☕️ SME Association: estimated 90,000 businesses shuttered by now, 3x more than SSM's reported figure

An UMNO MP going for a 2-month overseas holiday. The worst is yet to come - potential Covid-19 5th wave in Malaysia according to expert. What are Chinese tech giants investing in now? Coffee chains.

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USD 12.3 bil — Nike Inc’s record quarterly revenue for 4QFY21 ended May 31, 2021, the highest in the company’s history thus far.

663 — the number of pandas in captivity in 2020 according to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration. Fewer than 2,000 pandas live in the wild.

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reported that the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Psychosocial Support Helpline has received a total of 122,328 calls seeking emotional support and counselling in the first six months of 2021. If you need to seek help, you can try Befrienders.



  1. Small & Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) found that two-thirds of SMEs do not foresee business recovery this year with the majority of them unable to operate during FMCO. 30% of the SMEs have run out of cash during this FMCO and many will close down if the FMCO is prolonged.

    The association's chairman Datuk William Ng estimated around 90,000 businesses have shut down, 3x the number reported by the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

  2. Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) busted a syndicate hoarding 22 projects valued at RM135 mil of a ministry since 2017. The case’s breakthrough came from an investigation on a division assistant secretary of the ministry concerned and a manager of a company.

    Meanwhile, a division procurement officer of the ministry was also nabbed — he was suspected of receiving a RM150,000 bribe (5.7% of project value) from the contractor who won a RM2.6 mil project.

  3. We have to apologise, for being too caught up with FT Minister’s remarks last Thursday (June 24, 2021) that we missed another WTF statement. Last week, Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz mentioned most MPs in Barisan Nasional (BN) have lost confidence in its chairman, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

    He also slipped this WTF statement in during the press conference — “The only surprise is that I am leaving the country for a two-month holiday and will be back just two weeks before Parliament reconvenes in order to quarantine.” Then subsequently clarified he’s going overseas to enrol his son in a school. Champion.

  4. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) solution provider hoolah saw a 600% surge in order volume from May 2020 until May 2021. Interestingly, hoolah observed that consumers’ payment method is shifting to debit cards from credit cards with 75% of transactions on hoolah were made with debit cards in March 2021, compared with 55% in January 2020.

  5. MY EG Services Bhd (MYEG) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Anhui Zhifei Biopharmaceutical Co Ltd (Zhifei) after receiving a letter of no objection from the government to purchase Zhifei’s vaccine. MYEG will be ready to supply an initial of 10 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as the government opens up private market vaccinations.

News in brief:

  1. RM20 mil is needed to restore an area of 600 hectares in Tasik Chini according to the Pahang government. Why is rakyat paying the price for destruction done by private companies?

  2. Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has given his consent for the Selangor State Legislative Assembly to convene from Aug 23 to Sept 3.


  1. Panasonic, a major battery supplier to Tesla, has sold its entire stake in the company for JPY400 bil (USD3.6 bil) in its last fiscal year ending March 2021. Panasonic first signed a supply contract with Tesla in 2009 and subsequently bought into the automaker in 2010 soon after its IPO, acquiring 1.4 mil shares at USD21.15 per share for a total investment of USD29.6 mil. Despite the sale, Panasonic said that its “relationship with Tesla as a business partner will not change going forward” and will continue supplying them batteries. This 11-year investment made a return of 121.6x for Panasonic.

  2. What are the Chinese tech giants getting into next? Coffee chains. Tencent, ByteDance and Meituan are among the Chinese tech companies betting on coffee chains in China and that their products and coffee shops will go together as well. According to research, China’s cafe market was approximately RMB90 bil (USD13.9 bil) in 2020 and is expected to grow to USD120 bil (USD18.5 bil) by 2023, about 15% growth per annum on average. 

    Frequented mostly by the younger generation, the tech giants see the coffee chains as a channel to promote their services such as video games and streaming videos. ByteDance and Meituan both invested in Manner Coffee (130 outlets, valuation USD2.5 bil)  whilst Tencent has invested in Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain. As for Alibaba, it entered into a tie-up with Starbucks in 2018. Read the research here on China’s coffee-drinking culture by the Specialty Coffee Association

  3. Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, through Reliance Industries has unveiled a new phone, JioPhone Next, co-developed with Google. Jio is India’s leading telecom operator with over 423 mil users. Though no price was disclosed for this phone, it is described as an “ultra-affordable 4G smartphone” that will entice users that are “trapped in the 2G era” in Ambani’s words. 

    This announcement came nearly a year after Google agreed to buy a USD4.5 bil stake in Jio Platforms, the digital arm of Reliance Industries. Jio will be going up against the leading smartphone makers in India namely the Chinese brands - Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus. 

    News in Brief:

  4. Doximity Inc, the social network for doctors to communicate securely with each other, made its public debut on Thursday, valuing it at more than USD7 bil. It has more than 1.8 mil members. 

  5. The prominent VC, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), founded in 2009 has quickly established itself amongst the leading VC in the industry. Below are the 11 investments in which it held at least a 5% stake that has gone IPO, cementing a16z’s reputation and power:

  6. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board proposed a USD650 bil expansion in its emergency reserves,  or Special Drawing Rights (SDR), the largest in its history. The funds will be utilised to help the most vulnerable members of the global lender weather the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. However, as the cash gets split among its members based on their shareholding, the rich members will benefit the most, with only 7% or USD42 bil of the total going to the 44 poorer nations


  1. Instead of the conventional green screen used for animation, The Mandalorian uses virtual sets (LED screen). One of the biggest benefits of using virtual sets — the light from the LEDs provide realistic colours and reflections.

  2. John McAfee’s last words according to his wife, Janice McAfee: “I love you and I will call you in the evening”. Are those words of someone who is suicidal?

  3. Malaysia once again tops a list: days spent without a parliament sitting since the pandemic outbreak.