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☕️ PM Anwar's 2 massive 'ang pows' for Sabah and Sarawak

Najib Razak's lawyers trading barbs publicly over failed SRC Int'l appeal. 🍎 finally opening retail outlets in MY. World's 3rd richest man on ChatGPT and alleged "largest con in corporate history".

We are back! Happy CNY!

We hope your ‘portfolio’ was green over the past few days of CNY.

Let’s start the first issue in the Year of the Rabbit with a bang - watch this mind-blowing firework ladder that blazes into the sky created by renowned Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang in June 2015 to celebrate his grandmother’s 100th birthday. Netflix made a documentary out of this event (trailer here). 

☕️ The CNY Coffee Break team 



Malaysia’s favourite vehicle among car thieves goes to Proton Wira for the 11th consecutive year in 2021, according to the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia. A total of 131 Wiras were reported stolen, followed by Proton Iswara, with 75 reported cases. Perodua Myvi (aka King of the road) came in sixth on the list.

HBO’s latest series, “The Last of Us”, is off to a hot start - it’s the network’s second-biggest premiere of the streaming era, watched by 4.7 mil viewers. Taking the top spot is the Game of Thrones prequel “House of the Dragon”, which attracted nearly ten mil viewers in its debut last August. “The Last of Us” is an adaptation of a hit 2013 game of the same name set in the post-apocalyptic US in the aftermath of a fungus-related pandemic. Feedback seems pretty good - nearly perfect score (99%) on Rotten Tomatoes. Watch the trailer here.

Humanity is 90 seconds to the apocalypse, the closest it has ever been according to the Doomsday Clock. The symbolic clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, was adjusted for the first time in 3 years on 24 Jan, bringing humanity 10 seconds closer to midnight, or the apocalypse. The adjustment this time is mainly due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which might escalate to a nuclear war and climate crisis.

Read: Explainer: What is the ‘Doomsday Clock’ and how does it work?


PM Anwar’s 2 ‘ang pows’ to East Malaysia The first ‘ang pow’ comes in the form of an increase in the annual special grants received by Sarawak and Sabah from the Federal Government as per Article 112D of the Federal Constitution. Sarawak and Sabah will receive RM300 mil (up from RM16 mil) and RM260 mil (up from RM26 mil) each, respectively. The grant is not fixed and is subject to a formula, which is still being finalised, and the government’s financial position. 

The second ‘ang pow’ will be an RM1 bil additional funding to improve border security in Sabah and Sarawak, in tandem with Indonesia’s relocation of its capital from Jakarta to Nusantara in Kalimantan. The allocation will go towards upgrading customs, immigration and quarantine facilities and other infrastructure along the nation’s border with Indonesia. 

Najib Razak’s lawyers trading barbs - Zaid Ibrahim vs Muhammad Shafee AbdullahLawyer Zaid Ibrahim has posted a video on his Facebook to defend against former PM Najib Razak’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s public diss of Zaid Ibrahim Sufian TH Liew & Partners over their incompetence that derailed Najib’s appeal. Some comments he made on Shafee: a “showman”, “not a good lawyer”, “in the kingdom of the blind, he is king”, and blamed Shafee’s “scattergun approach” that failed Najib. Zaid Ibrahim shared some behind-the-scenes building up to Najib’s failed appeal. 

PAS, Bersatu - The Continuing Series of ‘Twist And Shout’ (a catchy song by The Beatles)

  • Asked to comment on Terengganu UMNO’s petitions to nullify the GE15 results of Kuala Terengganu, Marang and Kemaman, PAS President and Marang MP Abdul Hadi Awang defended the cash handouts to voters caught on video as the public giving charity. He did not specify who he referred to as “the public”. MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki said bribes would be investigated based on law, not personal interpretation. Anything questionable done by PAS will likely be “dihalalkan”. Even lying can be “shariah-compliant” so long it can save the party. 

  • In response to PM Anwar’s defamation suit filed against Bersatu President Muhyiddin Yassin over the alleged RM15 mil salary PM Anwar received from the Selangor government, Muhyiddin’s responded that the statement was part of an “election speech” and was a “privileged occasion” and was not to “gain at the expense of the plaintiff”. He added that an unnamed officer provided the information on the RM15 mil salary, and it was fair for this to be brought up as a “matter of public interest”.

  • Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming’s plan to engage Singapore’s Housing and Development Board to seek their expertise and share knowledge on building affordable housing has been criticised by Bersatu supreme council member Faiz Na’aman as a violation of the country’s safety and sovereigntyRead: “But what about Singapore?” Lessons from the best public housing programme in the world | World Bank

  • Dewan Pemuda PAS Selangor (DPPS) has requested the leadership of Pakatan Harapan (PH) to stop attempts to create the perception that the party is racist and pretentious towards accepting other races. 

What is PN? This Twitter user here gave it a different meaning that reflects its situation. 

Malaysia to enhance food securityEconomy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the government is developing a strategy to reduce the nation’s reliance on imported raw food items and expects to launch a few pilot projects soon to grow several types of imported crops locally. The country imports between RM60-70 bil (agriprenuers, this is your TAM to pitch to investors!) worth of food items per year. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Malaysia recorded 26 food items with more than 100% self-sufficiency ratio in 2021, slightly higher than 19 in 2020. Check out the infographic here by DOSM on the food items we are self-sufficient in and those we have to import.

If Saudi Arabia can turn its desert and arid land into a thriving agriculture industry and produce enough to export some agricultural products, why not Malaysia, with the abundance of rain and climate.


  1. Twitter user @sangria200 shared an incident at SMK IJ Convent in Johor Bahru where an SPM workshop was allegedly held only for Muslim students has caused uproar amongst the public. The workshop included other subjects, although it said it would only involve religious-related subjects. The Education Ministry issued a statement that there were no discriminatory elements in the workshop. 

  1. Rumour is circulating that the fate of Khairy Jamaluddin’s UMNO membership will be known on 27 Jan evening at the next UMNO supreme council meeting. KJ has earlier criticised the no-vote motion of UMNO’s top 2 positions and praised UMNO members who filed a report with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) over this move. 

  2. Apple Inc. will finally set up its official retail outlets in Malaysia as the company recently published a job listing on its website for locations in Malaysia seeking store managers, salespeople, Apple Genius, technical specialists etc. Check out the listing here. Apple’s last international expansion was in 2018, with a location in Bangkok. 


The Tech Layoffs and Apple's Different ApproachGoogle’s parent firm, Alphabet, will be laying off 6% of its workforce, leaving about 12,000 people without jobs. CEO Sundar Pichai has assumed responsibility for this decision, adding that “all senior vice presidents and above will see a significant reduction” in their annual bonus this year. Pichai also defended the layoffs as a decisive action to avoid compounding the problem.

This was followed by Spotify laying off 6% of its workforce, which amounts to about 600 employees, with most departments impacted by these layoffs. The layoffs follow an earlier cut of 38 employees from Spotify’s Gimlet Media and Parcast podcast studios in October last year.

These layoffs are merely the latest in a series of mass layoffs conducted by giants in the tech industry, with names such as Amazon (18,150), Microsoft (10,000), and Meta (11,000) among those axing employees, according to data from layoff tracker Layoffs.fyi. The general reason is that the industry is facing headwinds in the current global economy, with the companies’ high headcount – due to hiring sprees during the pandemic – coming back to haunt them.

However, Apple remains the only tech giant not to undergo mass layoffs, with CEO Tim Cook’s “pragmatic, measured approach to growth” over the past few years credited for the company’s stronger position in navigating macroeconomic headwinds. Apple only hired 10,000 new employees between September 2021 and September 2022, compared to the tens of thousands each brought on by Amazon, Meta, and Google. Apple is also notable for not having a history of investing in risky, whimsical side projects. Still, Apple remains affected by headwinds and will make small job cuts in lower-priority areas to cut costs. Cook will also take a “major pay cut” at his request. He is targeting a total compensation of USD49 million for 2023, over 40% lower than his 2022 target compensation.

