- The Coffee Break
- ☕️ Tun M suing PM Anwar for RM150 mil in a defamation suit
☕️ Tun M suing PM Anwar for RM150 mil in a defamation suit
Taylor's Edu Group said to be selling a stake, valuing it at RM1.8 bil. WHO: Covid-19 is no longer a “global health emergency”. Oral sex is now a leading risk factor for a specific throat cancer.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
Malaysia’s press freedom climbed 40 spots to rank 73rd in 2023, beating our Asean neighbours. The index, published on Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) website, compares the level of media freedom in 180 countries and regions worldwide. Freedom of the press is essential for the people to get to the truth. Kudos to the Unity Government!
A controversial collection that belonged to Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten, whose German businessman husband made his fortune under the Nazis. The collection with 700 lots, believed to be worth USD150 million, is going under the hammer at Christie’s auction house this week. Now why is it controversial? According to a report published in January 2022 by historians commissioned by the Horten Foundation, Heidi’s husband, Helmut Horten, was a member of the Nazi party before being expelled. Three years after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, Helmut is said to have taken over the textile company Alsberg based in the western city of Duisburg after its Jewish owners fled. Helmut also took over several shops belonging to Jewish owners before the war.
More than 100,000 people have fled Sudan since the heavy fighting broke out between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15, according to United Nations. Some 334,000 people have been displaced in Sudan. Even before the current crisis, one-third of Sudan's population, nearly 16 million people, already needed humanitarian aid.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Tun Mahathir filed an RM150 mil suit against Anwar IbrahimIt’s not 1998 anymore, and you’re not in a time machine. Former PM Mahathir Mohamad has filed an RM150 million defamation suit against Anwar Ibrahim at the Shah Alam High Court. Mahathir alleged that Anwar had defamed him during PKR's special national congress held at the Melawati Stadium in Shah Alam on March 18 by accusing him of being racist and enriching himself and his family members. Mahathir also demanded the PM to issue a written apology and hold a special press conference to apologise for making the impugned statements. However, during the national congress, Anwar Ibrahim did not mention any name, though he made reference to someone "who in the past had been in power for 22 years and an additional 22 months."
Not too long ago, PM Anwar said he will provide the evidence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad exploiting his position to benefit himself and his family when the latter was in power.
Bear in mind Tun M is 97 years old and retired from politics.
Despite the drama above, Anwar Ibrahim thanked his former mentor Mahathir on the occasion of Proton’s 40th anniversary and said Proton was the brainchild of Mahathir - was an important part of the “Modern Malaysia” era. In addition, there are plans underway to further develop Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant into a regional automotive hub.
Proton also took the opportunity to officially launch the 7-seater X90 SUV, with prices ranging from RM123,800 to RM152,800. View more details of the X90 from Malaysia’s #1 source for automotive news — paultan.org
MACC nabbed an individual believed to be involved in 1MDBThe individual was asked to head to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters last Thursday. MACC recorded his statement and searched his property. The individual is believed to be a close aid of the alleged mastermind behind the scandal, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low. It is believed that the individual had received illegal funds from 1MDB and SRC through Wright Shaw Ltd. 1MDB task force chief Johari Abdul Ghani said efforts are in place to recover the assets siphoned through the scandal, including from Goldman Sachs.
Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) denied issuing a media statement on the prosecution of Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali. The false media statement stated the AGC had received an investigation paper on the allegations against Zuki Ali from the PM’s special officer on the instructions of the PM.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia information chief Razali Idris said PM Anwar Ibrahim should call for a vote of confidence EACH time Parliament meets if he thinks his leadership is under threat. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and the MPs’ time. Idris mustn’t forget that one party from the PN coalition makes a lot of noise. Empty barrels make the most noise.
During the Malaysia Madani and Negeri Sembilan Aidilfitri Open House at the Seremban City Council yesterday, PM Anwar announced a total allocation of RM1.2 bil for the implementation of socio-economic development in Negeri Sembilan. Anwar also announced that the Residensi PR1MA Seremban Sentral housing project buyers will get their keys by next month. Election sweets?
Malaysia is no longer an attractive place for Indonesian workers, according to Melaka Builders Association president Lim Hau Jan. Lim said the main reasons were due to ringgit’s depreciation and Indonesia’s burgeoning construction industry.
Eversendai Corp Bhd could be the next company to go under the scorned PN17 listing as the construction firm’s independent auditors have raised concerns about the company’s ability to operate as a going concern in its audited financial statements for the year ended Dec 31, 2022 (FY2022). The auditors highlighted that the group incurred a net loss of RM366.86 million and that its current liabilities exceeded its current assets by RM168.33 million.
