FinanceTwitter Money Finance Economy Business Invest News Sat, 18 Aug 2018 18:02:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Revealed – This Is How Much Profit Ferrari Makes For Every Sports Car It Sells Sat, 18 Aug 2018 18:02:17 +0000 Enzo Ferrari was not initially interested in the idea of producing road cars when he formed Scuderia Ferrari in 1929. The Scuderia Ferrari, however, was founded as an Alfa Romeo racing team. It would take another 10 years before Ferrari becoming independent in 1939. Hence, before Ferrari, the brand Alfa Romeo was already involved in car racing since 1911.


Italian Ferrari sports car is often compared with German’s Porsche. While Porsche is a great and practical sports car which you can drive to office from Monday to Friday, Ferrari is more exciting for weekends when you need to feel free and show off. If you can’t decide which one to own, the best solution is to get them both.


Ferraris can cost anywhere from about US$200,000 to over US$300,000 per car. Of course, it will cost you a leg and an arm for limited edition Ferrari or classic models sold at auction. They are collectible items. A 1963 Ferrari GTO – one of only 36 that were made – was sold this year in a private deal for a mind-boggling US$70 million.

A 1963 Ferrari GTO Sold For 70 Million Dollars

Sources said the car was sold by a German collector to David MacNeil, the founder of WeatherTech, the maker of car floor mats. The previous highest price for a car was US$52 million, paid for another 1963 Ferrari GTO in 2013. According to Marcel Massini, the world’s top collectible Ferrari expert – “We will see a GTO sell for US$100 million in the next two to three years.”


But do you know how much Ferrari makes for every supercar it sells? According to a German study conducted by Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhoffer, a director with CAR-Center Automotive Research based in Duisburg, Germany, the Italian luxury sports car Ferrari actually makes an average US$80,000 (£62,756; RM328,600) for every car it sold.


That’s a jaw-dropping truckload of profit. In comparison, Porsche, whose cars sell for about US$50,000 to US$150,000, makes only about US$19,000 (£14,900; RM78,000) profit for every car. Ferrari’s profit margin, therefore, is over 4 times that of Porsche. Mercedes, BMW and Audi make lesser – about US$10,500 (£8,230; RM43,130) per new car sold.

Ferrari Test Drive

Dudenhoffer reveals that he determined the average US$80,000 profit by taking annual revenue and EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) for the first half-year reports of 2018 and dividing it by the number of sold cars. Ferrari sold about 8,398 vehicles last year and shipped 8,014 units a year earlier in 2016. Ferrari’s net profit was US$178 million for first quarter this year, a 19% increase.


Porsche, on the other hand, sold 246,000 cars last year. Clearly, Ferrari’s profits come from the company’s strategy to keep supplies low in order to maintain high prices. Unlike Porsche, there is no such thing as an “entry-level” Ferrari, as far as the company is concerned. So, either you burn a ton of money for a Ferrari or you watch from the sideline.


Maserati, another Italian luxury car manufacturer established in 1914, is the least profitable in the sports car industry – making just US$5,800 per car. Amazingly, luxury Bentley actually loses nearly US$20,000 on every car it sells, while Tesla also loses over US$12,000 on every vehicle it sells.

Ferrari Sports Car Models

Lamborghini and Bugatti, two of four (the others being Porsche and Bentley, of course) luxury cars owned by German’s Volkswagen, do not publish its earnings data, probably because neither was terribly profitable in the past. However, Bernstein Research once estimated Bugatti lost US$6 million (£4.7 million; RM24.6 million) on each Veyron hypercar produced.


Things could be about to change though. Lamborghini, which has about 1 billion Euros of annual sales, is launching the Urus SUV this year. Armed with an insane 641 horsepower (twice of Lamborghini Miura) powered by a 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine, the Lamborghini’s second SUV is estimated to be costing a cool RM1 million a pop.


Volkswagen was reportedly planned to bundle Porsche, Bugatti, Bentley and probably Lamborghini eventually into a new product group called “Super Premium.” That would make the brand worth a staggering 100 million Euros. There were also suggestions that Volkswagen should just buy over Ferrari – to add another luxury marque to its family.

Ferrari and Other Sports Car


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100 Days – These Charts Show Malaysia Ringgit Performance Under New Government (It’s Pretty Good) Fri, 17 Aug 2018 05:46:57 +0000 Today (August 17) marks the 100th day of New Malaysia – the administration of 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad after the collapse of old Barisan Nasional government. Ever since Independence in 1957, then-Malaya and subsequently Malaysia (1963) has only known one federal government – the Alliance – which later restructured to become Barisan Nasional.


Malaysians, after being ruled by the same Barisan government for 61 years, were incredibly angered by corruption, inequality, racism, skyrocketing cost of living and the infamous 1MDB scandal. Hence, on May 9, 2018, they decided to teach the arrogant and out-of-touch Barisan a lesson they would not forget for the rest of their life – send them to the opposition camp.


Since coming to power, the new Pakatan Harapan government has lost no time trying very hard to fulfill its general election manifesto. The manifesto, unveiled on March 8, 2018, basically contains 10 promises to be delivered within its first 100 days in power. That’s an average of 1 promise in every 10 days for the inexperienced Pakatan administration.

