☕️ Parliament Day #2: PN lawmakers throwing tantrum

Israel’s war on Gaza may see a ceasefire by next Monday. A USD1 bil crazy surprise for two — a widow and a medical school in the Bronx. FAQ Show interviews Bursa-listed GDEX founder.


Information as of 0730 UTC+8 on Feb 28, 2024.


The Warren Buffett Special Edition
Legendary investor released his highly-anticipated annual letter over the weekend which we did cover on Monday. There are more astonishing and interesting figures to share. Here we go — mindblowing!

4,400,000% — the appreciation in Berkshire Hathaway’s stock since Buffett took control in 1965 as of Dec 31. That represents a staggering compounded gain of 19.8% a year since 1965. USD1,000 invested in 1965 will turn into USD35.5 mil.

USD1 tril+ — the amount of assets Berkshire Hathaway has, including a portfolio of USD354 bil in stocks, USD178 bil in property and equipment, USD130 bil in Treasury bills and USD24 bil in inventories.

USD168 bil — the mountain of cash and short-term investments swelled by USD60 bil in only 15 months. For comparison, Bank Negara’s international reserves totalled USD115.4 bil as of last Thursday. Can you imagine just how much interest can this cash pile generate? See next.

USD6.1 bil — interest and other investment income generated last year. The massive interest income is due to the high-interest rates following the multiple rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.

~400k — the number of employees across the organisation, but only 26 of them worked in the company’s HQ in Omaha, Nebraska.

A medical college received a gift of a lifetime thanks to a Berkshire investor’s fortune - the donation is able to cover their students’ tuition fees f.o.r.e.v.e.r. News under the global section below.

“Charlie, in 1965, promptly advised me: ‘Warren, forget about ever buying another company like Berkshire. But now that you control Berkshire, add to it wonderful businesses purchased at fair prices and give up buying fair businesses at wonderful prices. In other words, abandon everything you learned from your hero, Ben Graham. It works but only when practiced at small scale.’ With much back-sliding I subsequently followed his instructions,”

Warren Buffett on his late partner, Charlie Munger


Govt deliberating on scam ‘kill switch’ system for all online platforms
Law and Institutional Reform Minister Azalina Othman Said iterated the need for a kill switch system to be introduced on online domains or platforms, which allows any fraudulent activities to be halted. Existing laws are insufficient and are not in tune with technological advancements such as AI and the rising cybercrime rates. 

Azalina says a new Bill is in the works, covering legislations that enforce a kill switch to improve digital safety. Malaysian banks began the kill switch system last year – potential scam victims can instantly freeze their accounts warranting any suspicious activities. Other laws, such as the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, Penal Code, and Criminal Procedure Code, are also in review to allow the return of stolen funds to victims. 

Malaysia recorded RM1.3bil in losses through fraud and scams online, involving 32,452 cases in 2023. The National Scam Response Centre is reachable via ‘997’. Stay vigilant online, folks.

Parliament Day #2: Drama continues to ensue in the Dewan Rakyat, PN main actors
PAS Sec-Gen Takiyuddin Hassan vehemently described the YDP Agong Sultan Ibrahim’s decree to wait for the next GE for any political manoeuvres as “the monarch’s personal view”, and as such, the Federal Constitution must be heeded. Takiyuddin says that based on the constitution, the federal government can be changed “inside or outside (aka pintu belakang/tebuk atap)” of parliament – referencing PM Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to change the government outside of parliament by claiming that he “has the numbers” to form a government. It’s befuddling that since 2018, the rakyat has endured two political coups and four prime ministers. Surely we all agree with YDPA’s call to wait…? Takiyuddin is adamant that the constitution allows changes in government to occur anyway.

In keeping up with the dramatics, opposition MPs protested the PM’s speech to congratulate the YDPA’s appointment by staging a walkout. Opposition Chief Hamzah Zainudin (PN-Larut) objected to the timing of Anwar’s speech and criticised the majority decision of the parliament to allow the minister’s motion (to deliver the thank you speech), accusing the government of abusing its majority in Parliament. Hamzah says that they are “not there to simply oppose, but to see that the rules are followed”. PN Chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin concurred with Hamzah, calling the act “a tyranny of the majority”. One can only hope for our MPs to debate on actual issues in parliament.

