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☕️ 20% of SJKC students in 2020 were of non-Chinese ethnicity

New era of subsidy begins today - diesel prices floated. Bersih: F for government for failing to deliver on electoral reforms. Israeli rescue mission: 4 hostages saved, hundreds of Palestinians killed


Information as of 0720 UTC+8 on June 10, 2024.


502.3 mg — the average amount of microplastics consumed by Malaysians daily per person, according to the Environmental Science and Technology journal. This earned Malaysia the 1st ranking amongst 109 countries in the study. The study highlighted that Malaysians’ consumption of microplastics came mainly from fish, over 50%. Malaysia was also one of the top 10 countries for inhaling the most microplastic particles, with an estimated 494,000 microplastic particles per capita per day, according to the study.
Learn: What are microplastics?

Paul McCartney, a billionaire Beatle, has become the first British musician to be worth GBP1 bil (RM5.96 bil), according to the Sunday Times Rich List. The 81-year-old and his wife, Nancy Shevell, saw their wealth grow by GBP50 mil over the past year due to McCartney’s 2023 Got Back tour, the rising value of his music catalogue, and Beyoncé's cover of "Blackbird." Shevell contributes approximately GBP50 mil to their wealth, being the daughter of the late U.S. trucking tycoon Mike Shevell. McCartney now ranks 165th on the list of the UK’s 350 richest people.

A single feather from the now-extinct New Zealand huia bird set a world record by selling for NZD46,521.50 (~RM133K) at auction. Expected to fetch up to USD3,000, the feather (view here) shattered the previous record by 450%, as reported by Webb's Auction House. The huia bird (view here), sacred to the Māori people, had its feathers worn as headpieces by chiefs and their families, symbolising status. Already rare before European arrival, the huia became a target for collectors and fashion merchants, leading to its extinction, as noted by the Museum of New Zealand.


Diesel price to increase to RM3.35 per litre starting today
Say bye-bye to blanket subsidies for diesel as Finance Minister II Amir Hamzah Azizan announced the floating of diesel prices to RM3.35 per litre from the subsidised price of RM2.15 per litre, starting today. Amir added that this subsidy rationalisation move will save Putrajaya about RM4 bil per annum. Below are more details on the floating of the diesel prices:

  • The diesel prices will only be floated for states in Peninsular Malaysia. The diesel subsidy rationalisation will be implemented in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan at a later date;

  • Diesel subsidies will continue for traders using diesel-powered commercial vehicles and for public transportation. Ten types of public transportation vehicles, including buses and taxis, as well as 23 goods transport vehicles, will still enjoy the diesel subsidies.

  • Cash aid would also be given to eligible individuals who own private diesel-powered vehicles. However, eligible individual owners need to apply for the cash aid dubbed Budi Madani at https://budimadani.gov.my

Moving forward, Amir stated that the Government will announce the current diesel price on a weekly basis according to the automatic pricing mechanism formula. Even though the diesel price has increased by more than 50%, our new diesel price is still among the lowest in the region, with only Brunei offering lower prices than us.

Credits: Bernama

The eviction of sea nomads was justified, Malaysian authorities said
According to the Malaysian authorities, the eviction of more than 500 people from the Bajau Laut community through the destruction and burning of their homes was justified due to security reasons. The Israeli-like operation was done in the Semporna district and was supported by the Sabah's minister of tourism, culture and environment, Christina Liew. Liew added that evacuation notices had been sent beforehand to the unauthorised settlements last month. Most of the homes destroyed were in the protected areas controlled by Sabah Parks and at tourism hot spots.

The evacuation operation conducted by the authorities was strongly condemned by the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra). Centhra added that the forced evictions contravene multiple international human rights treaties, to which Malaysia is a signatory. The Bajau Laut is a group that moved around freely, as early as the 15th century, in the Sulu Zone – the area around the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea – until the concept of national borders came into being.  Many chose to stay on land in the emerging nation-states, while others chose to roam free at sea. To those who chose the latter, most of them are deemed stateless and deprived of basic access to education and healthcare.

Education news

  1. An additional RM200 mil was announced by PM Anwar Ibrahim for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) funding as the Government is in a rush to boost the number of technically skilled workers. With the additional money to the coffer, an accumulated RM8 bil has been set aside for vocational training programs. TVET has been identified as one of the key areas of focus in education policy by the Anwar-led government.

  2. Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek said that the Penang State Education Department (Penang JPN) has received positive feedback in a stakeholders’ engagement session regarding the issue of operating the Dual Language Programme (DLP) in vernacular schools. DLP is a program under the policy of Elevating Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English (MBMMBI), which gives schools the option to use English in science and mathematics subjects. Previously, school boards and Parent-Teacher Associations of several schools in Penang complained that they are having difficulties meeting the new requirement of having at least one class taught in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) before other classes can be taught in English.

  3. Vernacular schools slowly becoming the top choice for parents to send their kids as, according to data from the Ministry of Education and other parties, almost 20% of students in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) in 2020 were not of Chinese ethnicity. Comparatively, in 1989, only 3.05% of students (17,309) were not of Chinese ethnicity. The main reasons why parents choose SKJC are due to the quality of the teachers, efficient learning and discipline system employed in the school and to open up vast opportunities for their children if they successfully master the Chinese language.


