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  • ☕️ Instead of declaring her assets, Tun Daim's wife quoted Shakespeare

☕️ Instead of declaring her assets, Tun Daim's wife quoted Shakespeare

Water cuts in Penang, again. Over 44k tonnes of kimchi exported in 2023, all-time high. MrBeast made USD263k from a video posted on X.


Information as of 0720 UTC+8 on Jan 24, 2024.


The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) awarded RM13.64 bil to local contractors, consultants, and suppliers, exceeding the target of RM10.8 bil. Of that amount, RM2.66 bil or 76.07% of the target of RM3.50 bil was awarded to Bumiputera contractors, consultants, and suppliers as of Nov 30th last year. Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) released a statement to address recent claims made by Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia (PKMM) in a Malay-language newspaper. PKMM suggested that the contract value figures for the civil works of the ECRL project awarded to Bumiputera contractors, consultants, and suppliers were questionable.

Despite the fact that gambling giant Bet365 reported a significant loss, the company's boss, Denise Coates, received a salary of around GBP221 mil (RM1.32 bil) during its last financial year — that’s a salary of RM3.62 mil a day! This figure represents an increase of GBP7 mil from the previous year. As the founder and joint chief executive of the online gambling company, Ms Coates is also likely to have received at least GBP50 mil in dividends. Ms Coates's pay increase means her total salary over the past four years has exceeded GBP1 bil. Coates owns about 57% of the firm.

44,041 tonnes — that's the total amount of outbound shipments of kimchi in 2023, which is a new all-time high. This increase was due to the growing popularity of K-entertainment. According to data compiled by the Korea Customs Service, this surge in exports represents a 7.1% increase from the previous year, exceeding the previous record set in 2021 when export volume hit 42,544 tonnes. In monetary terms, the traditional Korean side dish made from fermented cabbage brought in USD155.6 mil in 2023, up 10.5% from 2022, as reported by Korean news outlet Yonhap. Here’s the irony — South Korea actually imports more kimchi than its exports in monetary terms, worth USD163.5 mil, mainly from China due to high production costs in domestic markets.


1MDB Task Force mulls legal action against banks for KYC lapses
The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Asset Recovery Task Force explores potential legal action against foreign banks involved in 1MDB fund transfers without proper know your client (KYC) procedures. Task Force Chairman Johari Abdul Ghani stated the commitment of the task force to transparency and accountability, mentioning an ongoing arbitration process to ensure a fair resolution. Additionally, the task force scrutinises whether government negotiators and lawyers were negligent in the settlement agreement with Goldman Sachs. 

Concerns over fairness in the scandal’s aftermath were sparked, given that the settlement's USD2.5 bil is questioned for being lower than various fines totalling USD2.9 bil received by Goldman Sachs, including the US Justice Department. Malaysia’s USD6.5 bil and interest repayment outweigh it.

A dispute also arose when Goldman Sachs tried to pull a fast one by offsetting the fines on Ambank (RM2.8 bil) and the IPIC settlement agreement (USD1.8 bil) against the USD1.4 bil asset recovery guarantee. Goldman Sachs claims that this offset has fulfilled its obligation under the asset recovery guarantee.

Instead of declaring her assets, Na’imah quoted Shakespeare
Toh Puan Na'imah Abdul Khalid, wife of Tun Daim Zainuddin, issued a warning to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, cautioning that there would be a "reckoning" for those who abuse power. This comes after Na'imah was charged with not declaring her assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). She asserted her innocence, attributing the charge to a plot to tarnish her husband's reputation. Na'imah accused key national institutions like MACC and the Attorney General’s Chambers of being used for political vendettas. She warned Anwar, saying “Power is brief and there is always a reckoning for those who abuse it”, referencing Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

What assets though? Based on a report from Malaysiakini — the charge sheet stated Na’imah failed to disclose two companies, two properties, six pieces of land and two Mercedes Benz.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims selective persecution amid ongoing police questioning
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asserted that he had been questioned over ten times by the police, attributing it to his holding the "Tun" title. He criticised the disproportionate focus on titled individuals, pointing out cases like the Pandora Papers and Panama Papers not being investigated. Dr Mahathir highlighted 18 police reports lodged against him for his controversial remarks about ethnic minorities, emphasising that accusations can trigger investigations even without substantial evidence. He called for police impartiality, urging them to protect citizens rather than oppress them. The former PM questioned the pressure of investigations in Malaysia and called for fair treatment.