Malaysia Pakatan Harapan Manifesto 2018 - 10 Promises in 100 Days

Naturally, not all the 10 promises could be fulfilled. Nobody has expected the new government to be able to deliver all its manifesto within the 100 days, and they are pretty cool with that. At least primary issue such as GST (goods and services tax), the “Archilles Heel” which brought down scandal-plagued Najib Razak, has been abolished.


The promise to stabilise price of petrol has also been fulfilled when the RON95 and diesel prices are fixed at RM2.20 and RM2.18 per litre respectively. Six other promised are in progress while 2 promises have not been kept at all – the abolishing of Felda settlers’ debts and RM500 health scheme for B40 (households earning RM3,900 a month or less).


Obviously, the new government would have no problem fulfilling all its 10 promises had the national coffers been in excellent condition. After all, 99% of the problems in the world can be solved with money. Unfortunately, with RM1 trillion in debt thanks to ex-premier Najib, there are only so much that Pakatan government can do.

Malaysia Government Gross Debt 1990-2017 Q1 - Finance Minister Performance

Still, just because the people understood and forgave the new government on its inability to deliver its 100-day pledges, it doesn’t mean Mahathir administration can forget about them. As the Barisan, now the new opposition, wasted little time ridiculing and criticizing the new government’s failure to keep its promises, many have missed out an important thing – Ringgit.


The performance of currency is a vital yardstick in determining the stability of a government, especially so in Malaysia where the new Pakatan government has taken over for the first time in more than half a century. For this reason alone, former PM Najib had spooked the voters that the currency (Ringgit), and stock market for that matter, will crash if Pakatan wins the 14th general election.


Looking at the performance chart of US dollar against major Asian currencies, clearly the Ringgit has been depreciating against the dollar. But so are all the currencies in the region. In fact, the Singapore Dollar, Thai Baht, Indonesia Rupiah and Philippine Peso have all been weakening against the US dollar since early of 2018.

Currency Performance - 1 Year - Major Asian Currencies vs US Dollar - 17 August 2018

Gaining steam, the dollar has been boosted by the fact U.S. data have been positive, not to mention the multiple interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The current trade war between United States and China could only mean one thing – the Chinese Yuan / Renminbi will continue to depreciate and in the process put pressure on Asian currencies as well.


To be fair, if measured over the 100-days since the Pakatan took over on May 9, the ringgit has depreciated over 3.3% against the US dollar, worse than Indonesian rupiah and Thailand baht’s 3%. But within the same period, the mighty Singapore dollar has weakened by about 2.3%. Not bad for the ringgit since the jaw-dropping revelation that Malaysia has actually RM1 trillion in foreign debts.


More importantly, even when the ringgit is compared against other Asian currencies, the local currency appears to be pretty stable. Malaysians who love to visit sex city Hatyai might be complaining about the conversion rate – 1 Ringgit to 8 Baht. But at the same time, the ringgit is holding quite well against the Singapore dollar, trading below 3 ringgit to a dollar.

Currency Performance - 1 Year - Major Asian Currencies vs US Dollar - 17 August 2018

Could there be a difference had Barisan under Najib regime won the 14th general election? We will never know. But as the chart says, the ringgit has been under pressure together with other Asian currencies since early of the year. Therefore, chances are the ringgit will suffer the same fate simply because the entire world’s currencies, including the Chinese Yuan, are affected.


What we know, however, is if the country’s RM1 trillion debt is exposed under Najib regime, all hell will break loose. To get a feel of how the ringgit was dumped after the revelation of 1MDB scandal in 2015, one has to revisit the currency performance back in June, 2015. Back then, the US dollar was wrecking havoc in Asia too.


Three years ago, among the 5 major Asian currencies, Malaysian Ringgit was the worst performer, depreciated by as much as 16.47% against the US dollar. That was followed by Indonesia Rupiah (-10.84%), Singapore Dollar (-7.79%), Thai Baht (-3.85%) and Philippines Peso (-3.57%). At the same period, all major Asian currencies actually “appreciated” against the ringgit.

1MDB Scandal vs USD-Ringgit Currency Collapse

US-Dollar vs ASIAN Currencies - 1 Year - 10Dec2015

On the same month Mahathir administration exposed that the previous government had accumulated RM1 trillion debts, rating agency Moody’s threatened to slap the country’s sovereign credit ratings with “negative” unless the new government is able to cushion the revenue loss – after the announcement that the 6% GST will be scrapped.


Interestingly, 3 days ago, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Malaysia’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) at “A-” with a stable outlook supported by solid economic growth. Fitch said the affirmation not only takes into consideration measures such as the rollback of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but also the stated intention to reduce fiscal deficits and improve governance.


Considering that the GST has been scrapped and the fuel subsidy has been re-introduced, surprisingly the Ringgit isn’t doing too bad. If the new government continues to grow the economic pie and practices prudent spending, the local currency should be doing well.

Malaysia Ringgit and US Dollar


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BOOM!! – Here’s Why Oil Prices Sink To 8-Week Low, Despite Saudi Production Cut & Iran Sanctions Thu, 16 Aug 2018 04:40:58 +0000 OPEC reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia cut its oil production in July, a surprise move after Riyadh had pledged to ramp up output following the June meeting in Vienna. Additionally, President Donald Trump has been threatening all and sundry to stop buying Iranian oil, as part of U.S. sanctions against the country. Theoretically, the oil prices should skyrocket.


