- The Coffee Break
- ☕️Yet again in Malaysia - SOCSO hacked
☕️Yet again in Malaysia - SOCSO hacked
RM20 bil AI data centre in MY brought to by NVIDIA x YTL Power Int'l. Incoming King in tell-all interview with The Straits Times. The world slams the US vetoing UN’s Gaza ceasefire resolution.
For Selangorians, enjoy your holiday today! As for the rest of us, here’s a hilarious Buddhist chant in English to build your patience to face the week:
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
16 years of jail — the sentence High Court judge Julia Ibrahim gave out to former information technology (IT) officer, 45, for culpable homicide of the former bank manager in a road rage incident which took place on the North-South Expressway (NSE) in 2019. The accused, Yew Wei Liang, was initially charged with the murder of Syed Muhammad Danial Syed Shakir under Section 302 of the Penal Code, but the court amended the charge to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Let this be a lesson to us all — how road rage turned into a tragedy.
While the country’s 5G coverage has reached 76.1% as of Nov 30, 2023, the adoption rate remains low at a paltry 10.8% (3.6 mil subscriptions), according to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry. Can’t blame the consumers as most telcos in Malaysia are charging a “DNB tax” of between RM5 and RM20. There is no incentive for an average consumer to fork out that amount for a higher speed. Once the nationwide coverage hits 80%, the government will move to a Dual Network approach where a second 5G network will be built. DNB, Digital Nasional Berhad, was formed due to the previous administration’s decision to adopt the Single Wholesale Network for the rollout of the 5G network.
6,522 people were murdered in China in 2021. In an absolute sense, that’s a scary number — but relatively (in percentage terms), the figure also indicates that China is one of the safest countries in the world. The recorded homicide rate per 100,000 people in China (0.46 victims) is less than one-tenth of the global average (5.8 victims). The number of homicides dropped by 80% from two decades ago. Robberies and assaults fell by 97% and 40%, respectively, during the same period. How did this happen? Cameras. The Chinese police control the world’s largest network of surveillance cameras.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Updates on the murder of Zayn Rayyan
The investigation of the actual murder scene narrowed down to a storage roomBased on the previous revelation that the murder of the boy was done at a separate location from where the body was found, the Police investigation has zeroed in on a storage room located 50 meters from Block R of the Idaman Apartment in Damansara Damai. However, the investigation was hampered by the rainy conditions.
228 DNA samples collectedSelangor police chief Hussein Omar Khan told the media that as part of the large-scale operation to turn Idaman Apartment upside down in order to look for clues in solving Zayn’s murder case, 228 deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) samples have been collected from the residents and 5,628 people and 2,484 housing units have already been checked. The operation was conducted over the weekend and involved 278 police officers to sweep through the 18-block residential apartment.
Zayn was not a victim of domestic abuseThe police also confirmed that no signs of old injuries due to abuse were found on the body of the autistic boy Zayn Rayyan. On the other hand, Zayn’s grandfather, Zahari Reba, assured the public that revenge was not the motive behind the murder of his grandson. Quoting Zahari, “Their daily routine is to go to work and come back home. They only know the neighbours living in front (of them). They harbour no grudges against anyone.”
The upcoming King of Malaysia tell-all in an interview with SG’s Straits TimesIn an interview with Singapore’s Straits Times, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, the next Yang di-Pertuan Agong, wants entities such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Fortune 500 Company Petronas to report to the Agong (not democratically appointed) instead of the Parliament (a democratically elected assembly).
To justify this notion, Sultan Ibrahim stated that his ancestors, from his great-grandfather down to himself, were great hunters. When he goes hunting, he makes sure he will bring home nice games. The future King wants to emulate this by hunting corrupt people in the concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur. The Sims: Hunt The Corrupt version.
His Majesty also stated that he opined that the RM100 bil high-speed rail (HSR) link project with Singapore should be revived and realigned to run through Forest City. Recently, Forest City was given a new lease of life from Putrajaya, where a special financial zone will be created within the development.
On another matter, Sultan Ibrahim also confirmed the rumour that he was the one who blocked the appointment of then-BN chief Hasni Mohammad to become a two-term Menteri Besar after the latter led the coalition to a supermajority in the state election. Sultan Ibrahim stated that he did that to reaffirm his powers as state monarch. He claimed that Hasni was a mere poster boy, supported by BN assemblypersons who had already signed SDs (statutory declaration). Sultan Ibrahim reminded everyone that the Sultan in Johor is the only person who can decide on the Menteri Besar.
The full interview here.
Malaysia, cybersecurity — two words that always led to negative outcomes when put into the same sentencePerkeso, Malaysia’s social security organisation, has been the victim of another data breach against the country’s government agencies. The group that hacked Perkeso claimed that the organisation has not made any proactive efforts to address the security concern. The breach was so bad that the hacker group was in the post-attack meeting attended by Perkeso’s cybersecurity personnel. The cyber attack led to the leakage of a database of Perkeso’s internal documents and ample data containing personal data of users with fields such as full name, IC number, race, gender, blood type, address, phone number, email address, salary, employer code, business name and emergency contact.
The attack on Perkeso is one of many cyber attacks in the country. Cybersecurity company Surfshark ranked Malaysia as the eighth most breached country in Q3 2023, with 494,699 leaked accounts. The breach rate is 144% higher in Q3 2023 than it was in Q2 2023. Around four Malaysian user accounts were leaked every minute in Q3 2023.
