☕️ Rosmah Mansor's RM970 mil fine "largest in Malaysian legal history" - Jagjit Singh, Rosmah's lawyer
Malaysian citizenship: ✅ UK footballer , ❌ Malaysian-born stateless kids. Is Najib really in jail - Home Minister refused to comment. Lazada expanding, Snap downsizing, Klarna burning.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
How to win Premier League titles? Spend £1.5 bil buying players or go broke trying. Deloitte said Premier League clubs have broken their record for spending in a summer transfer window having spent £1.5 bil as of last week (Aug 25), eclipsing the previous record of £1.4 bil in 2017. Actually, let’s add another £145 mil to that figure — Manchester United have since spent £60 mil on Brazillian midfielder Casemiro and £85 mil on Antony.
The APAC region accounts for almost 24% of total global malicious emails this year, with Malaysia being one of the top countries — 2.36 mil of spam emails have been detected in Malaysia, according to global cybersecurity company Kaspersky. I guess the UK’s colonisation continues to impact us — their love of Spam.
If you have not visited Ho Chi Minh, better make plans to do so as a new study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) claims Vietnam’s largest city is sinking by an average of two to five centimetres a year. The total subsidence since 1990 is estimated at 100cm. Segue — Apparently, the Indonesian government has decided to move its capital to Kalimantan because Jakarta is also sinking at an alarming rate - 95% of North Jakarta will be drowned by 2050.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
The sorting hat has decided that Rosmah Mansor will be going to the House of Steel Bars (pardon the Harry Potter pun)
The disgraced former first lady of Malaysia, Rosmah Mansor was found guilty by the High Court in all three corruption charges that she faced in relation to the RM1.25bil hybrid solar project for schools in Sarawak. Read the Court’s full judgement here.
Rosmah was sentenced to 10 years’ jail time for each of the three charges. However, the prison time will run concurrently from the date of judgement. The High Court granted a stay of execution for Rosmah Mansor, pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal. So, she will not be joining her husband just yet.
On top of that, she is also facing a huge fine, to the tune of RM970mil, which is also the “largest in Malaysian legal history” as claimed by Rosmah’s lawyer, or at least the largest under the MACC Act 2009. The RM970mil fine is the minimum amount provided for under Section 24(1)(b) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009. Combined, husband and wife are on the hook for RM1.18 bil in fines.
Among the highlights of the day was that at one point, before the judge presented the full sentencing, Rosmah Mansor’s lawyer requested a one-day jail sentence for her. Maybe her lawyer thought that an Airbnb-like trip to the jail is enough to make Rosmah repent of her actions. Whatever her lawyer is smoking, we want that too.
RM100,000 a month - that’s how much Rosmah to maintain her cyber troopers, according to the judgement today.
Is Najib Razak really in jail though?
Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin refused to comment on the allegation that Najib Razak’s details could not be found in the Prisons Department database after Najib was sentenced to a 12-year jail sentence in relation to his SRC International trial. However, there was no evidence to back up the allegation that has been circulated on social media lately.
You do not want to be on the bad side of PM Ismail Sabri
Strike 1 - After snarly attacking the PM last week over the PM’s decision to retain Idrus Harun as the AG and not appointing ‘one of their own’, Pengerang MP Azalina Othman has resigned as PM’s special adviser for law and human rights. Ismail Sabri has accepted her resignation on 29 Aug.
Strike 2 – On the other hand, former UMNO’s supreme council member, Lokman Adam was charged in the Sessions Court for uploading offensive materials against PM Ismail Sabri and the government on his Facebook account.
Are stateless kids born in Malaysia deemed inferior in the eyes of the law compared to foreign footballers?
After the news of the 34-year-old English footballer, Lee Tuck that recently became a naturalised Malaysian citizen broke out, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh was not holding back and lambasted Putrajaya’s priorities that put the needs of foreigners first and not the needs of countless stateless children that have applied for Malaysian citizenship. Nothing wrong with attracting talent, but not when our own backyard and citizens aren’t well taken care of.
U Mobile officially decided not to participate in the government-owned 5G agency, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), after careful deliberations. However, this situation will not impede U Mobile’s ability to provide 5G services to its customers, as access to DNB’s 5G network is governed by a separate agreement.