In fact, some ultra-bullish hedge funds think that the U.S. sanctions will remove much more than 1 million bpd (barrel per day) of Iranian oil from the market. Hence, they are extremely excited and expect oil prices to jump to as high as US$150 a barrel in 18 to 24 months. That is more than double of current price. That would be excellent news to oil producer nations.


Jean-Louis Le Mee, CEO at London-based Westbeck hedge fund told Reuters – “Our view is that by November 4, we will have lost between 1.3 and 1.4 million barrels [of output] a day. It is a very big number. That’s based on the view that the U.S. will allow a few temporary exception waivers. Ultimately, we could see losses from Iran exceed 2 million barrels a day.

WTI Crude Oil Prices Chart - 15August2018

As Trump administration looks to have Iran’s current customers reduce Iranian oil imports to “zero”, analysts expect the crude oil prices to go North. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, total cut-off of Iranian exports would lead to a price spike to above US$120 a barrel. For every 1 million barrels per day imbalance, the Bank of America sees a price impact on Brent of around US$17.


So, why has the oil prices sunk to its 8-week low instead? The American West Texas Intermediate crude is currently trading at US$65 a barrel, challenging the low of mid-June. The U.S. crude oil plunged on Wednesday, hitting an eight-week low after data showed that U.S. oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week.


The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories rose by 6.8 million barrels in the week ended August 10. Analysts’ expectations were for a decline of 2.4 million barrels. The report also showed that gasoline inventories decreased by 740,000 barrels, compared to expectations for a drop of 583,000 barrels.

US President Donald Trump vs Turkish President Erdogan

Besides the surprising rise in crude oil inventories, the other reason why the black gold defies the logic of Saudi oil production cut and Iranian sanctions can perhaps be found in President Trump’s tweet. The U.S. president decision of doubling of metals tariffs on Turkey – a whopping 20% on aluminium and 50% on steel – has spooked the global markets.


However, it isn’t the sudden Turkish Lira currency crisis that the market is concerned about, but rather the potential for economic and financial contagion stemming from the crisis. On its own, the crisis is a “home-grown” problem which should not be a threat to other countries. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has so far retaliated with tariffs on U.S. imports.


Erdogan’s decree, raising tariffs on cars to 120%, on alcoholic drinks to 140% and on leaf tobacco to 60% will have limited impact on the United States. The Turkish Lira has rebounded, for now. But that’s because the country’s banking regulator has curbed investors’ ability to buy and short the national currency. Clearly, quick political fixes isn’t the answer to a long-term solution.

Turkey President Erdogan vs US President Trump - Lira Currency Crisis

With the U.S. and China engaging in trade war, there’s little chance that the Chinese will take orders from the Americans in punishing the Iranians. Beijing has repeatedly asserted it will continue buying Iranian crude. Last month, Iran admitted – “If China … buys Iran’s oil, we can resist the U.S. … China is the only country which can tell the U.S. off.”


On its part, Iran reportedly has a tactic to save its market share – offering discounts – of its crude oil for Asian clients, arguably its biggest buyers. Reuters’ source confirms that the National Iranian Oil Company had reduced oil prices for Asian clients by between US$0.75 and US$0.90 a barrel, with prices for Western clients down by US$0.50 a barrel.


The latest conflict between Trump and Erdogan also means Turkey is more determined to keep buying Iranian oil, breathing another new line of life to Iran. Even before the mini war between the U.S. and Turkey, Erdogan has vowed not to obey Trump’s order to boycott Iran. The U.S. was also not impressed with Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defence system.

United States and China Trade War - Ships

An ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China also continues to feed concerns that global economic growth will slow and ultimately shrink demand for oil. Chinese oil importers now appear to be shying away from buying U.S. crude oil as they fear Beijing may decide to add the commodity to its tariff list. This adds pressure to U.S. crude oil WTI as well.


Not a single tanker has loaded crude oil from the United States bound for China since the start of August – according to Thomson Reuters Eikon ship tracking data. In comparison, about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June and July were recorded. Why should China buy from the U.S. when they can buy cheaply from Iran, even if there isn’t any trade war between both nations?


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Bad Dog!! – Here’re The Hidden Reasons Why Doberman Nazri Bites Najib And Sucks Up To Mahathir Wed, 15 Aug 2018 16:50:03 +0000 Nazri Aziz, one of 191 UMNO warlords, has been a good and obedient dog until now. Make no mistake about it. Unlike other poodles from Barisan Nasional component parties – MCA, MIC, Gerakan, etc – Nazri refused crumbs from his master, Prime Minister of Malaysia. Yes, Nazri was UMNO’s most pampered dog, a Doberman which ate only the best steak in town.


Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, or simply Gangster Nazri, was also known as a cat with nine lives. He used to serve under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Badawi before running errands for Najib Razak. And now after his crooked master is about to go to jail, the dog is looking to serve a new master – Mahathir Mohamad – for the second time.


Under Mahathir’s premiership (ruled for 22 years from 1981 to 2003 ), Mr. Nazri was the Entrepreneur Development Minister, a portfolio that came with mouth watering perks especially the monopoly in the issuance of taxi permits. As the minister who “make or break” the rice bowl of taxi drivers, essentially he became extremely rich selling the permits.

