☕️ Former FT minister, Ku Nan walked away a free man - corruption charges overturned

MY's daily vaccination target now: 500,000 people. UK to uplift most Covid-19 restrictions from Jul 19 despite rising cases,drawing criticism. Xiaomi overtook Apple to be 2nd-largest smartphone maker.



RM3.2 mil — Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) issued 64 compounds to four telecommunications companies in Q2 of 2021, mainly for failure to comply with the electronic numbering and addressing plan as well as non-compliance of guidelines on the registration of end-users of prepaid public cellular services.

3,521 — the number of emojis in the Unicode Standard as of October 2020. Happy belated World Emoji Day, which is celebrated on July 17 annually.

USD15.8 mil - the estimated net worth of Bjorn Kuipers, the referee of the European Championship football final between England and Italy, making him richer than some of the footballers.


  • MITI’s approval letters for interstate travel will be disallowed for four days, beginning yesterday July 18 to July 21, 2021 to discourage people to return to their hometowns to celebrate the upcoming Aidiladha holiday.


  1. Malaysia's Ministry of Finance (MOF) has invited opposition lawmakers from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) to discuss the country’s National Recovery Plan (NRP) with Finance Minster Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz on Thursday. Not sure if the government is trying to win points from the rakyat but here’s the breakdown of the RM45 bil stimulus plan from DAP:

  2. Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (Art Harun) had asked Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council to stop the political drivel and read the Parliamentary Standing Orders. PH leaders accused the speaker and the Perikatan Nasional government of disobedience to the King’s request for not allowing debates during the parliament.

    Takiyuddin Hassan (left) and Saifuddin Abdullah say it is up to the speaker to allow time for matters to be debated.

    Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon said the Dewan Rakyat committee had suggested the parliament’s July-August sittings may be limited to just 80 MPs instead of a hybrid session.

  3. Kedah menteri besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has finally been fined for violating the SOP during MCO related to viewing and test driving of a pick-up truck back in June 2021 — only 40 days later. Meanwhile, three demonstrators from the Black Flag rally held at Dataran Merdeka held on July 17, 2021, were immediately fined RM2,000 each for breaching SOP.

    The three demonstrators are made up of Mohammad Alshatri from Suaram, Muhamamd Nur Taufiq and Mohsd Asraf Sharafi from Bersih 2.0.

News in brief:

  1. The education ministry had announced that schools in the country would resume face-to-face classes in stages from September 1, 2021 onwards.

  2. DiGi.Com Bhd's recorded a lower net profit of RM279.91 mil Q2 2021 ended June 30, 2021, compared to RM288.04 mil a year ago. The group declared a dividend of 3.6 sen per share, payable on Sep 24, 2021.

  3. Private equity firm Creador raised USD500 mil for its fifth flagship investment vehicle — Creador V — and it’s the firm’s biggest close to date. Creador V will bring the firm’s total assets under management (AUM) to more than USD2 bil.

  4. Court of Appeal acquits former federal territories minister and Putrajaya member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (a.k.a. Ku Nan) of RM2 mil graft charge. Apparently, the prosecution team did not challenge the key witness, Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong’s testimony that the RM2 million paid into one of Ku Nan’s company accounts was a political donation to UMNO.


  1. In Q2 20201, Xiaomi overtook Apple to become the second-largest smartphone maker for the first time, but behind Samsung, according to analyst firm Canalys (report here). Combined, these 3 players control half of the market - Samsung with 19% market share, Xiaomi with 17% and Apple with 14%.

    Xiaomi’s year-on-year shipment has grown rapidly at 83% vs 15% for Samsung and 1% for Apple. Its shipment to Latin America increased 300% yoy and 50% in Western Europe. Xiaomi’s phones are skewed towards the mass market with its selling prices 75% cheaper than Apple, but it’s now looking to push into the high-end market with the launch of its Mi 11 Ultra, which starts at USD928. 

  1. The UK’s decision to end nearly all of its Covid-19 restrictions on Jul 19, with its Prime Minister Boris Johnson touting its successful vaccination rollout,  has drawn widespread criticism from experts all over the world. More than 1,200 scientists backed a letter to the Lancet medical journal, calling the Prime Minister’s plans  “dangerous and premature”.

    A new variant could potentially emerge this summer, given the UK’s position as a global travel hub which could spread any variant that becomes dominant in the UK to the rest of the world. Where is the science and logic behind uplifting these restrictions when clearly UK’s daily cases are rising rapidly?

  2. Deal making

    1. FedEx is investing USD100 mil in Indian delivery startup Delhivery, though valuation is not disclosed. This new round came less than 2 months after it has raised USD277 mil at a USD3 bil valuation. Both parties entered into a long-term commercial agreement to cross-utilise and cross-sell each other’s assets and services to the Indian market. 

      Delhivery, which started as a food delivery firm, has since evolved to provide a full suite of logistic services in over 2,300 Indian cities. The company claims it has delivered more than 1 bil orders and works with all of India’s largest e-commerce companies and leading enterprises. 

    2. Digital payments giant Paytm, one of India’s most valuable startups will raise up to USD2.2 bil in its upcoming IPO, one of India’s largest IPOs in the past decade. It counts Ant Financial (owns 36% of Paytm), SoftBank (18% stake) and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway amongst its investors. 

    3. McLaren Group, the British supercar maker and Formula One race team, has raised GBP550 mil (USD758 mil) equity investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and global investment firm Ares Management. Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund is McLaren’s majority shareholder with a 62.55% stake.

News in Brief:

  1. Western Europe, particularly Germany was hit hard by a flood catastrophe since Friday, affecting other nations including Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Germany’s death toll stands at 143 people 3 days into the disaster and neighbouring Belgium recorded 27 deaths. 

  1. Jeff Bezos will take off to space on Jul 20. If something goes wrong in the middle of the launch, Blue Origin’s New Shepard is equipped with an emergency escape system that detaches itself from the rocket and jettisons away. The New Shepard has flown successfully 15 times since 2015 without any person on board and the escape system has been tested 3 times. 

  1. 700 mil Linkedin users records for sale for USD5,000. The story of how a hacker scraped this information without actually hacking Linkedin. 


  1. Middle-class reality

  2. How land-scare Singapore is strengthening its food security and building the farm of the future.

  3. Obesity in Asia. Malaysia - the only red region in Southeast Asia

PS — there will be no newsletter tomorrow due to Hari Raya Aidiladha. To those of you celebrating, Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha.

*Edited the typo of Q1 2021 to Q1 2022.