Tun, maybe it’s time to enjoy your retirement instead of stirring the pot.


  1. Mah Sing's double play: Eco-friendly ventures in Indonesia and CEO revamp
    Mah Sing Group Bhd's subsidiary, Mah Sing Plastics Industries, partners with PT Gaya Sukses Mandiri Kaseindo for a strategic joint venture in Indonesia, to address the rising demand for sustainable plastic pallets. Holding a 70% share, Mah Sing aims to overcome capacity constraints and tap into the evolving market. The last time Mah Sing went into an industry due to demand, it didn’t fare so well — TA Research said back in May 2023 Mah Sing’s glove-manufacturing business was likely to continue operating at a loss.
    Simultaneously, the company has appointed former IOI Properties Group Bhd CEO Voon Tin Yow to lead as CEO at Mah Sing Group Bhd from Feb 2, 2024. The move, complemented by the appointment of Lionel Leong Jihn Haur as deputy CEO cum executive director, signals a new era focused on growth and innovation.

  2. High Court greenlights fraud lawsuit against 30 entities over RM400 mil loan to Aries Telecoms
    The High Court has ruled that Bank Pembangunan's lawsuit alleging fraud and bribery against 30 individuals and entities in connection with a RM400 mil loan to Aries Telecoms (M) Bhd should proceed. The court rejected dismissal applications, noting that disputed facts require a full trial. However, the bank’s asset freeze application was dismissed. Notably, the suit focuses on civil claims for bribery, allowing the bank to seek remedies independently of MACC actions. This legal saga adds complexity to financial fraud allegations, highlighting the intricacies of corporate disputes in Malaysia.


  1. P-hailing drivers to get RM33 data plans
    Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil unveiled the Rahmah p-hailing package, which offers special Internet plans for over 200,000 p-hailing drivers and riders until April 23, 2024. It includes data plans with at least 40GB, starting from RM33. Telcos are working with 16 p-hailing platform providers, such as Grab, FoodPanda, and Lalamove, to support gig workers and boost the digital economy. The government may extend the offer period based on subscription rates.

  2. Water cuts in Penang, again
    The underwater pipeline in Penang's Prai River burst again, causing a major leak. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow confirmed the incident, assuring residents that the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) would provide updates. The incident will likely result in an unscheduled water supply disruption for around 200,000 consumers in the South-West District of the island and some areas in Seberang Prai.

  3. Ticket prices of KLIA-ERL may see a revision
    The operator of trains to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), can now freely determine ticket prices. Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook stated that this would allow ERL to provide the best service without the burden of operation costs and reduce the financial obligation of the government. The concession period extension from 2029 to 2059 marks a departure from the previous government-regulated fares for ERL train services.


Updates on conflicts

  1. Five people were killed by Russian missiles targeting Ukraine’s two biggies cities — Kyiv and Kharkiv — on early Tuesday. The 1,500-kilometer front line has remained stagnant while the attacks keep Ukrainians on edge. Due to both sides’ inability to defeat the other, the conflict has shifted towards trench and artillery warfare. It seems unlikely that the war will come to an end anytime soon. During a U.N. meeting on Monday, Russia's foreign minister opposed the peace plans supported by the United States and other Ukraine supporters.

  2. Israel wants all Israeli detainees in Gaza to be released in exchange for a two-month truce. Israeli officials have been quoted saying that the proposal has been presented to Hamas through Qatari and Egyptian mediators. The US is also said to be pushing the plan with regional partners. The families of the captives have been applying increasing pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree on a deal as they worry that time is running out to bring their relatives home alive amidst the ongoing bombardment of Gaza — uh, maybe pressure the PM to stop the damn war instead?