Nazri Aziz Showing Finger Gesture 

This was the arrogant warlord who shouted “racist” 28 times in Parliament back in 2005. And he was the same cocky dog that called Mahathir a “bloody racist” while serving PM Badawi. And when he was exposed as the winner who bid for “WWW 97” car registration number, he arrogantly told all and sundry he had “lots of money”.


So when Mr. Nazri suddenly appears after 3 months of hiding, presumably to lick his wound after his party UMNO lost power for the first time in 61 years, all hell breaks loose. Everyone was shocked to hear that Nazri was actually shocked to discover the revelations about his boss, ex-premier Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor.


I did not know about Rosmah’s jewellery, I did not know about SRC International. I didn’t know when I was a minister that there was money and Jho Low (Najib’s partner-in-crime), it was not disclosed. I was shocked. I was shocked because as a party member, even when Mahathir was the UMNO president, we did not dig into what they said,” – claimed drama queen Nazri.

Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz with Son Mohamad Nedim Nazri

Of course, those who believe an ounce of his story should also have no problem believing in tooth fairy or that Kim Kardashian is still a virgin. As a lawyer himself, Nazri must have been a damn retarded warlord for thinking he could hoodwink and insult peoples’ intelligence with such childish story. How could he claim to be shocked when none of UMNO warlords were shocked by the revelations?


How could he even claim to not knowing about the plundering and stealing done by his boss Najib and wife Rosmah when the entire planet Earth knew about the Rosmah’s bling-bling, Najib’s money laundering via SRC International and fugitive Jho Low’s RM1 billion superyacht Equanimity, years ago? Yes, Nazri is one lying scumbag worse than his boss Najib.


In May 2016, the same Nazri actually told all and sundry that his boss PM Najib Razak had no obligations to inform anyone that he received a RM2.6 billion political donation. Jho Low’s superyacht was widely published when he sailed into Hong Kong water in 2016. The RM42 million transferred from SRC International into Najib’s private accounts in Ambank was also published in 2016.

Rosmah Mansor RM24 Million Diamond Ring

While Najib could be blinded by his love for Rosmah, what possibly could be Nazri’s compelling reason for not knowing Rosmah’s fetish for jewellery when the rumours – and admission – about a US$24 million diamond ring first appeared as early as 2011? Has Mr. Nazri selectively forgotten about that jewellery shipped by American jeweller Jacob & Co roughly 7 years ago?


In reality, Nazri Aziz had bet his entire chips on Najib but lost his shirt at the gambling table. That’s right, this thug is in deep shit for betting the wrong horse. The former Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri mocked PPBM as a “mosquito party”, right after the Registrar of Societies (RoS) was instructed to deregister Mahathir’s party in April this year.


In defending the RoS’ action, the outspoken Nazri insulted Mahathir – “When you get bitten by a mosquito, how do you feel? You scratch it and you still enjoy it, it’s nice to scratch.” Of course, after Mahathir won stunningly a month later, the same party that RoS initially believed was illegal suddenly becomes legal. And the RoS director-general Surayati Ibrahim lost her job for playing politics.

Robert Kuok Hock Nien

Heck, the mad dog Nazri was so confident of Barisan Nasional coalition retaining its power that he had even picked a fight with the much respected billionaire Robert Kuok. The Najib’s henchman was so rude that he called the Hong Kong-based tycoon a “coward with no testicles.” Nazri had also demanded Kuok to surrender his Malaysian citizenship for allegedly supporting opposition.


In January this year, Nazri famously mocked and laughed at then-opposition Pakatan Harapan for nominating Mahathir Mohamad as its prime ministerial candidate – calling the move ridiculous, stupid and regressive. He laughed – “What future will (nominating Dr Mahathir as premier) bring to our country? What (kind of) reform (can you bring about) when you nominate a 93-year-old man?”


Today, it’s both entertaining and amusing to read how Nazri makes a massive U-turn to not only support the 93-year-old Mahathir as the country’s prime minister, but also told his old boss Najib Razak to shut the fuck up. Najib was shocked that his dog bites the hand that feeds him. Obviously, Najib was terribly sad that Nazri told him to distance himself from UMNO.

Nazri Aziz Wanna With Doberman

There could be only one reason why the Doberman suddenly bites Najib and sucks Mahathir’s balls instead. Nazri desperately wants to jump ship and join a new master who walks the corridors of power. The opportunist deliberately kept silent for 3 months since the historic May 9, waiting for other UMNO warlords to make their moves first.


After warlords Johari Abdul Ghani, Annuar Musa and Rahim Tamby Chik openly criticized and condemned ex-PM Najib Razak, Mr. Nazri saw it safe to come out from his hiding and gave his boss a kick while he is down. The power-hungry Nazri who had spat at Mahathir is now more than happy to lick his saliva off the old man’s face, and the floor.


It’s a miracle what a desperate and shameless man like Nazri is willing to do for power and wealth. Even UMNO cybertroopers, propagandists and bloggers were disgusted with this disloyal dog. But it isn’t difficult to understand why Nazri acts in such despicable way. Nazri and Michael Chia Thien Foh were good business buddies – until UMNO losses its power.

Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz with Performers

Mohamad Nedim Nazri during his Playboy time with Chicks

Coincidently, Sabah timber tycoon Michael Chia was also a close friend of former Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, so much so that Chia was known as “adopted son” of Musa. Michael Chia was the guy who did all the money laundering for Musa Aman. Now that Mr. Musa has ran away to Britain after losing power in the May 9 general election, all hell breaks loose.


