☕️ GE15: Endgame

YDPA disappointed with political developments, no choice but to consent to PM's dissolution request. Budget 2023 - what happens now? Netflix releasing big-budget movie in theatre, before streaming.



Do you think winning the lottery is lucky? How about winning it with 432 others? That’s exactly what happened in the Philippines’ Grand Lotto, the lottery saw 433 people win the 236m peso (RM18.6 mil) jackpot! It’s just a matter of odds.

45.8 mins — the average amount of time TikTok users spent on the platform daily in 2021, beating the likes of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest. data.ai, a San Francisco-based firm that tracks social media usage, estimates that TikTok has 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAU) and the platform is still growing at 35% to 40% annually. Will it overtake Facebook (MAU: 2.93 bil as of Q2 2022)?

700 — the number of goals Manchester United’s striker has scored at club levels. 450 at Real Madrid; 144 at Manchester United; 101 at Juventus and; five at Sporting Lisbon. The striker’s 700th club goal came 20 years and two days after his first goal.


#UndiBanjir here we go!PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the dissolution of the Parliament right after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to the fall of the house of cards. It had to happen right before the departure of the King for London on Monday to make a courtesy call on King Charles III of Britain (they were polo buddies back in those days). In a statement issued by the Palace, the King had no other choice but to consent to the dissolution request due to the ‘disappointing’ political developments.

GE15 feels like the most pivotal moment in the history of Malaysia. The further we fall down the slippery slope, the harder it is for us to change course. The full-blown effect of a wrong choice and outcome won’t be felt immediately, but when it happens, it would be too late (and we hope all of us have will have a Plan B). Vote wisely. 

“How did you go bankrupt?"

Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

- from “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway, American novelist, short-story writer and journalist

So what’s next?

  1. The general election will be held in 60 days. The Election Commission (EC) will be meeting soon to discuss the special dates for GE15. The registration for domestic and foreign postal votes is immediately open. You can register here.

  2. With this latest update, the recently announced Budget 2023 should be taken with a pinch of salt. We will have to wait until the new government is formed to present a ‘new’ budget. In 1999, the same happened, and the budget needed to be presented again after the general election was concluded.

FYI - the defunct (& deficit) Budget 2023.

The Edge gave a succinct summary of Budget 2023.

Key figures:

  • Total spending: RM372.3 bil.

  • Operating expenditure: RM272.3 bil

  • Development spending: RM95 bil

  • Revenue: RM272.6 bil

  • Fiscal deficit: 5.5% of GDP (in other words, the government has to issue debt/bonds to finance this deficit, or simply put, borrow to spend)

Parts of the country are already underwater, yet the PM advised to call for GE15.

Areas on the west coast of Sabah (Kota Kinabalu and Penampang) have suffered floods due to continuous heavy rain, which led to some roads and houses being submerged in water. This came after last week’s flash flood in Perak’s Chepor Structured Village Plan (RPT), dubbed the worst flood in 30 years by the victims.As the country is in the transition phase of the monsoon season, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has recently issued thunderstorms and heavy rains warnings for various locations throughout the country. At this rate, it would be a miracle if the country could survive both the general election and the flood at the same time.

Auditor General's Report 2021 Findings:

  • The federal government debt in 2021 skyrocketed by RM100bil, from RM879.56bil in 2020 to RM979.81bil in 2021, equating to a ratio to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of 63.4%, just below the 65% ceiling. Auditor-general, Nik Azman stated that the increase in debt was justified, mainly due to the borrowings made to deal with the pandemic and the subsequent efforts to revive the economy.

  • However, PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh highlighted a worrying trend by the Government that utilise new borrowings to service current debts, a tactic straight out of the corporate guidebook. Out of the RM217.20bil borrowings made in 2021, 52.4% or RM113.76bil was being channelled into principal payments of maturing loans. On top of that, for every RM1 of revenue collected by the government, 16 sen is used for loan interest payments.

5G Good to Go, Hartalega wants to diversify, and Plans for privatisation of KPJ are on hold.

