☕️ Of paedophilia and defamation

PMX: Chicken, egg, cooking oil reduced, stabilised under new govt. compared to previous govt. The Socks Saga: molotov cocktail #3 in Kuching. McKinsey pays senior workers 9 months salary, career coaching for them to seek new job.


Information as of 0720 UTC+8 on Apr 2, 2024.


Happy 20th birthday Gmail! Google launched its email service on 1 Apr 2004 and many back then didn’t take it seriously given the launch date.

The hottest investment theme for venture capital in 2023 goes to generative AI. A record USD29.1 bil was invested across 691 gen AI deals last year (an average ticket size of USD42.1 mil), an increase of 268.4% increase in deal value compared to 2022, according to PitchBook. In the US, although startup funding fell 30%, AI startups attracted one out of every 3 dollars invested in the US last year. Most of the focus amongst investors has been on large language models, including the likes of OpenAI and Anthropic. Attention is now seen shifting towards vertical AI, where AI applications are built and tailored to specific industries.

~4% - the average compound growth rate of the Malaysian capital markets between 2013 and 2023. This is less than half the growth rate of close to 11% recorded between 2000 to 2012. The capital market has two segments - the bond (debt) and equity (share) markets. In general, the bond market will always be bigger than equity. Malaysia’s bond market has been growing steadily, doubling in the last 10 years to RM2 tril. As for the equity market, it went nowhere. It was RM1.7 tril in 2013, and as of the latest Securities Commission’s latest annual report, it’s still RM1.7 tril. It's no surprise that retail investors found Bursa to be a boring market, apart from the glove mania. As for the US, the S&P500 index has more than tripled over the last 10 years, from USD14.5 tril in 2013 to USD45 tril now.

The ticking time bomb in the federal government’s budget - pension costs. RM116.7 bil was paid out to pensioners over the last four years, according to Minister in the PM’s Department, Dr Zaliha Mustafa. The pension payments covered retired civil servants, MPs, administrative personnel, political secretaries and judges. In 2023 alone, RM32.01 bil was paid out to 902,999 pensioners. This cost is expected to hit RM46.36 bil in 2030 and RM120 bil by 2040. For some perspective, the Education Ministry received the highest allocation in Budget 2024, amounting to RM58.7 bil and the Health Ministry is allocated RM41.2 bil this year.
View infographic: Budget 2024 revenue and expenditure breakdown


Cheaper essentials under Madani government
PM Anwar wants you to know that essential grocery items got cheaper under the Madani government. He highlighted that the prices of essential goods such as chicken, eggs, and cooking oil have reduced and stabilised under his administration compared to the previous government. The price of chicken went from RM13 per kg to RM9-RM9.50 per kg; cooking oil from RM45-RM50 for 5kg to around RM27; alongside a stable supply of chicken eggs. Remember when chicken eggs were low in supply a few months ago?

Regarding the targeted subsidies, the Madani government aims to ensure that 80-85% of Malaysians enjoy the benefits of targeted subsidies. They also aim to prevent the wealthy and the estimated 3.5 mil foreigners from reaping the same benefits. Similar measures are being implemented with electricity tariffs, where the increase only affects 15% of the population who are of high income, companies and factories. It’s high time we move away from blanket subsidies.

Major renewable energy push, Energy Commission launches bid for LSS5
The Ministry of Energy Transition and Water Transformation in Malaysia launched the fifth round of the Large Scale Solar programme (LSS5), targeting 2,000MW of solar generation capacity. The bidding process is now open, with the Energy Commission (EC) offering four packages that cater to different capacities and ownership criteria. These range from 1MW to 500MW for both rooftop and ground solar power plants, as well as floating solar power plants. Specific packages are reserved for Bumiputera firms or those with at least 51% Bumiputera or domestic ownership. The projects developed under LSS5 are expected to become operational in 2026. The bidding process involves the purchase and submission of a request for proposal (RFP) document through the EC’s website, with a deadline set for 25th July 2024.

Alleged paedophilia case at MRSM Tumpat – defamation claims follows
An ex-student of MRSM Tumpat came forward on X that one of the teachers is allegedly a paedophile and engaged in predatory behaviour towards the female students at the school. Following her claims, Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, MARA chairman, instructed a thorough investigation and suspended the teacher until the case is concluded. She was consequently sued for RM3 mil in defamation damages after the teacher lodged a report against her. She now seeks a pro bono lawyer for legal aid to handle the defamation suit. The police stated that several witnesses, including a student and a teacher were called to help in the investigations. Kelantan police chief Zaki Harun said they received a report from a student who is also allegedly a victim.

A Twitter user posted a few things to note legally when exposing someone harmful online.


  1. Tengku Zafrul steps down as Selangor UMNO treasurer
    Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) Tengku Zafrul has resigned as Selangor UMNO treasurer, effective immediately. He cited concerns over the execution of plans at the state level, which he believes have been lacklustre and seldom aligned with the central leadership’s directives. Despite witnessing the central leadership’s effort to rejuvenate the party, Zafrul feels unable to effect positive change within the Selangor state leadership, thus opting to step down to make way for potentially more effective contributors.

  2. OKU to get free rides on Penang Ferry from April 8 onwards
    Persons with disabilities (OKU) will receive unlimited, free Penang Ferry service from April 8. Pre-registration is required with their MyKad and OKU cards issued by the Social Welfare Department. Currently, the free for OKU is RM1 for pedestrians, RM2 for cyclists and RM2.50 for motorcyclists. Kudos, Penang. But also do ensure that OKU facilities are in place and functioning to allow for accessibility — let’s hope it’s not some setengah masak effort for the underserved communities.

