Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Power is trust and not a privilege - PM Anwar
Opposition leader Hamzah Zainuddin's son charged with cooking oil subsidy violations. 18 Malaysians officially* on Forbes 2023 World’s Billionaires List. Meta to introduce ad-generating AI.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
There are 221 slopes around the country that have been identified by the Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG) as critical and needing attention, especially when the monsoon season starts. Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the unfortunate incident in Batang Kali last year could have been avoided had all parties taken the development of an area seriously.
6,683 complaints have been received by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) since its inception in 2020. The purpose of EAIC was to improve integrity among 21 law enforcement agencies to boost public confidence in their staff. However, according to EAIC CEO Norhayati Ahmad, only 1,113 cases were investigated and resolved. On the other hand, 1,371 complaints that the EAIC received since its establishment involved enforcement agencies’ inaction during investigations.
An unknown type of snailfish of the genus Pseudoliparis was found at a depth of 8,336 meters in the Izu-Ogasawara trench, southeast of Japan. According to BBC, it is a new record for the deepest ever fish documented by humans. The lead scientist Prof Alan Jamieson said the depth could be very close to the maximum any fish can survive.
“I have always reminded everyone that power is trust and not a privilege.”
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3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The continuing series of new high-profile criminal cases
The son of opposition leader and Bersatu sec-gen Hamzah Zainudin was charged in court with 9 counts of violation in relation to the cooking oil subsidy. Muhammad Faisal Hamzah, 39, was charged along with Azizul Abdul Halim, 35, with allegedly providing fake invoices on the purported sale of the subsidised cooking oil. They were also charged with possession of more than the limited amount of 50 tonnes of cooking oil on their business premises.
Abdul Hamid Shaikh Abdul Razak Shaik, the managing director of Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd, whose company has taken over the concession for the maintenance of KL Tower, was charged with offering RM500,000 a year for 15 years (total: RM7.5 mil) to former communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa to expedite Hydroshoppe’s takeover process of the management and concessions of KL Tower.
To recap, Menara KL was sold by Telekom Malaysia through its subsidiary just before GE15 to Hydroshoppe, and TM said the selection process for the concession was taken over by the government. Pre-pandemic, KL Tower was generating RM66 mil per annum with net profit hitting RM25 mil - a literal cash cow. The selling price? RM3.8 mil — who would in their right mind sell a cash cow at a bargain price?
47 years later, government to declassify Double 6 plane crash that killed Sabah CM
PM Anwar said the final report on the investigation, dubbed ‘Double 6’, into the Sabah Air plane crash that killed then Sabah CM Tun Fuad Stephens and along with several state Cabinet members in 1976 will be declassified next week in accordance with the Official Secrets Act 1972. The plane crashed on its way from Labuan while approaching Kota Kinabalu International Airport. This declassification comes after the High Court in Sabah ordered Putrajaya to make the report public.
The lack of transparency surrounding the incident gave rise to speculations and conspiracy — conspiracy theorists insist that the crash had something to do with Sabah’s oil rights as Fuad was negotiating the state’s oil rights with the Federal Government. A Facebook comment said after the incident, Sabah’s rights and natural resources were stripped away. There’s a 2-hour+ documentary made on this incident — watch here.
Alliance Bank introduces disposable credit card numbers for better online transaction security
Alliance Bank introduced the nation’s first in-app dynamic virtual credit card. What this means you are able to generate multiple 16-digit virtual card numbers for various online platforms, subscriptions and e-commerce sites. This would save the hassle of reissuing a new card if the card number was compromised. For more info on card features and to apply, visit here.
Talk business, talk money
How big is Jakel Group’s business? RM1 bil per annum. Its managing director Mohamed Faroz Mohamed Jakel said the company aims for an increase in sales of 30% to around RM1.3 bil this year compared to the RM1 bil achieved last year. The company is offering more than three mil pieces of Raya clothing, with 40% sold in a single night, and it is confident to sell at least 90% of it. Pre-pandemic, the group generated an average of RM1.4 bil per annum. Despite the pandemic, it was still able to generate RM700 mil that year (2020), a fall of 50%.
FGV Holdings Bhd has received its fourth extension from Bursa Securities to comply with the minimum public shareholding spread of 25% by Sep 2023. The first extension was provided in Mar 2021 - 2 years on and the matter is still not resolved. It currently stands at 13.09%, with the remaining 86.91% owned by the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA). A listed company must maintain at all times the 25% threshold, with a minimum of 200 public shareholders holding not less than 100 shares. Nevertheless, exceptions can be given. FGV’s market cap stands at RM5.29 bil — it needs to offload around RM630 mil shares to other investors to meet the threshold. Read the Bursa guidelines here to learn more.
Good news: Proton Holdings Bhd ended the first quarter with 40,287 units of cars sold, up 50.9% year-on-year. Proton commanded a market share of 21.2% in the first quarter, maintaining its second place in the sales table rankings. Proton says total industry volume (TIV) hit a record high of 78,000 units, beating the previous record of 76.657 units set in Dec 2022.
Bad news: subpar public transportation system (in Loke we trust), higher volume of cars on the road - expect traffic congestion to worsen.
18 Malaysians officially* made it to the Forbes 2023 World’s Billionaires List— their cumulative wealth - USD54.7 bil. Robert Kuok, as usual, holds the top spot. The list, unlike American billionaires, is still dominated by old money instead of tech entrepreneurs. There are four new faces — the children of the late Public Bank founder Teh Hong Piow that inherited his stake worth about RM18 bil.
