☕️ Klang Valley rent could go up 10-20% this year

Aman Palestin duo in court: 161 criminal charges involving RM39.5 mil. Putin’s Art of War: Publicly endorses Biden > Trump for next US President. How Norway protects and grows the nation's wealth.


Information as of 0730 UTC+8 on Feb 16, 2024.

Crypto spring is here after a rough 2022 downturn. The market capitalisation of digital assets is now above USD2 tril. Bitcoin alone accounts for 50% of the total market capitalisation and is now back to becoming a USD1 tril asset class. On another note, this article, “Dear family, dear friends, a letter to all of you who still have no bitcoin” is one that we share with those who are new to the space and want to get a basic fundamental understanding of Bitcoin.


1 (one, satu, yi, onru) - the number of cars Tesla sold in South Korea in January 2024, which was a single unit of Model Y SUV. The situation is not unique to Tesla as across all carmakers, the number of new EVs registered in South Korea fell by 80% in January from December due to a cocktail of headwinds, from safety concerns to price and lack of charging infrastructure. For some unknown reasons, although it’s better than nothing, selling just ONE car sounds a lot worse than selling none.

Myanmar has now become the world's leading opium producer, surpassing Afghanistan, according to a United Nations report. The production of opium in Myanmar, which has been plagued by a civil war, increased by 36% to 1,080 metric tons in 2023, marking the highest level since 2001. This surge comes after poppy cultivation declined between 2014 and 2020 but rose by 33% following the military coup in February 2021, which overthrew the democratically elected government.

According to analysts at LSEG, the value of global markets for carbon dioxide (CO2) permits traded in 2023 reached a new record of EUR881 bil (RM4.54 tril), marking a 2% increase from the previous year. This is due to many countries and regions launching emissions trading systems (ETS) to put a price on CO2 emissions, encouraging companies to invest in low-carbon technology and help meet climate targets. The EU’s ETS is the world's most valuable carbon market, worth around EUR770 bil last year, up 2% from the previous year and representing 87% of the global total.
Learn: What is carbon trading


Malaysia at last beat Singapore in something meaningful
Apart from having better food and the most attended Coldplay concert, Malaysia can add another credential to its wins against our neighbouring Singapore. According to the recently released Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Democracy Index 2023, Malaysia is ranked 40th globally, the highest-ranked Southeast Asian nation. The report categorises Malaysia as a flawed democracy, citing weaknesses in governance and underdeveloped political culture. Within the scoring tenets of the index, Malaysia scored the best in the electoral process and pluralism, with a score of 9.58. Read the report here.

Tarnishing the religion like no one’s business

  • Regarding Ebit Lew’s sexual harassment case, the complainant of the case told the court that she regretted idolising him, who turned out not to be the person that she expected. The complainant also validated all 436 screenshots of her conversations with Ebit Lew that also includes the conversation in which Ebit Lew allegedly forced her to send lewd photos to him.

Sultan Selangor cools down the political temperature

  1. Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has called the public to respect the decision of the court in regard to the ruling on the 16 provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (1) 2019. The Selangor King also added that a special committee under the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) was set up last year to study the competencies of the state legislative assemblies in enacting Islamic laws. The special committee will come up with a set of recommendations that will eventually be reviewed and deliberated by the Conference of Rulers.

  2. PM Anwar Ibrahim welcomed the decree by the Selangor Sultan that asked all parties to remain calm and respect the court’s decision. The call for the royals to become more proactive in cooling down the heated political temperature has also been voiced out by Khairy Jamaluddin before this. Khairy also stated that there should be a rule of engagement where the King could call out malicious politicians who capitalised on sensitive issues for their own political gain.


  1. Citing the New Straits Times (NST), the news outlet reported that property agents predicted the rent in the Klang Valley could skyrocket by 10% to 20%, driven by the Covid-19 recovery and the stabilising overnight policy rate (OPR). In a country where the average salary is only projected to increase by 5.1% this year, it sure is painful to live in the Klang Valley.

  2. Bursa Malaysia Bhd, the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) have collaborated to adopt common environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics in their respective data infrastructures via the Asean-Interconnected Sustainability Ecosystem (Asean-ISE). This will speed up the progress of sustainable development in ASEAN due to the cost-efficiency and faster time-to-market that will be achieved from this move.

  3. The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) CEO Abu Tariq Jamaluddin said that IRB will put individuals who own offshore bank accounts under its microscope for any tax evasion activities. The agency will ensure that tax has been paid on savings abroad, especially if the proceeds originated from domestic activities. Abu Tariq stated that the agency will not hesitate to take action against any parties that do not pay their taxes.


