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  • ☕️ Former PM Najib Razak penned a poem marking 1st anniversary behind bars

☕️ Former PM Najib Razak penned a poem marking 1st anniversary behind bars

Senior officers from 4 local banks on MACC radar over RM60 mil loan scandal. Grab narrows losses and brings forward break-even target. MrBeast latest Olympic video becomes a geopolitical mess.


96,000 (43.6%) out of the 220,000 hardcore poor families eligible for Sumbangan Asas Rahmah (Sara), the government’s new food aim programme for the hardcore poor, are from Sabah and Sarawak, making these two states the highest number of recipients. Taking the third and fourth spot is Kelantan and Kedah, accounting for 18% or 41,000. Sara was announced on 17 Jul by PM Anwar with an allocation of RM130 mil.

Residential property sales jumped by nearly 4x in H1 2023 to 11,273 units from 3,163 units in the same period last year, according to a survey by Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA). Properties priced between RM300,001 - RM500,000 were the most sellable, with serviced residences and apartments/condominiums taking the lead. The survey involving 148 property developers found that 31% of them have unsold completed residential units beyond 36 months, with end-financing loan rejection, unreleased Bumiputera lots and high prices cited as the top 3 reasons for the unsold units.

A New Zealand man who spent nearly 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit will receive a NZD4.9 mil (RM13.61 mil) compensation package, which works out to an average of NZD272k for every year he spent in jail. Allan Hall was sentenced to life imprisonment after a man was fatally stabbed during a home invasion, although there was no forensic evidence linking Hall to the scene and the assailant was said to be of a different height and ethnicity.


MACC in action

  • The bank accounts of an Opposition leader and his family members have been frozen by LHDN, a source close to the leader confirmed this matter. LHDN remained tight-lipped on this matter, saying that only the individuals involved could confirm this. The frozen accounts are believed to be a part of an ongoing investigation by MACC against the individual. Let’s see these few days which of the Opposition leaders will call for a press conference to complain against the government’s selective prosecution

  • Senior officers from 4 unnamed local banks are on the MACC’s radar for allegedly abetting a distribution and logistics company over an RM60 mil loan scandal. The officers are believed to have approved the loan without proper due diligence after receiving bribes. Some of the shenanigans:

    • The loan applicants had created sole proprietorships and fabricated fake invoices to falsify their income and profits

    • They claimed to have recorded RM130 mil profit in a short span of 12 months between March 2021 and March 2022.

    • The company is undergoing a winding-up procedure, yet RM36 mil had been approved and disbursed. RM7.5 mil from the loan went to purchase a luxury house and luxury sedan.

    • RM7 mil paid monthly in 2022 into the company’s account from newly established companies.

    • RM1 paid up capital, and shareholders were aged 29 years old. 

Controversial SOSMA improvements to be completed soonDeputy Minister in the PM’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh said the improvements on the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 are almost complete and will be presented to the Cabinet soon. He reiterated that the act will not be repealed as it is still needed by PDRM to ensure national security. One of the improvements is to allow bail for detainees. Currently, SOSMA detainees cannot be bailed except for juvenile, a woman or a person who is sick at the discretion of the court.

Activist groups have called SOSMA draconian, infringing the rights guaranteed in the Federal Constitution. This controversial act allows police to detain an individual whom they believe to be involved in security offences without a warrant for a period not exceeding 28 days for investigations without a court order. Explained: The controversial SOSMA law


  1. Boustead Plantations Bhd (BP), a 57%-owned subsidiary of recently privatised Boustead Holdings Bhd (BH), has announced the suspension of trading in its securities today, though no specific reasons were given. New Straits Times reported that according to sources, BH is selling no less than 30% in BP to Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, which values the company at more than RM3 bil.  This exercise would free up funds to allow BH to partially settle its RM1.4 bil borrowing due next year. Other notable bidders include YTL Group, Wilmar International and IOI Corp. Read The Edge’s analysis on this potential deal. 

  2. Property developer MK Land Holdings Bhd is planning to have more solar farms in northern Peninsular Malaysia following the success of its first renewable energy project, the 10.95 megawatt (MW) large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Kerian, Perak, which it has started supplying power for a 21-year period to TNB and projects a profit of almost RM400k a month. The solar farm cost a total of RM52 mil, using more than 32,000 solar panels. 

Breaking down the numbers, it costs RM4.75 mil to per megawatt capacity to build and generates RM438.4k profit per megawatt per annum. That’s an ROI of 9.2% per annum, not too bad. There’s equity and loan crowdfunding. Perhaps someone should consider solar farm crowdfunding, which is likely to make better returns than the other two forms of crowdfunding, based on our experience.


  1. Disgraced former PM Najib Razak penned a poem on his Facebook page, marking the first anniversary of his incarceration. He described his experience of having to sleep on the cold cement floor that he is lonely and prays five times a day. His experience is not unlike that of other prisoners. In fact, it’s anybody’s guess that he might have received special treatment, making his experience a little less miserable compared to the average prisoner.

