☕️ How effective is work-from-home? Study: 30% more hours worked, 20% lower productivity

Celcom-Digi merger another step closer to reality. Carro, SG's latest 🦄 after raising USD360mil from Softbank. JP Morgan CEO bizarre comment to stockpile cash to hedge against inflation.

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Spread of fake news in Malaysia dropped by 83% during MCO3.0 as compared to MCO1.0. An improvement indeed but let’s not forget the government, through Emergency Ordinance brought in a new law to tackle “fake news” with fine as much as RM100,000 and/or a three-year prison term.

The government suffers losses of RM1 billion daily during FMCO.

USD150 billionextra revenue for governments across the world if the proposal for a global minimum corporate tax of 15% goes through as backed by the G7.


  • 197,963 doses of Covid-19 were administered on June 14 2021 — Malaysia is on track to hit 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered daily!

  • Drug Control Authority (DCA) of Malaysia has approved Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 12 and above. CanSino and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have approval for conditional registration for emergency use.

  • KL & Putrajaya should achieve herd immunity (80% immunisation) by August meanwhile for Selangor, it should be by September.


  1. Prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced the National Recovery Plan on TV. Highlights in the infographic below. Lots of questions. But in typical #kerajaangagal fashion, expect the plan to change, flip flop.

  2. Electronics manufacturing services provider V.S. Industry Bhd announced its best-ever quarterly net profit of RM73.38 million for 3QFY21 ended April 2021 thanks to higher contribution across all of its business segments. The group declared an interim dividend of 0.8 sen per share to be paid on July 30.

  3. Used car trading platform Carsome will be the 1st unicorn (Grab is ‘Singaporean’) in Malaysia should its talks with investors to raise over USD200 million in pre-IPO succeeds according to DealStreetAsia. The round will value Carsome at over USD1 billion.

  4. Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) has a three-year strategy plan to transform the conglomerate back towards profitability.

    • Recategorising of businesses from seven segments into five.

    • Halving group debt level from RM5.04 billion to RM2.5 billion.

    • Implementing dividend policy for BCorp’s subsidiaries to get consistent income stream for the investment holding parent.

    Can Group CEO Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasheed turn the business around? He has tens of millions at stake.

News in brief

  1. High demand for gold products in the past few months has brought Poh Kong Holdings Bhd back to black with net profit of RM24.02 million for 3QFY21 ended April 30 2021, compared to a net loss of RM2.3 a year earlier.

  2. The mega merger between Celcom Axiata Bhd and DiGi.com Bhd is going smoothly and the parent companies will be signing definite agreements soon.

  3. HSBC Bank Malaysia will be closing 13 of its local branches by Dec 31 2021 as part of its plan to reduce branch footprint and expand digital banking presence.


  1. How effective is remote working? Early surveys show that it does not reduce productivity. However, a new study (interesting read) of more than 10,000 employees at an Asian tech company between April 2019 (before the pandemic started) and August 2020 shows that productivity or output did not increase although total hours worked were 30% higher than before the pandemic, including an 18% increase in working outside normal hours.  When measuring productivity by output per working hour, productivity actually fell by 20%

    One explanation for this is the amount of ‘collaboration hours’ (defined as various types of meetings) vs ‘focus hours’ (concentration on one's own task, uninterrupted) - workers have spent more time on the former. Having multiple conference calls per day is a common occurrence for most people that are able to work from home. This study reinforces Bartleby’s Law: 80% of the time of 80% of the people in meetings is wasted. 

    The worst part: more working hours, same salary.

  2. Whilst Carsome is rumoured to be a unicorn, Carro, its competitor from Singapore has announced it hit unicorn valuation (>USD1 bil, though exact valuation was not disclosed) after raising its USD360 mil Series C round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. It currently employs about 1,000 people across the 4 countries that it operates in (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia) and claims that revenue grew more than 2.5x for the financial year ending March 2021. 

    Its business is divided into 3 sections: wholesale, retail and fintech. Its wholesale business works with car dealers to supply them with inventory, its retail business sells to consumers, with its inventory staying under 60 days and users having a 3 or 7-day money back guarantee. Its fintech operations provide b2c car loans, auto insurance and b2b working capital loans. Carro’s loan book is about 5 years old with USD200 mil in loans. Carro’s presence in Malaysia is via myTukar, which it has investedUSD30 mil back in 2019. 


  3. The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) hype is fading with overall sales plunged from a 7-day peak of USD176 mil on May 9 to USD8.6 mil on Jun 15. That said, it remains a viable way for many soft assets, intellectual property (IP) to be monetized. British computer scientist and world wide web (www) creator, Sir Tim Bernes-Lee will be auctioning the original source code he used to create the world wide web as an NFT. 

    The NFT, titled “This Changed Everything” includes the time-stamped files containing the source code, which is about 9,555 lines long and includes a 30-minute animation of the code being written and a letter from the inverter himself reflecting on the code and his creation of it. The auction will be managed by Sotheby’s and will run from Jun 23-30 with bidding starting from USD1,000. The proceeds will be given to causes the inventor supports. 

    The US government is jumping on the bandwagon as well. The US Space Force, created during Trump’s administration, will auction 3D augmented reality digital tokens depicting satellites, mission badges, coins, space suits and other memorabilia items to mark the launch of Space Force’s 5th mission later this week. 

    News in Brief:

  4. China’s top virologist at the center of the pandemic storm, Dr Shi Zhengli, gave a rare interview with the New York Times, denying claims that the Covid-19 virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, given her growing frustration on these accusations against her reputation, her lab and by extension, that of her country, China. 

  5. Roger Waters, a founding member of rock band Pink Floyd said he turned down ‘an offer huge, huge amount of money’ for Facebook to license the band’s 1979 classic ‘Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2’ (official MV below) in an upcoming advertisement for Instagram and calling Mark Zuckerberg ‘one of the most powerful idiots in the world’.

  6. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan made a bizarre comment that the bank is ‘effectively stockpiling’ cash with USD500 bil on hand rather than using it to buy Treasuries and other investments due to possibility of higher inflation as it waits for opportunities to invest at higher rates. Firstly. to hedge against inflation, one does not sit on cash. Secondly, with the level of federal and corporate debt ballooning, it is only so much the Federal Reserve can increase rates without increasing the overall debt burden. Bizarre comment.


  1. 4,200 hours and 720,000 exposures to take the perfect picture of a kingfisher diving into the water.

  2. National Recovery Plan