Putin’s Art of War: Publicly prefer Biden > Trump for next US President
In an interview with the state media, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he preferred Joe Biden to Donald Trump as the next president in the election this year, commenting that Biden “is a more experienced, predictable person, a politician of the old school.” This was the first time Putin has publicly commented on the 2024 US election in which Biden will face Trump for the second time. 

A flattering and great endorsement — only if it wasn’t coming from an enemy in a proxy war. Putin’s comments have become a disadvantage for Biden’s camp and Trump was quick to capitalise on these comments, claiming that Putin didn’t want him back in the White House because Trump would pose a threat to Russia’s interests. However, Trump failed to mention Biden’s strong opposition to Russia in the war with Ukraine. Trump’s actions point towards the opposite, that he’s actually soft towards Russia and many Trump critics think Trump could give Putin an easier ride. Trump was reluctant to criticise Putin in his first term and recently encouraged Russia to attack NATO members who failed to spend enough on their defence. 

Some well-calculated moves Putin has made. 

AI news

  • OpenAI coming after Google’s main lunch
    If successful, OpenAI’s attempt to develop its search product could pose an existential threat to Google. Sources said that the ChatGPT maker is developing its search technology to compete against Google, though it’s unclear if OpenAI’s search product would be separate from ChatGPT. The new product would be partly powered by Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Google pretty much monopolises the search market, accounting for more than 90% of the global market share as compared to Bing’s paltry 9%. In a separate news, the Financial Times reported that OpenAI hit the USD2 bil-annualised revenue milestone in December. This growth is even more impressive, considering that ChatGPT was launched in Nov 2022. 

  • Nvidia: Flying share price, investments revealed
    Giant chipmaker Nvidia’s share price is taking no break as it further rises to overtake the market cap of Alphabet (USD1.82 tril), a day after surpassing the value of Amazon. Nvidia is now the world’s fourth-most valuable company, behind Saudi Aramco, Microsoft and Apple. Its share price has been on a scorching rally — up 49% in 2024 alone, adding some USD602 bil to its market cap. 

    In its recent regulatory filing, Nvidia disclosed stakes totalling nearly USD230 mil in SoftBank’s Arm (which is also on an insane rally), SoundHound (AI software for audio) and biotech company Recursion Pharmaceuticals. Nvidia had a history with Arm as it failed to acquire it in 2020 for USD40 bil due to regulatory pressure.


  1. US e-commerce firm Wish on bargain sale to Singapore’s Qoo10
    The intense competition from Temu and Shein (both China-related) in the US has brought Wish to its knees. Its owner, ContextLogic has agreed to sell the operating assets and liabilities of Wish to Singapore-based Qoo10 for about USD173 mil in cash. Once a high-flying company, ContextLogic raised USD1.1 bil in its IPO in 2020 at a USD14.1 bil and now saw 99% of its value wiped out.

  2. Meta appoints Malaysian-born Tan Hock Eng to its board
    Meta Platforms Inc appointed two new directors, and one of them is Tan Hock Eng, who was born and raised in Penang. The only thing Malaysia can claim (or celebrate, if anything worthy) now is his origins — he’s no longer a Malaysian and is now a US citizen. Tan has been the CEO of US-based semiconductor manufacturing company Broadcom since Mar 2006, which has a market cap of USD592 bil. Read The Edge’s cover story on Tan, dated 2017, here. The other individual appointed is former Enron executive and hedge fund manager John Arnold, who became the youngest billionaire in the US in 2007 and was dubbed the “king of natural gas”.

  3. G2/7 in recession
    2 members of the Group of 7 (G7), namely the UK and Japan, have entered into a technical recession. A technical recession is defined as 2 consecutive quarters of economic contraction. Japan’s recession has come as a surprise as economists expected Japan’s economy to grow more than 1% in Q4 last year.

Weekend Read: ‘Never get your sex where you get your checks’
Denise Conroy, a 3-time CEO and former Fortune 500 chief marketing officer, explains why she bans office romance between coworkers. In short, largely comes down to one word — politics.


  1. A very interesting documentary breaking down how Norway’s wealth did not get plundered away, unlike many other countries blessed with natural resources (i.e. the land you are on currently). It is deeply rooted in its history, and power is decentralized instead of being concentrated in its society. Norway is so rich that its USD1.57 tril sovereign wealth fund, Norges, owns 1.5% of all the world’s list companies.

  1. Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the richest of them all monarchs?

  1. With 17.9 mil likes and counting since posting on 31 Jan, this video of a man driving with his dog and a puppy has some calming effect. Kuttiya, who is from Thailand, has gone viral through a series of videos of him and his dogs (yes, dogs behind wheels) driving. Have a good weekend ahead!

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