- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ The curious timing of the lead prosecutor's retirement in Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi's corruption trial
☕️ The curious timing of the lead prosecutor's retirement in Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi's corruption trial
MY 2023 population forecast to grow 2.1% to 33.4 mil. Nazri Aziz: Opposition united, unease over PMX's effort in combating corruption. Moody's is moody over banks, slashes credit ratings.
1. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
Malaysia’s population is forecasted to grow by 2.1% in 2023, primarily driven by international migration, as indicated by official data released recently. The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) stated that the estimated total population for 2023 is 33.4 mil, compared to 32.7 mil in 2022. This population growth is attributed to a higher number of non-citizens, expected to rise from 2.5 mil (7.65%) in 2022 to 3 mil (8.98%) in 2023.
The Malaysian government plans to construct over 3,000 solar-powered trading kiosks across the country by the year’s end. This initiative aims to regulate and formalise the activities of unlicensed small-scale traders while contributing to economic growth. The MyKiosk project has been allocated RM50 mil, with RM49.14 mil designated for the construction of 3,173 kiosks (RM15.5k average per kiosk) under 113 local authorities. The rental fee for the newly established trading kiosks in Malaysia will not exceed RM300 per month, and there will be a waiver of rental charges for the initial six months of operation.
The allure of promising future profits for startups is losing its appeal due to rising interest rates, leading to a decrease in venture-capital investment. In the first half of this year, global venture-capital investment amounted to USD144 bil, a decline of 50.9% from USD293 bil in the same period of 2022. Some startups that manage to secure funding are experiencing reduced valuations, with nearly a fifth of all venture deals in the first quarter of 2023 being "down rounds," where companies raise funds at a lower valuation than previous rounds, according to Carta, a startup equity platform.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Lead prosecutor in Zahid’s Yayasan Akalbudi case opted to retire earlyRaja Rozela Raja Toran, the lead prosecutor for the trial involving Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akalbudi case at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, has been granted early retirement, according to Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun. Raja Rozela was going to retire by November 2023 but has applied to go on leave starting from August 30, 2023. The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) emphasised that the decision to replace Raja Rozela as the head of the prosecution team was made after careful deliberation and consideration of multiple factors.
Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar has been selected as the new leader of the prosecution team in Zahid’s trial at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. How peculiar is the timing.
Botched breast enlargement job claimed a woman’s life in JBTragedy struck when a mother of two lost her life after undergoing a faulty breast enlargement procedure carried out by a beautician at a residence in Skudai. The victim's husband shared that her death resulted from infection and complications stemming from the procedure and alleged that the beautician was unlicensed. In response, he filed a police report on the incident. Johor Health and Unity Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon urged the family to officially report the incident to the relevant authorities for a comprehensive investigation.
Now we know the figure - GVF organiser wants RM12.3 mil from The 1975The 1975, an English pop rock band, has received a seven-day notice from Future Sound Asia, the organiser of Good Vibes Festival 2023, to pay over RM12.3 million in damages related to a recent controversy at the event. If the band fails to acknowledge its liability and compensate the GVF 2023 organiser, Future Sound Asia (FSA), legal proceedings will be initiated by FSA in the Court of England.
Padang Rengas UMNO division chief Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz claims the Opposition has become united due to its unease with PM Anwar Ibrahim’s efforts in combating corruption. Nazri added that the parties that make up the Opposition are currently completely engaged in efforts to topple the unity government.
Out-of-favour Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ) was witnessed on the campaign trail for Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Jeram candidate in Puncak Alam. KJ was seen with Harrison Hassan during a meet-and-greet session with the voters in several TikTok videos. Harrison, sacked from UMNO, will be contesting against the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Jahaya Ibrahim in a one-on-one fight.
Perikatan Nasional chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin has chosen not to provide a statement regarding the status of his son-in-law, Muhammad Adlan Berhan, who is being sought by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The MACC is currently searching for two individuals, Adlan and Mansoor Saat, to assist in their ongoing investigation of a project involving registering and storing biometric information for foreign workers.
Maxis Bhd has named Adrian Ong Chu Jin as an independent and non-executive director. Ong, aged 53, currently holds the position of chief executive officer at MR. D.I.Y Group (M) Bhd since 2019. He also serves as a non-independent executive director at MR D.I.Y Group in Malaysia.
