Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Satirical Art 1 — 0 PAS
BN or Opposition wins, Malaysia is due to pay 1MDB's debt of >RM14 bil + interest come Mar'23. KJ to give way to Tok Mat in Rembau seat. UK appoints 4th finance minister in 4 months.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD6.99 — the ad-supported tier of Netflix (non-ads is at USD9.99) will be launched in Nov 2022. The plan will be available in 12 countries, including the UK, the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia. The move made by Netflix is to help customers who have been affected by the rising cost of living — “Price for every fan.” The company said subscribers should expect between four to five minutes of adverts per hour.
The wealthy probably won’t subscribe to the plan above. They are unfazed by the rising cost of living — fashion house Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE saw a 22% jump in sales of fashion and leather goods last quarter.
“Nobody wants to be the richest person in the graveyard.” — Bernstein analyst Luca Solca.
127 — the number of grounds (rational motive) filed by Rosmah Mansor’s solicitors in her appeal petition over High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan’s decision to call her to enter her defence. Rosmah's lawyers claimed that the High Court had erred in deciding to call her to enter her defence when there was no solicitation by her.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Satirical Art 1 — 0 PAS
Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin or better known as Fahmi Reza, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court after Judge Nor Hasniah Ab Razak found the charges to be flawed and unfounded. He was charged for allegedly posting an obscene post on social media over the ban on liquor sales in the country. DNAA means he can still be charged for the same offence in the future if the prosecution decides to charge him again.
Whether Barisan, Perikatan or Pakatan wins GE15, the redemption of the 1MDB’s USD3 bil (RM14.11 bil currently) bonds remains
The 1MDB scandal might have been discovered years ago, but every day Malaysians are still paying the price for it. One tranche of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) bonds is due in March 2023. The newly elected government post GE15 has to raise USD3 bil plus interest expense (that’s RM14.11 bil on principal alone) to redeem said tranche. Failure to pay the bonds upon maturity will risk the country’s sovereign rating — possibly affecting our currency’s strength (RM5 USD?) and further impacting the country’s ability to pay back the dollar-denominated debts.
The amount is nearly double the RM7.8 bil allocated for Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia 2023 (BKM2023) in the defunct Budget 2023.
Where will they get their money from?
Heavy downpours in the north of West Malaysia were wreaking havoc
Flash flood in Bayan Lepas on Saturday (Oct 15) after the constant downpour caused water in Sungai Pinang to rise 2.5m above the danger level. Several homes were flooded, but no casualties were reported.
44 people were stranded at the Telaga Tujuh waterfall in Langkawi after heavy rainfall on early Sunday (Oct 16). Victims crossed the water using a cable for support with the help of rescuers from the Langkawi Fire and Rescue Department and police officers
GE15 goes on regardless of a few states’ refusals to dissolve their respective legislative assemblies, caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said. Almost half of the states in Malaysia will not dissolve their state assemblies — Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor, and Negeri Sembilan.
Penang Umno and BN chairperson Musa Sheikh Fadzir chided the state government (DAP) for not dissolving the state assembly. Fadzir asked the current state government not to field candidates in the upcoming GE15 if they are serious about the people’s safety. The blame game continues.
Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ) makes way for UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan (Mat Hasan) to contest in his seat, Rembau. Khairy has held the seat for three terms since GE12. Mat Hasan said the Barisan Nasional (BN) would try to find a suitable parliamentary seat for KJ. How honourable.
Barisan Nasional Chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says caretaker PM Ismail Sabri will be the candidate for PM in GE15, dismissing claims by certain parties.
Election season is in full swing as the Batu Puteh issue haunts the former PH government.
PM Ismail Sabri said there may have been possible negligence when the former government withdrew an appeal over the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision on Batu Puteh. The Cabinet was informed by a special task force looking into the matter that former PM Tun Mahathir Mohamad might have made a mistake when withdrawing an application to review the ICJ's decision on the case.
Who heads the task force? Former attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali. Yes, the same AG that dismissed charges against former PM Najib Razak.
Tun Mahathir was quick to defend himself, pointed the finger back at Mohamed Apandi Ali, and said the decision not to proceed with legal action was based on the advice of officers appointed by then attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said the country is ready to “robustly defend” the sovereignty of Batu Puteh.
Politicians flock to a primary school teacher who faces dismissal.
