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  • ☕️ Law enforcers misbehaving? Easily report them online through newly launched SPAPS

☕️ Law enforcers misbehaving? Easily report them online through newly launched SPAPS

Carsome - the healthy or unhealthy unicorn? Subway to open 20,000 new outlets in China over 20 years. Which casino games have the best odds of winning?



24 public-listed companies (PLC) in Malaysia still have not appointed at least one woman director, missing the 1 June 2023 deadline to comply set by Bursa Malaysia. In other words, in these modern times, these 24 companies (see the list here)still have all-male board members. This requirement was announced on 31 Dec 2021 - they had 18 months to make the necessary changes. Bursa Malaysia said it will take appropriate regulatory actions against these non-compliant PLCs. The average percentage of women directors currently stands at approximately 22% as of 1 May 2023. On the same theme, Johor has appointed the state’s first Fire and Rescue Department’s first female director and the second woman in the country ever to be appointed to this role in the department. Women officers only make up 4% compared to males in the department.

900 out of 1,757 buses under Rapid Bus, a subsidiary of Prasarana Group, are actively operating, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke. The low utilisation is due to 45% of the fleet being over 10 years old and requiring repair and maintenance. Rapid Bus will undergo the “Fleet Replacement and Electrification Programme” beginning in 2024 to replace older and more breakdown-prone buses with electric and new diesel buses — the capex is not mentioned.

USD999.31 mil — the amount Blackjack players lost to casinos on the Las Vegas Strip in 2022, the second-highest on record, after 2007, according to data from casino regulator Nevada Gaming Control Board. Some changes made favouring the house: changing payout ratio from 3:2 (betting USD10 wins USD15) to 6:5 (betting USD10 wins USD12 only) when a player hits 21 on the first two cards, and raising minimum bets from USD15 to USD25 and USD50 during busy nights.

Check out the data here published monthly — provides quite a detailed breakdown of the games’ winning rates (in favour of the casinos, so you will know which games to avoid, probabilistically speaking) and the amount won by the casinos. In 2022, casinos made the lion's share or 51% of their table gambling revenue (ex-slot machines) from just 2 games — Blackjack and baccarat. Will Genting Highlands casinos show such transparency?


The ‘Allah’ Saga - what’s next?Following PM Anwar’s audience with Selangor Sultan Shahrafuddin Idris Shah, the Sultan released a statement urging all parties not to further discuss or politicise the ‘Allah’ use issue and said the Conference of Rulers will make the final and decisive ruling on the matter. Sultan Shahrafuddin, who is the chairman of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI), has proposed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to bring this matter first to MKI for discussion in August in line with MKI’s responsibility of advising Malay Rulers on the administration of Islamic affairs at the Federal level. The matter will be discussed by the Conference of Rulers in October. 

On preserving law enforcement integrity and anti-stalking law

  • The public can now easily lodge complaints against errant enforcement agencies and officers through the new online Complaint Resolution and Investigation Handling System (SPAPS) developed by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC). Some police officers trying to be funny? Report them here. In 2022, 704 complaints were received and 302 complaints have been recorded so far until 31 May. Apart from the police, the EAIC also oversees 20 other departments, including the Immigration Department, Environment Department, Road Transport Department, and the Malaysian Civil Aviation Authority. 

  • After years of listening to stalking scare stories, stalking, be it online or physically, is now officially a crime under the Panel Code and Criminal Procedure Code. If found guilty, one can face a penalty of a prison term of up to 3 years, a fine, or both. A survey in 2020 by the Women’s Aid Org (WAO), “Understanding Malaysians’ Experience of Stalking”, found that 88% of participants have experienced an act associated with stalking

Singaporean comedian crossed the line with missing MH370 joke}Jocelyn Chia, performing at a comedy club in the US, drew flak for crossing the lines in her act when she made MH370 jokes. Initially mocking Malaysia for being a developing country vs Singapore, she doubled down on her joke - playing two characters, a question about why one did not visit Singapore, the other replied that “airplanes can’t fly” and received a response and escalated to - “What, Malaysia Airlines going missing is not funny, huh?” and added “Some jokes don’t land” in an apparent reference to Flight MH370. TW: watch the clip here.

Carsome, what’s happening?Automotive site DSF.my did some analysis on Carsome, Malaysia’s first unicorn and found that the unicorn isn’t that healthy and is burning through lots of cash. Carsome has raised a total of USD607.4 mil (RM2.8 bil) according to Crunchbase, with USD290 mil (RM1.34 bil) alone raised in Jan 2022, valuing it at USD1.7 bil (RM7.83 bil). 

In 2021, Carsome reported revenue of USD655.9 mil (RM3.02 bil) and a gross profit of USD35.9 mil (RM165.4 mil) — a meagre gross margin of 5.5%, not enough to cover operating costs resulting in a net loss of USD138 mil (RM635.8 mil). In an interview with BFM just in Apr 2023, Its CEO and co-founder Eric Cheng said its revenue surged to USD1.5 bil in 2022 (RM6.91 bil), though he did not mention which direction losses were heading towards. He added that the company is “much closer to breakeven level”. In the tech startup world, the definition of profitability and breakeven got to be taken with a handful of salt.

