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  • ☕️ DOSM releases pay statistics of formal sector, workers suggesting Malaysia is far, far away from high-income dream

☕️ DOSM releases pay statistics of formal sector, workers suggesting Malaysia is far, far away from high-income dream

PN's Selangor manifesto - "Selangor Baharu". Kedah caretaker MB Sanusi attracts another lawsuit. Pakistan former PM Imran Khan jailed for 3 years, 7th former PM to be arrested.


Out of Rolex's 123 current models, 89 have a higher used value than their new price. Surprisingly, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with a turquoise dial stands out with the largest increase in value, selling new for USD6,100 but fetching more than double that in the secondhand market. On average, pre-owned Rolex watches command a 24% premium over retail prices, less than pre-owned Patek Philippe but more than Audemars Piguet. Why is this the case? Because they are so hard to find at retailers, the only option to get the watch you want is to head over to the pre-owned market and suck up the premium.

Recently, NASA revealed that it is nearing the launch of a spacecraft aimed at “studying” the asteroid 16 Psyche, believed to hold valuable minerals like gold, iron, and nickel, with an estimated total worth of USD10 quintillion*, at current market prices. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab completed vital flight software tests and installed them on the spacecraft, overcoming a delay that had pushed the initial launch date from 2022. The mission is now less than 100 days away from its scheduled launch.Quintillion = 1 x 10^18 or a million trillion or a billion billion.

A study conducted by expat (expatriate) consultancy ECA International showed that last year, expat pay packages in Singapore increased by 4%, reaching USD258,762 for average expat middle managers, primarily due to higher rental costs. In contrast, expat packages in Hong Kong fell by 2% to USD278,020. This shift narrowed the pay gap between the two cities, with Hong Kong becoming the fifth-most expensive place globally to send expat workers, despite the decrease. Singapore was ranked 16th in the same list.


PN unveils its manifesto for “Selangor Baharu”The manifesto comprised seven main pillars, 25 approaches and 112 offers. Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said the coalition’s manifesto for Selangor was aimed at solving the main issue faced by the locals, such as the rising cost of living and the state's gloomy economy. Gloomy? The state contributed 25.5% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

Here are some highlights:

  1. Pledge to uphold Islam as the federal religion and Sultan of Selangor as the head of Islam in the state. Don’t think anyone is disputing the two. Also, didn’t the PN election director allegedly insult the Sultan of Selangor recently?

  2. RM400 cash aid monthly to help 65,000 families for the next five years. An exercise that will cost RM312 million annually.

  3. To provide 100,000 job opportunities in high-skilled fields, with an allocation of RM50 mil to empower Invest Selangor.

  4. Another RM50 mil to government agencies and private companies to establish childcare centres at the workplace.

  5. 20 cubic metres of free water for a household with an income below RM15,000!

According to a report by Free Malaysia Today (FMT), some economists are saying a win by PN in Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan will be a setback for the economy. We don’t need experts to tell us the consequences on the economy if this happens. In the event of a poor outing by the PH-BN partnership, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s leadership and role in the unity government could be destabilised.

PN pledges to cancel Silicon Island if it wins mandates in PenangDominic Lau Hoe Chai, the Penang PN chairman, expressed full support for the Penang Fishermen’s Association (Pen Mutiara) and its members in their opposition to a large-scale reclamation project off the southern coast of Penang island. He emphasised that these historic villages should be designated as heritage sites to safeguard the coastal communities and conserve their cultural traditions and way of life.

Despite the recent decision by the Pakatan Harapan state government to modify the plans for the Penang South Islands project by reducing the proposed three islands to just one — dubbed Silicon Island, Pen Mutiara chairman Ibrahim Che Ros stated that the fishermen are still opposed to the idea.

Why is Lau still contesting under PN after being told to “go away” during a PAS ceramah in Penang? Watch how a PAS leader shooed Lau away here.

Kedah caretaker MB Sanusi attracts another lawsuitBerjaya Land Bhd intends to file a police report and take legal action in response to statements made by Kedah’s caretaker menteri besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor concerning the Selangor Maritime Gateway project (SMG project). Berjaya Land has labelled the claims made by Sanusi as false, baseless, and defamatory. Caretaker Selangor menteri besar Amirudin Shari has also instructed his lawyers to initiate a defamation lawsuit against his Kedah counterpart.

Sanusi had alleged that a prominent business figure was on the verge of acquiring a substantial stake in a Selangor-owned company, insinuating that a scandal was imminent.

Insights from DOSM’s employee wages statistics report (formal sector) in Q1 2023Before we begin, the formal sector is defined as employment with a contract of service or apprenticeship and is reported through the appropriate employment system. Formal employees do not include those who fall under non-standard employment, including self-employed, gig workers, own-account workers, unpaid family workers, etc.

Wages grew at 8.1% in 1Q2023 against the same period last year.

  1. Ranking of median monthly age in 1Q by gender:

    1. Male: RM2,664 (3.58 mil workers)

    2. Female: RM2,545 (2.87 mil workers)

  2. Ranking of median monthly wage in 1Q by ethnicity:

    1. Chinese: RM4,000

    2. Indians: RM2,500

    3. Bumiputeras: RM2,200

    4. Ethnic groups: RM2,000

Data from DOSM proves how badly underpaid most Malaysians are - the most damning stats of all - the distribution of income in the formal sector. 82% of workers in the formal sector earn below RM5k and two mil workers earn below RM2k.

The full report by DOSM is available here.

Following the release of the report, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said a ‘middle point’ has been achieved between the government and private sector employers, which is a win-win and is expected to greatly address the issue of slow wage growth in Malaysia. The ministry will be presenting the progressive wage model (PWM) policy papers to the National Economic Action Council on Aug 7. Hopefully, we will be able to feel the impact soon and it is not “all talk”.


