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  • ☕️ PM Anwar Ibrahim wants to implement targeted subsidies

☕️ PM Anwar Ibrahim wants to implement targeted subsidies

More flights to East Malaysia during the upcoming holiday season. Three SEA unicorns lost USD51 bil in value in the last 18 mths. US charges FTX founder SBF for fraud after Bahamas arrest.



602,000 — the number of individuals unemployed in Oct 2022, the lowest since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). Chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the number of workers in October 2022 was 16.68 mil and the Workforce Participation Rate remained at 69.7%.

Elon Musk quipped 1.5 bil inactive accounts could be removed from Twitter to free up dormant handles. Some users want those unusual and desirable handles that were snared in Twitter's early days.

Three listed unicorns from Southeast Asia lost USD51 bil in value in the past year-and-a-half since their equity debuts. Grab leads the list, having shed 70% (USD28 bil) of its market value since listing. PT GoTo Gojek Tokopedia lost 74% (USD19 bil), while PT Bukalapak.com lost 69% (USD4 bil).


PM Anwar Ibrahim wants to implement targeted subsidiesAll government departments have been instructed to formulate and develop suitable measures to implement targeted subsidies because some bulk subsidies also benefited the super-rich and conglomerates. Case in point, 50% of electricity subsidies from Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) are enjoyed by conglomerates when the subsidies are actually for the poor.

The PM said three reports were tabled during the National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL) meeting yesterday. Matters raised in the reports will be tabled before the Cabinet’s meeting today.

MetMalaysia forecasts heavy rain may happen starting Dec 17DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said all state governments would be treated equally when given flood aid. Zahid said the authorities are well prepared to face possible flooding, including the activation of temporary flood relief centres, to prevent loss of lives or important documents and property damage. Any flood aid given during the last administration would also be continued.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) forecasts three areas — i) east coast of WM, ii) east coast of Sabah and; iii) west coast of Sarawak — to experience heavy rain beginning Dec 17.

More flights to East Malaysia during the upcoming holiday seasonSouth-East Asian airline Batik Air has added an extra 21 daily flights from Dec 22 to Jan 3 from KLIA to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in response to Transport Minister Anthony Loke’s recent request to airlines to increase flight frequency during festive seasons so that airfares remained affordable. Batik Air wants to do the same during the Chinese New Year season.

Loke said that the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) is exploring the extension of operating hours for airports and air traffic control towers during festive seasons to support the increase in flights. The idea was also suggested by former transport minister Wee Ka Siong prior to GE15.

Lawyers are raking money from politiciansKedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is getting sued by PM Anwar Ibrahim over an election speech. During the speech, Sanusi allegedly said Anwar was “out of akhlak (morals)”, among other allegations. Anwar contended that the statement was slanderous, false and disparaging to him.

Former PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob instructed his lawyers to take legal action against the spread of defamatory claims that there was a meeting between him and Perikatan Nasional chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sabri further explained that he had banana leaf rice with a veteran journalist on the same day of the alleged meeting.

PN is committed to being opposition, no repeat of Sheraton MoveDuring a radio interview yesterday with BFM (listen here), Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said the PN coalition made a commitment to the electorate that it will be a responsible and dignified opposition. Wan Fayshal said a repeat of Sheraton Move must be dispelled. Wan Fayshal also labelled the PN coalition as a “government-in-waiting” as he is confident that PN will reclaim power in GE16.

No more Sheraton, maybe another hotel.

Adam Adli’s “premature” remarks irked the OCM presidentThe Olympic Council of Malaysia’s (OCM) president Mohamad Norza Zakaria wants Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Adam Adli Abd Halim to justify his allegations that the sports fraternity is plagued with elements of corruption. Two days ago, the Hang Tuah Jaya MP was quoted saying, “But, if we were to dig further (into how sports bodies are run), most of the time there is an element of corruption, so we have to deal with this”.

Important dates in Q1 of 2023

  1. 5th February — the date for Thaipusam as announced by the Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS).

  2. 19th and 20th Marchthe start of the school session for the 2023/24 academic calendar for Group A and Group B, respectively.

