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☕️ Introducing the new bumiputera policy - Bumiputera Economic Transformation (TEB)

PAS President gets warning from Sultan Selangor. Capital A proposed USD1.15 bil SPAC listing on Nasdaq. Gaza’a death toll exceeds 30,000, Israeli troops shoots at crowd waiting for aid.


Information as of 0730 UTC+8 on March 1, 2024.

Finance Minister II Amir Hamzah Azizan said the ringgit is anticipated to recover and appreciate to 4.50 against the USD by H2 of 2024, citing banking analysts.


USD1,542 — the estimated cost of the materials used to make Apple Vision Pro vs the retail price of USD3,499, according to Omdia’s research. This first-generation device gives Apple a decent gross margin of 55.9%. The two 1.25-inch micro-OLED displays inside Apple's VR headset are the most expensive component, costing USDS456 per headset. The displays provide a total of 23 mil pixels, more than a 4K TV. Omdia estimates each display costs USD228.

Assisted reproduction is popular in Japan, with 8% of babies being born through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in 2021, compared with 2% in the US. Sperm and egg banks are unregulated and laws governing IVF only apply to straight-married couples. The situation is prompting hundreds of individuals, including single women and gay couples, to pursue donors and surrogate mothers abroad every year. Countries like America, where such practices are legal, are popular destinations for these individuals seeking reproductive assistance.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 2023 Yearbook, the world's largest weapons-producing and military services companies saw a 3.5% drop in weapons revenue in 2022, totalling USD597 bil (RM2.79 trillion). There’s another more interesting figure from SIPRI — the number of nuclear warheads (as of Jan 2023):

  • The US — 3,708

  • Russia — 4,489

  • China — 410

  • India — 164


Putrajaya launches a new bumiputera policy
During the three-day Bumiputera Economic Congress, Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid rolled out the new bumiputera policy dubbed the Bumiputera Economic Transformation (TEB). Under the TEB, the Government underline three goals, six resolutions and three endeavours. The three goals are:

  1. Socioeconomic justice;

  2. Nation-state sustainability; and

  3. Nation’s prosperity and rakyat well-being.

Credits: Kongres Ekonomi Bumiputera

While it is too early to judge whether this TEB will just be another ‘white paper’ by the government or could replicate the impact of the Razak-era New Economy Policy, political stability is important to ensure a long-term plan like this to jalan. During the launching of TEB, Zahid also mooted the idea of creating a bumiputera land corporation to increase the community’s land ownership. Under the proposed land corporation, 20% of all leased agricultural land that is more than 50 acres in size and industrial land that is more than 20 acres will be managed by this corporation after the lease expires.

Surprise, surprise — LCS project is almost three months behind schedule
If there is a spelling bee competition and the contestant asks what the synonym for LCS is, it will be delay, delay, and delay. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said that according to the follow-up engagement with the Defence Ministry regarding the littoral combat ship (LCS) project on January 24, the project is not on schedule, disappointed but not surprised. As of December 2023, the LCS project is 67.28% completed compared to the targetted 68.77% completion rate. Although it is only a 1.49% difference, it led to 86 days of delay. Mas Ermieyati said that the detailed design of the ship has yet to be finalised.

Madani Medical Scheme downscale explained
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad told the Parliament that the main reason why the Madani Medical Scheme (SPM) is being downscale is because the scheme’s coffer is starting to run dry. SPM is a pilot project to fund treatments for minor ailments at registered private clinics. Currently, SPM has used up to RM78.73 mil of its RM100 mil allocation. With the current weekly run rate, the SPM scheme is expected to die off by April. Previously, ProtectHealth Corporation, an entity under the Health Ministry that manages the scheme, announced that SPM would scale down to its original 10 districts from the current expanded operations in 21 districts nationwide.

While the Government is subsidising some private clinics to provide treatment to the rakyat, one particular hospital allegedly charged patrons for waiting. A private hospital in Seremban allegedly charged RM11.60 for a 30-minute wait in the accident and emergency (A&E) room and RM 34 for transporting a patient monitor. The affected patient will complain about the matter to the Health Ministry hoping to get an explanation from the hospital.

Politics today

  1. Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin and Gua Musang MP Mohd Azizi, both from Bersatu, who voiced their support to PM Anwar Ibrahim, stated that they would rather vacate their seats than retract their support towards PMX. Previously on January 29, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin said that the party would amend its constitution to prevent more of its MPs from supporting the opponent unless they are willing to vacate their seats.

  2. Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had issued a warning (in the form of a written letter) to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang for making malicious remarks that could spark divisions among Muslims. Last week, Hadi posted a statement on Facebook reminding all Muslims, including the judges and rulers, to safeguard the faith, following the Federal Court’s decision to nullify sixteen of Kelantan’s syariah criminal provisions and the subsequent statement by the Selangor Ruler for the people to respect the court’s decision. Quoting some of Hadi’s Facebook remarks, ‘What more rulers, to have the vision, to be wise in viewing the hereafter, and not just the interests in this world alone.’

MYAirline will not be on the airport’s flight announcement board yet
Transport Minister Anthony Loke confirmed that his ministry had received a letter from the potential investor of MYAirline Sdn Bhd, stating that the investor decided not to invest in the airline, thus terminating the memorandum of understanding. Previously, it was rumoured that the potential investor was based in the Middle East and was expected to bring in fresh capital that will also cover the RM22 mil refunds to the customers.

Responding to the matter, MYAirline said that it has consequently been in talks with other interested investors to revive the airline.

