☕️ Here's why MYR strengthened in the past week

How much dividends each GLIC is receiving from its top contributors? Breakdown on the controversial citizenship law amendments. Bad week for aviation: falling tyre, engine failure, bad turning, sleeping pilots.


Information as of 0940 UTC+8 on March 11, 2024.


In FY2023, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) are set to receive a combined total of RM12.55 bil in dividends from the top 50 Malaysian public-listed companies (PLCs) with significant stakes held by government-linked investment companies (GLICs). These 50 companies declared a total of RM42.8 bil in dividends for their last financial year. Of that sum, PNB will receive RM6.6 bil, while the EPF will receive RM5.95 bil. Despite challenges like rising prices and a weak ringgit, investors in these 50 companies saw an average 6% growth in dividend payouts for FY2023 compared to the previous year.
View table: How much each GLIC is receiving from its top contributors

In 2023, streaming subscriber growth in the US slowed significantly, with data from Antenna showing a halving growth compared to the previous year. Premium subscription-video-on-demand category growth slowed to 10.1% from 21.6% in 2022, indicating a potential slowdown in the industry's key market. However, overall growth has more than doubled over four years, suggesting a sustained trend of re-subscriptions. Netflix, Peacock, and Paramount+ drove the most growth, with total subscriptions reaching 242.9 mil by the end of 2023. The report also highlighted a shift in market share among streaming platforms, with Netflix's share decreasing from nearly half in 2019 to just over a quarter in 2023.

As of January 31, Malaysia has reached nearly 10.07 mil 5G service subscriptions, indicating an adoption rate of 29.9%, according to Fahmi Fadzil, the Communications Minister. Despite this milestone, Fahmi emphasised the importance for all mobile network operators to prioritise sensitivity and responsibility towards the needs of their users moving forward. What needs? Fast, reliable, and affordable internet, coupled with exceptional customer service.


The moon has been sighted (no, not your crypto moon). According to the Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal, Ramadan starts tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12. Meanwhile, Melaka’s Islamic department JAIM identified 10+ locations in the state as hotspots for the black plastic bag gang (those who refuse to fast during Ramadan).

X user @myjoe compiled a list of Ramadan buffet locations and prices for your convenient research — check it out here.

An internal feud is brewing within MUDA
In response to Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that Muar MP Syed Saddiq will participate in PN’s nationwide tour, MUDA secretary-general Amir Hariri Abd Hadi refuted that MUDA will be participating in the tour. According to Amir, the party at the central leadership committee level did not decide to join the tour and Syed Saddiq, as a MUDA MP, should abide by the party’s decision. 

Previously, Muhyiddin told the media that as a result of the meeting among PN lawmakers, they agreed to adopt 20 resolutions, including kickstarting a nationwide tour in a move to court support from non-Malays. Muhyiddin added that Muar MP Syed Saddiq, whom Muhyiddin labelled as ‘Pro-PN’, will be joining the tour and he stated that the former Bersatu youth chief is ready to join them. From political prodigy to political lalang.

Suhakam says no to proposed citizenship amendments
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has vocally expressed its objection against the proposed amendments to the citizenship provisions of the Federal Constitution, as announced by Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. Although Suhakam’s objection is directed towards most of the proposed amendments, one particular amendment negatively strikes a chord in a big way. The proposed amendment to Section 19B Part III of the Second Schedule, which requires any person to register foundlings within one year, is regressive for the innocent child, especially after taking into consideration the unresponsive attitude of the National Registration Department (NRD) towards applicants. Foundling is a historic term applied to children, usually babies, who have been abandoned by parents and then discovered and cared for by others.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh also voiced similar concerns at the Parliament regarding the proposal to amend the Federal Constitution in granting citizenship to stateless children and foundlings. Ramkarpal has called for the Government to postpone the proposed constitutional amendments on citizenship until further study is conducted. It was also rumoured that the proposed amendments have created such unhappiness to the point that certain backbencher MPs will vote against the Government.

News from Putrajaya

  • Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail announced that his ministry will terminate the services of the agencies that handle Malaysian visa applications for Bangladeshi foreign workers. Employers can now apply for their employees’ visas through the Immigration Department's MYVISA system. According to Saifuddin, visa or eVisa applications can be processed in one to two days by the employers themselves through the system.

  • Housing Minister Nga Kor Ming said that the Government is formulating a new public housing model dubbed the Program Residensi Rakyat (PRR). Quoting Nga, the construction cost for each PRR unit will be increased to RM300,000 and the unit will be sold to the public at a bonanza price of RM60,000. Nga added that his ministry is hoping to get an additional budget for the PRR as the Government only allocated RM550 mil towards affordable housing (compared to Singapore’s RM106 bil annual allocation towards affordable housing). Other details regarding the PRR model:

    About 16% - 25% of the selling price will be allocated to the maintenance and sinking funds;

    • A 10-year moratorium will be imposed where the individual who purchased the PRR unit cannot sell it for at least a decade after the purchase date;

    • The minimum size of the PRR unit will be 750 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms;

    • The PRR development will prioritise connectivity to public transport in order to reduce the number of car park lots;

    • The PRR will be integrated with green buildings, leading to 30% less energy costs than standard buildings.

Bank Negara’s invisible hands in managing the strength of the Ringgit
Bank Negara has recently imposed a new regulation requiring moneychangers to collect personal information (full name, IC number, and date of birth) of all customers, including those who exchange foreign currency worth RM3,000 and below. As a result of this new rule, moneychangers, especially in Johor, have experienced a huge drop in patrons as the public is afraid that their personal information will be misused or sold to scammers.