  1. Six major telcos, namely Celcom, Digi, Maxis, Telekom, U Mobile and YTL Communications, have signed the 5G access agreement where they can piggyback Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB)’s infrastructures to provide the 5G network to the country. Even though all telcos signed the access agreement, however only four telcos (excluding U Mobile and Maxis) hold equity in DNB.

  2. Hartalega Holdings Bhd is looking for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in a planned diversification drive to transition the company from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) producer of gloves to an original brand manufacturer (OBM) of multiple medical devices in the region. Hartalega has a strong balance sheet to support this strategy, with RM2.04bil of cash in the bank.

  3. 36% equity owners of KPJ Healthcare, Johor Corp and TPG Capital, have halted negotiations to take the country’s largest private hospital operator private due to their inability to agree on potential purchase terms and valuation of KPJ Healthcare. KPJ Healthcare has a market value of RM3.58bil. This news marks a grim outlook for the healthcare sector as this is the second deal fallout, right after the failed purchase of Ramsay Sime Darby by IHH Healthcare.


Ukraine vs Russia - literally burning bridge.

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin turned 70, a critical 12-mile long bridge in Crimea blew up in flames. The bridge connects the Ukrainian peninsular to mainland Russia, allowing for the strategic movement of military equipment, ammunition and troops into southern Ukraine. A truck on the automobile lane exploded on the bridge, causing seven fuel tanks on a train to ignite and causing another massive explosion. View the aftermath of the explosion here.

Moscow has accused Ukraine of this “act of terrorism” and has retaliated by striking Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and other major cities with a barrage of missiles, damaging civilian infrastructure and killing civilians. 

First minors convicted under Hong Kong’s national security law.

A 16-year-old girl and three 17-year-olds were sentenced to 3-year detention in a training centre by a judge over their calls to overthrow China’s government through a violent uprising. Hong Kong courts typically refrain from sending minors to prison and prefer rehabilitation. However, prosecutors said sentences under the National Security Law must have a deterrent effect. Had they been adults, they would face 5 to 10 years in jail for inciting subversion. 

Elon Musk is leveraging his influence in geopolitics.

After suggesting solutions to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict last week, the world’s richest man now shifts his attention to the east — China and Taiwan. In a wide-ranging interview with the FT, Musk suggested a “reasonably palatable” recommendation for Taiwan to be a special administrative zone of China, like Hong Kong. China praised his recommendation, Taiwan slammed it. 

To understand where Elon Musk is coming from — China is an increasingly important geography for Tesla - its Shanghai Gigafactory is producing a record number of cars and China accounted for nearly 25% of its car sold in the previous quarter. 

In the same interview, Musk said China disapproved of his decision to send Starlink satellite internet service to Ukraine and asked him to promise he wouldn’t sell Starlink in China. 

Netflix’s unusual move to release movies in theatres before its streaming platform.

Netflix reaches a historical deal with major cinema chains in the US to release its big-budget movie “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (trailer here), the “Knives Out” sequel, in theatres a month before it debuts on its streaming service. “Knives Out”, starring Daniel Craig (after ending his spy career, he’s playing a detective career), earned USD311.6 mil worldwide on a USD40 mil budget. Netflix bought the rights to the two sequels for USD450 mil last year.


  • A miracle’ 3-year-old child survived the mass shooting in a preschool in Thailand last week as her blanket was covering her face whilst she was sleeping. She was the only child to escape unscathed. Hope she does not suffer from survivor’s guilt when she’s old enough to comprehend the incident. 

  • Apple’s new crash detection system automatically calls the emergency hotline when it detects life-threatening situations. Seems like Apple did not factor in 1 situation — rollercoaster rides. There were multiple reports of such unnecessary emergency calls made that originated from amusement parks when the Apple device owners were on rollercoaster rides.


  1. Innovation in the palm oil industry - exoskeleton (fundamental premise underlying Iron Man suit) is being tested to increase mechanisation.

  2. The fragility of trust.

  3. Literally moving the goalpost.