  2. From Hello Panda to Bye Bye Panda. Yi Yi (born 14 Jan 2018) and Sheng Yi (born 31 May 2021), the two giant pandas that were born in Malaysia, will be making their way home to Shanghai, China, on 29 Aug, with a farewell party on the same day to see them off. Both are the offspring of Fu Wa and Feng Yi, the pandas loaned to Malaysia in 2014 for 10 years to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China. The government intends to extend the lease of the two pandas for an additional 5 years. Maintaining these pandas ain’t cheap. In 2016, it was estimated that it would cost over RM151 mil by 2024 for the giant panda conservation in Zoo Negara. 


India over the moon on moon’s south pole historic landing With the success of a difficult landing on rough terrain, India rejoiced as it became the first country to touch down at the moon’s south pole. The success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission also makes India the fourth country to land on the moon, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling it a “victory cry of a new India”. This success comes less than a week after the Russian Luna-25 mission failed when it crashed on the moon. 

The success of the USD74 million Chandrayaan-3 will also serve to heighten India’s reputation for cost-competitive space engineering. Future plans include a mission in September to study the sun, as well as a possible human space flight in 2024.

For this mission, Chandrayaan-3 will run a series of experiments, including a spectrometer analysis of the mineral composition of the moon’s surface. The mission could also verify if there is water ice on the moon, which could supply fuel, oxygen, and drinking water for future missions. The Vikram lander and its six-wheeled rover will operate for about 14 days on the moon.

China’s Xi calls for accelerated BRICS expansionPresident Xi Jinping of China believes BRICS – a bloc comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – will benefit from allowing more countries to join “to pool wisdom and efforts to make global governance more just and equitable”. China has harboured a desire for BRICS to expand, with the hope that a broader membership would give more clout to the bloc, which already comprises a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product and 40% of the world’s population.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also keen on including new members, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also supportive of the call. However, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was less enthusiastic, stating that the bloc should not seek to rival the wealthy economies of the G7 nations, as opposed to Xi’s hope to build a “more just and equitable international order” and insisting that “hegemonism is not in China’s DNA”. Still, the five leaders are discussing a framework and criteria for the nations interested in joining the bloc.

Meanwhile, African nations have expressed their wishes for China to shift its focus from building infrastructure in Africa to local industrialisation, according to the director-general of China’s Department of African Affairs. The issue will be discussed at a special roundtable on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.

Grab’s Q2 2023 results see narrowed operating loss from workforce reduction, increased revenueThe firm forecasts a smaller operating loss for the current financial year and brought forward its break-even target to the third quarter of this year from a previous target of the fourth quarter. Group CEO Anthony Tan pointed toward improved revenue from higher monthly transacting users and successful affordability initiatives. The firm laid off 1,000 staff, or 11% of its workforce, in June this year.


  • Revenue for the quarter grew 77% year-on-year to USD567 mil.

  • Loss for the quarter improved by 74% year-on-year to USD148 mil.

  • Adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for the year is forecasted to be between USD30 mil to USD40 mil, compared to a previous forecast of USD165 mil to USD195 mil.

View: Grab Q2 2023 Earnings Presentation


  1. Vietnam’s largest shoemaker to cut 1,200 jobs in third round of layoffs PouYuen Vietnam, one of the nation’s largest shoemakers supplying brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Reebok, will be laying off 1,200 staff in its third round of layoffs this year. The reason for the layoffs, effective from the end of August, is that there is no recovery in terms of orders. The firm is one of the largest employers in Ho Chi Minh City, with an estimated 40,000 workers. Earlier rounds of layoffs saw about 3,000 staff axed in February and almost 6,000 let go in May.

  2. MrBeast's latest video draws flak for geopolitical takes YouTube influencer MrBeast stoked geopolitical tensions and drew criticism from viewers due to the video’s depiction of national borders and recognised sovereign nations. The video proclaimed it had a representative from “every nation on Earth” but saw the acknowledgement or lack thereof for several nations currently involved in geopolitical issues worldwide, such as Russia, Taiwan, and Tibet, as well as disputed territories like Crimea and the Western Sahara. Watch the video here.

  3. Japan to release treated Fukushima water today Japan will start releasing the treated water from the Fukushima disaster into the Pacific Ocean today, depending on weather and sea conditions. Releasing said water is a necessary step in the lengthy and costly process of decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was hit by a tsunami in 2011. The contaminated water was collected and stored in tanks for over a decade. South Korea’s main opposition party and civic groups have stepped up protests against Japan’s decision, with the opposition party calling it “an act of terror”. Nikkei Asia has put together a nice visual explainer for the wastewater discharge. Have a look here.


  1. Know your construction machines

  2. Going green with your milk.