Musa Aman, now a fugitive, is afraid to return home because Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has an incredible thick file on him. And you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell that Michael Chia’s past dealing and wheeling could include Nazri’s corruption and money laundering after being minister for years.


In fact, their relationship was so closed that Nazri’s notorious playboy son – Mohamad Nedim Nazri – drove an American Hummer 2 SUV with registration number “WNX 9776”, belonging to none other than Michael Chia. The Hummer was one of many assets identified by the MACC investigation into illiterate Michael Chia’s money laundering scandal.

Mohamad Nedim Nazri and Michael Chia Tien Foh Mohamad Nedim Nazri using Michael Chia Hummer

And just like the daddy, junior gangster Nedim was involved in a brawl that resulted in the death of a student Darren Kang in 2004. In 2012, Nedim, who possessed fleets of supercars, bodyguards and a RM7 million bungalow despite not having a specific job, was caught on CCTV cameras assaulting a security supervisor at a posh condominium in Mont Kiara following a “minor altercation”.


Just like the murder of Darren Kang, Nedim miraculously escaped any charges despite the assault. However, like other ordinary Joes and Janes who had been victimized by UMNO untouchable gangsters, their past and old files could be reopened – in the name of justice. Nazri is absolutely terrified that the chickens will come home to roost eventually.


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Planet’s Top-20 Ultimate Best Food – Malaysia Hawker Food “Curry Laksa” Ranks 2nd Place Wed, 15 Aug 2018 04:43:55 +0000 When come to food, Malaysia is one of the countries where tourists should seriously consider. The country that produces the best fruit, durian, in the world – “Musang King” – is also the country that has a mind-boggling diversity of food. One of the reasons is due to Malaysia being a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religion country.


When you combine the culinary traditions of Malay, Chinese and Indians, you get a wonderful collision of flavours that make up Malaysian super delicious cuisine. In addition to the three major ethnic groups, you’ll also find Baba-Nyonya, or Peranakan food, a unique hybrid of Chinese and Malay culinary cultures. Penang is arguably the food capital of Malaysia.


Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has just released its global list of best food experiences and “Curry Laksa” is ranked 2nd in its “Ultimate Eatlist”. Not bad for a hawker food. While hawker centre is rocket science in the West, Malaysia has tons of them. It’s often said the best food come from hawker stalls which have the nastiest and worst hygiene (*grin*).

Food - Curry Laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Ingredients

There are actually two basic types of laksa – curry laksa and asam laksa. Here’s the difference in a nutshell – curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles. In the northern part of the Malaysia (Penang or Perak), curry laksa is simply called “Curry Mee” to differentiate it.


The “Ultimate Eatlist” was based on recommendations from world-renowned chefs José Andrés, Elena Arzak and Eric Ripert, as well as television food star Andrew Zimmern and BBC MasterChef judge and Chef Monica Galetti, not to mention 15 more of the world’s top chefs and food writers.


It’s not about the perfect meal at a three-Michelin star restaurant. Instead, it’s about how a dish tastes, its cultural significance and the importance of the location where it’s made and eaten. Malaysia’s curry laksa won the second best food experience based on the infamous (not so hygiene) hawker centres at Madras Lane, just off Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.

Food - Madras Lane, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur

Lonely Planet described the rich and creamy curry laksa as – “A heady mix of spices and flavours (such as fresh turmeric, galangal, chilli, candlenut and shrimp paste) go into the curry mix, which, when combined with coconut milk, creates the signature fiery orange appearance of the noodle soup.”


“Two types of noodles (thin rice and thick egg), along with shredded chicken, shrimp, cockles, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, a sprinkling of fresh chilli and mint and a squeeze of lime, make up the rest of the lip-smacking ingredients. It’s an only-in-Malaysia experience.” – concluded the “Ultimate Eatlist” on the curry laksa.


Part of the reasons why the curry laksa won was probably the experience of eating the food at Madras Lane, notorious for its narrow alleyway and limited number of plastic tables and chairs. Depending from which entrance you take, you may have to walk through a wet market that sells a variety of produce, meat, poultry and fish. So, it isn’t a nice experience for certain people.

Food - Madras Lane, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur - Entrance

The top of the list was Pintxos – Spanish small snacks typically eaten in bars – from the Basque coastal city of San Sebastián. Other Asian delicacies included sushi from Tokyo (third place), som tum (papaya salad) from Bangkok (5th place), bibimbap (a mixed rice dish) from Seoul (8th place), and Hong Kong’s dim sum (10th place).



