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  • ☕️ Bye lesen kopi - Malaysia piloting electronic driving test system

☕️ Bye lesen kopi - Malaysia piloting electronic driving test system

Bersatu MP Wan Saiful embarasses himself. SG's Temasek in discussion to invest in ChatGPT creator. The time you shop online can predict your default rate.


Information as of 0720 UTC+8 on Mar 6, 2024


As Covid-19 takes a back seat, food poisoning cases are seeing a rise coinciding with the lifting of the MCO. Malaysia recorded 51 food poisoning incidents per 100,000 people last year, more than double the rate of 18.4 incidents recorded in 2021, according to the Health Ministry. The top factors that contributed to food poisoning incidents were cross-contamination and improper thawing and cooking practices, based on its investigations. The states with the highest incidence rate: Labuan (105.4 per 100,000), followed by Terengganu (84.9) and Melaka (79.5). The Health Ministry has a portal here for the public to lodge complaints on unhygienic food premises through its Sistem Pengurusan Aduan Awam.

“I just love the real estate”- Donald Trump. But real estate ain’t loving him back. The Trump brand has now become a liability for properties carrying that name. 7 Manhattan buildings carrying the Trump name saw declines of 17% to 23% in their price per sq foot between 2013 and 2023. Weak real estate market, you say. But, in contrast, condos for buildings where the Trump logo has been removed at the request of residents saw its value appreciated by 9% during the same period. The data is specific to Manhattan and may not represent Trump's properties elsewhere. Trump’s post-presidency era has been plagued by tonnes of lawsuits involving sexual assaults, defamation, insurrection, fraud and election subversion, amongst them.

If you shop online between midnight and 4 am, you might be flagged as a potential loan defaulter. Buy now pay later company Affirm, founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, found that shoppers shopping during this period often make riskier transactions and are more likely to default on their loans, with delinquencies spiking at 2 am. Though the data is clear that late-night financial transactions are riskier, the reasons for it are less so. Some explanation: the shoppers could be intoxicated (aka drunk) or in financial and emotional distress.

Risk is what’s left when you think you’ve thought of everything

Carl Richards, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and author of “The Behaviour Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Money


Wan Saiful U-turn on his snide remarks towards PM Anwar Ibrahim
Bersatu MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan had just dodged a possible six-month suspension after he delivered his open apology at the Parliament towards PM Anwar Ibrahim and the King. Previously, Wan Saiful, in his debate speech regarding the King’s royal address to the Parliament that contained the King’s intention to hunt the corrupt — quoting Wan Saiful, ‘Corrupt means abusing power. Ampun Tuanku, the person who abuses their power, will have an audience with Your Majesty each week before the cabinet meeting.’ The statement led to a ruckus in the Dewan Rakyat, where Wan Saiful added further fuel to the fire by saying that he was allegedly offered bribes in the form of an additional RM1.7 mil in allocation for its constituency.

SRC International case in the spotlight
In SRC International Sdn Bhd’s civil suit against former PM Najib Razak, SRC’s lawyer, Lim Chee Wee, told the court that SRC is a victim of a manipulative scheme spearheaded by Najib Razak to siphon an RM4 bil loan from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to enrich himself by at least RM567.7 mil. Lim also added that SRC International, which was initially created as a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to invest in conventional and renewable energy, natural resources and the minerals sector, was meant to benefit the rakyat. However, it had sadly turned into a vehicle to enrich the few and allegedly had led to a loss of RM5.58 bil to the SRC and rakyat.

Another highlight during the trial is the nature of how the RM4 bil KWAP fund left Malaysia via Singapore. Based on the statement of the former banker who worked at the Singapore branch of now-defunct BSI Bank, Kevin Swampillai stated that the bank turned a blind eye to the eight-tranche transfers from SRC to an account bearing SRC’s name at the British Virgin Islands involving RM4.09 bil of fund. According to the regulation, the bank should report any suspicious transactions to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). However, BSI failed to do so at that time as the bank was seduced by the mouth-watering fees that it would get from those transactions.