Fadli Salleh, a mathematics teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan (1) Gombak, had repeatedly raised concerns on social media over the primary school mathematics syllabus being too advanced for students. However, the Ministry of Education was unhappy and decided to either dismiss or demote Fadli Salleh. The issue had gone viral over the weekend.
Senior Minister of Education and Social Cluster Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said he wants to meet Fadli to discuss the issues further, but the move backfired as netizens criticised the minister on his Facebook page.
PM Ismail Sabri said he hopes for a win-win situation on the issue. He added the ministry’s disciplinary committee will also hold a meeting today to discuss the matter.
Fun fact: Radzi Jidin lost big time in GE14, garnering just 12.8% of votes, yet emerged as a senior minister with an essential portfolio.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
UK finance minister fired
The first political casualty of UK PM Liz Truss’ government - Kwasi Kwarteng, the finance minister, has been sacked after less than two months in the position over the controversial mini-budget proposed previously. He will be replaced by Jeremy Hunt — the UK’s fourth finance minister, over a span of four months. The earlier budget, which included tax cuts, will now see another u-turn as the government plans to increase taxes.
Truss is not out of the woods yet, as her party seeks to oust her. The Economist has dubbed her “The Iceberg Lady”, predicting her premiership has the shelf-life of a lettuce. The Daily Star is running a live stream of a lettuce positioned next to a photo of Truss, accompanied by the question: “Day One: When wet lettuce will last longer?” — 380k people are watching it at the time of writing.
Flip-flops like these make us wonder whether people on the top, not just in the UK, have any idea about what they are doing or if they are just throwing things on the wall and seeing what sticks. Good leaders should be responsive (not reactive) and have second-order thinking capabilities.
The Donald to be subpoenaed in the US Capitol riot investigation
The bipartisan committee investigating the 6 Jan US Capitol has unanimously voted (9-0) to subpoena former President Donald Trump to provide documents and testimony under oath. This marks its boldest move yet, which it has so far issued more than 100 subpoenas and interviewed more than 1,000 people. Trump is seen as the central figure in this uprising and has been accused of inciting violence that led to the insurrection. According to Trump’s aides, Trump might comply with the subpoena as long as it is broadcast live on TV, which he might seek to spin the hearing into propaganda.
Climate activists protest ‘weapon’ of choice - tomato soup and milk
The UK saw several protests over climate change across the country. Two activists from the Just Stop Oil group threw tomato soup on Vincent Van Gough’s famous “Sunflowers” painting in the National Gallery of London and then glued themselves to the wall. The painting was not damaged (worth an estimated GBP72.5 mil) as it was protected by glass. Watch the protesters in action here.
Another protest group, Animal Rebellion, in a coordinated move in stores like Waitrose, Whole Foods and Marks and Spencer across the country, poured milk onto the floor, displays and products. The group calls for a plant-based future and the need to support farmers to transition to a sustainable plant-based food system. Watch the protesters milking their way here.
Alaskan snow crab not found on menu
Alaska cancelled its snow crab fishing season for the first time as the crab population mysteriously collapsed by 90%, with an estimated one bil snow crabs suddenly missing from the Bering Sea. The industry was expecting a promising season as the snow crab population started to improve in 2019. The cause is still under investigation, but warming sea temperature in the Bering Sea could cause the reverse in its booming population as polar regions like Alaska are warming faster than the rest of the planet
Elon Musk’s Starlink has spent USD80 mil so far donating about 20,000 Starlink satellites to Ukraine. Musk informed the Pentagon that Starlink could no longer afford it and requested that the Pentagon foot the bill. In typical Elon Musk fashion, he reversed course and tweeted that Starlink would continue funding it.
Wishing for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be replaced? The former head of the UK’s secret intelligent service believes it will happen “in due course” but warned to be very careful of what we wish for as the replacement could be even more right-wing and extreme.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
In the latest episode of Whale Hunting by Billion Dollar Whales authors, they revealed a new major discovery — fugitive Jho Low operates a business consulting firm 100% owned by Grace Zenith, a British Virgin Islands company with a paid-up capital of USD333 mil. The office is based in the iconic Shanghai World Financial Centre.
2 men in a Finnish city “annexed” the parking spot of a Russian diplomat by painting it over with Ukraine’s flag. Calling it a “two-man referendum”, this is in response to Russia annexing four regions of Ukraine in a sham referendum.