☕️ Opposition's failed coup d'état

Crimes: Malaysian druglord, zakat misappropriation, corruption. When taking rubbish bins out becomes a business opportunity. Another air incident - hole in the plane.


Bursa Malaysia is off to a good, active start to the year. Trading volume hit a 13-month high on Friday, not seen since 24 Nov 2022, with 6.62 bil shares exchanging hands worth RM3.74 bil. Over the last 12 months, trading volume averaged just 3.3 bil shares and RM2.08 bil daily. Any stock tips for us?

Information as of 0720 UTC+8 on Jan 8, 2024.


160,095 bank accounts and phone numbers are listed in the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department's (CCID) SemakMule System database. The system was developed to help the public check accounts and suspicious phone numbers — in other words, check for scammers. Since its development in 2018, the website has been visited 24 mil times! If you’re suspicious of someone, check the bank account or phone number here.

In November 2023, a Matsusaka wagyu beef cow was sold for over JPY30 mil (about RM965K) at the 72nd Matsusaka cattle show. The cow, weighing 676kg, was judged to have an excellently taut back as well as a fine, soft coat. That must be one heck of a cow priced at RM1,427 per kg!

A global survey by ManpowerGroup reveals that 77% of companies across 41 countries face challenges filling job vacancies, twice the number recorded in 2015. Polish industrial firms cite worker shortages as a significant obstacle to production, while Germany has seen reductions in public transport services due to a lack of bus and train drivers. In South Korea, the elderly are increasingly staying in the workforce to address shortages, with 59% of individuals aged 55 to 79 currently employed, up from 53% a decade ago.

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Another unsuccessful coup de’ état by PN
Opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin’s office has denied the alleged statement circulated via WhatsApp that the King had granted audience to 118 MPs backing Perikatan Nasional (PN), which will lead to another change in Government. Echoing Donald Trump’s words, Hamzah called the statement ‘fake news’. In the first place, the alleged ‘Dubai Move’ plot to topple the Government did not hold ground for two main reasons. As reiterated by UMNO supreme council member Lokman Adam, the first reason is the current king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, had issued a decree he wants PM Anwar Ibrahim as the last PM during his reign. Second, the soon-to-be-crowned King, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, had decreed that he would not grant any audience until the day the Johor ruler will be the new King of Malaysia. So, what’s PN's next move?

Is Malaysia having an illegal immigrant crisis?

  1. 31 illegal immigrants were detained during a raid on the weekend by the Immigration Department, focusing on the areas around the Pavilion shopping centre in Bukit Bintang, Suria KLCC, and the Saloma Bridge.

  2. Another raid conducted by the Immigration Department in Kuala Lumpur last Friday on three suspected prostitution hotspots led to the detention of 48 foreign women, where not all of them have valid travel documents or passes. The group were part of the syndicate that promotes pleasure women for hire by advertising their services on social media (Telegram and WhatsApp).

  3. Going from the central of Kuala Lumpur to other parts of the Klang Valley, the Immigration Department also conducted a raid at a recycling factory in Kampung Jalan Kebun, Shah Alam, that led to the arrest of 100 migrants, including four women. It was revealed that one of the Myanmar nationals detained, a 16-year-old named Soffian, was suspected to be a victim of exploitation.

  4. From Klang Valley, we now go to Gopeng, Perak, for another operation by the Immigration Department on both Saturday and Sunday, leading to the nabbing of 95 illegal immigrants.

    Read: What is the difference between an expat and an immigrant? Semantics

Before someone screams xenophobia to the above, there’s no issue with having foreign labour working in our country - they have played an important role in allowing our economy to function by taking up ‘3D’ (dirty, dangerous, difficult) jobs the locals shun. The bigger issue here is the illegal human trafficking and their exploitation.

Of alleged corruption and drug empire

  1. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has nabbed four individuals, including Kedah Football Association CEO Zulkifli Che Haron, in regard to the body’s investigation into the RM6 mil in kickbacks received in return to smoothen the implementation of several projects in Kedah. After 72 hours under the remand, all four individuals were released by MACC on bail. In responding to this matter, Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor claimed that the situation was an insidious plot against the four by certain groups that abused government agencies for political intention and personal satisfaction.

