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☕️ KJ: Reckless idea for Malaysia to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games

Sulu group comes after MY again with new RM70.3 bil demand. CTOS dropped to record low below its IPO price. Flying internationally from KLIA1 & 2 will be more expensive from June 2024 onwards.


Information as of 0720 UTC+8 on Mar 13, 2024.

The latest data shows that the US inflation rate unexpectedly rose to 3.2% last month, higher than the expected rate of 3.1%. The US Federal Reserve is now between a rock and a hard place as it decides whether to reduce interest rates next week. The Feds are expected to keep rates at their 23-year high, which is currently between 5.25 and 5.5%.


Since 2020, Tesla has consistently led daily U.S. stock trading, with turnover peaking above USD35 bil on several occasions, according to data from LSEG. Now, with AI, there is a new player in town — none other than NVIDIA. Nvidia's daily stock trading volume averaged about USD30 bil from January to February 2024, surpassing Elon Musk's electric car maker, which averaged USD22 bil per day over the same period. This heightened activity reflects Nvidia's significant presence in the stock market and could expose investors to greater risk if the company's revenue growth fails to meet high expectations, potentially impacting Wall Street's AI-driven rally.

In Japan, the cost of constructing public toilets has doubled over the past decade, with some units now costing over JPY 100 mil (RM3.17 mil) each. These modern facilities prioritise cleanliness and user comfort, often designed by renowned architects like Kengo Kuma. In Shibuya, the "Tokyo Toilet" project (it has its own IG page here — check out their BMW* toilets), in collaboration with the Nippon Foundation, aims to rebuild public lavatories as local landmarks. Designed by Kuma and others, these facilities represent a significant investment, with an average cost of nearly JPY120 mil per unit.
* Bersih, mewah, wangi

A collection of sneakers worn by basketball superstar Michael Jordan during the Chicago Bulls' six NBA championship wins has been sold at auction for USD8 mil (RM37.5 mil), setting a new record for game-worn sneakers, according to Sotheby’s. The collection includes one pair from each of the last games of the championship series in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998, collectively known as the "Dynasty Collection."

Food for thought


CTOS’ fall from grace
A recent High Court ruling states credit reporting agencies cannot formulate credit scores legally, impacting CTOS Data Systems Sdn Bhd (CDS), a subsidiary of CTOS Digital Bhd. The Court ordered CDS to pay businesswoman Suriati Mohd Yusof RM200,000 in damages, with RM50,000 in costs due to an inaccurate credit rating, stating that the negative rating led to personal and business losses. The company insisted it is allowed to provide credit scores under the law and this product has been in the market for more than ten years.

After the court’s ruling, the counter declined to a new low of RM1.06 per share, almost reaching its IPO price of RM1.10, with heavy trading volume. On Tuesday (12 March) at noon, the stock traded at RM1.15 per share, 20.7% down, with 134.22mil shares traded. Legal experts anticipate more lawsuits against CDS due to inaccurate credit reports, potentially influencing legal precedents. It was revealed that CTOS has won 12 defamation cases previously, with five more pending. Denial of loans may prompt individuals to review credit reports for discrepancies, leading to potential litigation against credit reporting agencies. CTOS plans to appeal the court’s recent decision and anticipates “no material losses” from the matter. We can’t say the same for their alleged victims.

Back with more on SRC & Jho Low
Offshore asset recovery specialist Angela Barkhouse informed the High Court that fugitive financier Jho Low received USD15mil from SRC BVI through Muraset Limited and transferred the funds to several parties. USD40,000 was transferred to Battushig Batbold, son of former Mongolian PM Sükhbaataryn Batbold. USD2mil went to another Mongolian politician, Dash Uranbileg; USD4.5mil to Cheong Choo Young and his spouse, Kim Hak Seon, received USD1.4mil. Why these individuals specifically? Muraset’s business dealings are unknown — it definitely doesn’t seem like investing in the energy and resource sectors.