One of the main roles of Bank Negara is to ensure the monetary stability of the Ringgit. In order to do that, Bank Negara need to induce demand towards the Ringgit and reduce any selling off of the Ringgit. Guess it achieved the latter by imposing the new rule. As for the former, previously, Bank Negara coordinated with state-linked firms to encourage them to repatriate and convert their overseas income into Ringgit. As a result of the income repatriation initiative, the Malaysian currency gained 1.2% last week, the biggest increase since the week ended July 14.

Two sides of the Proton story
On one side, the King of Malaysia, Sultan Ibrahim has recently gifted brand new Proton X90 cars to Istana Negara officers and the Inspector-General of Police Razarudin Husain. The King’s generosity is not rare, as the King has gifted a lot to the public, including granting a Proton Suprima to all district officers in Johor in 2018.

On the other side, AmInvestment Bank estimated that approximately 80% of Proton and Perodua car buyers opted for the maximum 9-year loan periods, with some even extending the period further if permitted to do so. According to the investment bank, the middle- to low-income groups are the main buyers of national brands that see cars as necessities, not luxury items. These facts suggest that these buyers of national cars could barely afford their purchases, hence opting for longer repayment periods, but unfortunately, they had no choice but to bear the financial burden as a car has become a necessity, perhaps due to our nation’s poor public transport network.


A late one, but better than never - Happy International Women’s Day (falls on 8 Mar every year). Some stories on women:

  1. France officially becomes the first country in the world to guarantee the right to abortion in its constitution, coinciding with International Women’s Day. France’s Parliament gave the green light to make terminating pregnancy a “guaranteed freedom” in Article 34 of its constitution. Abortion has been legal in France since 1975, but President Emmanuel Macron last year pledged to protect it better after the US Supreme Court overturned the half-century-old right to the procedure

  2. After its leadership drama five months ago, ChatGPT maker OpenAI announced that its CEO Sam Altman will rejoin the board along with three new directors, all female, bringing the total number of board members to 7. These new directors are Sue Desmond-Hellman, former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nicole Seligman, former president of Sony Entertainment, and Instacart CEO Fidji Simo — their short profile here

  3. Sudha Murthy, 73, has been nominated to serve in the upper house of India’s Parliament. Most members are usually elected, but 12 of them, usually high achievers, are nominated by the president. A woman makes or breaks a man. Her husband is NR Narayana Murthy - the billionaire co-founder of global tech giant Infosys with an estimated net worth of USD4.7 bil. In some ways, Narayana’s billionairehood was made by Sudha - he once said he borrowed USD250 from his wife to start the firm, which is now India’s seventh-largest and the first Indian company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

    Sudha said that whilst she made her husband a businessman, her daughter made her husband the PM of the UK. Her daughter, Akshata Murthy, is married to British PM Rishi Sunak. 

  4. Male office workers in a telecoms firm in Tokyo were put through simulated menstrual pain to help them become more sympathetic towards female colleagues ahead of International Women’s Day. A device called “perionoid” was attached to the lower stomach muscle and induced a cramping sensation. This device was jointly developed by Nara Women’s University and startup Osaka Heat Cool. Watch their experience here

Airlines: Bad week for Boeing, pilots simultaneously sleeping during flight
Boeing is truly bo-eng (busy in Hokkien) with issues. In a single week, the US aircraft maker saw three separate headline-grabbing incidents with its plane, all involving United Airlines. Fortunately, there was no casualty. The incidents:

It begs the question if it’s Boeing's or the airline’s fault. It’s hard not to pin the blame on the outset on Boeing as the plane maker has been hit with major issues after issues since the turn of the year. 

The next story had sh*t happened, it’s hard not to see who to blame, though. In a report that was just released on an incident that occurred on Jan 25, a captain and his copilot of a Batik Air flight with 153 people onboard from Sulawesi to Jakarta were simultaneously asleep for nearly 30 minutes. The captain took a nap after getting permission from his copilot, only to wake up to see his second-in-command asleep and they flown off course. 

RIP Dragon Ball creator passed away
Akira Toriyama passed away at 68 after suffering an acute subdural hematoma, a type of bleeding near the brain. Dragon Ball is hugely popular around the world and has influenced a whole generation of manga creators, including One Piece, Bleach and Naruto. Just how influential was Toriyama’s creation? The governments of China and El Salvador (declared nationwide mourning), football clubs and the continent of Latin America, the creators of the preceding mangas paid their tribute to him. In Mexico back in 2018, tens of thousands of people across Latin America organised viewing parties to watch the last couple of episodes of the Dragon Ball Super series, which caused a diplomatic spat.


  1. Sweden officially a NATO member
    The Scandinavian nation joined the military alliance after more than 200 years of neutrality. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine sparked Sweden and its neighbour Finland (which shares a 1,340 km border with Russia) to apply to join the alliance. Sweden’s entry into NATO was delayed following objection by Turkey and Hungary earlier - NATO members have to unanimously agree to admit new members. 

  2. The state of Gaza
    When aid, instead of helping, kills instead. 5 children were killed in the Gaza strip and others were injured by a humanitarian airdrop on Friday when a parachute on a pallet failed to deploy (watch a plummeting parcel here, though it is not confirmed whether this is the incident) and fell on a group of people. Satellite images showed a new road built by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which runs from east to west across northern Gaza, raising concerns that it will be used as a barrier to prevent Palestinians from returning to their homes in the north.


  1. Seven years ago, a video of kids interrupting their father’s livestream interview broke the internet. The mother hurriedly got the kids out of the frame. The person in question, Dr Robert Kelly, actually shared the video and the family photos in the tweet below!

  1. Citizenship by land vs blood (Jus Soli vs Jus Sanguinis)

  1. Struggling to make decisions? Here’s how to do it - understanding and addressing decision fatigue.