  2. In a joint Thai-Lao operation in Laos, a wanted Malaysian man was arrested where he was linked to the distribution of dangerous drugs in the Golden Triangle area, a mountainous region straddling Thailand, Myanmar and Laos with numerous impenetrable trafficking corridors, since 2006. Thailand assistant police chief Lt Gen Panurat Lakboon stated that the arrest of the Malaysian will reduce the distribution of drugs involving crystal meth, heroin and cocaine by as much as 70%. In the world of crimes, Malaysia seems to have drugs covered, financial crimes (i.e. Jho Low), and human trafficking probably as well — what next? Illegal weapons trading?

Misappropriating zakat a major betrayal of trust
Religious Affair Minister Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar warned zakat collectors not to siphon away monies collected from zakat payers. For your information, the zakat administration in Malaysia is placed under the power of the Majlis Agama Islam Negeri (MAIN) or state religious councils. However, in several states, the administration of zakat has been privatised and special zakat institutions have been established. This situation creates an avenue where corruption could happen in the absence of weak checks and balances.

Evidently, a married couple that was collecting zakat on behalf of the Perak Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MAIPk) was arrested by the authority in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday for allegedly misappropriating RM9.62 mil in zakat collected. The case will be investigated under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust.


  1. Capital A Bhd CEO Tony Fernandes announced that he intends to vacate his current role and transition into an advisory capacity within the next five years. In the future, he wanted to be based in the company’s corporate office in KL instead of at its aviation operations HQ in the outskirts of KL. His announcement may be timely as AirAsia Group, Capital A’s aviation arm, is showing green flags as AirlineRatings.com recently has named AirAsia Group, including medium-haul affiliates AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia X, as one of the safest low-cost carriers in the world for 2024.

  2. Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has instructed all Malaysian-based airlines and operators to conduct a one-time inspection on their Boeing 737 MAX for a rogue nut as listed in an advisory from the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing. Operators will be given until Jan 10 to conduct the inspection. CAAM CEO Norazman Mahmud said that the nut plays a significant role in ensuring the proper functioning of the rudder control system. More on Boeing 737 Max incident in global section below.

  3. Sarawak state utility firm Syarikat Sesco Bhd has slammed Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) subsidiary, Cahya Mata Phosphates Industries Sdn Bhd (CMPI) with a RM342.25 mil counterclaim in regards to the pair’s arbitration proceedings over a purchase power agreement (PPA) dispute. The dispute started when Sesco billed CMPI RM266 mil at the end of December last year. However, CMPI stated that its phosphate plant is not deemed to have commenced commercial operations yet, where the company claimed that they are voided of any payments according to the PPA.


Alaska Airlines plane’s fuselage blowout during midflight creating a gaping hole
There was no break for the airline industry as it faced another incident, though there were no casualties. A Boeing 737 Max 9 plane suffered a blowout as its door fell off midair, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing. Fortunately, no one was seated next to the cabin panel and all 174 passengers and six crew members landed safely, though some passengers suffered minor injuries.  No information has been provided yet on the possible cause of the incident. Watch here the POV of a passenger inside the plane.

Following this, the US Federal Aviation Administration has grounded all 171 Boeing Max 9 planes to undergo inspections before they can operate in the US. If the Boeing 737 Max jets bring back some dark memories, you are indeed right. This jet model was grounded for almost two years after a crash in Indonesia in Oct 2018 that killed 189 people, and five months later, in Ethiopia, that killed 157 people. 

When taking rubbish bins out becomes a business opportunity
Meet Can Monkey — the company that solves a simple problem, or the ‘last-mile’ of rubbish-throwing activity, by offering a service to take out the trash bins to the curb for pickup. As simple as it sounds, there seems to be a real demand for it. The company was founded in 2018 by Marc Zagoury in Scottsdale, Arizona, as he was fed up with bickering with his family over whose turn it was to take out the bins. 