Sulu vs Malaysia - New group UTC now demanding RM70.3bil from Malaysia
The United Tausug Citizens (UTC) recently threatened to sue Malaysia in the United States, demanding USD15bil (RM70.3bil) and recognition over Sabah. UTC’s demand equates to 16% of Malaysia’s national budget. Law and Institutional Reform Minister Azalina describes the demand as akin to an extortion attempt. Azalina also brought attention to the risks associated with third-party litigation funding (TPLF), citing the involvement of Therium Capital Management Ltd, a British global litigation fund, in financing the legal actions of the Sulu claimants against Malaysia.

Azalina emphasised the need for global regulatory oversight and ethical standards to prevent abuse and exploitation in TPLF, advocating for transparency and regulation to mitigate national security risks. The group also sought the recognition of UTC as a "sovereign and independent state kingdom" following failed attempts by the heirs of the defunct Sulu sultanate to seek compensation totalling RM68.8bil against Malaysia.

100 tech firms with RM1bil revenue, MITI aims by 2030
The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) targets Malaysia to have 100 local tech companies with an annual revenue of RM1bil by 2030. Deputy Minister Liew Chin Tong states that support is provided by MITI and its agencies through R&D, financing assistance, advisory services, and business guidance to strengthen SMEs nationwide. MITI will also ensure incoming strategic investments will comply with the 12 revenue-based indicators under the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 and National Investment Aspirations.

“Reckless” for Malaysia to host 2026 Commonwealth Games
Malaysia has been offered to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games after Victoria, Australia, withdrew due to spiralling cost concerns – hosting costs grew beyond their expectations, reaching AUD7bil (RM21.6 bil). Khairy Jamaluddin, former Youth and Sports Minister, called the idea “reckless” as the games are only two years away and a host needs at least four years to set up proper infrastructures. Suhardi Alias, the ministry's sports commissioner, also questioned the financial implications of hosting the Commonwealth Games, with the confirmed SEA Games the following year. Monetisation and spillover benefits will be minimal at best. Before Victoria withdrew, six out of seven games were hosted in either Australia or the UK as realistically, only a few others are willing and able to host.

Flying internationally will be more expensive from June 2024 onwards
The Malaysian Aviation Commission announced that all international departures from KLIA Terminal 1 will incur a passenger service charge of RM73 and RM50 for KLIA Terminal 2, effective June 1st. However, this only applies to tickets issued from June 1, 2024. Tickets issued before that will not be subjected to the new rates, even if the travel date occurs on or after June 1, 2024. The rich can surely pay, what about us rakyat marhaen though?


Joe Biden woos voters with USD7.3 trillion budget
Joe Biden is headed for a crucial 2024 as the elections loom. Biden's campaign faces challenges in addressing voter concerns about high prices and the direction of the U.S. economy. According to a January Reuters/Ipsos poll, 40% of Americans believe Trump would handle the economy best, while 31% chose Biden. Additionally, 28% either didn't know or refused to answer. This highlights ongoing scepticism and uncertainty among voters regarding economic policies and leadership.

To tackle this, US President Joe Biden unveiled a USD7.3 trillion budget proposal for a potential second term, aiming to showcase his economic management compared to Donald Trump. The plan for fiscal year 2025, which begins in October this year, includes significant tax hikes on corporations and high earners, aiming to cut the deficit and fund new programs for housing and childcare. However, Congress is unlikely to approve these measures as proposed. The budget aims to raise tax receipts by USD4.951 trillion over ten years, with over USD2.7 trillion from businesses and nearly USD2 trillion from wealthy individuals. Despite efforts to reduce deficit spending by USD3 trillion over a decade, the national debt is expected to grow. Deficits are forecasted to reach USD1.8 trillion in 2025, falling to under 4% of GDP over ten years.

Meanwhile, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said the Ukraine-Russia war will end if Donald Trump is elected US president again, as Orban said Trump will not give a penny to the Ukraine-Russia war. Trump has pledged to end the war “within 24 hours” if elected but gave no details on how it can be done — it’s his usual antics with superfluous promises.

