Discover more from The Coffee Break
☕️ Worsening air pollution - from last year’s Raya Terkejut to this year’s Raya Tak Nampak
Be a calm driver this Raya-furious driver 2.5x more likely to make mistakes. Salutica Bhd vs Apple MY over wireless patent infringement. Parody hitman hiring site led to the capture of a real hitman.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
Crypto exchange Luno will cease its services in Singapore from June 20 onwards, a decision it said was made as part of a regular evaluation of its global strategy and presence. Luno was acquired by Digital Currency Group (DCG) in Sep 2020, which itself is facing troubles from the FTX fallout. Luno Malaysia, are you doing ok?
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
99.76% - the success rate of community reintegration of former inmates, according to the Prisons Department. In other words, the recidivism rate is only 0.24% of former inmates relapsing or returning to crime. 15,790 inmates underwent technical and vocational training (TVET) from 2012 to 2022. The government is also providing tax incentives of up to RM600 per month for three months to employers to hire vulnerable groups, such as persons with disabilities, ex-prisoners, the homeless and the hardcore unemployed.
Furious drivers made nearly 2.5x more mistakes on the road than calm drivers and drove about 5km/h quicker than the traffic around them, according to researchers from the University of Warwick. The researchers are developing software that will enable self-driving cars to detect road rage and steer clear of it. Good effort in creating a technology to detect idiotic drivers on the road. Anyways, keep calm whilst driving during your Raya balik kampung journey - remember, driving under rage will lead to 2.5x more mistakes, and never know whether it will be a fatal mistake.
Read research paper: The relationship between aggressive driving and driver performance: A systematic review with meta-analysis.
PSA: If you have a run-in with LHDN and planning an overseas trip, check your status on the Immigration Department site here to see whether there’s any travel ban imposed.
Astronomers have discovered an ‘ultramassive’ blackhole 30,000,0000,000 (30 bil) times the mass of our sun lurking in the depth of the universe hundreds of millions of light-years away. This discovery is said to be one of the biggest black holes ever discovered and on the upper limit of how large it can theoretically become. To assess the size of the black hole, scientists studied a natural phenomenon called gravitational lensing, where supermassive objects like galaxies have such a strong gravitational pull that it bends rays of light and magnifies light behind them, making them visible on Earth.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
From last year’s Raya Terkejut to this year’s Raya Tak Nampak
The sky starts to turn cloudy and the air quality begins to deteriorate, especially in Penang, as the Department of Environment (JAS) stated that Seberang Jaya had an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of 151 (unhealthy) yesterday. The haze has seemed to be imported from neighbouring countries as dense smoke haze is travelling from the Mekong sub-region down to Malaysia.
Apart from that, the haze in the town of Kota Bharu, Kelantan, was caused by a peatland fire. According to the Kelantan Fire and Rescue Department, it may take more than a week to completely extinguish the fire. You can learn here why it is really hard to put out a peatland fire.
All things airline or anything that flies
AirAsia Digital, the custodian of the airasia Super App may be in hot water due to the spat between Transport Minister Anthony Loke and his predecessor Wee Ka Siong. Loke stated that Malaysia Airlines is seeking an injunction at the courts to stop airasia Super App from offering its flight tickets for sale. At the moment, not only the super app does not obtain prior permission to sell the national carrier’s flight tickets on its platform, but the app erroneously labelled business class tickets as the default type of tickets.
PM Anwar Ibrahim has agreed in principle with the Sarawak state government’s plan to set up its own boutique airline. The here-we-go may be announced soon as the airline's proposal will be further discussed in the weekly Cabinet meeting today. PM Anwar said the establishment of the airline would further stabilise the cost of airfares between West and East Malaysia. Once given the full green light, the boutique airline’s initial routes will be direct flights to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
In the court: A former self-proclaimed First Lady of Malaysia and a stand-up comedian
Jewellery, at least for Rosmah, is not a woman’s best friend - Lebanese jewellery firm Global Royalty Trading SAL has decided to go against Rosmah Mansor in a refiled suit for breach of contract over 43 missing pieces of jewellery. The RM67.46 mil suit may put Rosmah liable to pay the firm the full price of the missing jewellery after the firm found out that the 43 missing pieces were not part of the 12,000 pieces of jewellery confiscated in the raid at Rosmah’s Pavilion and Jalan Duta home, in 2018. Previously, the firm took part in the forfeiture proceedings as a third-party claimant.
