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  • ☕️ Royal Malaysian Navy helicopter crash preliminary report out

☕️ Royal Malaysian Navy helicopter crash preliminary report out

Embattled Serba Dinamik to be delisted finally. The Great Orange Juice Crisis. The Mega Chinese Criminals.


Information as of 0730 UTC+8 on May 31, 2024.


The Employees Provident Fund's (EPF) panel of external fund managers delivered impressive results in 2023, contributing a record 22% of the overall income despite uncertain and challenging markets. EPF chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir noted that as of December 31, 2023, a total of RM189 bil had been outsourced to external fund managers for investment in equity and fixed-income instruments, representing 17% of the retirement fund’s total investment assets.
TIL — EPF outsources some of its fund management to external fund houses.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, China consumes 95% of the world's durian. With the global durian crop expected to expand by up to 10%, countries like Malaysia are competing to become dominant exporters of this pungent, spiky fruit. Last year, the global durian market value was USD24.9 bil (RM118.9 bil) and is expected to more than double to USD49.9 bil (RM223.4 bil) by 2033. In 2022, Malaysia exported durians worth RM1.23 bil, up 168% compared to 2019. Will new demand come from the West?

International Game Technology (IGT) claims on its website that its Wheel of Fortune slot machines, dubbed "the millionaire maker," have created over 1,180 millionaires, awarding more than USD3.5 bil in jackpot prizes (average USD2.97 mil per winner). However, Roney Beal, 72, claims she won the jackpot of more than USD1.2 mil in February while playing a Wheel of Fortune slot machine at Bally’s Casino. After she pressed a button to call for help, a "tilt" message appeared, indicating an issue with the machine. A casino employee allegedly told her that she had "won nothing" due to a malfunction known as a "reel tilt," which voided the win. She is now in the midst of filing a legal complaint against Bally’s and IGT over the disputed win.


About Education

  • As a result of the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Organisation of Skilled Workers (Belia Mahir) and the TVET industry in China, a total of 5,125 slots have been allocated by 220 Chinese companies to Malaysian students for short-term, medium- and long-term training related to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). According to Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, this program is fully funded for Malaysians. The Chinese industry will fund the training in China, while the students' airfare will be paid for by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA). Good to hear there are allocation of 500 places for Malaysian Chinese students and 200 places each for the Indian community, Sabah and Sarawak.

  • PM Anwar Ibrahim announced that Putrajaya will reintroduce its RM100 book voucher for students from Year 4 up to tertiary education. This time around, the vouchers will be accompanied by a list of recommended books to purchase. The book voucher was previously introduced by former PM Najib Razak and was initially known as the 1Malaysia Book Voucher in 2016.

About Transportation

  • The Penang Government and MRT Corp are mulling over the decision to opt for a low-to medium-capacity system for the Penang Mutiara Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. Compared to the Kelana Jaya LRT Line, a medium-to-high-capacity system, the system they are exploring for Penang is akin to KLIA’s Aerotrain.
    However, despite the much lower capacity, Penang's proposed 20 km LRT line is estimated to cost RM10 bil (i.e. RM500 mil per km), which is roughly equivalent to the RM540 mil per km for the Kuala Lumpur LRT3 system. Penang LRT project might not be a ‘white elephant’ project, but surely the RM500 mil per km price tag is too expensive for a monorail-like transit system like KLIA’s Aerotrain. Penangites deserve better.

  • According to the Malaysia Navy, the mid-air collision at its Lumut naval base that caused the death of 10 crew members was caused by the Fennec helicopter as it flew at the wrong altitude and crashed into the HOM AW139 helicopter. Apart from that, when the AW139 crew members were rehearsing for the cancelled Navy Day Parade, they experienced ‘channelised attention’ when executing a turn during the rehearsal that limited their reaction to avoid the Fennec helicopter that wrongly entered their flight path. The full investigation report will be released next week.

In the court

Business shorts

  1. Google has committed RM9.4 bil to build its first Google data centre and Google Cloud region in Malaysia at Elmina Business Park. When operational, Malaysia will join the 11 countries where Google has built and currently operates data centres to serve users around the world.

  2. Axiata Group Bhd’s CEO Vivek Sood announced that its subsidiary, Boost Bhd, will launch its digital bank on June 6. The digital bank is a 60:40 joint venture between Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd. Following GX Bank and Aeon Bank, this is the third of the five digital bank license holders to launch.

  3. The troubled Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd will finally be delisted, effective June 5. Bursa Securities made the decision after it denied Serba Dinamik’s appeal for a further extension of six months to submit its regularisation plan to relevant authorities for approval.


The Great Orange Juice Crisis
Inflation is coming to the orange juice near you soon. The world’s leading orange juice manufacturers are facing a huge supply crunch due to a combination of usual suspect climate change and a citrus disease known as greening, causing Brazilian orange farmers to harvest their smallest crops in decades not seen since 1988-1989. Citrus greening is an incurable disease caused by plant-feeding insects that make the tree’s fruit bitter before ultimately killing the tree.