Business Shorts

  1. The biggest ACE Market listing - electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider NationGate Holdings Bhd (NationGate) expects to raise RM165.5 mil from its capital listing exercise on Bursa Malaysia’s ACE Market slated for Jan 12, 2023. The funds raised will mainly be used to repay bank borrowings and fund its working capital requirements.

  2. Malaysia’s largest VC fund, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP), is en route to reaching RM1 bil in its fair value investment by 2023, according to CEO Shahril Anas Hasan Aziz. Shahril commended the government’s 10th Malaysia Plan (MP10), which has created a pool of venture capital funding accessible for technology start-ups amounting to RM2.2 billion. Shahril cited Carsome as a success story, as MAVCAP’s investment in Carsome of approximately USD3 mil is now worth 15.7 times more - USD47.1 mil (RM208.6 mil). In other words, Carsome makes up about 20% of MAVCAP’s 2023 investment.


Money Matters

US charges SBF for defraud after Bahamas arrestThe US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed defrauding charges against crypto exchange FTX’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), who the SEC alleges totalled over USD1.8 billion. This follows his arrest in the Bahamas for “financial offences” against laws in the US and the Bahamas, with the SEC noting the charges are separate from the offences that led to his arrest in the Caribbean nation.

Read: SEC’s complaint document against SBF

Greek MEP denies accusations in EU corruption scandalGreek Member of the European Parliament Eva Kaili is among the four suspects charged in the bribery scandal involving World Cup host Qatar, which saw over €1 million seized. The charges include participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering, and corruption. Qatar, who was the alleged briber, has also denied any wrongdoing. Kaili’s position as vice president may be at risk as the EU parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to remove her from the role.

China readies USD143 billion support package as US mulls curbsThe support package for its semiconductor industry is a move towards self-sufficiency in chips to counter US actions in slowing China’s tech advances. Most of the package will be used to subsidise the purchases of domestic semiconductor equipment by Chinese firms. This follows the US confirming talks with Japan and the Netherlands about tightening exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China. This amount is nearly triple the USD52 bil US allocated for the same objective of semiconductor independence.

GIC-backed unicorn in talks to acquire Foodpanda's Thai operationsThai food delivery unicorn Line Man Wongnai is in talks with Delivery Hero’s Foodpanda to acquire Foodpanda’s Thai operations even as the former plans for an IPO in the next few years. No final decision has been made, though the deal could be valued at about USD100 million.

Global Unrest

Russia might be out of ammo as Putin scraps trademark year-end presserFor the first time in ten years, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be holding his traditional year-end news conference. No official reason was given, but it comes as unease grows over the decision to invade Ukraine in February. On the Ukrainian front, a senior US military official revealed that Russia is turning to decades-old ammunition with higher failure rates as it burns through its stockpiles following 10 months of armed conflict.

Ukraine’s International Legion of its territorial defence forces sees Taiwanese among its number as well. This article explores why.

Peru protests block roads amid presidential disputeAnti-government protesters stormed the international airport in Arequipa as supporters of former President Pedro Castillo took to the streets at his impeachment and arrest. At least seven had died since Castillo’s impeachment last week after he was accused of corruption and detained for attempting to dissolve the opposition-controlled Congress right before it was to vote on his impeachment. #thankfulMYpowertransitionispeaceful(sofar)

India and China clash in border unrestThe clash happened in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh state on the eastern tip of India last Friday, with India reporting minor injuries on both sides. Both nations alleged the other party had entered held territory in the disputed area. The last major clash happened in 2020, which saw 24 lives lost.


  1. World-record nonuplets (9 babies born at the same time) return home to Mali, coming home from Morocco, where they had spent the first 19 months of their lives after breaking the Guinness World Record for the most children delivered in a single birth to survive.

  2. India's Tata Group is set to open 100 exclusive Apple stores, with the conglomerate already in talks with premium malls and high streets. Lease terms include details prohibiting certain brands and stores from opening near these outlets as well.


  1. Marques Brownlee’s annual blind smartphone camera test gets an upgrade. Have fun voting!

  2. How a chatbot from Elon Musk’s OpenAI, ChatGPT, took the world by storm - gaining 1 mil users in a 5 short days

  1. Muji-inspired interior design of a semi-d in Desa Park City by local design firm Design Seed (IG page here).