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☕️ Malaysia - more like ‘Wawasan Jenayah’ instead of ‘Wawasan 2020’

Prisons Dept. DG: No special treatment for Najib. Huawei 2x profit, highest in 5 years despite US sanctions. China headed for 100-year storm - billionaire Ray Dalio.

Hello Q2 2024! Still not too late to chase after your goals and plans for the year! Don’t give up!

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


A staggering 90,000 tonnes of food was discarded during last year’s fasting month, according to the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP). CAP President Mohideen Abdul Kader has stated that studies have revealed a 15-20% increase in waste generation during Ramadan as compared to other months. He has also urged Muslims to avoid breaking their fast at hotels and instead, encouraged them to do so at home or at mosques with their family and friends. Probably 90,000 tonnes, if there’s a way to place a dollar value on it, would be a more impactful figure. Meanwhile, halfway across the world, tens of millions of people are facing starvation - more below under global news.

Since it was introduced in 2018, anonymous donors have contributed over USD1.9 bil to political parties through electoral bonds in India. Electoral bonds, which are bought only from the State Bank of India, allow for political donations to be done anonymously. According to a non-governmental organisation called the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), between 2018 and March 2022, 57% of donations via electoral bonds (about USD600 mil) went to Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Modi’s government was the one who had introduced the electoral bond system back in 2018. As India prepares for more than 900 mil voters to elect a new government between March and May, these funds have enabled the BJP to become a dominant electoral machine. However, India’s Supreme Court had in February banned electoral bonds, potentially stopping the might of BJP.

Scientists have recently unveiled an almost perfectly preserved fossil of an aquatic reptile. This creature is believed to have lived 240 mil years ago during the Triassic period and is remarkable for its 16ft (5m) long body and an incredibly long neck, which has earned it the nickname “dragon.” The species is called Dinocephalosaurus orientalis and was first discovered in 2003. The fossil was found in ancient limestone deposits located in southern China.


KK Mart - the inconvenience saga that should have ended ages ago
Although it is April Fools' Day this KK Mart ‘prank’ has gone too far, too long. Pahang Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah expressed his disappointment over the second Molotov cocktail attack towards a KK Mart branch in Sungai Isap, Kuantan, last Saturday. The former Yang di-Pertuan Agong has called for the public not to be easily influenced by racial narratives, especially during the blessed month of Ramadhan.

The key player in this whole saga and the person who milked the most out of this crisis for his own benefit, UMNO Youth Chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh, condemned the attack and has called out for investigations to be conducted to identify the individual(s) behind the attack so that the strongest punishment can be sentenced to them. The mafia-style Molotov cocktail attack in Kuantan was the second such incident after a similar one that happened in Bidor, Perak, last Tuesday. Even so, Dr Muhamad Akmal still insists that the boycott towards KK Mart should continue.

Dr Muhamad Akmal may be alone in his fight against KK Mart as even our sole Islamist party, PAS, is not involved in the move to boycott the convenience store chain, according to PAS ulama wing leader Ahmad Yahaya. Quoting him, ‘The PAS leadership is only asking for strict action to be taken against those responsible. If there is action, I'm sure this issue and the story of the boycott will subside’. Even the conservative PAS is moderate on this issue, so it speaks volumes about UMNO man Dr Muhamad Akmal’s intentions.

One Easter egg in this whole KK Mart saga is seeing how Malaysians united in condemning a 22-second video clip that has been taken down depicting a man damaging food items in a convenience store. On Facebook, user Guy Laroche said: ‘If you want to boycott, then do it. But not to the extent of damaging the store’s goods. That’s haram (forbidden by religion) and sinful. Islam never taught this.’

Malaysia - more like ‘Wawasan Jenayah’ instead of ‘Wawasan 2020’

  1. Up to RM2 bil leakage in tax collection — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealed that via its Ops Samba 2.0, RM2 bil leakage in tax collection has been identified for the past three years. Ops Samba 2.0 is an operation to combat the corrupt activities of enforcement agency officers who protect smuggling activities at locations such as  Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Cargo in Sepang Cargo. Thus far, 34 law enforcement personnel and 27 individuals and company owners have been arrested, where the former have allegedly received more than RM4.7 mil in bribes to facilitate the smuggling of chewing tobacco, cigarettes, alcohol, health products and vehicle spare parts. For RM4.7 mil bribes taken, the damage to the nation is 425x — real traitors to the nation.