Malaysia's Industrial Production Index (IPI) experienced a 2.2% year-on-year (YoY) decline in June 2023, raising caution among economists about the industrial production outlook. This downturn follows a positive growth of 4.7% YoY in May 2023 and is primarily attributed to reduced manufacturing and mining sector output. This marks the second contraction within the year. As a result, experts are wary of the potential for weaker performance than previously anticipated.
Forbes Asia has included nine Malaysian companies in its Best Under A Billion 2023 list, which showcases 200 Asia-Pacific public companies with revenue under USD1 bil (RM4.57 bil) and consistent growth in both top and bottom lines. The standouts are concentrated in chipmaking and related industries. Amongst the names: Frontken, ViTrox, Greatech Technology.View table: The 9 Malaysian companies, their revenue, net income and market cap
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Amazon summit to reduce deforestation begins in Brazil.Eight Amazon rainforest nations (namely Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela) are meeting in Brazil to tackle pressing challenges facing the critical ecosystem. The summit comes after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva took office and announced that his government will reduce Amazon deforestation to zero by 2030.
The Amazon rainforests are one of the earth’s largest carbon sinks, a key factor in helping the world reduce carbon dioxide emissions. According to a Al Jazeera report, the Amazon biome has lost more than 85,000sq km of forests, resulting in a carbon emissions increase of 117% in 2020.
HSBC executive slams UK for siding with US on ChinaHSBC executive Sherard Cowper-Coles has lambasted the UK government for siding with the US on cutting back business deals with China and accused the British government of being “weak” for going along at a closed-door event in London. Cowper-Coles claimed that the US demanded the UK adopts similar policies to Washington’s export controls for China. Cowper-Coles is the current chairman of the China-Britain Business Council lobby.
HSBC (The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp), apart from the name, which has a Chinese element in it, counts Ping An, the giant Chinese insurer as one of its major shareholders with an 8% stake.
Kim Kardashian hires ex-Apple retail bossReality TV star Kim Kardashian has hired former Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts for a key role at her private equity firm SKKY Partners. Ahrendts was reportedly one of Apple's highest-paid and most influential executives before leaving her position in 2019. Before her Apple stint, Ahrendts served as the CEO of the luxury fashion brand Burberry where she tripled company sales and quadrupled its share price. She also served on numerous company boards, such as Ralph Lauren, Airbnb and WPP, to name a few.
SKKY, which will focus on consumer and media investments, has yet to make any investments. SKKY is just one of Kardashian’s growing business empires. Her shapewear brand Skims was last valued at USD4 bil in July. Kardashian owns a 35% stake in Skims, making up the bulk of her USD1.7 bil fortune, according to Forbes. Yes, Kim Kardashian is a billionaire.
Son of Thailand king returns home after 27 years The second son of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, has returned to the country after 27 years of working abroad. Vacharaesorn is the second of four sons of King Vajiralongkorn’s second wife, Sujarinee Vivacharawongse. He, his mother, three brothers, and a sister were estranged after the 1996 divorce of his mother and the King, in which his mother was publicly accused of adultery, and they moved abroad.
Hun Manet appointed as new PM of CambodiaHun Manet has been appointed as the new leader of Cambodia by its king after being effectively given the post by his father, Hun Sen, for four decades. Despite winning the election in July, Hun Sen’s government has widely been decried as a sham after the opposition was barred by running over a technicality. However, Hun Manet will still need to face a confidence vote on 22 August to officially solidify his position.At least Hun Manet didn’t have to wait 70 years like this guy to lead.
Bank rating downgrade sends the stock market fallingFollowing Fitch’s downgrade of the long-term credit rating of the US, Moody’s, another credit ratings agency, has slashed the credit ratings of 10 small and mid-sized US banks. It also published negative outlooks for 11 banks, including Capital One, and several other large firms are under review as well, including giants like Bank of New York Mellon, US Bankcorp, Northern Trust and State Street.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
2.5% of Malaysians can’t afford a healthy diet, based on dietary guidelines from governments and public health agencies.
MrBeast said he broke the record for the most watched video within 24 hours on YouTube, though it has yet to be confirmed. His newly released video of him and his team being stranded at sea was watched over 46 mil times within 24 hours!