Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ PMX vote of confidence a success, real work starts now #rebuildingMalaysia
Worsening floods in Terengganu, Kelantan. NYT investigation: Russian army bombs itself, oligarchs tricked into supporting Putin's war. Elon Musk to 'fire' himself as Twitter chief after Twitter poll.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
33.17% — the national recycling rate in 2022 with 4,626 mil tonnes of goods being recycled, according to the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corp (SWCorp) chief. This aligns with Malaysia’s target of reaching a 40% recycling rate by 2025. The Housing and Local Government Ministry is developing the framework for implementing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), where the producers are responsible for managing the solid waste of post-consumer products.
Read: EPR explained
4,000 workers of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs (8% of its workforce) might be losing their jobs early next year, according to BBC News. The investment bank is planning deep job cuts as it grapples with a sharp downturn in business. In the first nine months of the year, Goldman Sachs’s overall revenues dropped 20%.
The soaring of rhodium prices and other precious metals in catalytic converters in recent years is driving up the theft of catalytic converters. In 2021, there were more than 52,000 reported incidents in the United States, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (US). It’s also happening in Malaysia. How to know your catalytic converter has been stolen? When you turn on the engine, you hear a loud rumbling or roaring sound.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Anwar won the vote of confidence
PM Anwar Ibrahim survived his motion of confidence in Dewan Rakyat yesterday via a voice vote. However, the opposition did not partake in the vote of confidence as a sign of protest to the ‘illegal’ agreement signed between the members of the unity government. PM Anwar is the third PM to survive through a confidence motion in Dewan Rakyat, after Tun Abdullah and Tun Hussein Onn.
Before the vote of confidence, leaders from both sides of the aisle did give their all to debate the motion. Most of the opposition rejected the need to proceed with the vote of confidence mainly because members of the government had previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was deemed illegal by them, and the vote of confidence was just a gimmick. Opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin even went to the extent that the MoU went against the basic principle of parliamentary democracy.
Meanwhile, Titiwangsa MP, Johari Ghani, stated that although the vote of confidence was not necessary, it was crucial for the economy, citing that perceived political stability for the country can elevate the economy, particularly the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which exhibit negative 0.1% growth from 2018 until 2021. Given that Malaysia need to bring in the moolah sooner than later and the Dewan Rakyat does not lack entertainment content, perhaps we can turn Dewan Rakyat’s sessions into a Netflix series and bring in the royalty monies to fill up the government’s coffers.
Watch: Minister in PM’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman schooling the opposition.
Johari Abdul is the new Speaker
Former three-term Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul has been appointed as the new Dewan Rakyat Speaker via a ballot by obtaining 147 votes, beating Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, the chosen opposition’s candidate for the Speaker position.
On the same day, Barisan Nasional’s Ramli Nor (Cameron Highlands MP) and Pakatan Harapan’s Alice Lau (Lanang MP) were appointed deputy speakers. By looking at the outcome of the first meeting of the first term of the 15th Parliament, the speakers and deputy speakers will have the difficult and daunting task of maintaining order in the lower house.
The Army deployed ‘new’ excavators to assist in finding victims of the landslide
After more than 80% of the affected areas at Fathers’ Organic Farm campsite have been dug and inspected, efforts have been stepped up further to find the remaining nine victims. Currently, the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) has deployed two of its newly received Tracked Excavators (Med) Komatsu to assist in the operation. Collectively, 10 excavators, 11 sniffer dogs and a Ground Penetrating Radar tool were utilised in the search and rescue (SAR) operation.
Heads need to roll to avoid a similar tragedy in the future. Following the devastating landslide tragedy at Batang Kali, Rimba Disclosure Project, an initiative that monitors Malaysia’s forests, revealed that several projects are earmarked for development on environmentally sensitive land. According to the law, no development should be done on environmentally sensitive land, but the local government still approved the development on said lands, covering an area of about 5,700 hectares.
Watch: Jabatan Kerja Raya released a 45-sec video animating the Batang Kali landslide incident.
The flood is getting worse and the government has its hands full
The flood claimed three more lives as three sisters died of electrocution in Kota Bharu, Kelantan after one of the sisters grabbed a pillar and was electrocuted after she slipped while wading through floodwaters. The two other sisters also died at the scene after they came to help the first sister. Tenaga Nasional has since been informed to cut the electricity supply to the area.