Sawit Kinabalu, Sabah’s investment arm in the palm oil industry, has given RM30 mil dividend pay-out to the state government for the financial year ending 31 Dec 2021. Since its establishment in 1996, Sawit Kinabalu has paid RM1.3 bil in the form of dividends to the Sabah state government.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
UN: China may have committed crimes against humanity in Xinjiang
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released a long-delayed and damning 45-page report backed by “credible evidence” on serious violations of human rights committed against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang through its “re-education camps”, which China argues that the camps are a tool to fight terrorism. It’s alleged that more than 1 mil Uighurs had been detained against their will in such camps.
Beijing, which saw the report in advance and urged the UN not to release it, has called this report a “farce” by Western powers and vociferously denied any wrongdoings. China’s Permanent Mission to the UN has responded with a 131-page document defending Beijing’s policies.
Read the UN’s main findings accompanied by China’s response here.
A quick overview of Uighurs in Xinjiang below.
Sri Lanka - IMF to the rescue (somewhat)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it reached a preliminary agreement with Sri Lanka on a USD2.9 bil bailout. However, the funds will not be available for several more months as its subject to approval by IMF’s senior management and various terms and conditions, including receiving debt relief from lenders (both government and private-sector bondholders), raising taxes, removing subsidies and increasing social spending on the poor. The debt reliefs seem necessary - Sri Lanka owes USD51 bil in foreign debt.
Lazada expanding, Snap downsizing, Klarna burning
Alibaba Group Holding’s Lazada Group is set to make its maiden foray into Europe, building on its success in Southeast Asia and also partly due to rocky economic conditions in China, Lazada has a larger war chest now for expansion after Alibaba disclosed that it invested USD912.5 mil in Lazada, taking the year’s capital influx to USD1.3 bil. This is a stark contrast with Shopee, its close competitor in Southeast Asia that has been pulling out from international markets in 2022. Lazada did not disclose which country will it set foot in first.
Lazada arguably is Alibaba’s most successful investment abroad - the latter acquired a controlling stake from Germany’s Rocket Internet in 2016 for about USD1 bil. It generated USD21 bil in gross merchandise value in the year to end-Sep 2021 and had 159 mil users, with a target to double its users to 300 mil by 2030.
Social media app Snap, on the other hand, plans to lay off approximately 20% of its 6,400 workforce. It aggressively hired during the pandemic, which saw its workforce grow by 90% from 3,427 in Mar 2020 to 6,446 in the most recent quarter.
‘’Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) giant Klarna reported revenue growth of 24% to USD950 mil for the period Jan to June 2022, but pre-tax losses increased at an extreme pace of more than threefold to USD648 mil year-on-year (YoY) as operating expenses accelerated due to rapid international expansion (it entered 11 new markets since the start of 2020).
As with debt, a bad economy means higher defaults and credit losses - Klarna’s credit losses jumped more than 50% to USD302.8 mil. Such economic environment is a good stress test for BNPL model, whether it is able to withstand hit from credit losses.
Indonesian super app GoTo (merger of Gojek + Tokopedia) can now add crypto to its list of services. The tech giant has acquired a 100% stake in PT Kripto Maksima Koin for IDR124.5 bil (USD8.4 mil), one of the 25 licensed crypto exchanges by Indonesia’s regulator.
Kpop fans, you can now profit from your fandom. A new exchange-traded fund (ETF) called KPOP and Korean Entertainment ETF debuted on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that invests in companies benefitting from Kpop popularity. The first of such theme in the US and Europe, the ETF will invest in 30 companies in the entertainment and interactive media industries listed on the Korean Exchange, such as Hybe (BTS’ agency).
The 19-nation currency bloc Euro-area inflation hit another all-time high of 9.1% YoY, the quickest price inflation since the euro was introduced more than 2 decades ago. A delicate balance the European Central Bank has to strive for, between increasing rates to tame inflation versus avoiding choking an already weakened economy due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Is your fear of recession in Malaysia valid? Let’s listen to what the guys at Mr Money have to say! Peter also interviewed the guy who knows Malaysia’s economy best — Minister of Finance, Tengku Zafrul Aziz.
Jail won’t do us part - Najib x Rosmah artwork by Fahmi Rehza (@kuasasiswa)
Rosmah will miss her kin - artwork by @themokumentary
Volleyball on water, in the middle of a river in Ljubyana (pronounced lu-blya-na), the capital of Slovenia, in conjunction with FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship.