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☕️ Hannah Yeoh's touching tribute to late Domestic Trade Minister Salahuddin Ayub

MY inflation in June was the lowest in 6 months. At least 6 Chinese bubble tea brands eyeing IPO, but not in China. Meet the female 'Little Messi' - Italy’s 16-year-old Giulia Dragoni.


A rare first edition copy of The Philosopher’s Stone (a Harry Potter book), first bought for 50 pence, was sold for GBP10,5000 (RM51.5k) at an auction. The book was published in 1997 and was one of the 500 produced. Still on a books-related topic - while a well-read individual might read around 20 books annually, a staggering 153,000 books were published in Britain last year, equating to an average of over 420 books per day.

Love ain’t cheap — 7,548 love scam cases involving losses of RM382 mil were reported from 2018 until June this year, according to Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf. That’s an average of RM50.6k loss per case. The majority of the victims were female, accounting for 82.8% or 6,257 of the reported cases, mainly due to the victims being single women. In contrast, male victims might be less inclined to lodge reports for various reasons. About two weeks ago, a woman lost RM2.5 mil in a love scam, a data point not captured in the preceding stats.

Inflation in Malaysia dropped for the fourth straight month to 2.4% in June 2023 - the lowest level in 6 months. The slower increase is due to lower increases in restaurants and hotels, food and non-alcoholic beverages, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance. Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for the biggest component (29.5%) of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks inflation, followed by electricity, gas and other fuels (23.8%) and transport (14.6%).


On Salahuddin: Hannah Yeoh’s touching farewell, Gerakan President's insensitive tweet Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh wrote a heartfelt, touching tribute on her Facebook page to Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Salahuddin Ayub, who has just passed away, reflecting on their friendship and the support he has given her through her tough times. Read the tribute here. 

Meanwhile, Gerakan President Dominic Lau allegedly tweeted, asking if he could contest in Pulai by-election less than 24 hours after Salahuddin’s passing. Salahuddin was the MP of Pulai. Clearly, he got slammed by netizens. Later, he claimed that his Twitter account got hacked and denied making that insensitive tweet. Got hacked — a convenient excuse used by several politicians, including PAS leaders (here and here). 

Things Hamzah said

Opposition leader Hamzah Zainuddin gave a ceramah In Tanjong Karang on Sunday night. Things he shared:

  • The former Home Minister said his “friends in Royal Malaysia Police” shared information with him that PN, not PH, is the front-runner to win Selangor in the upcoming state elections. This is contrary to Selangor caretaker menteri besar Amirudin Shari’s claim that PH is the front-runner. 

  • Hamzah said he will reveal a letter allegedly sent by PKR sec-gen and current Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution asking Hamzah to nullify PKR’s election results last year as Saifuddin lost to Rafizi Ramli in the contest for the PKR deputy presidency. Saifuddin has denied the allegation and dismissed it as a political statement by Hamzah. 

Things PM Anwar said

In 2 separate speeches, PM Anwar gave warning to return assets and funds to rebuild schools


  1. Construction group IJM Corp Bhd has acquired a 44.83% stake in Pestech International Bhd for RM124 mil to strengthen its presence in the railway construction segment. IJM will subscribe to 800 mil shares of Pestech at 15.5 sen per share, which is a huge discount of 47.46% of its last traded price of 29.50 sen. As per regulatory requirements, IJM is obligated to make a mandatory takeover for the remaining shares and warrants of Pestech. However, it does not intend to proceed with the obligation and will seek an exemption from SC. Pestech’s 2023 isn’t coming along well - its chairman and managing director were charged by MACC with the case pending and its RM399 mil job for the Gemas-Johor Bahru electrified double track project got terminated by Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd back in May. 

  2. JAG Bhd won a 3-year contract worth RM150 mil to provide total waste management services from Infineon Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. The company will manage all types of waste or by-products generated from Infineon’s production activities. JAG Group’s market cap stands at RM202.76 mil.


