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☕️ MAS parent MAG on track to achieve 1st full-year net profit since 2014

MY's fertility rate drops to its lowest in 50 years in 2022. Putrajaya revisits KL-SG HSR - examining new implementation model. Israel’s atrocity continues - bombs Gaza’s largest refugee camp.


The most powerful man in the world may just be the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell. Markets went up after Powell hinted that the US central bank may now be finished with the most aggressive tightening cycle in four decades, as interest rates were not raised during the policy meeting on Wednesday. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left its benchmark rate unchanged in the range of 5.25% to 5.5%.


The fertility rate in Malaysia dropped to its lowest in 50 years in 2022 — 1.6 children per woman aged 15 to 49, compared to 4.9 in 1970. It’s a worrying statistic as it is below the replacement level of 2.1 children. The number of live births totalled 423,124, a decrease of 3.8% compared to 2021. Chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin revealed that more male newborns were recorded than females in 2022, with 218,345 and 204,779, respectively.

2.69 mil Scoville Heat Units — the heat of Pepper X, making it the spiciest chilli pepper in the world crowned by Guinness World Records, dethroning the Carolina Reaper chilli pepper after 10 years. The heat level is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). A habanero pepper typically hits 100,000 SHU. Breeder and grower Ed Currie created both record-breaking peppers. It took a decade for Currie to cultivate Pepper X. You can watch three chilli connoisseurs take a go at Pepper X at the end of the newsletter.

USD20 bil (in today’s prices) — the money-making machine of the James Bond franchise. Ian Fleming’s 14 James Bond books have sold over 100 mil copies. The first Bond movie was “Dr. No” in 1962 (Sean Connery), launching what would become the longest-running and one of the most valuable film franchises of all time.

Food for thought - if James Bond is the world’s most famous spy, wouldn’t that make him the world’s worst spy?


Covid-19 vaccine, ventilators sh*tshow continues

The Defence Minister told servicemen to be ready for everythingDefence Minister Mohamad Hasan told the members of the Malaysian armed forces to stay vigilant during their posting in South Lebanon as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in that region. At this moment, the situation in the region is quite tense due to the ongoing Gaza onslaught and skirmishes in the Golan Heights area bordering Israel and Lebanon.

However, Mohamad urged the Malaysian peacekeeping forces stationed there to remain professional and follow the rules at all times. The new batch of the Malaysia peacekeeping force, dubbed Malbatt 850-11, consists of 854 Malaysian armed forces officers and personnel, 30 Brunei armed forces members, and a civilian staff from the Defence Ministry, will replace Malbatt 850-10 that already served in the region for the past year.

On the logistics front, Tony Fernandes makes an appearance — AirAsia Bhd has been awarded an RM29.7 mil contract by MINDEF to perform passenger charter and ancillary services (e.g. accommodation, cargo) in relation to the deployment of Malaysian Battalion 850 UNIFIL to Beirut, Lebanon. AAB will operate 12 return charter flights, 4 times a year (RM2.48 mil per round trip) for a period of 3 years. AAB, however, wouldn’t be performing this service. It will instead sub it out to related company AirAsia X Bhd and take a 3% commission of RM891,108. Why not MINDEF go straight to AAX and save taxpayers RM891k? The contract was won through a tender process and participants must possess a valid registered account with the Ministry of Finance, which AAX does not have.

Of trains and airports



Israel’s atrocity continues - bombs Gaza’s largest refugee campIsrael’s air strikes targeted Gaza’s largest refugee camp, Jabalia, for the second time in 2 days, killing more than 50 people. According to the UN, the densely populated camp covers an area of 1.4 sq km, with some 116,000 registered refugees in the camp. Israel’s military said that it struck a Hamas command-and-control complex, killing a top Hamas commander and blamed Hamas for building its infrastructure “around and within civilians buildings, intentionally endangering Gazan civilians”. After the total blockade of Gaza by Israel, this air strike could add to the list of potential war crimes committed by Israel.

It took more than three weeks after the conflict erupted for US President Joe Biden to call for a pause. In his words - “I think we need a pause”. “Think” isn’t sufficient anymore at this stage to save the lives of innocent civilians.

The Prancing Horse’s profits keep zooming upSupercar maker Ferrari reported its third-quarter results yesterday. Despite the economic gloom and doom, there’s no shortage of demand from the uber-rich to get their hands on Ferraris. Some highlights of Ferrari’s Q3 results:

  • Revenue increased 24% year-on-year (yoy) to EUR1.54 bil 

  • Net profit shot up 46% yoy EUR332 mil, translating to a (fat) net margin of 21.6%

  • Ferrari shipped 3,459 vehicles in Q3, up 9% yoy. For the 9 months ended Sep 30, Ferrari has shipped 10,418 vehicles, up 5% yoy.

  • Ferrari’s 4 hybrid models accounted for 51% of total shipments in this period.

  • Ferrari is on track to launch its first fully electric vehicle in Q4 of 2025.

You can own a piece of Ferrari - it’s listed on Borsa Italiana in Italy, with a market cap of EUR58.8 bil. Read Ferrari’s Q3 report here.



  1. Putin’s way of gauging popularity — not through polling, but by faking his death and spreading rumours about it. The fake news of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s death was circulating last week. Ukrainian intelligence dismissed the rumours as a tactic the Kremlin is using to gauge Russian reactions - to look at how society - individuals, elite, media, Putin’s allies- would react to his death.  

  2. Japan’s cabinet has approved a JPY17 tril (USD113 bil) stimulus package to cushion the economic blow from inflation. This spending will include temporary cuts to income and residential taxes as well as subsidies to curb gasoline and utility bills. This is expected to boost Japan’s GDP by an average of 1.2% over the next three years. Where’s the money coming from to fund this? What else - borrowing. Japan’s public debt is already more than twice its economy (>250%), the biggest among major economies.

Weekend read: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our LivesOne mindset limits and the other expands. The terms — fixed mindset and growth mindset — were first made popular by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck through her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. The beliefs we carry about ourselves through either one of these mindsets greatly impact our professional and personal lives and, ultimately, our capacity for happiness (a life well lived). This is especially an important framework when it comes to parenting, too.


  1. If you could travel back in time to 1950 and with USD100,000 to invest, definitely save this image in your head (you can’t be seen using a cellular phone in 1950, no 5G anyway).

  2. The legends take on the spiciest pepper in the world.Signing out for the weekend! Hopefully, you will have an awesome waiter (if Michael Jackson was a waiter) serving you during your weekend dining!