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  • ☕️ 72% or 165k+ products with Halal certification owned by non-Muslim companies - JAKIM

☕️ 72% or 165k+ products with Halal certification owned by non-Muslim companies - JAKIM

Maybank IB: little synergy for the merger of MAHB-MAG. WSJ investigation: Instagram connects vast paedophile network. From B40 to billionaires: asset type owned by net worth.

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USD305 tril — global debt currently, USD45 tril higher than before the pandemic, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF). This amount is comprised of money owed by corporations (USD161.7 tril / 53%), governments (USD85.7 tril / 28%) and individuals (USD57.6 tril / 19%) around the world. IIF predicts global debt to head in one direction - up to the right as governments continue borrowing, affected by factors such as the ageing population, geopolitical tensions, increased in healthcare costs and climate finance. Visit the preceding link to view the most indebted nation by absolute amount and relative to GDP (debt-to-GDP ratio).

Fancy having Flo Rida to perform Low at your birthday party? Be ready to fork out USD150k-300k — that if you are based in the US. An international appearance will push the cost up to around USD1 mil. This range was confirmed by one of Flo Rida’s lawyers. In January, Beyonce did her first show in 4 years at the opening of a new hotel in Dubai owned by its government for a price tag of USD24 mil for an hour-long set.

72% or 165,026 of 229,204 products with Halal certification in Malaysia are owned by non-Muslim companies for the period 2021 to 10 Apr 2023, according to Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM). JAKIM also found that only 41% of Bumiputera Muslim entrepreneurs were interested to obtain the Halal certification. Vulcan Post did an interesting writeup on the Halal certification process and its requirements.


Generational Endgame (GEG) Bill has been sidelined yet againIt looks like it will be an anti-climactic ending for tobacco smoking products as the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, also known as the GEG Bill, is being referred back to the parliamentary select committee (PSC) again. Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa stated that specific details under the Bill need to be reviewed again in order to garner bipartisan support from both sides of the aisle. Perhaps Dr Zaliha should start watching the House of Cards to get a few tips on how Frank Underwood whip supports and votes.

Small changes, big difference

  • Relocation of MNCs and high net-worth individuals away from Malaysia due to cost increase?  - PM Anwar Ibrahim defended his Government’s decision to impose an electricity tariff increase towards multinational companies (MNC) and high-income (T20) households in a move to rationalise the national subsidy structure. PM Anwar said that it is unreasonable to continue pampering the rich with subsidies that should be allocated towards the needy.

  • Empowering the third level of Government? — In order to expedite the implementation of minor infrastructure projects such as repairing dilapidated schools, PM Anwar announced that the Public Works Department (JKR) will no longer be responsible for supervising these projects. JKR will pass the baton to the third tier of Government, such as the district offices, to monitor the implementation of said projects.The country has three tiers of government – federal, state and local – with regular elections held at the central and state levels. However, there have been no elections at the local government level since they were suspended in 1965.

  • 100% home ownership in Malaysia? — Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said that the stamp duty exemptions under the Malaysian Home Ownership Initiative (i-Miliki) will significantly increase the country’s homeownership level from the current 76.9%. Via the i-Miliki scheme, a 100% stamp duty exemption is given for the first house purchase of sub RM500,000 property. For houses priced between RM500,000 to RM1 mil, first-time home buyers will enjoy a 75% stamp duty exemption.Nga believes that the i-Miliki will be one of the mechanisms to achieve 100% homeownership. This goal may be a bit ludicrous as Singapore, the country with the best public housing scheme, has only attained an 89.3% homeownership rate in 2022.

LTAT & Family in the news

  • Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), the armed forces pension fund, completed the takeover of Boustead Holdings Bhd by holding a 97.63% stake in the company as of yesterday. With this, LTAT can start the privatisation process of the company and will subsequently submit an application to Bursa Malaysia to delist Boustead Holdings Bhd from the bourse. Previously in March, LTAT offered to pay 85.5sen per share for the remaining 40.58% of Boustead, which the pension fund did not own.

  • Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Mas Ermieyati Samsudin has accused Utusan Malaysia of ‘rocking the boat’ after the news daily published an article titled Kurangkan kapal LCS jimat kos – Saksithat claimed the number of littoral combat ships (LCS) is reduced from six to five in order to save cost. Mas Ermieyati stated that the article could affect the PAC’s investigation into the LCS project and also went to the extent that the newspaper had violated Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 85, which relates to the premature publication of evidence. Mas Ermieyati has since referred this matter to the Speaker of the House for further action. Boustead Holdings Bhd’s shipbuilding arm, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd, is the company responsible for the construction of the LCS ships.