Illegal cigarettes in the market decline after all-time-high in 2020
Good news! The prevalence of illegal cigarettes in the market declined to 55.6% in 2023, its lowest level after an all-time high of 63.8% in 2020. The rise in illegal cigarettes at the time could be due to market struggles during COVID-19. Japan Tabacco International (JTI) Malaysia General Manager Juliana Mohd Yahaya attributes the recent decline to strict compliance measures and robust enforcement efforts against illegal operators by the Royal Malaysian Police and Royal Malaysian Customs Department. Nevertheless, Juliana states that our illicit tobacco market share is still relatively high, at above 55% – this results in tax losses estimated at RM5bil annually.

Since 2016, the degree of fake tax stamps has more than tripled, reaching 8.7% of the market in 2023, up from 2.8% in 2016, according to the latest Illicit Cigarettes Study by NielsenIQ. Although illicit cigarette incidence declined, the legal cigarette industry volume remained steady, partly due to consumers switching to vaping products. Juliana noted Malaysia's position as the world's 12th largest e-vape market, highlighting the absence of regulations for vaping products despite e-liquids containing nicotine being exempted from the Poisons Act 1952 since 1st April 2023. She emphasised the dire need to enact regulations under the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Act 2024 to safeguard consumers and streamline excise tax collection from vaping products. If you can’t stop the public from vaping, at least you can tax them and get some money out of it!

Malaysia's retail stock market industry gets shaken up
Investment and trading app Moo Moo by global fintech group Futu Holdings Ltd. has officially launched in Malaysia after securing its license from the Securities Commission. The modern and UX-friendly app allows Malaysians especially the young ones to invest in the local and US stock market at real dirt cheap price IMO. For the first 6 months, the platform is offering zero-commission trading of stocks and ETFs in both Malaysian and US markets. For beginners, there app also offers 600+ complimentary investment courses. Futu’s market cap stands at USD7.58 bil (RM36.2 bil).

Moo Moo is offering really generous gifts to plant its flag in the already highly competitive retail brokerage market in Malaysia. By signing up and depositing RM500, you will get RM100 cash voucher. It gets even better - just deposit RM8,000, and you will get FREE Apple share worth RM900* on top of the cash voucher. To sign up and get the free gifts, visit here.
*based on Apple share price at the time of writing


  1. Have at least RM1,990 if you want to enter Thailand
    Following the news of Indonesians being barred from entering Thailand, the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok advises fellow Malaysians to travel with sufficient cash. An Indonesian envoy claims that foreign tourists entering Thailand should carry a minimum of THB15,000 (RM1990) in case. However, this is not a new requirement. Thailand has imposed a minimum cash limit on foreign visitors for the past decade.

  2. Only one Quran application is Jakim-approved
    The Home Ministry is vigilant in regulating Quran publication, due to concerns over potential confusion among users. Only one Quran app, 'Smart Quran', has acquired the Ministry’s certification and JAKIM’s approval for use so far.


Israel’s war on Gaza may see a ceasefire by next Monday
United States President Joe Biden is optimistic that the negotiations mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the US will secure a six-week-long ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza. The proposed ceasefire would also enable the release of dozens of captives held by Hamas in return for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. When Biden was asked if this ceasefire would happen, he’s hopeful it could be achieved by next Monday.

Biden’s message is aimed at a few parties:

  1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and

  2. Voters in the state of Michigan, which is due to hold its presidential primaries on Tuesday.

It takes two to clap — Hamas is also mulling the framework proposal put forward for a truce and prisoner exchange in Gaza. Al Jazeera reported that the proposal would allow for the release of 40 Israeli captives held by Hamas in exchange for 400 Palestinians currently in Israeli prisons. Mediators aimed to reach a deal before the start of Ramadan, likely on March 10.

