☕️ RM30.75 mil contract to replace 200 lamp post (RM153.75k/lamp post) - DBKL denies authorising 3rd party to appoint contractor
Squid Game 2 is on. PM: death penalty remains, at discretion of judge. Poop espionage - when excrement provides valuable spy intel. Justin Bieber's world concert paused, due to Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
The US consumer price index (CPI) in May increased 8.6% from a year earlier in a broad-based advance, a fresh 40-year high. Shelter, food and gas were the largest contributors. An aggressive series of interest-rate hikes seems imminent.
USD5.2 mil (RM22.89 mil) — the compensation received by a Missouri woman in a settlement from insurance company GEICO after contracting a sexually transmitted disease from her partner in his vehicle. GEICO denied coverage and refused her settlement offer of USD1 mil back in April 2021.
Our local airlines aren’t the only ones cancelling flights — Lufthansa, Germany's flagship air carrier, is cancelling 900 flights in July because it can’t find enough staff. The airline said across 2020 and 2021, its total number of employees had fallen by nearly a quarter. At least these flights aren’t cancelled at the very last minute.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Communications and Multimedia Minister, Annuar Musa, said the government is stable due to the support of all parties, including the opposition; hence there is no urgent need to dissolve the parliament currently. He added the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) commanded the government to continue serving the rakyat and reduce politicking. Reduce politicking…
PAS election director Sanusi Md Nor (also Kedah’s Menteri Besar) said Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is insisting on an early general election as he is afraid of going to jail.
Zahid said PAS doesn’t want the GE to happen this year as the party is afraid of losing many seats.
PAS urges Muslims not to attend the Bon Odori Festival because of the religious elements in the event despite the royal decree.
If the Goods and Services Tax (GST) makes a return, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the government would improve the efficiency of its reimbursement process and business compliance level as well as overall administration. The national revenue collection as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) last year was relatively low at 15.1% — hence GST is an attractive solution to increase the country’s revenue.
Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong said the decision would be made soon on whether to extend the sales tax exemption for new vehicles to aid the recovery of the automobile industry.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the government has agreed to abolish the “mandatory” death penalty with judges given the discretion to impose the death sentence. The power will be given to the court to decide alternative types of punishment. With the decision, the lives of 1,341 prisoners on death row (as of Feb 2022) remain in limbo. Wan Junaidi said a lot of amendments to several laws would be required to determine the fate of the prisoners that are currently on death row.
Former Menteri Besar Mohamad Khir Toyo said his six months in jail changed him and taught him not to waste public funds. In his interview with Malaysiakini, he said people should reflect on two questions after making mistakes:
How big is the mistake?
Is the mistake intentional?
Perak’s Menteri Besar, Saarani Mohamad, on May 23, said the state government had received the nod from the Environment Department to implement the pilot project to mine a rare earth mineral called lintonite. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was approved in mid-May 2022. However, satellite images obtained by Malaysiakini suggest the mining operations started before the approval — land clearing could have begun as early as December 2019. 👀
Over the weekend, Malaysians were taken aback by the cost required to replace lamp posts in KL — RM153,750 per lamp post. Earlier in the week — Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd (SCIB)’s wholly-owned subsidiary — SCIB Properties Sdn Bhd, was awarded a contract valued at RM30.75 million to replace 200 integrated smart lamp pole units (with 5G capabilities) within Klang Valley. The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) denied the appointment of SCIB or any of its subsidiaries to carry out any work on behalf of DBKL. DBKL further clarified the cost of replacing the street lamps is borne entirely by the panel company. Which begs the question — who gave the DBKL’s panel companies the budget in the first place? 🤔
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared”
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Russia-Ukraine conflict updates:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly mentioned for the first time that the Ukraine invasion is about expanding Russian territory, undermining his earlier baseless justification that it was to prevent Ukraine’s government which Putin described as a ‘neo-nazi government’, from committing genocide against ethnic Russians.
Elon Musk somehow contributed to Ukraine’s defence against Russia. A US general said the satellite arm of SpaceX, Starlink, has “destroyed Putin’s information campaign” allowing Ukraine to maintain its communication infrastructure and communication with the rest of the world. SpaceX has delivered 15,000 Starlink kits to Ukraine in the past three months.
McDonald’s, after exiting the country and under its new owner, now has a new name — Vkusno & tochka, which translates as “Tasty and that’s it”.
There is a wealth of intelligence from faeces or poop espionage. Putin’s bodyguards collect his poop when he travels abroad to avoid the risk of foreign powers discovering information about Putin’s health and DNA. This was said to happen during his visit to France in 2017 and Saudi Arabia in 2019. There were other instances of poop interception recorded with former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin trying to spy on China’s former chairman Mao Zedong and other top officials’ excrement and British spies analysing soiled toilet paper used by Soviet troops during the Cold War as they were not giving toilet paper and had to resort to using military documents and personal letters.
China Defence Minister Wei Fenghe met his US counterpart Llyod Austin on the sidelines of an Asian security summit in Singapore. He said China’s military will “fight at any cost” if there are any attempts to split Taiwan from China.
China has launched the world’s first crewless drone carrier, Zhu Hai Yun, which uses AI to navigate itself autonomously and is capable of carrying dozens of air, sea and submersible drones.
Chinese official said a Covid-19 outbreak linked to a bar in Beijing is “ferocious”, with some 166 cases linked so far.
Eleven people, including 5 children and 3 women died when their pick-up truck ran over a landmine in Syria with 34 others injured. Explosives left in fields, roads and even buildings in Syria’s decade-long conflict have wounded thousands of civilians and killed hundreds. The UN estimated that half of its population is living in areas contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants. It is estimated more than 110 mil landmines are in the ground right now — read here for more facts on the seriousness of this problem.
28- year old Justin Bieber announced he would be pausing his Justice World Tour hours before his first concert in Toronto as he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which is causing him partial facial paralysis. This happens with patients that have experienced chickenpox before as it is caused by the same Varicella-Zoster Virus. Learn more here about this disease.
What do Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati and Pagani luxury sports cars and bikes have in common? They originated from the same part of Italy known as Motor Valley. The area spanning 1,000 sq kilometres offers a ready skill base among farmers who, in the immediate aftermath of WW2, learnt how to repair their own machinery. The industry has 16,000 companies, four racing tracks, six training centres, and employs more than 90,000 people, according to a think-tank.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Haram Multiverse of Madness.
Social media sensation Jason Fridman (Twitter: @fjamie013) helps strangers photoshop their photos based on their requests, often with hilarious outcomes. He compiled this into a book - “The Joy of Photoshop: When You Ask The Wrong Guy For Help”.
3. Green light for “Squid Game 2”.