The owners behind Taylor’s Education Group, the Loy family, are looking to sell a minority stake in a unit that owns private universities in Malaysia and Vietnam — namely Taylor’s University Malaysia and British University Vietnam. According to the sources, the transaction could value the business at RM1.8 billion.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
WHO: Covid-19 no longer a “global health emergency”3 years after Covid-19 turned the modern world upside down, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Covid-19 no longer represents a “global health emergency”, the highest level of alert over the virus. Officials said the virus death rate had dropped from its peak of more than 100,000 people per week in Jan 2021 to just over 3,500 on 24 Apr. 765 mil confirmed Covid infections have been recorded worldwide. The WHO said at least 7 mil people died in the pandemic but added that the true figure was likely close to 20 mil.
As ChatGPT burns money, OpenAI raises more moneyOperating ChatGPT isn’t cheap - its creator OpenAI saw losses doubled to around USD540 mil last year as it developed the AI and made key hiring. OpenAI is projecting revenue of USD200 mil this year and seeks to achieve the billion-dollar mark a year later in 2024. Apart from its USD20 mil a month subscription to ChatGPT, the company charges 6 cents to process 1,000 tokens of prompts in its latest GPT-4 model.
As generative AI is the in thing now, investors are happy to hand OpenAI even more money. The company raised an additional USD300 mil at a USD27-29 bil valuation. This is on top of the USD10 bil invested earlier by Microsoft. And the company ain’t stopping there- CEO Sam Altman privately suggested the company could raise USD100 bil in the coming years to develop artificial general intelligence - AI that possesses human-like cognitive capabilities.
Google: Search becoming “snackable”, introducing passkey to a password-less world
The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is planning to make its search engine more “visual, snackable, personal, and human” to focus on serving the younger generation as it slowly nudges its service away from “10 blue links” in its traditional format of presenting search results. The search giant is expected to roll out its chatbot in the coming week, a project code-named “Magi”.
Google is rolling passkeys as an alternative to passwords as “a safer and easier replacement”. A user can create a unique passkey for each site without having to memorise it and would simply verify their identity through a trusted device with a PIN, fingerprint or face scan. Learn more about passkeys here.
Woodstock for Capitalists - the annual general meeting of Berkshire HathawayThe annual general meeting that took place over the weekend, dubbed the Woodstock for Capitalists (‘concert’ for shareholders’), is a yearly affair in Omaha that attracts tens of thousands of people and shareholders to attend to hear Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger speak and shop for products from businesses owned by Berkshire.
Ahead of the meeting, Berkshire announced a massive USD35.5 bil first-quarter profit, thanks partly to its stake in Apple which rose by 27%, valuing Berkshire’s stake at USD151 bil in the iPhone maker. As Berkshire is an investment holding company and owns a significant portfolio of listed companies, accounting rules require Berkshire to report both unrealised gains and losses, resulting in volatile quarterly performance. What is its true profit, then? Core profit or operating profit derived from its businesses came in at USD8.07 bil, 13% higher year-on-year. Its cash hoard grew by USD2 bil to USD130.6 bil.
Fancy owning a slice of Berkshire? Its class A share is valued at about USD491,000 - yeaps, 6-figure for a price of a single share. No problem if you can’t afford that - there’s class B shares worth 1/1,500 of class A, now priced at about USD324 per share but comes with no voting rights.
Oral sex now leading risk factor for throat cancerDr Hisham Mehanna, a professor at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Studies, wrote in The Conversation that oral sex is now the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer, a specific type of throat cancer. While throat cancer is usually caused by smoking, oropharyngeal cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) — which is the leading cause of cervical too.
To be clear, it’s not the act itself that causes the cancer. As HPV is sexually transmitted, the main risk factor for this specific throat cancer is the number of lifetime sexual partners. Those with six or more lifetime oral-sex partners are 8.5x more likely to develop oropharyngeal cancer compared to those that do not practice oral sex. A highly effective HPV vaccine already exists and is often received by young girls to prevent cervical cancer. Due to this risk, countries like the UK and the US extend their national recommendations for young boys to receive HPV vaccines.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Someone with exceptional sight is rightfully called eagle-eyed as BBC explores how good the vision of an eagle is. In short, the eagle has more light-sensitive cells called cones in its retina. More cones, the sharper the eyesight. A human eye has 200,000 cones per sq millimetre, whereas an eagle has twice that. The downside to having so many cones? The sun becomes the enemy.
The top 20 companies by market cap dominating the luxury goods industry