1,750 cowsheds run by charitable trusts, which house more than 450,000 cattle, had joined the protest.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Subscription is the future. While the business model is annoying, many businesses have adopted the model and some are more successful than others. Case in point — Adobe.
PSA to residents of Selangor! If you see clogged drain(s), please take a 10-second video of the drain(s) and send it to authorities!