Brazil is the world’s largest orange juice producer and exporter, followed by the US state of Florida. Brazil’s main orange-producing areas, Sao Paolo and Minas Gerais, are estimated to harvest 232.4 mil 40.8 kg boxes this year, down 24.4% compared to the previous year. Florida is also suffering the similar fate due to the disease and climate change. 
View report: Orange Crop Forecast 2024/25

The situation is unprecedented as even in the past, when big freezes or hurricanes hit the industry, orange juice supply still held up by freezing juice stock, which can last for up to 2 years. But the shortage built-up over the years is eating into the frozen stock. Is there an alternative? Yes — mandarin, as it’s more resilient to weather changes, but regulatory and bureaucratic processes hamper the change to this alternative. 
Learn: What’s the difference between oranges, mandarins, satsumas, clementines, and tangerines? 

The USD1 bil Queen
The Queen here, as in the rock band Queen. Sony Music, together with another investor, is reportedly in talks to buy the intellectual property of this legendary British rock band formed in 1970 in a deal that “could potentially total USD1 bil”. The IP would cover all of Queen’s songs, including the rights to logos, music videos, merchandise, publishing and other business opportunities. If this USD1 bil deal materialises, it would set the highest record of its kind, surpassing the USD500 mil that Sony paid to acquire Bruce Springsteen’s catalogue back in 2021. Earlier this year, Sony also acquired a 50% interest in Michael Jackson’s music from the late singer’s estate at a cost of at least USD600 mil, which valued MJ’s IP at USD1.2 bil, though this remains unconfirmed

Interestingly, based on Spotify, Queen is more popular than MJ and Springsteen, with 52 mil monthly listeners compared to MJ’s 41 mil and Springsteen’s 20 mil. Their popularity in recent modern times is partly thanks to the success of the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (available on Netflix, watch the trailer here). More than 50 years on, the bank is still raking it. The current company, owned by the band members Queen Productions Ltd, made revenue of USD52 mil in the year ending Sep 2022, of which USD46.8 mil alone is royalty income. You can view their financials here. Wildly profitable.

The Mega Chinese Criminals

  • Cybercrime: On the global level, authorities in the US announced that it has taken down a global cybercriminal that runs a network of 19 mil infected computers used to facilitate and cover up cybercrime, including fraud, identity theft and child exploitation. Chinese national Yunhe Wang, 35, was arrested in Singapore for allegedly running the botnet known as “911 S5” since 2018 and has generated USD99 mil by offering cybercriminals access to the network for a fee. The illicit gains were used to buy luxury cars and real estate across the world in the US, St Kitts and Nevis (view on map), China, Singapore, Thailand, and the UAE. For once, the land mass between Singapore and Thailand avoided a mess, as far as we know for now. He faces a maximum penalty of 65 years in prison. The cybercriminals who used Wang’s service had caused fraudulent losses exceeding USD5.9 bil, the US Department of Justice said. By reverse engineering the figures, it seems like Wang’s commission rate is close to 2%. 

  • Traditional crime: China has sentenced a second former official of China Huarong International Holdings Ltd to a rare death penalty. Huarong is a distressed asset manager owned by state-owned conglomerate Citic Group. Bai Tianhui, a former general manager of Huarong, had committed serious crimes and taken huge amounts of bribes totalling RMB1 bil (RM712.75 mil). Former Huarong Chairman Lai Xiaomin was sentenced to death in 2021 also for bribery. Chinese President Xi Jinping's years-long anti-graft campaign has taken down more than 1.5 mil government officials. Malaysia’s civil service was about 1.6 mil back in 2021


  1. Reverse vasectomy to reverse shrinking population
    South Korea’s capital Seoul, holds an unwelcome distinction — the least fertile city in the least fertile country in the world. Seoul’s fertility rate was 0.55 last year, way below the 2.1 rate required to maintain a stable population. Seoul is testing a new solution by offering up to USD730 each to 100 people to reverse vasectomies or untie their tubes. At current trajectory, South Korea’s population of 51 mil will halve by 2100. 

  2. Netflix x Minecraft coming soon
    Netflix announced plans to release an animated series based on Minecraft, amongst the best-selling games of all time, with 300 mil copies sold. The movie stars Jack Black (fun fact: Po from Kung Fu Panda is voiced by him too). Minecraft is owned by Microsoft after it acquired it for USD2.5 bil in 2014. Watch the short teaser trailer here
    Read: Why Minecraft is so popular?


  1. Watch F1 champion Lewis Hamilton speed through the wings of death with Sean Evans of Hot Ones.

  1. Here’s some funny news to end the week. A man with a suspended driving license attended his court hearing via Zoom - whilst driving. The man’s reaction is hilarious as he was completely oblivious of his situation.