*By official, we mean, you know, the money can see the sun.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Former US President Donald Trump officially charged for paying “hush money” to porn star
Former US President Donald Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records, with prosecutors in Manhattan alleging that he falsified said records to “conceal a violation of election laws” during his 2016 election campaign. A hearing has been set for December 4.
The falsified records were to hide Trump’s payments of “hush money” to two women before the election to keep them quiet about their sexual encounters with him. These women were former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Trump, the first US president to face a criminal trial, pled not guilty to the charges and called out the indictment as part of a Democrat conspiracy to keep him from running in the 2024 election, including a statement that the US is “going to hell” in his post-arraignment remarks.
Still, if Trump were to be jailed, he would still be assigned Secret Service agents, according to a retired US judge, as the agents are legally bound to “protect him at all costs”. Probably for the better, considering the “going to hell” remark.
To read the full text of the indictment and the statement of facts, head here.
Then again, for a guy used to having people hold the door for him, getting the door himself has to be a humbling experience - watch below.
Meta CTO: Ad-generating AI to debut this year - marketers, AI coming for your lunch
The proprietary generative AI is set to be launched this December, according to Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth. This was hinted back in February when Meta announced it would set up a news organisation to develop generative AI. The technology is said to be able to instantly create sentences and graphics, similar to what OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 is capable of, though Bosworth insisted Meta was still “at the very forefront” of the technology. Bosworth also believes Meta’s AI can improve ad effectiveness by prompting advertisers with the tools best suited to create the ad. Bosworth also responded to a petition asking for AI development to be paused for at least six months, to which he answered “no”.
Multinational police action brings down popular cybercrime marketplace
A series of coordinated raids conducted in 17 countries, dubbed “Operation Cookie Monster”, has led to the downfall of one of the world’s largest cybercrime marketplace websites, Genesis Market. Globally, over 200 searches were carried out, with about 120 arrests made. Genesis, active since 2018, sold login details, IP addresses, and other data that make up the digital fingerprints of victims, which would allow malicious actors to access bank and shopping accounts for less than USD1. At the time of seizure, the marketplace had 80 million sets of credentials and digital fingerprints up for sale. Given cyber hacks left and right in Malaysia with little accountability, most likely, your details are being traded there.
Foxconn founder to make second Kuomintang attempt to be Taiwanese president
Terry Gou, the founder of multinational tech firm Foxconn and the largest iPhone manufacturer making 70% of all iPhones, has announced that he will be trying again for a presidential nomination for Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang, a party that traditionally favours closer ties with China. The party is still choosing its candidate for the presidential election due in January 2024. Gou made his first attempt in 2019 but dropped out after failing to secure the nomination for the party. In a press conference, Gou said the only way to avoid war with China was to lessen Sino-US tensions in the region and kick Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party out of office.
London City Airport second to use high-tech scanners to scrap 100ml liquid limit – The scanners will allow travellers to carry on up to two litres of liquid, with toiletries no longer having to be in separate bags. Electronics can also be kept in hand luggage at security. London City Airport is the second to use these scanners, after Teesside in March. The UK government has set a deadline of June 2024 for most UK airports to employ this technology.
Amazon to close Book Depository – UK-based online book store Book Depository will shut down at the end of the month after a run lasting almost 20 years, with customers worldwide expressing sadness at the announcement. The book retailer was bought over by Amazon in 2011, and the announcement follows news that Amazon plans to axe thousands of jobs. Book Depository will continue to take orders until midday UK time on its last day of trading on April 26. An alternative put forward for book-buyers is Blackwell’s, another UK book retailer, as it offers free international shipping.Hi, everyone. With the closure of Book Depository, please please spread the word that does free international shipping. blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/homeWe are sorry to let you know that Book Depository will be closing on 26 April 2023. You can still place orders until midday (12pm BST) on 26 April and we will continue to deliver your purchases and provide support for any order issues until 23 June 2023. https://t.co/zMSdn59KbYBook Depository @bookdepository
Twitter Blue: 2.6 million visitors in March, but only 4% sign up – Only about 4% of the 2.6 million people who visited Twitter Blue’s sales website in March subscribed to the service, making for about 116,000 subscriptions. This follows the announcement by CEO Elon Musk that only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to obtain or keep the checkmarks that mark high-profile accounts as authentic. However, numerous high-profile accounts, including the White House, have stated a refusal to pay for the service if their checkmarks were taken away.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Go back to the time when you were 17, what did you consider when you chose your major in your tertiary studies? The infographic below shows a survey carried out on 2,000 US citizens.
Trailers of upcoming movies and series:
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (release: 1 June 2023)
Money Heist: BERLIN (release: December 2023)
Tetris (streaming now on Apple TV Plus) - the movie tells the true story of how the classic video game became a global phenomenon. Worth the watch. Fun fact: Tetris was created by a Russian during the Soviet Union era when citizens barely have any commercial rights — the intellectual property rights of the game created were owned by the state (old school version of Communism vs China) and the creator could not profit from his creation.
Marvel Studio’s Secret Invasion (streaming on Disney+ on 21 June) - a Marvel series dedicated to Nick Fury
Barbie The Movie (release date: 21 July 2023) - featuring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu and Will Ferrell
Apple’s single largest shareholder - who else could it be if not the Oracle of Omaha?Apple's Single Largest Shareholder 1. Warren Buffett is the single largest shareholder of the tech giant with a 5.8% stake thru his co Berkshire Hathaway 2. Berkshire gained USD30 bil this year on Apple, valuing its stake at UD149 bil. 1/n