An interesting bit — remember the Eric Cantona campaign in  2022 by Carsome? If you are curious about how much it cost Carsome, you can find the estimation derived based on publicly available information in the analysis. Hint — a lot of Apple Vision Pro can be bought with that kind of money. 


  1. National oil company Petronas reported a net profit of RM23.8 bil, almost flat on the back of a 16% rise in revenue to RM90.4 bil in its Q1 ended 31 Mar 2023. On a separate matter, its CEO and President Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz said he is optimistic that his contract, which will expire this month end, is likely to be renewed. The decision to renew is at the discretion of PM Anwar. Taufik was appointed in June 2020 by then PM Muhyiddin to replace Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, who was appointed to be the new Malaysian Airlines Bhd chairman. 

  2. The nation’s largest chain of golf speciality retailer MST Golf Group Bhd has signed an underwriting agreement with RHB Investment Bank pursuant to its IPO on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia. The company expects to launch its prospectus by the end of June. The company operates 42 retail stores — 35 in Malaysia and 7 in Singapore and plans to expand across Southeast Asia with IPO supporting its growth. Its revenue grew 8.3% on average per annum from 2019 to 2021, though no figures were shared. Read: Requirements to list on Main Market, ACE Market, and LEAP Market

  3. To Edelteq Holdings Bhd shareholders, congrats on your IPO! Its share price popped 212.5% on its maiden trading day to 75 sen from its IPO price of 24 sen. The share price closed at 73 sen, giving it a market cap of RM388 mil.


Agent 008 China: Secret police stations and spying technologyThe UK government has ordered China to shut down any secret police stations operating on British soil, with Security Minister Tom Tugendhat stating that any intimidation of foreign nationals on British soil was unacceptable. The British government are aware of 100 such stations around the world. The Chinese Embassy responded that all such stations have closed permanently.

This also comes after US federal agents arrested two people for allegedly running a secret Chinese police station in Manhattan in April. The Chinese government firmly opposes these “US slanders and smears”, saying that these are centres outside China run by local volunteers, not police officers, that help Chinese citizens renew documents, among other services. Apparently, this has been long in the making, according to this report.

Meanwhile, TikTok owner ByteDance now faces a lawsuit accusing it of allowing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members to access the data of Hong Kong civil rights activists and protesters, with users who uploaded “protest-related content” also identified and monitored. The suit, filed by former ByteDance executive Yintao Yu, also alleged that the CCP members could access US TikTok user data, as the CCP was provided with a “god credential” to access all of this.

DBS has too much deposits, so it lends it to its own banker, MASSingapore bank DBS is so flushed with deposits that it has lent the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) SGD30 bil, as the bank is “not finding enough opportunities to put the money to work”. Southeast Asia’s largest bank has SGD529 bil in deposits as of Mar 2023, surpassing total loans of SGD417 bil.

This is a general sentiment among Singaporean banks, which have a surplus in liquidity but have few options to utilise the funds in a lukewarm lending environment. The surplus in funds comes as wealth-holders in Asia move funds to what they regard as a safe haven. Japanese banks are sitting on trillions of dollars as well, with Indian banks instead trying to keep up with a ten-year-high in demand for loans by pulling in any deposits they can.

PGA Tour announces shocking merger with rival LIV Golf, ending two-year-long dramaLIV Golf was formed to challenge PGA Tour. Now, the rivalry has come to an end. The PGA Tour has announced a surprise merger to form a commercial entity with Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf. This also puts an end to any litigation between the legacy tours, putting an end to the drama overhanging the sport for the past two years. LIV’s backer, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has already invested at least USD3 bil in LIV Golf, will be making a capital investment into the entity as part of the agreement. This is the same backer that allowed LIV to make massive guaranteed offers to star players and offer record tournament prize pools, mind you, which led to PGA and DP World players being suspended for playing in LIV events.


  1. Subway to open nearly 4,000 branches in China over 20 years – The sandwich business inked a deal with Shanghai Fu-Rui-Shi Corporate Development Co Ltd as the master franchisee for this expansion, 7x its current footprint. This marks the biggest deal in Subway’s history and comes as the company is going through a turnaround plan for its US business, where thousands of US locations are being closed due to overexpansion. 

  2. OpenAI to stay private, says CEO – ChatGPT creator OpenAI has no plans to go public in the near future, with CEO Sam Altman wanting to maintain full control over the startup’s AI technology as it becomes more powerful. This is due to the possibility of making decisions that “public market investors would view very strangely”. This comes as Altman is in the middle of a world tour urging lawmakers and officials to set up rules to govern AI technologies.

  3. Benzema to head to Saudi, Messi to head to the US - former Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is joining Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad football club on a 3-year deal. He will be playing against former teammate Ronaldo soon. As for PSG’s Lionel Messi, he is set to join Inter Miami, rejecting a more lucrative offer from Saudi’s Al-Hilal. Some reasons for this rejection: he prefers the lifestyle in the US and deals with big brands that extend beyond football, as Miami deal includes collaboration with brands like Adidas and Apple.


  1. Bak Kut Teh, of all things, became a topic of debate in Parliament yesterday. Watch the exchange here. The opposition has lots to say when it comes to bak kut teh and DAP, but when asked to debate on the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report, silent and absent, they suddenly became.

  1. Machu Pikachu, Viagra Falls, Eiffel Shower, The Great Ball of China — what happens when you misspell your prompt when using Generative AI.