With the high prevalence of cyber attacks, one may wonder how secure the future national digital identity, or digital ID project, that will be implemented soon. As per PM Anwar Ibrahim, there is nothing to worry about. But still, when the Government tells you not to worry, then that is the time you may need to reconsider.
NVIDIA 🤝 YTL PowerNVIDIA Corp and YTL Power International Bhd (YTL Power) have agreed to work together to build a new RM20 bil artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure at YTL Green Data Center Park in Kulai, Johor. The 500MW new facility will be powered by on-site solar energy. The new collaboration was announced at a meeting on the same day between Nvidia founder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Huang, who donned his famous leather jacket, believes that AI data centres could be a new manufacturing sector for the country.
When Reuters reported during the trading hours that both these companies were in advanced talks, YTL Power’s share price shot up and closed at a record high of RM2.42.YTL Corporation Berhad, which owns 55.57% of YTL Power, also saw similar action on Friday, climbing 9.74% to an all-time high of RM1.69.
One must wonder — why not Penang (the actual Silicon Valley of Malaysia) or at least Cyberjaya (the quasi SV)?
Get a construction agreement to avoid being scammedConstruction Industry Development Board (CIDB) CEO Mohd Zaid Zakaria told the public that they need to familiarise themselves with a construction agreement to avoid being scammed by contractors. A sample of a construction agreement can be downloaded here from the CIDB website.
JPJ’s no-discount policyTransport Minister Anthony Loke stated that days of discounted Road Transport Dept summonses have ended as the Ministry of Transport did not offer any discounts during the Madani government's one-year anniversary program. Unlike the police, Loke decided not to provide discounts in a move to educate the people. This no-discount move is not new, as Loke said it started in 2018 even before he assumed the ministerial role. Wise move not to implement a discount policy. For one, this proper punishment and enforcement to improve road safety and behaviour. Secondly, why give away government revenue? On another note, Sultan Ibrahim, in the above interview, said Anwar should be given a chance to prove himself and there are good ministers in the government, such as Anthony Loke.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
US vetoes UN’s Gaza ceasefire resolutionThe US is getting slammed left and right by world leaders, international rights groups and UN officials for vetoing a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. 17,400 Palestinians have been killed so far with 70% of the victims being children and women.
13 of the 15 UNSC members voted in favour of the resolution, put forward by UAE, whilst the UK abstained. The US and Israel opposed a ceasefire because they believed it would only benefit Hamas. Israel said a ceasefire would only be possible with the return of all hostages and the destruction of Hamas. Israel has long been a bff of the US, becoming the top recipient of US foreign aid, receiving USD312.5 bil in or over a quarter of all US foreign aid since post-World War II.
Meanwhile, in the US, President Biden’s USD110 bil security package, which includes USD61 bil for Ukraine, as well as funds for Israel and aid in Gaza, was blocked, raising concerns that Ukraine will fall within just months without renewed US military, according to US intelligence.
EU achieved landmark act to regulate AIFollowing more than 37 hours of negotiations last week, delegates from the European Commission, the European Parliament and 27 member countries have agreed to a set of controls for generative AI tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. The hard-fought AI Act strikes a balance between fostering innovation and protecting the rights of people and companies. One of the most contentious issues was live biometric identification tools (i.e. live facial scanning in public spaces), which was provided with safeguards and exemptions in the name of national security and law enforcement.
Push notifications used by govt to surveil users, Apple confirmsUnidentified governments are surveilling smartphone users via their apps’ push notifications as almost all notifications travel over Google and Apple’s servers. Most users are unaware of how their apps emit data to the US tech giants via push notifications, making it a “privacy nightmare”. These governments, including US government agencies and foreign governments allied to the US, have been asking Apple and Google for metadata related to push notifications to, for example, help tie anonymous users of messaging apps to specific Apple or Google accounts.
Thailand plans to increase the statutory daily minimum wageThis hike will be effective from Jan 1, rising an average of 2.4% to THB330 — 370 (RM43.2 - 48.4), subject to the economic conditions of each of the nation’s 77 provinces. The proposed hike is lower than the THB400 (RM52.3) promised by PM Sretha Thavisin when he took office in September and is seen as a compromise as the Thai economy is experiencing a sluggish economic recovery. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy unexpectedly slowed in Q3 as manufacturing and exports dived.
Denmark passes law banning Quran burningsThe Danish parliament has banned the “inappropriate treatment” of religious texts with a bill widely known in the country as the Quran law. Offenders can now face a fine or up to 2 years’ prison time. This new law follows a series of burnings of Islam’s holy book in Denmark and Sweden. Many opposition MPs argued against the bill, claiming it restricted freedom of speech.
Forbes’ The World’s Most Powerful Women 2023The business magazine has released its latest list, which features familiar and rising leaders in various fields. Ho Ching, chairman of Temasek Trust (and wife of current Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong) has been featured again and every year since inception in 2004, ranking no.33. An odd name stood out in the list - Barbie, at no.100. Barbie was a blockbuster hit in 2023, grossing USD1.4 bil globally. Forbes said the No.100 spot is “allocated every year to a figure that’s not the traditional image of power but one who has, nonetheless, come to define a year.” See the full list here. Interestingly, a criminal made it to the top 2.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
The winner of the 2023 Northern Lights Photographer of the Year award goes to Matthew Browne for his shot taken outside his home in west of Wales. See the collection featuring the 25 best photos of the northern lights taken around the world.
Michelle Yeoh is back in a new Netflix movie playing mama gangsta — The Brothers Sun. Out on Jan 4. Trailer below.