☕️ Israel didn’t have a good day

KK Mart directors, vendor to be charged today. Kelantan’s water issues expected to be resolved by 2028 - do you believe? BREAKING: Another corruption case in Singapore..


Information as of 0730 UTC+8 on Mar 26, 2024.

Thankfully, inflation is not as hot as the weather — the nation’s inflation rate in Feb 2024 was a modest 1.8%.


The country needs at least 2,000 blood bags a day to maintain a “safe zone” of bloodstock to meet the nation’s daily demand, according to Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. In Klang Valley alone, there has been an increase in demand from 500 to 700 units per day over the last 2 years, attributed to not only motor vehicle accidents but also the rising number of transfusion-dependent patients. In 2023, more than 800,000 blood bags were collected, with an anticipation of a 10-15% increment required each year. A blood bag contains about 350-450 ml of blood. An average adult has 4-5 litres of blood and about 8-12% of blood volume (depending on weight) is drawn during donation.

Adam Sandler did not win any Oscars but at least his bank account is happy. Sandler was Hollywood’s best-paid actor last year, as his gig with Netflix to appear and produce three films for the streaming giant netted him USD73 mil (RM344.9 mil) in earnings, according to Forbes. The 3 films produced for Netflix were Murder Mystery 2 (Netflix’s fifth most-watched film in 2023, with 173 mil hours viewed), Leo and You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah. Taking the second spot is Barbie star Margot Robbie, who at 33 is the youngest person in the top 10 by a decade, taking home USD59 mil (RM278.8 mil).

Telco Axiata Group Bhd has lost RM36 bil or 58% of its market cap since its peak in Nov 2014 following severe costly ventures abroad in frontier markets, namely in Nepal and Myanmar. Axiata took a big impairment hit of RM2.4 bil from the exits of these 2 markets in FY2023, dragging it into the red with a net loss of almost RM2 bil. Axiata’s market cap now stands at about RM25.7 bil and is largely owned by GLICs (government-linked investment companies): Khazanah (36.7%), EPF (17.9%) and PNB via ASB (15.3%). View its latest quarterly earnings here.

No one wants to get rich slow

Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky asked Amazon founder Jeff Bezos what was the best advice Warren Buffett ever gave him. Bezos said he asked Buffett that if his investment thesis is so simple, why isn’t everyone just copying him.


Socks Saga: KK Mart directors and vendor to be charged, confirms AGC
The directors of KK Mart and vendor Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd will be charged today over the sale of ‘Allah’-printed socks, as confirmed by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC). The charges against KK Mart directors are for intentionally infringing on the religious sentiments of Muslims with the word ‘Allah’. As for Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd, they will be charged with abetting in the act as suppliers of the socks. This will definitely affect KK Mart’s aspirations of an initial public offering (IPO). Last year, KK Mart expected a potential listing within “the next one to three years” as they were the second largest mini-market chain in the country after 99 Speedmart. This isn’t the first time a religious sentiment has affected a business. In 2017, Bata lost RM500k over a false ‘Allah’ claim and had to redesign their soles

Interestingly, KK Supermart has sued the vendor, Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd, for breach of contract, claiming that its business was sabotaged. The supermart said that it agreed to sell goods on consignment at its premises, therefore, the defendant owed contractual obligations and a duty of care to ensure the supplied goods were lawful. It also claimed that the predominant purpose of sabotage was to ensure that KK Mart’s plan for an IPO would not take place. KK Supermart is seeking at least RM1.5mil for loss of profits, RM10.5mil for damages caused to its brand name and goodwill in the market, RM20.3mil for aborted IPO as well as interest, cost and other relief deemed fit by the court.
FMT Op-ed: ‘Allah’ socks hysteria only about race, not religion

This incident is no small matter. But have reactions been overblown?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

SC releases Annual Report 2023
Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) released its Annual Report 2023 on Monday. The report states that the Malaysian capital market remained resilient in 2023, as the size of the market grew by 5.6% to RM3.8 tril from RM3.6 tril in 2022, driven by the growth in total equity market capitalisation and bonds and sukuk outstanding. A few highlights from the report (view here):

  • Funds raised through equity and corporate bond markets moderated to RM127.7 bil (2022: RM179.4 bil) following a decline in corporate bond and sukuk issuance to RM118.3bil (2022: RM153.3 bil) due to lower financing demand; and secondary equity fundraising reduced to RM5.8 bil (2022: RM22.6 bil), returning to pre-pandemic levels.