{ 1 } Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain

Food - Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain



{ 2 } Curry Laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Food - Curry Laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2



{ 3 } Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

Food - Sushi in Tokyo, Japan



{ 4 } Beef Brisket in Texas, USA

Food - Beef Brisket in Texas, USA



{ 5 } Som Tum in Bangkok, Thailand

Food - Som tum in Bangkok, Thailand



{ 6 } Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, Denmark

Food - Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, Denmark



{ 7 } Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Food - Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand



{ 8 } Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea

Food - Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea



{ 9 } Pizza Margherita in Naples, Italy

Food - Pizza Margherita in Naples, Italy



{ 10 } Dim Sum in Hong Kong

Food - Dim Sum in Hong Kong



{ 11 } Ceviche in Peru

{ 12 } Pastéis de nata in Lisbon, Portugal

{ 13 } Oysters in Freycinet, Australia

{ 14 } Cheese in France

{ 15 } Jerk Chicken in Jamaica

{ 16 } Lamb Tagine in Marrakech, Morocco

{ 17 } Chilli Crab in Singapore

{ 18 } Moules Frites in Brussels, Belgium

{ 19 } Peking Duck in Beijing

{ 20 } Pho on the Hau River, Vietnam


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Turkey Financial Meltdown Looks Like The 1997 Asian Crisis – Erdogan May Look At Malaysia For Solution Tue, 14 Aug 2018 05:15:08 +0000 Turkish currency is trading just below 7 Lira to the U.S. dollar. If that level is breached, all hell will break loose. On Friday, the currency plunged as much as 20%. It’s still too early to tell if Lira has stabilised for good. As the Turkish havoc ripples through global financial markets, this could be just the beginning of a bigger meltdown.


It’s too late even if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agrees to free American Pastor Andrew Brunson who has been detained since 2016 in Turkey. The damage has been done. Erdogan can’t lose face by making a U-turn and Trump doesn’t regret about doubling the tariffs – 20% on aluminium and 50% on steel – on the NATO member.


Things can only get worse as Erdogan accused America of stabbing Turkey in the back, and threaten to move away from the West to befriend Russia, Iran and China. There’s little doubt that the notorious President Trump had chosen to kick Turkey while the country is down. But it’s also true that Turkey was already at the cliff when Trump decided to simply give it a small push.

Turkey Financial Crisis - Currency Exchange Rate

A series of interest rate hikes engineered by the Erdogan government has failed to stem the Lira’s plunge. Trump’s move helped sink the Turkish currency even more. Trump is guilty of adding fuel to the fire, but he certainly isn’t the architect of the Turkish financial chaos. In actuality, Turkey’s problem is quite similar to the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis.


Yes, we have actually seen this before – a heavily indebted country finds itself in crisis, the currency plunges and blaming game quickly turns to contagion and, ultimately, an expensive bailout. Similar to the Asian countries 20 years ago, Turkey has a massive foreign debt. In total, there’s some $US220 billion (£172 billion; RM900 billion) in foreign debt for Turkish companies and financial institutions.


Like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia during the 1997 Financial Crisis, Turkey has been a huge borrower in global capital markets. Over half of the borrowing is denominated in foreign currencies, therefore, you don’t need a rocket scientist to predict that when the Lira sinks, debt-servicing costs and default risks rise inevitably.

1997 Asian Financial Crisis - Demonstrators Thailand Closed

It didn’t help the situation that President Erdogan urged and appealed to average Joes and Janes on the street to sell dollars and gold and buy Lira – a desperate attempt to support the local currency. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had done precisely that too during the 1997 crisis. It went from bad to worse and the Malaysian Ringgit and stock market were crushed further.


Screaming and cursing Donald Trump won’t help too. Just like Erdogan, Mahathir too had bitched until foaming at the mouth at currency speculator George Soros for attacking the currencies 20 years ago. It didn’t matter whether Trump or Soros were the culprits. The fact remains that like Malaysia, Turkey has chosen the easy way of borrowing excessively.


Mahathir understood that now. That’s why he has condemned his protégé-turned-enemy ex-PM Najib Razak for excessive borrowing and as a result – debt ballooned to RM1 trillion. But unlike the Asian countries back in 1997, Turkey has a much bigger problem. Erdogan, obsessed to rule forever, has acquired broad new financial powers in the June election.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Worry

The defiant Erdogan appointed his son-in-law, son-in, Berat Albayrak, as the country’s finance minister. The financial markets, concerned that nepotism (and dictatorship for that matter) in the upper echelons of power is getting out of control, sold off the Lira in droves. Like Malaysia whose growth averaging 9% before 1997, Turkish 7% growth last year means the bubble was spectacularly huge.


William Jackson, chief emerging market economist at Capital Economics in London, said – “The risks are very big. This is an economy that is heavily dependent on foreign capital inflows. When you have growth (7%) like that, you have a build-up of vulnerabilities. Imports grew faster than exports, making Turkey quite dependent on foreign lending. That created a fragile situation.”


But Erdogan can only do so much by appearing as a tough leader, invoking the God, blaming the U.S. and everybody but his administration’s mistakes. Interestingly, Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian Finance Minister during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, is a good friend of Turkish President Erdogan. In fact, Anwar had spinal surgery performed in Turkey last month.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan Visits Malaysian Anwar Ibrahim

Has Anwar shared his secret recipe with Erdogan on how to fix the Turkish financial havoc? If he had, the solution would be to reach out to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) for help. But that plan by Mr. Anwar was never tested because his boss – PM Mahathir – disagreed about zero bailout for Malaysian companies facing bankruptcy.


As a matter of fact, Anwar’s preference for a free-market approach to the crisis, including foreign investment and trade liberalisation, was one of the factors contributing to his sacking in 1998. However, unlike Anwar, Erdogan is still in denial that Turkish economy was facing troubles. He still believes the free fall in the Turkish Lira was due to “an operation against Turkey”.


Also, there’s no way Erdogan will go begging from the IMF as it would be seen as losing face and dignity. The president has said that those calling for help from the IMF just wanted Turkey to give up its independence. On top of that, an IMF bailout would likely have unpopular by-products or measures such as higher taxes and lower spending.