One troubled airline is not enough, so let’s add another one to the mix. AirAsia’s mother company, Capital A Bhd, had recorded a net loss of RM159.57 mil for the final quarter of 2023, compared to a net profit of RM109.95 mil in the same period a year before. The company blamed the poor performance on higher operating expenses, asset depreciation and financing costs. Despite the net loss, Capital A doubled its revenue year-on-year from RM2.20 bil in 4QFY22 to RM4.86 bil in 4QFY23, signalling almost full normalisation compared to pre-pandemic activities. View earnings here.

However, Capital A has turned a corner by returning to annual profitability after four years of consecutive net losses. The company recorded a net profit of RM836.99 mil in FY2023, compared to a net loss of RM2.63 bil in FY2022. The company's revenue for the full year more than doubled to RM14.77 bil from RM6.44 bil in the previous year.

Capital A also announced its proposed plan to list on Nasdaq via a special purpose acquisition company in a deal worth USD1.15 bil (RM5.46 bil). This company will be a brand management company, owning all the intellectual property rights across all Capital A brands, including AirAsia and charging up to a 1.5% royalty fee. Financial engineering at play?


Gaza’a death toll exceeds 30,000
The Hamas-run health ministry said that more than 30,000 Palestinians have now been killed in Gaza since Oct 7, equating to about 1.3% of its 2.3 mil population. The sad part — the majority of those killed were women and children. The actual death toll could be a lot higher as it does not include those who have not reached the hospitals, amongst them thousands of people buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings hit by Israeli air strikes. 

What do Israeli soldiers see in people waiting for aid? Shooting targets. The Israeli madness continues with its cold-blooded genocide as Israeli troops opened fire on hundreds waiting for aid southwest of Gaza City, killing more than 100 Palestinians and wounding some 700 people. 

AI in action, yielding a potential profit of USD40 mil
Buy Now Pay Later giant Klarna shared some results on its blogpost on its use of AI chatbot powered by OpenAI, which has gone live for one month. Some highlights:

  • The chatbot had 2.3 mil conversations, two-thirds of Klarna’s customer service chats.

  • It is doing the work equivalent to 700 full-time agents and is on par with human agents regarding customer satisfaction scores.

  • It is more accurate in errand resolution, leading to a 25% drop in repeat inquiries.

  • Issues were resolved in less than 2 minutes compared to 11 minutes previously.

  • It’s expected to drive USD40 mil in profit improvement to Klarna in 2024. 

Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in an interview that he expects the company to shrink, not as a result of layoffs but natural attrition, as the company capitalise on AI to pick up the slack from lost workers. He added that the company is no longer hiring new staff beyond its engineering department. Bots are coming after our lunch. 

Meanwhile, Apple is to disclose more about its explicit plans for generative AI later this year, according to CEO Tim Cook. Already the world’s most valuable company, will an explicit AI strategy send its stock flying further? If you want to own an Apple share worth RM850+ for free easily, get the latest trading app in town, Moo Moo (licensed by the Securities Commission) — sign up here! Terms and conditions apply.

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Our job future is not so gloomy yet - Dyson Singapore boosted headcount by 35%
Dyson still has faith in human intelligence. The tech company grew its headcount by 35% to more than 1,920 employees in Singapore in 2023 as the company boosted its long-term investments, growing R&D expenditure by more than 40% in 2023. Almost half of Dyson Singapore’s employees are engineers and scientists, as Dyson is developing a pioneering new-technology battery facility in Singapore. The company’s spokesman said they invest more than GBP9 mil (RM53.9 mil) every week into R&D and 2024 will see Dyson launch the biggest suite of products to date. Take a tour of Dyson Singapore below - pretty awesome!

Dyson generated GBP7.1 bil in revenue globally in 2023, up 9% year-on-year and saw similar improvement in its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tears, depression and anxiety, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to GBP1.4 bil. 

Leaked files: Kremlin’s scenarios in going nuclear 
The Financial Times (FT) obtained leaked Russian military files detailing the Kremlin’s broad range of scenarios for the country to go nuclear. The 29 leaked files are dated from 2008 to 2014 and pertain to tactical nuclear weapons, meaning for specified battlefield targets instead of those that wipe out entire cities. The document outlined conditions for how much of Russia’s military defence system needs to be destroyed to trigger nuclear warfare, for example, Russia may use nuclear weapons if 20% of its strategic ballistic missile submarines are eliminated. It also includes scenarios where China invades Russia, including conditions for Moscow to deploy tactical nukes in a first-strike decision. 8 years after the most recent secret document was published, China and Russia both declared a “no limits” partnership. 

China and India are the only two countries to formally maintain a no-first-use policy, where it will only use nuclear weapons as a second strike in retaliation to an attack by an enemy using nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction. 


  1. Google vs Media giants 
    Alphabet’s Google is being sued for USD2.3 bil by 32 media groups, including Axel Spring (owner of Business Insider) and publishers across Europe, alleging they had suffered losses due to the company’s practices in digital advertising. The group accused Google of abusing its dominant position, leading to reduced revenue and higher fees paid for tech services. For the uninitiated, competition law (which is relatively new in Malaysia) regulates competition and monopoly in the market to protect dominant companies from bullying competition and its customers/consumers. 

  2. Ronaldo fined, suspended for offensive gesture
    Cristiano Ronaldo was suspended for 1 match and fined 20,000 Saudi Riyals (RM25.3k) for cupping his ear and repeatedly thrusting his hand forward near his pelvis in a gesture aimed at Al-Shahab fans after his club Al-Nassr lost 3-2 to its rival. Background chants of “Messi” can be heard when Ronaldo made the gesture. Watch it here.


  1. Nuclear galore today. Fun fact: all nuclear weapons are owned by countries in the northern hemisphere. In the event of a nuclear war, it’s most likely among the countries in the north. The safest place to head to? Down south, especially Australia and South Africa.

  1. Awesome stunts combo: Trampolining above the clouds, hanging under a hot air balloon and parachuting down.