  • IPOs improved to RM3.6 bil (2022: 3.5 bil).

  • Alternative financing activities to support the funding needs of Micro, Small and Medium (MSMEs), with total funds amounting to RM3.8 bil (2022: RM3 bil).

  • The Malaysian Islamic capital market (ICM) grew 4.5% to RM2.4 tril in 2023.

  • 3.262 complaints and enquiries on scams and unlicensed activities, a three-fold increase over the last 5 years. To protect yourselves, check out the enhanced Investor Alert List page, tools developed such as the Investment Checker and Scam Meter for investors. 

  • 5 key Fintech developments to note here.

The SC also released the Audit Oversight Board Annual Report 2023 (view here) and the Capital Market Stability Review 2023 (view here).

Business news:

  1. Pharmaniaga to reimburse MOH for 104 failed ventilators

    According to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Pharmaniaga Logistic Sdn Bhd (PLSB) agreed to reimburse the Ministry of Health (MOH) RM16.78mil for 104 malfunctioning ventilators supplied during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. To recap, the PAC report in October stated that the MOH authorised RM30mil for a down payment to PLSB for the procurement of 500 ventilators, with 136 delivered from April 1 to May 19 2020, costing RM20.13mil. Only 32 units (after additional repairs and replacements for four units) were operational. PLSB agreed that the costs for purchasing and upgrading ventilators would apply only to the 32 functional units. The absence of a written agreement between MOH and PLSB over the procurement led to a lack of accountability for the malfunctioning units.

  2. Good news for MyNews

    MyNews Holdings Bhd posted its second consecutive profitable quarter of RM1.27 mil for 1QFY2024 due to higher sales, stating that “the worst is over”. Quarterly revenue increased 6% year-on-year from RM184.09mil to RM195.52mil. They currently operate 619 outlets, including 468 myNEWS outlets, 132 CU outlets, and 19 WHSmith outlets. Shares have remained unchanged so far this year, after an 18% decline in 2023 as it faced its second consecutive year of net losses. MyNews market cap stands at RM390.2 million. Given what is playing out with its peer and other F&B retailers, the worst can always just be around the corner. 


  1. Level 1 heatwave alert; intermonsoon period approaching end of March

    MetMalaysia advised all states (except Terengganu) are in the grip of a heatwave, with 47 localities involved. Level 1 heatwave status indicates daily maximum temperatures of between 35 to 37 degrees Celcius for three consecutive days. However, MetMalaysia also stated that the intermonsoon period is expected to begin on March 29 and weather can be expected to cool down, likely bringing rain and weak winds. We can expect heavy rains and strong winds with the potential for flash floods following that.

  2. Kelantan’s water issues are expected to be resolved by 2028

    The Kelantan government assured that the state’s long-standing water supply issues are expected to be resolved by 2028. State Public Works, Infrastructure, Water and Rural Development Committee chairman Izani Husin claimed that 20% of the state is facing supply issues, despite contrary claims by other parties. The Kelantan govt identified 5,000km of old pipes that need to be replaced, with 1,000km needing immediate attention, but only 150km can be replaced in a year. Given the math, how can we expect the issue to be resolved in three years? We might see Bitcoin hitting USD200,000 earlier than the decades-long dream of clean water materialising in Kelantan.