Enough jokes from her, as of now - Siti Nuramira Abdullah, the comedian that went viral last year and led to the closure of the Crackhouse Comedy Club, had pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of “deliberately wounding the religious feelings of others” via her stand-up comedy act. Siti Nuramira had been fined RM8,000 and her lawyer stated that she has repented and the 10-day lockup period was more than enough to make her reflect on her
PJD Link, the public’s nightmare, may become a reality
PJD Link Sdn Bhd, the company behind the 25.4km PJD Link dispersal highway connecting Damansara and Kinrara, is working towards obtaining a concession agreement with Putrajaya. Previously, the project received principle approvals from both the federal and state governments in 2017 and 2020, respectively. However, no work has commenced as of today as the Selangor government has still not given its approval to start work.
Some of you may wonder why there is no transparency on the behind-the-scenes activities of the PJD Link. The lack of transparency comes as no surprise to us as the essence of the concession agreement for the project is classified as an official secret under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA).
Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) will be increasing its business financing facility to Bumiputra entrepreneurs from RM189 mil to RM250 mil after PUNB reviewed the current needs of the market. Hopefully, this is not another Jana Wibawa 2.0 in the making.
Salutica Bhd clarified that its legal dispute with Apple Malaysia Sdn Bhd may be the cause for the unusual jump in its share price and volume. In 2022, Salutica initiated legal action against Apple Malaysia, claiming that the latter allegedly infringed its patent by using a wireless pairing process similar to the content of Salutica’s patent. An interesting battle to watch - an RM601 mil market cap company going up against the USD2.6 tril tech giant.
Putrajaya is mulling to introduce a second 5G network in 2024 in an effort to promote competition and kill the possibility of a nationalised monopoly controlled by state-owned Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).
Previously, Putrajaya is expected to give a decision regarding Malaysia’s 5G deployment in the coming days or weeks, as earlier this year, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil stated that the review of the current 5G network plan will be finalised within Q1 2023.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Sudan descending into a civil war
The battle between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has entered its third day in the capital, Khartoum, with at least 90 civilians reported dead. The army’s announcement that RSF had made unauthorised movements in the capital seemed to trigger the confrontation. A Saudi aircraft with civilians on board were exposed to gunfire whilst preparing for departure to Riyadh. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Sudan, the southern neighbour of Egypt, is one of the largest countries on the continent. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world, with its 46 mil population living on an average annual income of USD750 per capita.
Read: Sudan: Why has fighting broken out there?
Myanmar junta pardons more than 3,000 prisoners for New Year
Myanmar military has announced plans to release 3,113 prisoners, including 98 foreigners, to mark the country’s traditional New Year called Thingyan. However, the statement released did not specify whether those imprisoned for opposing its coup in Feb 2021 would be freed.
Activist group The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said at least 17,460 people were arrested for opposing the coup remain in detention and 3,240 civilians were killed by the military. Among those in detention is Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is serving 33 years in prison.
Sega Sammy Holdings Inc announced that it plans to acquire Finland’s Rovio Entertainment, the creator of “Angry Birds”, for EUR706 mil (USD771 mil), which is far below the rumoured USD1 bil price tag. Sega Sammy investors didn’t seem to fancy this deal as its shares closed 4.2% lower ahead of this official announcement.
Carlyle Group is in talks with the Glazer family to acquire a minority stake in Manchester United. Currently, a bidding war is happening between the UK’s second-richest man and a member of the Qatari royal family. Carlyle Group is the world’s sixth-largest private equity firm, having raised USD48 bil in new capital last year and has USD373 bil of assets under management.
View ranking: The world’s largest private equity firms
The love-hate reality of guns in the US
One weekend, one community lost their loved ones to gun violence and another had its annual meeting of gun lovers. At least four people were killed in a mass shooting during a Sweet 16 birthday party last Saturday and injuring 28 others in the US state of Alabama. A mass shooting is defined as four or more people shot.
During the same weekend, the National Rifle Association (NRA) had its 2023 annual meeting, photos of the meeting showed children as young as 6 handling deactivated weapons. What a way to spend time with family over the weekend. Firearms are the leading cause of death in children, surpassing car accidents since 2021. About 5 children for every 100,000 children in the US died of gun-related incidents.
A parody hitman hiring site led to the capture of a real contract
An ex-military man was arrested after applying to RentAHitman.com to be a contract killer and accepted payment for an assignment to kill someone offered by an undercover FBI agent.
The funny thing is, the site wasn’t meant for this purpose, at least at inception. RentAHitman.com is a site originally created to advertise a cybersecurity business that helps business to test their resistance to cyber attacks commonly known as “hits”. The business didn’t take off and the owner of the site turned it into a parody mercenary site after receiving many requests through it for actual contract killers. The site even comes with fake testimonials from fictional customers.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Read our ABC on Royal Pardon - will Najib get one?
A creative ad adapted from a similar campaign by Surreal Cereal. Andy Lau in 2018, sued a Chinese water purifier company for USD287,000 for the unauthorised use of his image to promote their products.
A Twitter user turned a McDonald’s order into a Spotify playlist