Initially serving about 100 properties, their growth took off when they started serving Airbnb properties, where the logistics of clearing rubbish is a real pain point for property managers. Today, Can Monkey serves over 7,000 properties in 18 cities, with 80% of the homes being Airbnb or short-term rentals. For USD49 a month, the company guarantees to have the bins picked up and returned on time and in accordance with the local pickup schedule. That works out to about USD343k of revenue per month,  or USD4.12 mil a year - not massive, but the point is, they found a good niche. Even if it’s a niche, in a massive homogenous market like the US, a niche can be a big business. No mention of them raising funds, so from the outset, the business could be profitable without any capital becoming a victim of financial abuse.

Who knows, they might one day be an unicorn, or in this case, a 800-pound gorilla. By the way, Waste Managment, Inc. (the name speaks for itself) is the world’s 222nd most valuable company with a market cap of USD71.6 bil. 

Ukraine’s weapon - “I Want to Live” hotline
Ukraine has provided an avenue for Russian soldiers to preserve their lives by establishing the “I Want to Live” hotline to contact them to surrender. So far, more than 220 Russian soldiers have surrended through this channel, with about 1,000 requests for surrender pending. Since the project was launched, its website has been visited 48 mil times and has received more than 1.2 mil calls since opening. The hotline, operated by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine, allows the surrender of Russian soldiers and guarantees their detention abide by the Geneva Conventions

In Aug 2023, a Russian pilot defected to Ukraine along with a Mi-8 helicopter and was promised a reward of USD500,000.  A law passed by Ukraine in Apr 2022 offers up to USD1 mil to Russian military personnel for facilitating equipment transfers to Ukraine.  His high-profile surrender led to a 70% spike in calls to the hotline in one day. Another big win for the project happened in October when a Russian lieutenant and 12 men he led defected, providing vital intelligence. The Ukrainian military reports a growing trend of Russian soldiers surrendering en-masse, citing “inhumane” and “lying” commanders. Video evidence supporting these claims has surfaced. It was also reported that Russian forces are killing their own injured soldiers with drones to prevent them from surrendering

RIP the footballer “as important as Pele”
A lesser-known Brazilian football legend, Mario Zagallo, passed away at 92. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has declared three days of national mourning for the four-time World Cup-winning football legend. Zagallo played alongside Pele in Brazil’s 1958 and 1962 World Cup-winning campaign and later won it as a coach in 1970 in the winning side starring Pele as well. The only other two men to win the World Cup as both player and coach were Franz Beckenbauer of Germany (1974 and 1990) and Didier Deschamps of France (1998 and 2018). Brazil lost Pele just over a year ago. 


  1. Miracle 90-year-old Japan earthquake survivor 
    A woman in her 90s was pulled out alive from a collapsed house in Japan. She had survived for more than five days after the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck western Japan. Chances for survival drop sharply after the first 72 hours. 126 people were reported dead, with 200 more remaining unaccounted for. Satellite imagery here showed the earthquake extended the coastline by as much as 250 meters and raised land around the coast by as much as 4 meters. 

  2. Genting Singapore eyes casino license in Thailand
    According to Maybank Investment Bank Research, Genting SG would likely bid for a casino and integrated resort license in Thailand through a joint venture, should the Thai government open up the industry, based on its past endeavours in Jeju, South Korea, and Yokohama, Japan. The investment bank expects Genting SG revenue to reach USD2.0 bil in 2024, with EBITDA of USD941 mil. Genting Singapore, which owns Resorts World Sentosa, is 52.6% owned by Bursa-listed Genting Bhd.

    Genting Bhd Corporate Structure | Source: 2022 Annual Report Pg. 26


  1. Tesla did its own version of wrapped.

  1. If you miss the feel of a keypad, or more specifically, the Blackberry keypad, Clicks Technology unveiled its keyboard for iPhones for you to relive the good old days. The price of nostalgia — USD139 (RM647).-

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