Israel didn’t have a good day

Part 1: UNSC demands immediate Gaza ceasefire
After more than 32,000 Palestinian lives, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and also demanded that Hamas free hostages. Of the 15 council members, all 14 countries voted in favour of the resolution and the US has abstained from the vote, indicating a shift in the Americans’ support away from Israel, though the White House insisted it’s not a policy shift. Last week, Israel defied US appeals to avoid expanding the Israeli military to Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are currently residing — the tailor must have been annoyed after all the support it has given to Israel. Watch here the moment the resolution was passed Following the US decision, Israel announced that a planned high-level delegation to Washington would be cancelled, calling out Washington’s failure to block the resolution as a “clear retreat”. 

We are still finding out what happens if Israel disobeys the resolution, though a comment by Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor, James Bay, said that the UNSC resolution is an international law and is always seen as binding on all the members of the UN. UN chief Antonio Guterres tweeted that the resolution “must be implemented” and “failure would be unforgivable”. Mark Lyall-Grant, the UK’s former Permanent Representative to the UN said that the resolution is legally binding on Israel but not binding on Hamas as Hamas is not a country and, therefore has a slightly different capacity. 

It’s still early but let’s hope for the beginning of a lasting, or at least prolonged peace for Gazans finally. 

Part 2: Singapore slammed Israel over social media post
Singapore and Israel traditionally have warm ties between both nations. This was put to test on Sunday when Singapore ordered the Israel embassy to take down an “insensitive and inappropriate” Facebook post that compared mentions of Israel and the Palestinian state in the Quran, adding that documents and maps “link the land of Israel to the Jewish people as the indigenous people of the land”. The post has since been taken down. This incident comes days after Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, where Vivian reiterated “Israeli’s military actions in Gaza has gone too far”. Watch here Home Minister K Shanmugam blasting Israel’s actions in a press conference. 

BREAKING: Another corruption case in Singapore
Singapore’s former transport minister S Iswaran is slapped with another 8 new charges in a rare corruption case alleging that Iswaran obtained valuable goods worth about SGD18,956 (RM66.6k) from an individual in relation to a contract for construction works on an existing train station. Back in January, Iswaran was charged with 27 corruption offences related to the alleged receipt of gifts from Malaysian billionaire Ong Beng Seng. This brings the total charges to 35 against Iswaran and over SGD430,000 in luxury goods that he had allegedly obtained. Iswaran is the first minister to get embroiled in a graft probe since 1986. Across the straits, This kind of amount is a child’s play and a Monday breakfast. 

Boeing leadership shake-up - chief and others to step down
Boeing boss Dave Calhoun will leave at the end of the year amidst Boeing’s deepening safety crisis. Its head of commercial airlines division will retire immediately whilst its chairman will not seek re-election. Calhoun took over as CEO in 2020 after his previous boss was ousted in the aftermath of one of the biggest scandals in Boeing’s history. The company agreed to pay USD2.5 bil to settle fraud charges and admitted deception following two major incidents in 2018 and 2019, details of which Boeing was accused of deliberately concealing from regulators. Calhoun might be jobless by then but typical in US corporate history, they tend to walk away rich with golden parachutes

Nissan targets 30 new models in 3 years
Japan’s third-largest automaker by sales announced an update on its medium-term plan that it would launch 30 new models over the next 3 years as it aims to raise its global sales by 1 mil vehicles. Of the 30, 16 would be electrified and targets to reduce the cost comparable to internal combustion engines by 2030. Tesla might have taken the spotlight for being the pioneer in EVs but this status truly belongs to Nissan with its Leaf, but its EV efforts got eclipsed by Tesla and China’s BYD.


  1. Across the world, Latin America really loves Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball. Below is a 110m (w) x 6m (h) mural in Peru in tribute to the late Toriyama. Additionally, here’s a collection of 547 artistic tributes

  1. Wealth is just a state of mind, Remember Warren Buffett’s advice above.

  1. A comedy skit by Dr Jason Leong. As funny as it is, it truly reflects the flawed mentality of most investors — the tendency to time the market instead of spending time in the market. For more serious reading on what this means, read here. Just to be clear, this mentality applies to all asset classes, not just Bitcoin.