Entertainment Today

  • Michelle Yeoh nominated for Oscar’s best actress awardThe nomination was for her role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, for which she won the Golden Globe’s Best Actress In A Musical Or Comedy Motion Picture. She now stands as the first Asian and Malaysian actress nominated for an Oscar. The Oscars ceremony will be held on March 12, with Malaysians already celebrating the nomination and rooting for Yeoh. Complete list of nominations here.

  • Bieber sells music rights for USD200 millionJustin Bieber has sold his music publishing and recording catalogue shares to Hipgnosis Songs Capital for USD200 million. This includes a back catalogue of 290 songs, all published before 31 Dec 2021. Other artists include Justin Timberlake (USD100 mil) and Shakira (sum undisclosed), as well as legacy artists such as Bob Dylan (USD150-200 mil)and Bruce Springsteen (USD500 mil).

On the Topic of ChatGPT**The GPT in ChatGPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer

  • Microsoft to invest USD10 billion in ChatGPT parent OpenAIThe investment marks the third round of support from Microsoft for the AI firm. The investment will happen over multiple years and with most of the deal’s value taking the form of Microsoft giving OpenAI access to Azure’s cloud computing resources to run its AI systems. The deal is expected to boost Azure, potentially enough to close the gap with Amazon Web Services. Microsoft will also get nearly half of OpenAI’s financial returns until the investment is repaid up to a predetermined cap.However, OpenAI is also alleged to be participating in labour exploitation, a pervasive issue in this age of digitalisation. Find out how ChatGPT exploits Kenyan workers here.

  • World’s third-richest person warns of ChatGPT’s ramifications on societyGautam Adani of India’s Adani Group shared his addiction to ChatGPT “given its astounding capabilities” but warned that generative AI will have massive ramifications. He noted that generative AI holds the same potential and dangers as the semiconductor industry, which had allowed for the rise of influential tech giants like Intel and Qualcomm, but also allowed for precision and guided weapons. Adani holds the title of the world’s third-richest person, with a net worth of about USD121 billion.

Hindenburg Research alleges Adani Group of accounts fraud and tax manipulationSpeaking of Gautam Adani and the Adani Group, research firm Hindenburg Research has alleged that the businessman is “pulling the largest con in corporate history”, with a report showing evidence collected over a two-year investigation that the Adani Group – worth about USD218 billion – engaged in stock manipulation and accounting fraud over several decades, with the use of offshore shell entities to generate artificial turnover. Their findings are summarised in a Twitter thread here.


  1. Bangkok air pollution has authorities urging residents to work from home. Residents were also urged to wear respirator masks outdoors and switch to public transport options as authorities seek to control activities causing dust particles, such as outdoor burning, construction, and combustion from truck engines. The pollution in Bangkok and other Thai cities tends to get worse in the dry season, around December to February.

  2. Former NZ PM Jacinda Ardern may need ongoing security due to threats and abuse faced in office – Ardern was the target of some of the darkest and most extreme online abuse, which may necessitate ongoing police protection for the retired leader, a rare occurrence in New Zealand. The vitriol is reported to be primarily based on misogyny. The nation’s Diplomatic Protection Service will assess the risk to Ardern and her family and provide 24-hour security for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, Ardern’s successor, Chris Hipkins, has been sworn in as the nation’s 41st prime minister, a week after Ardern’s shock resignation.

  3. Argentina and Brazil to create the region’s version of the euro currency — the two largest economies in South America are in early discussions to create their common currency as part of a coordinated effort to reduce reliance on the USD.


  1. CCTV footage recorded Brandon Tsay (warning - disturbing), the hero of the day, for disarming a shooter, identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran. He was unaware that the shooter had killed 11 people minutes earlier at another dance hall. The mass shooting is one of the deadliest in California’s history, and it occurred on the eve of the Lunar New Year in Monterey, an area known for its large Asian population.

  2. An adorable stunt went wrong - a disturbing video of a tiger cub attacking a rabbit during Linfen Zoo’s New Year handover in Shanxi province of China. Fortunately, the rabbit was ok — had there not been intervention by the staff, the tiger cub would have had its CNY feast.

  3. Now, something lighthearted in this section — a TikTok video mocking social media influencers.