  1. New train sets for the Gemas-Johor Baru EDT
    The commencement of the new ETS service from Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Johor Bharu is coming closer as the country has received the first set of electric trains (ETS3) for the Gemas-Johor Baru Electric Double Track (EDT) service. According to Transport Minister Anthony Loke, the new ETS3 train has a seating capacity of 312 seats, with 36 for business class and 276 standard seats. A total of ten sets of these new trains will be delivered to Malaysia, with the final rolling stocks to be received by August 12 next year.

  2. Bersih gave Putrajaya an F
    Putrajaya got an ‘F’ from Bersih for failing to deliver on all of its electoral reforms. Previously, Bersih has submitted 10 demands to the Government, where among the demands are reforms on the appointment of the Election Commission chairperson and on redelineation. Given that the demands are not met, a mass rally will be held by Bersih before the expiry of the Madani government’s term.


Israeli Rescue Mission: 4 hostages saved, hundreds of Palestinians killed
Israel continues its massacre of Palestine by carrying out its latest and one of the worst since October 2023 military assault by land, air and sea on Nuseirat and Deir el-Balah on Saturday. Death toll has risen to 226, and more than 400 wounded, with a lot of bodies and wounded still scattered on the streets.

Al-Aqsa Hospital turned into a slaughterhouse look-alike as people scrambled in with the injured, sending doctors and medical workers into yet another overwhelm. Meanwhile, air raids continue to hit homes to the west of the city of Rafah and multiple areas in the north of Gaza City.

In a short statement later, the Israeli military said its forces were “targeting terrorist infrastructure in the area of Nuseirat”. It then announced its forces rescued four captives during the operation in Nuseirat. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant calls the operation one the “most heroic and extraordinary” he ever witnessed in the course of his 47 years serving Israel’s defence establishment. 

In what world is the massacre of innocent civilian lives ever heroic and extraordinary? Israel and its unfathomable delulu-ness continue.

Let’s not forget Sudan: Dozens killed in ongoing fightings, internal displacements numbers soar
Fighting and local displacements are intensifying in war-ravaged Sudan. The most recent is a violent artillery fire carried out by paramilitary forces in Ormdurman. Death toll is estimated at 40 civilians, and more than 50 are injured but these are nowhere near precise.

The children of Sudan are paying a high price for the brutal violence. Since the war began, thousands of children have been killed, injured, recruited, abducted and subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence. Over 5 mil children have been displaced from their homes.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is warning that the number of people displaced by conflict inside Sudan could top 10 million in the coming days. The agency said 9.9 mil people were internally displaced across the country’s 18 states; more than half of those displaced are women and more than a quarter are children under age five.

Hungary and French construction powerhouse, Vinci buy Budapest Airport Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has one more reason to sleep more soundly — the country has finally acquired the long-coveted asset of Budapest Airport alongside French construction giant Vinci. The airport is ranked 39th busiest in Europe, with an average of 307 daily flights.

They have bought the Budapest Airport Zrt in a EUR 4.3 bil (RM 22.06 bil) from AviAlliance GmbH, the German operator of the Hungarian hub, as well as Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte and Canada-based Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec. For Vinci, this is another addition to its stable of airports, bolstering its claim to be the world’s leading private airport operator. Back in April, Vinci bought a majority stake in Edinburgh Airport for GBP1.3 bil (RM7.75 bil). The French construction giant has 70 airports globally. In Malaysia, the recently proposed privatisation of Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd valued the deal over RM12 bil.


  1. Are Starbucks price hikes and boycotts ripping the brand off its “glamour”?

    Starbucks sales have slumped 1.8% year-on-year globally at the start of 2024 and down 3% at its biggest and most important market - the US. Starbucks rewards members (aka loyal customers) are seen “jumping ships” to smaller coffee chains due to unhappiness over price hikes and inflation, fights over employee unionisation and boycott calls. BDS might have the biggest impact though - analysts had initially thought that the boycott won’t have any major impact, but other causes seem to be insufficient to explain such a sudden and severe sales drop. Loyal drinkers also find the brand losing its “feel”, citing that it was once a cool thing but is now just a “convenience”.

  2. Virtual reality could offer better treatment for psychosis patients

    A study at Oxford University published in May 2022 has yielded successful outcomes in treating psychosis patients by using VR software named gameChange.  The treatment is a kind of exposure therapy, where virtual therapists guide through stressful scenarios to help alleviate fears and regulate their thoughts. Psychosis patients’ psychotic experience includes severe anxiety and agoraphobia as a symptom of an underlying mental illness. Participants have experienced significantly less distress and avoidance with the treatment, leading to UK’s National Health Service approving gameChange as a treatment option.
    Learn: What is psychosis?

  3. Céline Dion opens up on her fight with stiff person syndrome 

    Celine Dion has been laying low since her diagnosis of stiff person syndrome in 2022, a rare and incurable neurological syndrome that causes muscle stiffness and painful spasms in the lower back, legs and torso. In her first TV interview since the diagnosis, Dion discloses that she had broken her ribs at one point due to the severity of the spasms. She also said that it could sometimes feel like somebody is strangling her when the spasm occurs. Amid her feelings of desperation, Dion is determined to work towards a singing career again by undergoing physical and vocal therapy and working closely with her medical team.
    Learn: What is stiff person syndrome?


  1. The history of ice cream. It used to be an atas delicacy.

  1. The world’s most valuable company. It’s still mind-boggling Nvidia is #2 and 11x more valuable than its competitor, AMD.
    Fun fact: Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and AMD CEO Lisa Su are cousins.

  1. For most of us, our math skills are inversely correlated with the stage of our life.