  • Pharmaniaga Bhd, the pharmaceutical arm of Boustead Holdings Bhd, released a strategic plan to exit from its PN17 status. The plan prioritises the company’s expansion of capabilities in the field of biopharmaceuticals, leveraging on the National Immunisation Program. Modern manufacturing facilities will be established for the production of vaccines and insulin.

Airplanes and airports

  • Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB) stated that there will be little synergy if the proposed merger between Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and Malaysian Aviation Group (MAG) is to materialise. If these two entities merge, the MAG’s cyclical business nature will possibly strain the cash flow of MAHB. On the other hand, MAHB may need to give special rates to MAG in relation to landing and parking (L&P) charges and passengers service charges (PSC), which will not bode well with MAHB minority shareholders. At the moment, Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd owns 33% of MAHB and 84% of MAG.

  • Transport Ministry told the Parliament that the plan to upgrade the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) will start in 2026 when the capacity of the terminal reaches 90%. KLIA Terminal 1 had been designed to accommodate up to 30 million passengers per annum (mppa) and KLIA Terminal 2 as many as 45 million mppa. In pre-pandemic 2019, KLIA Terminal 1 recorded 29.2 mppa and Terminal 2 registered 33 mppa.


Former Samsung exec charged for corporate espionageA former executive at Samsung Electronics has been charged for allegedly stealing company technology to build a rival chip factory (which failed to be built due to funding issues) just 1.5 km away from Samsung’s chip manufacturing facility in Xian, China. Prosecutors estimated the theft to have caused at least KRW300 bil (RM1.08 bil) worth of losses to Samsung Electronics. South Korean police said that it had arrested 77 people involved in 35 cases of suspected industrial espionage just over the past four months. 

US to rejoin UNESCOTIL: Despite being the dominant power in the UN, the US isn’t part of the UN’s cultural and scientific agency UNESCO. The US and Israel stopped funding the agency after it voted to include Palestine as a member state in 2011, and the Trump administration withdrew entirely from the agency in 2017. The US plans to rejoin this year, subject to the approval of the General Conference of UNESCO Member States. Of course, they will approve - the US will pay USD619 mil in back dues, more than the entire UNESCO’s USD534 mil annual operating budget. Before leaving, the US contributed 22% of the agency’s overall funding.

The reason for their return lies in the east. China’s growing influence in UNESCO policymaking, especially in AI and education around the world, has become a concern, motivating the US to return, according to US officials. Beijing said it will not object to this proposed return of the US.

Saudi Arabia’s EV ambitionThe oil giant nation has signed a USD5.6 bil deal with Chinese automaker Human Horizons to collaborate on developing, manufacturing and selling electric vehicles as its plans to develop its domestic EV manufacturing industry. The country unveiled back in October its own homegrown brand of electric cars, called Ceer, which it expects to start producing electric SUVs and sedans from 2025. This deal alone represented more than half of the USD10 bil in investments signed on the first day of the 10th Arab-Chinese Business Conference in Riyadh.Read: Why is there a lot of oil in the Middle East?


  1. 86-year-old billionaire Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time Italian PM and also Italy’s longest-serving PM, was reported dead on Monday. He was synonymous for scandals and sex parties, particularly ‘bunga bunga’ sex parties, which ended up with him being taken to court. Read: What were Silvio Berlusconi’s Bunga Bunga sex parties? 

  2. UBS has completed the takeover of Credit Suisse, creating a giant Swiss bank with a balance sheet of USD1.6 tril and overseeing USD5 tril in assets, making it the world’s largest wealth manager and jointly employing 120,000 worldwide. UBS took over its 167-year-old rival for a bargain basement price of 3 bil Swiss francs back in March in an emergency deal forced by Swiss regulators. 

  3. An investigation by the Wall Street Journal and researchers at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that Instagram helps connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly transacting paedophilia and underage-sex content, powered by its algorithm via its recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share niche interests.


  1. Michael Jackson fans, you will love this. If Michael Jackson does boxing:

  2. The asset classes owned based on the net worth tiers below. One thing is for sure, the conventional wisdom of owning properties to build wealth wouldn’t take you far.