  2. Israeli hitman in Malaysia — The police have arrested an Israeli hitman, Shalom Avitan, who intends to assassinate the head of a rival Israeli crime family. The name in the one-man kill list, Eran Haya, was allegedly responsible for the grenade attack at Avitan’s home in Israel in the middle of last month and Haya has been in the country since then. Police also added that Avitan had entered Malaysia using a French passport and allegedly obtained his weaponry (six firearms and 200 bullets) from a local couple. 100% John Wick vibes.

  3. Five armed robbers shot dead — A quiet Saturday midnight in Putra Heights was temporarily interrupted when a shoot-out with the police led to the death of five individuals. The five armed robbers, who were suspected in the process of robbing another premise in the area, were asked to stop their vehicle by the police. The robbers ignored the order and opened fire at the police. The 5-star GTA-like situation led to the robbers being exterminated by the police. Watch the shoot-out here (warning - disturbing).

Brunei company want to build a high-speed rail across Borneo
While Semenanjung Malaysia is starting to get exhausted and frustrated about whether the KL-Singapore high-speed rail will materialise or not, a Brunei company, Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd, has proposed an RM330 bil, 1,620-kilometer high-speed rail network in Borneo to shorten travel between Kalimantan, Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei. The company hinted via its website that the high-speed rail network will host four terminals and 24 stations across the Borneo island, with the Brunei district Tutong as its central hub.

However, both Sabah and Sarawak state governments have not been officially informed of the proposed project and are only aware of such a proposal from media reports. Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister III Shahelmey Yahya said that this is not the first time a trans-Borneo rail network has been mooted, as there have been a few proposals from various parties, including China and India, but they are still at an early stage.


  1. Those that do not update on PADU will still have their basic data automatically registered — Chief Statistician Uzir Mahidin revealed that to those that do not update their information on the central database hub (PADU), PADU will still auto-sync their basic information. As of last Saturday, about 10.6 mil Malaysians have updated their data with PADU, comprising about 48.3% of Malaysians above the age of 18.

  2. No more fuel subsidy? — MIDF Research is expecting Putrajaya to introduce a managed floating mechanism for RON95 petrol priced between RM2.10 and RM2.40 per litre soon. In replacement of the blanket fuel subsidy, the research house also predicts that the Government will provide cash assistance to eligible individuals based on the data collected by PADU.

  3. No special treatment for Najib — The Prisons Department director-general Nordin Muhammad reiterated that Najib Razak did not get any special treatment at the Kajang prison. The Prisons DG was responding to the claims being brought forward by Wan Ji Wan Hussin, who was recently released from the prison.

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Major humanitarian crisis brewing in Sudan
Not too far away from Gaza about 2,000 km, Sudan (view on map here) is facing a similar humanitarian crisis but at way larger scale, a year into the start of a civil war. Since mid-April last year, a rivalry between army chief Abdel Fatah al-Burhan and the paramilitary head of  Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohamad Hamdan “Hemediti” Dagalo broke into open conflict. Destruction and lower agricultural output have sent food prices soaring and rare to find. The conflict has also restricted the regular movement of food and aid convoys, where nearly 25 mil Sudanese, or half of its population, rely on such aid. About 8 mil people were also displaced and forced to flee their homes. 

To put food on the table, parents are forced to skip meals for their children, selling their last possessions, begging for money and diverting money from medicine to food. There were also reports of women forced to exchange sex for food or become mistresses to RSF fighters to ensure their families’ safety and access to food. An activist found that survival sex has emerged as a “common trend”. Sudan’s two-month near-shutdown of its communication network has made connectivity a rare commodity, where in some areas, people have to pay up to 4,000 Sudanese pounds (RM31.50) to connect for 10 mins. 