Busy day for transportation news

  1. Gone are the days of ‘lesen terbang’ that led to incidents of Myvi ‘terbang’, Alza-ghini or Mercedes sedans changing lanes without giving signals as the Road Transport Department (JPJ) has announced the official introduction of the electronic driving test system (e-testing), with its implementation being carried out via a pilot project in three driving institutes across the country — Surfine Hitech Driving Institute in Hulu Langat, Selangor; Pusat Latihan Memandu Berjaya in Ulu Tiram, Johor and Five Bintang Institute Abadi in Penang. Under this new system:

    1. JPJ officer will no longer sit next to the testers during the driving tests as cameras will be installed and the tests will be monitored remotely = less harassment; AND

    2. As most of the process will be digitalised, the whole thing will be less prone to corruption = less occurrence of ‘lesen kopi’.

  2. Yay to consumers and dismay to existing players such as Grab as European-based ride-hailing company Bolt is slated to enter the Malaysian market. Malaysia will not be its first foray in the region as the company has a presence in Bangkok, Thailand. The company, which also strives to position itself as a superapp, last raised USD709 mil at a valuation of USD8.4 bil back in Jan 2022.

  3. Deputy Works Minister Ahmad Maslan said that the 122-kilometer East Coast Expressway Phase 3 (LPT3) from Kampung Gemuroh, Kuala Terengganu to Kampung Tunjong in Kota Baru, Kelantan will adopt the build-operate-transfer (BOT) financing model. Ahmad Maslan said this is not the first time Putrajaya utilised the BOT model, as the Government did the same for the ECRL (East Coast Rail Line) project and the CSR (Central Spine Road). BOT is one of the models under the public-private partnerships (PPP) umbrella where the developer company will finance the construction of the project through the bank and get a return of profit through the collection of toll payments. When completed within a certain period, the project will be returned to the government.

  4. A RapidKL double-decker was consumed in flames yesterday morning on the 640 route towards Old Klang Road. Fortunately, no one was injured as all the passengers managed to safely disembark from the bus after the bus driver noticed the flame that started from the back of the bus. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Watch the incident here.

  5. A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) helicopter crashed into the waters near Pulau Angsa, Kuala Selangor, just a few hours after the fiery bus incident. Similarly and thankfully, all four victims that were onboard the AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter were rescued by the local fishermen. Watch the incident here.


  1. Solarvest Holdings Bhd appointed to install 5.4MWp of solar capacity across PETRONAS stations

    Gentari Renewables Sdn Bhd has appointed Solarvest Energy Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Solarvest Holdings Bhd, to install solar power systems at more than 300 Petronas stations in Malaysia. Solarvest said that once the solar systems become fully operational in 2027, they are expected to offset around 5,035 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

  2. ANZ is still looking for a buyer for AmBank
    Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) is looking to pare down its holdings in AMMB Holdings Bhd from 21.7% to 12.7% by putting up to RM1.15 bil worth of shares for sale. The offered price range is at a discount of 8.3%-9.5% to Ambank’s closing share price yesterday. ANZ has publicly expressed its intention to let go of its shares in AMMB for a while now, but unfortunately, there is still no suitable buyer. ANZ made its entry into the banking group in 2006 via an RM1.075 bil investment for a 13.5% stake.


Microsoft fights back against NYT
Microsoft has criticised The New York Times for making exaggerated predictions about ChatGPT's potential to harm the news industry. Microsoft is trying to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses OpenAI, the creator of the AI chatbot, of copyright infringement. Microsoft, who has invested USD13 bil in OpenAI, compared The New York Times to Hollywood studios that tried to prevent the introduction of VCRs in the 1980s, hindering a "revolutionary new technology."

The Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft in December for copying their articles without permission to create AI chatbots. The news organisation is seeking billions of dollars in damages, claiming that the companies used their journalism to build similar products without paying or asking for permission.