Mahathir Mohamad - World’s Oldest PM - 1981 to 2003 and 2018 to Current

Hence, Erdogan could be looking at Mahathir’s solution – pegging the currency in defiance of IMF. In September 1998, Mahathir imposed selective capital controls and fixed the ringgit at 3.80 to the U.S. dollar as part of measures to stem the rapid outflow of speculative hedge funds from the country, and to shield Malaysia from the currency fluctuations.


The IMF, initially sceptical, eventually agreed that Malaysia’s approach to peg the ringgit in dealing with the Asian financial crisis was the correct move. “With hindsight, we have to recognise the good performance of the economy. The performance of the economy since the crisis shows that Mahathir is right.” said the fund’s managing director Horst Kohler in 2003.


Kohler said the move to peg the currency had worked as “shock absorbers” for the economy when it was dealing with the crisis. However, as admitted by Mahathir himself in 2015, the decision to peg the ringgit during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis was one of the most “dangerous ideas” he had ever implemented – as it defied the conventional means.

Turkey Financial Crisis - President Erdogan Looks For Solution From Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad

Still, just because it worked for Malaysia doesn’t mean it will surely work for Turkey. Turkish problem isn’t because its currency was under attack. The country’s 7.2% GDP growth was artificially created when Turkish banks and companies were racking up debt denominated in U.S. dollars to fuel consumption and spending. And now they’re paying the price after the bubble burst.


Turkey spends more than it earns and buys more goods and services than it sells. Its foreign currency debt now stands at more than 50% of its GDP. In comparison, Indonesia’s foreign currency borrowing is roughly 30% of GDP. But unlike Indonesia, Turkey doesn’t have large enough reserves to rescue the economy when things go wrong. Alternatively, Erdogan can call Chinese President Xi Jinping for help (*grin*).


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Singapore Will Be Seen As Harbouring Crooks If Jho Low’s $35 Million Bombardier Jet Is Not Returned Mon, 13 Aug 2018 05:34:37 +0000 Jho Low (fullname: Low Taek Jho) was madly furious after his favourite toy, the US$250 million (RM1 billion) Equanimity superyacht – was handed over to the new government of Malaysia by Indonesia without much challenge. The Penang-born fugitive had obviously underestimated the Malaysia-Indonesia close relationship.


The band of highly paid lawyers of Jho Low, while having been trained in arguing, twisting and spinning laws to recover the luxury vessel, have absolutely little knowledge about the geopolitics factor attached to that yacht. They hadn’t a clue how little respect President “Jokowi” Joko Widodo has on former Prime Minister Najib Razak, let alone his partner-in-crime Jho Low.


Had they realized how the Indonesian mainstream media – both print and electronic – ran down Najib Razak (while he still walks the corridors of power) and his wife Rosmah Mansor in regards to their lavish spending, they would have had known that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was up to something “not good” when he visited President Jokowi in June.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and President Jokowi

That’s call geopolitics or international relations, something which Jho Low probably has difficulty comprehending. There’s a reason why do cats play with mice before killing them. And Jho Low is that mice being played by a 93-year-old cat called Mahathir. The fugitive is no longer just a crook or a thief but has become a chess piece on a political game board being played by Mahathir.


Former premier Najib Razak, and the entire 3-million members of UMNO political party for that matter, have learned the hard way how Mahathir skillfully destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed UMNO since 1988. Did anyone notice how UMNO leaders rarely badmouth Mahathir nowadays? The mere mention of Mahathir’s name would send shivers down their spine.


Shooting blanks, Jho Low accused Mahathir of “putting words in the mouth” of U.S. Department of Justice by saying the Equanimity superyacht’s arrival in the country last week was after negotiations with the Americans. PM Mahathir sarcastically replied – “I am very proud that I can put words in the mouth of the U.S. Government. I must be greater than Trump.

Najib Razak and Jho Low

It was actually an incredible dumb move by Jho Low to play politics with the old fox who had previously ruled the country for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. Even if the seizure of the vessel was controversial, not that Attorney General Tommy Thomas would allow any illegality to happen, does the fugitive think the U.S. would admit they have been outsmarted by a 93-year-old Mahathir?


And how could the U.S. reject the seizure of the yacht when it was them who had asserted ownership of the yacht “on behalf of Malaysia” in the first place? There’s a reason why getting the Equanimity superyacht is of paramount importance, so much so that Mahathir specifically took to social media broadcasting his appreciation to Indonesia for their kind cooperation and collaboration.


The handover of the luxury vessel will form the “base” from which the Malaysia government can launch new demands for the return of other overseas assets bought using money stolen from 1MDB funds. Such assets, including luxury real estate, artworks, investments, private jet and whatnot, have yet to be recovered as they were under investigation in at least three continents.

The Equanimity Super Yacht - Jho Low and Mahathir

As expected, Mahathir’s next target is to bring home a private jet – Bombardier Global 5000 – impounded by Singaporean authorities in 2017 and grounded at the Seletar Airport ever since. The US$35 million jet, belonging to Jho Low, is believed to be part of some US$1 billion in assets acquired with funds siphoned from 1MDB that the U.S. government is moving to seize.