Shein may snub New York for London
Fast fashion label Shein, founded in China and popular with young shoppers around the world, is applying to list in New York yet faces political and regulatory hurdles in the US as well as scrutiny from Chinese authorities. British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Jeremy Hunt has held talks with Shein's executive chairman Donald Tang, who expressed interest in a London listing amidst uncertainty, according to Bloomberg. Shein is also an opportunist as London’s market has been rocked by the departure of several listed companies and a lack of new flotations. Shein would provide a major boost.

Shein’s valuation is said to be between USD50 to USD90 bil.

Microsoft hedges its AI bets
Mistral AI, a Paris-based startup, announced a new large language model — Mistral Large — that could rival OpenAI’s GPT-4 on Monday. Simultaneously, Microsoft announced it is investing EUR15 mil in the French startup. The investment will convert into equity in Mistral’s next funding round. As of Dec 2023, Mistral has a valuation of about USD2 bil. If this valuation is maintained, Microsoft will only own less than 1% of the company.

Valuation may be the least of Microsoft’s concerns. Microsoft’s relationship with OpenAI has gotten the attention of EU and UK regulators. This new investment has sent the European Commission’s tail wagging as well. A spokesperson has told TechCrunch that the European Commission will examine the investment deal between Microsoft and Mistral AI. This examination is part of the ongoing scrutiny procedure that focuses on large tech companies and generative AI companies.

A crazy surprise for two — a widow and a medical school in the Bronx
When Ruth Gottesman's husband passed away in 2022, she was surprised to learn that he had left behind a huge fortune — USD1 bil in Berkshire Hathaway stock. Her husband’s instruction — “Do whatever you think is right with it.”

Gottesman couldn’t decide at first, but then she later decided to donate the money in full to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York City’s poorest borough. According to a press release from the college, her gift is large enough to cover the tuition fee for medical students indefinitely. Yes, indefinitely. Ruth Gottesman, a clinical professor emerita of paediatrics at Einstein, began her career at the college in 1968. She currently serves as the chair of the school’s board of trustees.

Let’s rewind a little — how did her late husband, David Gottesman, amass the wealth? A friendship with Warren Buffett. Gottesman’s friendship with the Oracle of Omaha led him to become one of the earliest investors in Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway.


  1. Nintendo Switch 2 will only launch as early as March 2025
    The successor of mega-hit Switch, which sold 139 mil units as of 2023, may only be launched by March 2025. The new console will likely have a larger display while maintaining its handheld feature. Nintendo wants to give more time to game developers to create popular titles. The market value of Nintendo has tripled since the release of the Switch gaming console.

  2. Thailand’s anti-corruption stance is implicating a former police chief
    Thailand’s attorney general has indicted former police chief Somyot Poompanmoung and seven others for aiding Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya in evading criminal charges following a fatal hit-and-run incident in 2012. Vorayuth, accused of killing a police officer with his Ferrari in 2012, remains at large since fleeing Thailand in 2017 and faces a charge of reckless driving causing death, which expires in 2027. Why does it expire? Statute of limitations — and in Thailand, it’s called Prescription.
    The Yoovidhya family is the second-richest Thai family, with a net worth of USD27.4 bil (RM130.5 bil) thanks to their fortune in Red Bull.

  3. India names its four Air Force pilots for maiden space flight

    India has announced the names of four Air Force pilots who have been shortlisted for the Gaganyaan mission — the country's first-ever space flight scheduled for next year. The mission aims to send three astronauts to an orbit of 400km and bring them back after three days. If successful, India will become the fourth nation in the world to send humans into space, following the Soviet Union, the US, and China. India has ambitious plans in this space— it aims to set up a space station by 2035 and send an astronaut to the Moon by 2040. Some Bollywood tricks may be required, iykyk.


  1. Can Microsoft fix this already?

  1. Last week, the FAQ Show took us on a tour of Bursa-listed logistics service provider GD Express Bhd’s fulfilment hub, giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our parcels arriving at our doorstep. Now, watch the interview with its founder Teong Teck Lean who acquired the loss-making company in 2000 for less than RM1 mil and turned it into a public-listed company worth RM1 bil today - 1,000x!

  1. Email lingo translated into the F-language