Big Brother US realises its powers are deteriorating
The 2024 Annual Threat Assessment report, issued by United States intelligence agencies on Monday, has sounded an alarm about an "increasingly fragile world order." Highlighting the challenges posed by China, Iran, and Russia, the report warns of mounting pressure on the current international rules-based system. The collective insights of the US intelligence community indicate that the country is confronting a landscape marked by great power competition, transnational challenges, and regional conflicts, all contributing to the fragility of the global order. View the report here.

India’s controversial citizenship law
India's government plans to enact the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), criticised for being anti-Muslim. The law allows non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to seek citizenship to help those facing persecution. Those seeking citizenship from the three countries have to prove that they have arrived in India by 31 December 2014. Passed in 2019, it sparked protests and criticism for violating the constitution's secular principles and excluding refugees from non-Muslim majority countries like Sri Lanka and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar. The CAA amends the 64-year-old Indian Citizenship law, which currently prevents illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.

Gaza to receive an aid ship with 200 tonnes of food supplies
After days of delay, an aid ship loaded with food departed Cyprus is headed for Gaza. The Open Arms vessel, which is owned by a charity of the same name, departed from Larnaca port early on Tuesday. The vessel was towing a barge that contained approximately 200 tonnes of essential food supplies, including flour, rice, and protein. The voyage is a test of a planned sea corridor to carry aid to a population on the brink of starvation. The mission is organised by the US-based charity World Central Kitchen, while mostly funded by the United Arab Emirates.

Former Boeing whistleblower found dead
The plot with Boeing thickens. John Barnett, a former Boeing employee known for raising concerns about the firm’s production standards, had died from a “self-inflicted” wound. Mr Barnett had worked for Being for 32 years until his retirement in 2017. He had been giving evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against his company days before his death.

In 2019, Barnett disclosed to BBC that workers under pressure knowingly installed substandard aircraft parts during production. He further revealed serious issues with oxygen systems, suggesting that one in four breathing masks might fail in an emergency. Barnett alleged that substandard parts were sometimes taken from scrap bins and installed on planes under construction to avoid delays. Despite raising these concerns with management, Barnett claimed no action was taken. Boeing refuted his claims, although a 2017 FAA review did support some of Barnett's concerns.

At the time of his death, Mr. Barnett had been in Charleston attending legal interviews related to a case. Last week, he provided a formal deposition and was questioned by Boeing's lawyers, followed by cross-examination from his own counsel. He was scheduled for further questioning on Saturday, but when he did not appear, his hotel was contacted for inquiries. He was subsequently found dead in his truck at the hotel car park.


  1. Controversial Tate Brothers arrested in Romania
    Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan were detained by Romanian police on Monday night on arrest warrants over alleged sexual offences in Britain. Romanian Police said British authorities issued two arrest warrants for exploiting people in the UK. Andrew Tate, 37, and Tristan, 35, "categorically reject all charges", their representative said.

  2. Haiti’s PM Ariel Henry finally resigns
    Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry has resigned amid escalating chaos in the country, appealing for calm as violence and unrest continue to escalate. The 74-year-old announced his decision to step down after an emergency meeting of regional nations. In recent weeks, Haiti has faced increasing violence as armed gangs have seized control and demanded Henry's resignation.

  3. Kate Middleton’s Mother’s Day photo created a PR problem for the Royal Family
    Catherine, the Princess of Wales, has apologised for altering a family portrait released on Mother's Day. The photo was removed from circulation by international news agencies. The picture, which shows the Princess of Wales in a family setting with her three children, was the first to be released after she had undergone abdominal surgery in January. Kensington Palace issued the photograph after weeks of speculation over her recovery, which has been fueled by a prolonged absence from the public eye.


  1. What is inside of an Apple Vision Pro? Who are the suppliers?

  1. If you love your JDMs, you’re in for a treat with this video. JDM is an acronym for the Japanese Domestic Market, a reference for cars that are made for the Japanese market only. Hong Kong has very strict rules on car modification — you’re not allowed to do any modifications that significantly alter that car from its original specification.