  3. Ex-Sabah Muda Chairman jumps ship to DAP

    Amos Thien Tze Tin, former Sabah Muda Chairman relinquished his Muda membership last October after working with DAP’s Luyang Assemblyman Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe and Sandakan MP Vivian Wong. He subsequently submitted his membership application to DAP recently in March. Faezrah Rizalman currently holds the Sabah Muda chairmanship. Amos said it took him a year to decide joining DAP.

  4. The Socks Saga ensues; more Molotov cocktail attacks

    For the third time since the issue began, another KK Super Mart outlet was attacked with a Molotov cocktail. The KK Super Mart in Kuching was attacked on Sunday, as confirmed by the Kuching OCPD. A molotov cocktail a week ain’t keeping disharmony away.


Netanyahu facing protests from tens of thousands of Israelis
Israelis are growing frustrated with their own government over retrieving Israeli captives taken by Hamas on Oct 7. Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered outside the Israeli parliament, said to be the largest anti-government protest since Israel launched its assault on Gaza. The protesters on Sunday demanded the government secure a ceasefire deal that would free Israeli captives held by Hamas and also called for early elections nearly two years ahead of schedule. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has faced widespread criticism over the security failure of the Hamas-led attack on Oct 7, and Netanyahu was slammed for doing “everything for politics, nothing for the country”.

From babies to adults - change in diapers maker business model
Japan’s declining birth rate has forced Japanese diaper maker Oji Holdings to cease production of diapers for babies and will instead focus on catering to the country’s ageing population with adult nappies, as the company said this is a strategic move with “high profitability and growth potential”. Oji said it would continue making baby diapers in Malaysia and Indonesia, where demand is expected to grow. Back in 2011, Japan’s biggest diaper maker, Unicharm (which owns MamyPoko and PetPet), said its sales of adult diapers surpassed those for babies. The adult diaper market in Japan has been growing steadily in tandem with Japan’s rapidly ageing population and is estimated to be worth more than USD2 bil (RM8.4 bil).

Adult nappies have outpaced that for babies in Japan for the first time in over a decade as Japan saw its birth rate sink to a record low last year, falling for an eighth consecutive year to 758,631. Japan how has one of the world’s oldest populations, with almost 30% of them aged 65 or older and last year, for the first time, more than one in 10 Japanese people were aged 80 or over.

Big Chinese Businesses

  • Xiaomi: Xiaomi beat Apple to produce the first car in the world made by a phone company. The electronics giant started taking reservations for its new SU7 electric vehicle and demand is looking strong. The price starts from USD29,870 (RM141k) and pre-orders in the first 24 hours hit 88,898 - this translates to at least USD2.66 bil in potential revenue. With great demand comes great queue - Xiaomi has advised would-be buyers that waiting time now could go as high as 7 months. Check out the review below. SU7 does look like a Porsche Taycan

  • Shein: The online fast-fashion company reported a blockbuster 2023 with more than USD2 bil in profits on USD45 bil in gross merchandise value (GMV), tripling its profit of USD700 mil recorded in 2022, FT reported. Rivals H&M and Zara owner Inditex reported net profits of USD820 mil and USD5.8 bil respectively in their most recent fiscal years. A good set of financials ahead of its IPO as it awaits regulatory approval from Beijing to list in New York or London. 

    Learn: The difference between GMV vs sales/revenue


  1. McKinsey paying its staff to look for jobs elsewhere
    Management consulting giant McKinsey & Company is offering to pay hundreds of its senior employees in its UK offices up to 9 months together with career coaching to search for new jobs instead of working on client projects in its latest attempt to reduce staff amidst a sector-wide downturn, The Times reported. The staff still have to leave McKinsey even if they fail to find a new job. 

  2. Formula 1 owner now owns MotoGP
    The US media conglomerate Liberty Media, which took control of F1 in 2017 has now expanded its wings into motorbike race - MotoGP. Liberty will acquire an 86% stake from Spanish company Dorna Sports, which has owned MotoGP since 1982 in a deal worth USD4.5 bil. Liberty will not be the first company to own both F1 and MotoGP. Private equity giant CVC Capital Partners had owned F1 and MotoGP but was forced to sell the motorcycle series to buy F1 after EU competition regulators raised objections. 

  3. Climate change slowing down Earth’s spin

    Yesterday, we shared how climate change makes its soil saltier, which could impact agricultural output. Now, climate change could also cause Earth’s rotation to slow, according to new research. The difference is measured in a single second - it doesn’t sound catastrophic to our human time but it becomes a big problem for computing as GPS, financial exchanges, and computers rely on extremely precise timekeeping. Melting polar ice dumps ice into the ocean and moves to the Equator, causing our planet to grow wider around the middle, which slows its rotation. 

    View research: Climate change has slowed Earth’s rotation -- and could affect how we keep time


  1. Is water bulletproof?

  1. Boston Dynamics is well-known for building robodogs and robots that can move like humans (watch them parkouring and dancing). Gravity is well-known for building functional jetpacks (watch here). Now, Boston Dynamics has announced its collaboration with Gravity - flying autonomous robots. Worst nightmare. Good thing is - it’s April Fool’s.