Malaria mass vaccine rolled out in Cameroon
The world’s first routine vaccine programme against malaria has been launched in Cameroon. This move is expected to save numerous children’s lives across Africa. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 600,000 people die from malaria in Africa annually, with children under five accounting for at least 80% of those deaths.

The RTS,S vaccine was developed by the British drug maker GSK after extensive research and development that took approximately 30 years. Patients need a total of four doses of the vaccine. According to US researchers, the vaccine is effective in at least 36% of cases, which means it could save more than one in three lives. Health officials have announced that the malaria vaccine will be given FOC at the same time as other routine childhood vaccines to make it easier for parents. The global vaccine alliance, Gavi, said 20 other countries aim to roll out the programme this year.

China wants to insert life into its stock market
China is reportedly considering implementing a set of measures to stabilise the declining stock market. Earlier efforts to restore investor confidence have been unsuccessful, which led Premier Li Qiang to call for more aggressive steps. Policymakers are aiming to raise around RMB2 trillion (USD278 bil) primarily from offshore accounts of Chinese state-owned enterprises to create a stabilisation fund that will be used to purchase shares through the Hong Kong exchange link.

The urgency to stem the selloff was because the benchmark CSI 300 Index reached a five-year low this week. Calming the country's retail investors, who have been affected by the prolonged property downturn, is key to maintaining social stability. Since its peak in 2021, the market value of Chinese and Hong Kong stocks has dropped by more than USD6 trillion, highlighting the challenge Beijing faces in restoring investor confidence.

One man’s loss is another man’s gain
India’s stock market capitalisation has surpassed Hong Kong’s for the first time due to the country’s growth prospects and policy reforms, making it an attractive destination for investors. As per data compiled by Bloomberg, the combined value of shares listed on Indian exchanges reached USD4.33 tril as of Monday's close, while Hong Kong's stood at USD4.29 tril. This has made India the world's fourth-largest equity market, behind the US, China and Japan.


  1. Australia axed “Golden Visa”

    If you saved up AUD5 mil (RM15.5 mil) over the past few years with the plans to migrate to the land down under, we’ve got some bad news — the Australian government has axed the significant investor visas (SIV). The visa was introduced to attract foreign investment and promote innovation. According to government data, 85% of successful applicants came from China. Applicants were required to invest over AUD5 mil in Australia to qualify. After conducting multiple reviews, the government concluded that the scheme had failed to achieve its main objectives, attracting the wrong type of money instead, if you get what I mean.

  2. MrBeast made over USD263K in ad revenue on his video posted on X
    MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, posted one of his videos on X because he was curious about how much ad revenue the video would make on the platform. His curiosity gained him USD263K after one week. However, Donaldson thinks his revenue per view is probably higher than average due to the attention the video was getting. The video received over 156 mil impressions and 5 mil engagements. This translates to a USD1.69 CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

  3. Riot Games to lay off 530 employees
    It looks like the 2023 layoffs aren’t over. Tencent Holdings’ Riot Games, whose popular titles include “League of Legends“, announced that it plans to lay off 530 employees, or about 11% of its staff globally. Digital game publishers are struggling to grow as audiences hold off on buying expensive titles or stick to fewer games amid high inflation.

  4. Netflix 🤝 WWE
    From January 2025 onwards, Netflix will have World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) Raw on its platform after signing a rights deal worth more than USD5 bil that would make it the exclusive partner. The 10-year partnership will see Raw on the streaming platform in the US, Canada and Latin America, among other territories. Outside of the US, pay-per-view live events such as WrestleMania and Royal Rumble will also be telecasted on Netflix as part of the deal.


  1. If you’re looking to redecorate your home this year, remember — it’s all about the feels.

  1. Some food for thought.

  1. We are back in the latest weekly roundup together with the FAQ Show.

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