  1. Ericsson, a prominent player in the global 5G arena, has designated Malaysia as one of its 11 primary manufacturing facilities worldwide. It will serve as the first hub in Southeast Asia to manufacture advanced 5G products, aiding both global and local 5G deployments. According to David Hägerbro, President of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, the production of cutting-edge 5G radio equipment in Malaysia is a part of their comprehensive efforts to share their global expertise, insights, and experiences with the country.

  2. Infineon Technologies AG, a global semiconductor company based in Germany, has announced plans to invest up to EUR5.0 bil (RM24.9 billion) over the next five years to construct the world's largest 200mm silicon carbide (SiC) power fabrication (power fab) plant in Malaysia. The investment will be directed towards its Kulim facility in Kedah. This initiative is expected to result in an annual SiC revenue potential of around EUR7.0 bil by the end of the decade. It is an expansion of the earlier committed investment of EUR2.0 bil in February 2022.


Progress on the medical front

  • US health regular Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zurzuvae,  the first pill to treat postpartum depression, a severe depression related to childbirth and pregnancy that is suffered by 1 in 7 new mothers each year.  Manufactured by Biogen and Sage Therapeutics, the studies found that women who took Zurzuvae had fewer signs of depression over 4 to 6 periods, with benefits for many patients noticeable within three days, though side effects observed include drowsiness and dizziness. The drug is expected to be commercially available in the fourth quarter of 2023 though the price of the pill is yet to be announced. The pill is to be administered once a day for 14 days.Current treatment for postpartum depression in the US is in the form of intravenous injection. The drug, Brexanolone, requires a 60-hour intravenous infusion in the hospital and costs about USD34,000 (RM154.9k). Parents-to-be, understand more about postpartum depression here.

  • Malaria kills about 620,000 people a year. A promising method to end this disease has been discovered by chance after a colony of mosquitoes in one experiment run by researchers in pharma giant GSK Pharmaceutical did not develop the malaria parasite. Further studies revealed that a specific strain of bacteria which is naturally present in the environment, TC1, is able to reduce the malaria parasite load in the mosquito’s gut by 73%. The bacteria is believed to be able to last a lifespan and break the transmission of the parasite. Researchers found the bacteria can be ingested orally by the mosquito if mixed with sugar or absorbed through its cuticle on contact. More trials are taking place now at a contained research facility called MosquitoSphere in Burkina Faso to assess the effectiveness and safety of this method on a large scale.Read: Inside Burkina Faso’s mosquito dome, where venomous fungus is put to the test.


  • Deutsche Bahn, the state-owned national railway operator of Germany, would have to spend EUR400 mil (RM1.9 bil) to replace all the components in its infrastructure supplied by Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies. This would also delay its projects by 5 to 6 years if the government decided to ban Huawei components.

  • Travelling to/from and within China can be quite a hassle. In a bid to boost its weakening economy, China announced 26 new measures to ease movement across and within its borders, Some of the measures pertinent to foreigners:

    • Allowing travellers to upgrade their single-entry arrival visas to multiple-entry versions for as many as three years.

    • Foreigners travelling to China for non-leisure purposes (i.e. business, exhibitions) can apply for a visa on arrival with an invitation letter and other supporting materials.

    • Foreigners can now keep their passports while their residence permits are being processed. Previously, authorities issued temporary travel document, which was not as widely accepted as passports. 


  1. If you got treated unfairly by your employer due to posting or liking something on Twitter (we still prefer calling it Twitter than X), Elon Musk will come to your defence. Musk said on Twitter that the company will set up a legal fund with no limits to fund one’s legal bills. He gave no details on how users could claim money for their legal bills.

  2. Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan was arrested on Saturday after a court sentenced him to three years in prison for illegally selling state gifts worth more than USD490,000. He has denied any wrongdoing. The gifts allegedly included 6 Rolexes, perfumes, diamond jewellery and dinner sets. Khan is the seventh former PM to be arrested in Pakistan.

  3. Japan’s state pension fund, Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension fund, reported a staggering record gain of 9.5% or USD133 bil (RM604.6 bil) during the three months through June, thanks to returns on domestic stocks and overseas bonds. This raised its total assets to an unprecedented JPY219.17 tril (USD1.55 tril). The fund, however, warned that such big profit is just a short-term result, as a gain of “9.49% should appear only once in 9 years”. 

  4. The Commonwealth Games, a relic of British colonial times, is losing its lustre. Last month, the Australian state of Victoria abruptly withdrew as host for the 2026 event citing rising costs. Now, the Alberta government, the only confirmed potential bidder left for the event in 2030, has also decided to halt its attempt to host the event in its cities.


**Apologies for a mistake on the August 2, 2023, issue where we wrote Malaysian sun bear instead of Malayan. We have since rectified it and are sorry for the arguments (if any!) caused.**

It seems that the first half of August historically has witnessed a series of destructive explosions — both accidental and intentional.

  1. Yesterday marked the 78th anniversary of the first-ever war use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 and 3 days later, on 9 Aug 1945, in Nagasaki. A collection of photos of events here leading to this post-nuclear age.

  1. On 4 Aug 2020, Beirut, Lebanon, suffered a destructive explosion due to an industrial accident, said to be one of the strongest non-nuclear explosions. The explosion had an explosive yield in the range of 1 - 1.5 kilotons of dynamites, enough to cause massive destruction. Now imagine Hiroshima - Little Bomb yielded 15 kilotons of explosive force, or 15x that of Beirut. Watch the video of a bride’s photoshoot interrupted by the explosion.

  2. On 12 Aug 2015, the Port of Tianjin, China, experienced a massive explosion also due to an industrial accident. The explosive force is estimated to be about 0.45 kilotons.