The East are also investing in AI

  1. Alibaba hedging its bets on AI
    Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, one of China’s most prolific tech investors until a government clampdown began in 2020, is leading a financing round of at least USD600 mil for Chinese AI startup MiniMax. The two-year-old firm, founded by veterans of computer-vision specialist SenseTime Group Inc., has secured funds from Alibaba, HongShan and other investors at a valuation of more than USD2.5 bil. In recent months, Alibaba also led a USD1 bil funding round in Moonshot AI, which is also valued at about USD2.5 bil. Alibaba is eager to invest in potential future leaders in artificial intelligence, as shown by these consecutive deals.

  2. SG’s Temasek is keen to invest in OpenAI
    According to the Financial Times, senior executives at Singapore’s Temasek Holdings have met OpenAI’s chief executive, Sam Altman, multiple times over recent months. It was reported that Temasek was initially interested in investing in Altman’s venture capital fund Hydrazine Capital, but recent talks had included OpenAI itself. Temasek's interest in OpenAI underscores its expanding global reach in recent years. Prior to 2014, the investment firm had no offices in developed nations. However, it has since established a significant presence beyond Asia, with locations spanning from Paris and London to San Francisco and New York. This strategic expansion highlights Temasek's growing influence and investment focus on innovative ventures worldwide. Khazanah, where art thou?

China sets an audacious 5% GDP growth target
At the opening of the annual National People’s Congress (NPC), Premier Li Qiang announced a growth target of 5% in 2024. Mr Li acknowledged that China’s economic performance had faced "difficulties", adding that many of these had "yet to be resolved". Adding to the challenges, Mr Li also announced an inflation target of 3%. In reality, China is battling the longest period of deflation since the late 1990s. China also unveiled plans to issue RMB 1 trillion of ultra-long special central government bonds this year.

Former Twitter wants USD128 mil from Musk
Four former top Twitter executives, including ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, have filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk for over USD128 mil in unpaid severance. The lawsuit alleges that Musk falsely accused them of misconduct and terminated them shortly after acquiring Twitter in October 2022 and renaming it X. The other plaintiffs are Ned Segal, former CFO; Vijaya Gadde, former chief legal officer; and Sean Edgett, former general counsel. They claim they were fired minutes after Musk took control and had sued him for attempting to backtrack on his offer to buy the company. According to the lawsuit, Musk denied the executives the severance pay they were promised for years before he acquired Twitter. The plaintiffs claim they are each owed one year's salary and hundreds of thousands of stock options.


  1. Tokyo has robots delivering food
    Uber Eats has introduced robot deliveries in a small area of the city. The robots can move at up to 5.4 km/h and have flashing lights on the lid. They also have a human operator ready to help if there are any problems. In 2023, Japan changed its traffic laws to allow delivery robots on public streets due to a shortage of workers. Panasonic and other companies are also testing new adorable machines to transport goods. For now, the app users must wait outside for their food, but the company intends to roll out door delivery one day.

  2. Singapore PM trying to pacify its neighbours over TayTay
    Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has defended a deal struck with Taylor Swift to prevent her from performing in any other Southeast Asian country following complaints from regional neighbours. Lee acknowledged the exclusivity deal but denied it was “unfriendly” to other countries, stating it was uncertain if Swift would have performed elsewhere in the region without the arrangement. Who would have ever thought 34-year-old Swift could cause geopolitical tension.


  1. Move over EV, AI will take the spotlight in 2024. The valuation of electric vehicle startups has definitely seen better days. EV sales are still increasing, with a 31% growth last year. However, it seems like the rate of change has slowed down as we enter a phase called "the chasm" in the adoption curve of new technology. This is when a product finds it difficult to move from early adopters to the mainstream.

Credits: Chartr.co

  1. On the world map, Russia looks huge — because the sphere is being represented by a flat surface. The actual size of Russia is shockingly smaller than the African continent.

  1. Mr Money TV interviews Samuel David, who earns USD whilst working remotely in Malaysia. An interesting discussion beyond just earning nearly Menu Rahmah conversion rate, touching on retirement, taxation and working relationships in this remote-working context.