Squiz Today / 11 May 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 11 May
“A very special moment for World Peace.”
Is what US Donald Trump has called his upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump has confirmed it’s all going to happen on Tuesday, 12 June in Singapore. With the massive security presence it will bring, no doubt some very special moments will also be shared by Singaporean locals and visitors…
SHOCK ELECTION WIN FOR MAHATHIR
Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamed has been sworn in as the country’s new prime minister after staging a shock upset win of his country’s election this week. The 92-year-old ousted the party he had previously led for more than two decades. His new party Pakatan Harapan won 121 seats in Wednesday’s election. Barisan Nasional, the coalition that had been in power since independence in 1964, won just 79 seats. Mahathir’s victory makes him the world’s oldest leader. For context, what Mahathir has done is kinda like John Howard running against the Liberals to become PM again - 14 years from now.
WHY WAS THE GOVERNMENT KICKED OUT?
Pundits say it was a protest vote against Najib and Mahathir was seen as someone who would restore dignity and order to the government. Najib was under pressure over:
• allegations of corruption and misappropriation of money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund.
• the introduction of a GST that hiked Malaysians’ cost of living.
• allegations of election rigging with a Joh Bjelke-Petersen-style gerrymander before the poll was called.
REMIND ME ABOUT WHO MAHATHIR IS AGAIN…
• Mahathir was PM from 1981 to 2003 and was the bloke Paul Keating called “recalcitrant” when he refused to attend the first APEC meeting in 1993.
• He was retired but returned to the political fray because he said he was concerned about the state of the country. And because it was impossible for Anwar Ibrahim - his former deputy, former foe and reinstated BFF - to run.
• That’s because Anwar is in prison for what he says are politically motivated charges. Mahathir has said he would pardon Anwar and hand over power to him in a couple of years.
It’s just another case of real life being stranger than fiction…
SQUIZ THE REST
LABOR’S BUDGET REPLY
We’ll keep this short because we know you probably cancelled your Thursday night plans to watch Labor leader Bill Shorten’s Budget reply live yourself. So just three highlights:
• Shorten wants to out-income-tax-cut the Coalition with a Working Australians Tax Refund worth a maximum of +$900 a year.
• Labor will support the government’s income tax cuts starting 1 July. But they will seek to block the longer-term parts of the plan, including the abolition of the 37 cent tax bracket.
• There would also be more funding for public hospitals, uni and TAFE places to be paid for by scrapping the government's plan for corporate tax cuts.
RUDD TO GIVE PINK BATT EVIDENCE
Former PM Kevin Rudd will give evidence on his government’s ‘pink batts’ program in a civil trial brought by 140 tradies and business owners. They are suing for $150 million in damages sustained when the program was shut down in 2010. The program was part of a stimulus package to help ward off the Global Financial Crisis but was cancelled when four workers installing the insulation were killed. A Royal Commission found the program was faulty.
AMP SHAREHOLDERS NOT HAPPY JAN
And they as good as yelled out the window at the wealth managers’ board during its AGM yesterday. Interim executive chairman Mike Wilkins said he was sorry. A lot. But shareholders' anger was conveyed via a 61.5% vote against the company’s remuneration report – the worst result ever for a top 100 listed company. The vote is a ‘first strike’ but is non-binding, so its directors and execs will still get paid. Phew! But if there’s a vote of >25% against it next year, it triggers a vote to spill the board. Board members shouldn’t relax though - the incoming chairman David Murray has promised more changes at the top when he starts next month.
LIFE AFTER HARVEY
Georgina Chapman, the fashion designer and estranged wife of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has broken her silence with an interview with Vogue. She said she didn’t know about Weinstein’s alleged harassment issues and that the news was such a shock she didn’t leave her home for five months. “I was so humiliated and so broken,” she said. The couple has two children and will soon be divorced.
Aussie model Miranda Kerr and Snapchat-founder husband Evan Spiegel have welcomed a son, Hart, a brother for 7yo Flynn. The queen of some wacky videos for Vogue, Kerr is no longer playing ‘waiting games'.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Geez, that was a heavy news week. The antidote is some high-quality chicken shaming.
Confession time – if it weren't for our daily deadline we would be world-class procrastinators. Still, sometimes it's a challenge to buckle down and this ‘rainy mood' app has helped to keep us focused. We were sceptical, but it does work.
With the weather cooling this weekend, the only thing for it this weekend is our favourite chicken curry. It’s a good one if you want something different to your usual Thai variety.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Housing Finance, March
Anniversary of William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth embarking on their expedition westward of Sydney (1813)
Elections in Iraq and East Timor
Anniversary of the premiere of Andrew Loyd Webber's Cats (1980)
Homer Simpson's birthday (1956)
Mother's Day - if you've not got her something yet, how about a gift card from Booktopia? Even better, they're currently offering 10% off and if you use the link we get a little commission. Everyone's a winner, baby, that's the truth.
5.00am (AEST) - Eurovision Final
Fashion Week Australia - Sydney (on until 17 May)
Anniversary of Captain Arthur Phillip setting sail with 11 ships of convicts bound for Botany Bay (1787)
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.