China’s bubble tea IPO bonanzaAt least 6 bubble tea companies operating in China are eyeing an initial public offering — not in China but in Hong Kong and the US to get less regulatory scrutiny. Chinese regulators earlier this year issued guidelines that explosive franchise business models and projects that are burning money in order to surge in scale, which these bubble tea operators are, cannot list locally. Leading the pack is China’s biggest bubble tea chain Mixue (which is aggressively expanding in Malaysia), with 25,000 locations in China and 3,000 overseas. 

The bull case for investing is that the wave of fresh Chinese consumer spending is coming after severe Covid-19 lockdowns, but evidence of a rebound is lacking so far. Presumably, the younger generations are the main customers of these bubble tea brands and youth unemployment in China just hit a record 21%, painting a bleak outlook for the players.  

Football: The female ‘Little Messi’, Mbappe’s EUR300 mil record-breaking bid

  • Italy’s 16-year-old Giulia Dragoni makes history as she becomes Italy’s youngest-ever player and the sixth-youngest ever to start a game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She is dubbed ‘Little Messi’ due to her similar playing style to Lionel Messi and she plays in Spain for Barcelona. Watch some clips of her game here.

  • Al Hilal, the Saudi Pro League club, made a world-record EUR300 mil (USD332 mil) bid for the 24-year-old Paris Saint-Germaine star Kylian Mbappe. This bid comes when Mbappe’s future in PSG is uncertain. Mbappe previously has expressed his keen interest in playing for Spain’s Real Madrid and is currently uncertain if he would accept to pack his bags and play in the desert. Mbappe’s former teammate, Lionel Messi, was rumoured to have turned down a major offer too from Al Hilal but opted to play for David Beckham’s Inter Miami in the US. Back in June, Saudi Arabia’s behemoth sovereign wealth fund acquired a 75% stake each in the top 4 SPL clubs: Al Ahli, Al Ittihad, Al Hilal and Al Nassr (Ronaldo’s here). This gives them more firepower to make big-name purchases. 

Beware of 'Yum-yum Yellow': Can Your Swimwear Attract Sharks? A study explores the concept of "yum-yum yellow" swimwear and its potential connection to shark attraction. Sharks might associate the colour yellow with food sources, leading to increased curiosity or attention towards individuals wearing such swimwear. This finding has sparked debates among beachgoers and experts, prompting discussions on the implications of swimwear choices on shark encounters. Further studies are needed to understand this phenomenon fully. Just to be safe - try avoiding yum-yum yellow when you swim in the sea. 


  1. X - Twitter’s new logo as it says goodbye to the Blue Bird. The logo was unveiled by projecting it onto Twitter’s San Francisco HQ at midnight. Elon Musk has a fascination for X - X.com (now PayPal), SpaceX, Twitter’s parent company renamed to X Corp and even named his son X Æ A-12 (pronounced “X Ash A Twelve”). Æ is a character used in some languages, including Danish and Norwegian, often pronounced as “ash”.

  2. A collapsed roof of a school gym in north-east China claimed the lives of 11 girls on the volleyball team. Only 8 of the 19 people who were in the gym survived. A local construction company has been accused of dumping perlite, a form of volcanic glass, on the gym's roof whilst working on an adjacent building project. The mineral soaked up rain water following heavy downpours causing it to collapse. 

  3. Plain ol’ watermark to flag AI-generated images. A coalition of tech giants and startups, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and OpenAI, made “voluntary commitments” to the Biden administration and pledged on Friday to watermark content produced by AI in an effort to make their products safer.


  1. From USD5 bil around 2001 to USD3.04 tril today — that’s 608x growth in Apple’s market cap. RM100k invested in 2001 will turn into RM6.08 mil today - that if you have diamond hands and held Apple through all market crashes. Asked what he would do with Apple when it was a struggling company back then, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies infamously said he would “shut it down and give the money back to shareholders”.

  2. KYV - know your vegetables.

  3. Commercial real estate — a brewing crisis?