Huawei’s continued growth despite US sanctions
China’s Huawei Technologies announced on Friday its net profit more than doubled in 2023, with revenue increasing across all business segments. Its net profit (excluding a one-off gain in 2021) in 2023 also was the highest in the past five years. The numbers provide a strong sign that the company is able to thrive and withstand the sanctions imposed on it by the US in 2019. Some highlights:

  1. For the full year 2023, revenue grew 9.6% year-on-year (yoy) to RMB704.2 bil (USD99.18 bil).

  2. Annual net profit grew 144.5% yoy to RMB87 bil (USD12.3 bil).

  3. Huawei spent a record high RMB164.7 bil (USD23.2 bil) on research & development, or about 23.4% of its total revenue. 

  4. Its HarmonyOS operating system is now installed on more than 800 mil devices across all platforms, up from 330 mil devices yoy. HarmonyOS is Huawei’s answer to Google’s Android OS following Washington’s ban on its access to American technologies. For comparison, Android OS is the biggest OS globally, with around 3.9 bil active smartphones running it.

  5. Huawei’s resurgence in the consumer tech space is due to the launch of its flagship Mate 60 Pro series phone last year. The smartphones caught the US by surprise as Huawei was able to use advanced 7-nanometer chip technology despite US export control that restricted Huawei’s access to top global chipmakers. 94% of Huawei’s smartphone shipments remained in China in 2023. Huawei is chipping away Apple’s market share of the high-end smartphone market

View Huawei’s 2023 Annual Report here.

Still on China tech news, Alibaba’s online shopping platform Taobao is taking its logistics solution to speed up delivery to an astronomical level — literally. Taobao is working with Chinese rocket maker Space Epoch to make reusable rockets for express deliveries that could arrive globally in an hour. The project is in an early stage trials and aims to carry up to 10 tonnes of cargo.

Scientists creating solutions to grow crops using saltwater
Climate change is wreaking havoc on the global food supply chain by changing water patterns and making soil saltier. Salt is naturally present in soil, but a warming climate speeds up evaporation in soil and concentrates the salt within it. Too much salt can make it harder for plants to absorb water and nutrients, stunting growth and reducing crop yields. 

Salicorp, an Israeli agri-tech startup, is developing its seed enhancement technology for tomatoes, alfalfa, onions and rice to create an army of resilient crops that can grow under the stress of a changing world. The company has successfully tested growing tomatoes in Spain, one of the many places in the world with a serious salinisation issue. Participating tomato farmers have seen a 10%-17% increase in crop yields, generating an extra USD1,600 per hectare. 

The good news about Salicorp’s solution is it’s non-GMO. Plants that are stressed have environmental stress-inducible genes that act as a defence mechanism. Salicorp harnesses these defence mechanisms early in the growth cycle, such as watering the crops with salt water in the lab and when they are planted in salty soil, the crops will be less sensitive to the salty conditions — further explanation by the company here.
Learn: What is Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)


  1. Thailand lawmakers approve bill to legalise same-sex marriage
    Lawmakers in Thailand’s lower house of Parliament overwhelmingly approved (400 for, 10 against, 5 abstained) a bill to legalise same-sex marriage, paving the way for the country in Southeast Asia to legalise equal rights for marriage partners of any gender and third in Asia, after Taiwan and Nepal. The bill now awaits Senate approval and is expected to face challenges once it reaches the Constitutional Court, which has not been very accepting of LGBTQ rights in the past.

  2. Why US warn its rival Russia over an impending terrorist attack?
    Before the Mar 22 Crocus Hall attack in Russia that saw terrorists killing more than 137 people, the US issued a warning to Russia on an impending attack. Why help an enemy? The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) practices a “duty to warn” protocol to alert US and non-US entities of an impending threat upon credible verification. Now, this is not done out of kindness, apart from wanting to save lives. Through this practice, it’s a way to signal to foreign intelligence officers from an adversarial country that if they jump side, they would be protected. An interesting thread below by a former CIA agent. 

  1. China headed for ‘100-year storm’, according to Ray Dalio
    Ray Dalio, the hedge fund billionaire who has researched and written a book on the rise and fall of past major civilisations wrote in a Linkedin post the 5 major forces that China has to face as it has been building up over the past 4 decades: 1) debt problem, 2) growing internal wealth gap, 3) power conflict (China vs US), 4) technology war (also China vs US) and 5) climate crisis.


  1. A very touching Raya ad based on a true story - read here what happened. Warning - a potential tear-jerking moment in public. Nice one RHB! #FaithInHumanityRestored

  1. Lopburi, a tourist town in Thailand, has a gang problem but of a different kind - monkey gangs. A video that has gone viral saw 2 monkey gangs charging at each other fiercely on the streets.