In Terengganu, on the other hand, first responders were having difficulty delivering assistance such as cooked meals to areas in northern Terengganu that have been cut off due to the floods, as there was a lack of heavy vehicles that can cross strong currents.
To be more proactive instead of reactive towards the whole flooding situation, deputy PM Zahid Hamidi told the press that the government would buy and import more high-powered pumps to solve the issue of stagnant floodwaters and to re-coordinate existing pumps to flood-prone areas across the country.
The country’s cash cow, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), through its latest Activity Outlook report, stated that although the company expects market uncertainty in the energy sector to continue, the outlook is positive for the local upstream oil and gas (O&G) industry. Petronas predicted that more man-hours would be needed for offshore maintenance, construction and modification (MCM) from 2023 to 2024, from the 11.44mil-11.82mil range to the 11.88mil-12.3mil range.
Serba Dinamik shares might be suspended from Bursa Malaysia’s main market on Dec 23 if the company fails to submit its 2022 Annual Report before Dec 22. Previously, Serba Dinamik was granted a 1.5 months extension to submit its annual report, but unfortunately, the company failed to do so within the extended timeframe.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Thai warship sinks, dozens missing
A Royal Thai warship, HTMS Sukhotai, sank 32 km off the coast in the Gulf of Thailand, south of Bangkok, after high winds pushed the ship to tilt sharply towards the water. There were 106 people on board - 75 sailors have been rescued and 31 more are feared to be missing. This is the first sinking incident of a Thai warship since World War II, when an American submarine torpedoed HTMS Samui near Malaysia, killing 31 sailors.
NYT investigation: Russians bombing each other, oligarchs tricked into supporting Putin’s war
The New York Times published an extensive investigation into the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It found vicious in-fighting within the military. In one instance, a Russian drone operator (who has now fled Russia) said he witnessed a Russian tank unit deliberately attack another Russian position — the tank drove towards a group of Russian national guard troops and blew them up.
The investigation also found that Russian tycoons (aka oligarchs) were tricked into appearing to support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine through a photo op. On 24 Feb, the day Russia first invaded Ukraine, the oligarchs gathered to meet Putin. They were caught by surprise by the invasion, and when Putin entered the room, he told them that he had no choice but to invade with cameras set up behind them, unknowingly forcing them to show support for Putin. An anonymous mogul who attended the meeting said the goal of the stunt was to “tar everyone there” and “get everyone sanctioned”.
The photo op has cost them a fortune — these oligarchs have been heavily sanctioned by the West, and about USD31 bil of their assets, including yachts, villas, cash in bank accounts and a famous English football club, have been seized.
The world is facing a chicken flu problem
Bird flu outbreak across the world is now the worst since records began, causing a spike in egg prices (not just a Malaysian problem), threatening free-range chicken and increasing the risk of long-term impacts on animal health. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), more than 138 mil birds were lost in the 12 months through September, more than the past five years combined.
The seasonal avian flu typically occurs each October as migratory birds shed infected droppings or saliva while leaving cool areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Warmer months this year supercharged the virus, no thanks to climate change. Although it can spread to humans, this remains rare, with fewer than 10 people infected by the currently dominant H5N1 starting in 2018.
Poland’s police chief was hospitalised following an explosion from a gift from Ukraine. Fortunately, he suffered minor injuries only and survived to tell his story on a radio station. The chief received two used grenade launchers as gifts during a visit to Ukraine and was assured by Ukrainian officials that the launchers were not loaded. He was adjusting the launchers into an upright position, and the next thing he knew, the explosion happened, puncturing the floor and damaging the ceiling.
YouTube is introducing Courses in India as it pushes further into education tech to make the video platform more appealing to educators and learners and also provide more monetisation avenues for creators. The difference with Courses is the ability to create a structured learning experience on YouTube.
Elon Musk is stepping down as Twitter chief — not of his own volition but a crowdsourced decision. He ran a poll on Twitter about whether he should step down and said he will abide by it — 57.5% of 17.5 mil voters agreed to him stepping down. With Tesla’s poorly performing share price (down >60% year-to-date) and unhappy investors, it’s about time he shifts his focus back to Tesla.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
We are still in World Cup mood - today’s section is dedicated to football - specifically Messi and Argentina.
Lionel Messi broke the World Cup appearance record.
Lionel Messi received a bisht from the emir of Qatar after winning the 2022 World Cup on Sunday. What is a bisht?
Drone’s view of the insane crowd in Buenos Aires, Argentina, celebrating the country’s World Cup 2022 victory.