However, getting back the private jet from Singapore hasn’t been as smooth as the Equanimity yacht. In fact, there were tons of money siphoned out and being parked in Singapore financial institutions that should be returned to Malaysians. But the Singapore government is giving a tough time to Malaysia – prove that the money is yours!


It’s a public knowledge that Singapore was silent over the stashing of money laundered by Najib Razak and Jho Low in the island. The fact that the new government of Mahathir was forced to appoint Singapore firm – Tan Rajah & Cheah – to recover billions of ringgit speaks volumes how Singapore had kept the 1MDB scandal as quiet as possible.

Bombardier Global 5000 Private Jet

The assets sought include at least S$240 million (US$174 million; £136 million; RM713 million) cash, of which about S$120 million belonged to Mr Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and his immediate family. But while it’s a bit tricky to claim the cash, it is a totally different animal when comes to assets such as the US$35 million Bombardier Global 5000.


After Indonesia gladly returned the RM1 billion Equanimity superyacht to Malaysia, what could be the excuses, if any, that the government of Lee Hsien Loong has in not returning the private jet to the rightful owner – the people of Malaysia? After all, it was the U.S. Department of Justice that has established that the jet was purchased in 2010 using funds stolen from 1MDB.


Is Singapore going to deny Malaysia’s request to hand over the private jet, and in the process indirectly challenge the U.S.-DOJ investigation results that says over US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB fund, with some of the money used to buy the private jet, a superyacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate?

Najib Razak and Lee Hsien Loong - Sharing Durian

If Lee Hsien Loong government chooses to pussyfoot and drag its feet over the claims, it will go to prove that the Singapore is more interested in protecting and harbouring crooks like Najib Razak and Jho Low. Yes, getting the Equanimity was Mahathir’s strategic move to pressure Singapore into surrendering ill-gotten assets plundered and parked in the island.


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UMNO Brotherhood My Foot!! – Ungrateful Warlords Sharpening Knives For Najib’s Head Sun, 12 Aug 2018 12:32:04 +0000 Najib Razak is game over. He is toast. It would take a miracle for the former Malaysia prime minister to walk away scot free. The strategy is to charge him with criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and abuse of power – and repeat that process – over any irregularities found in relation to 1MDB scandal – either directly or indirectly.


Yes, that include 1MDB subsidiary SRC International Sdn. Bhd. You can bet your last ringgit that there would be more charges to be slapped on the scandal-plagued Najib. From Felda, EPF, PNB, LTAT, KWAP, Tabung Haji and whatnot, the ex-premier had been raping and sodomising all of them, one way or another, leaving his finger prints all over the places.


As published previously, Mr. Najib was asking for trouble when he proudly claimed that the RM3.5 million cash stolen by his office’s security guards is UMNO’s money. Now the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) plans to treat him with cups of free coffee in another interrogation over his latest claims. He could be slapped with new CBT or money laundering charges.

1MDB Scandal - Money Trail Into Najib Razak Private Account - Transferred Back

Mr. Najib appears to be losing his mind. He spoke freely without thinking of the consequences. It didn’t make sense that only he (and the 17 security guards) knew about the cash lying around in the Prime Minister Office. If there were other people who knew about the money, they aren’t telling and certainly not coming forward as witness to support the Najib’s claims.


UMNO warlords, like Najib, initially thought the power they have lost on May 9 was just a temporary hiccup. Like any tragedy, UMNO is experiencing the infamous “Grief Cycle” – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. After 3 months of living in denial, it appears that the party which is mainly made of thieves has entered the stage of “anger.”


Desperately, UMNO angry warlords are hungry to blame someone, anyone, to justify their defeat. They have been blaming everyone and everything under the Sun. After being humiliated in the Sungai Kandis by-election – where they had blamed the “Chinese, Christian and Communist” – UMNO warlords now prepare to throw their former boss – Najib Razak – under the bus.

UMNO Warlord Johari Abdul Ghani

Najib is seen by UMNO-Malays as extremely toxic, and can no longer add value to the party. The blame party started when Johari Abdul Ghani, the warlord of Titiwangsa, questioned UMNO’s decision to put Najib Razak in charge of the Sungai Kandis campaigning. Interestingly, he also criticised the pact between UMNO and PAS Islamic party.


Mr. Johari was perhaps the only UMNO warlord who has finally woken up and realized it was a terrible mistake to offend and insult the non-Malays, especially the ethnic-Chinese. He said – “They can take pride in winning in their respective constituencies, but their statements which offended the non-Malays led to many of their comrades in UMNO and BN paying the price in urban areas.”


UMNO secretary-general Annuar Musa, another UMNO warlord, was more daring when he said the party should no longer defend former president Najib Razak. He said – “We must continue this journey. We are not going to wait. We are not going to waste our time defending Najib. We in UMNO cannot carry this baggage forever. There must be a cut-off. It is entirely his (Najib’s) responsibility.”

Annuar Musa - UMNO Information Chief

Mr. Annuar continued his babbling – “Najib is one person, no one is indispensable. Najib is no longer the president of the party. To me, he is just a party member. Whether people support him or not, it is immaterial. The party is more important than any individual. Najib has already relinquished his position and now the party is under a new administration. We are going to do it the new way.”


Former UMNO vice president Rahim Tamby Chik, on the other hand, has suggested an even extreme and inhumane action – terminate Najib’s membership. He argued – “If his membership is terminated, the people will be able to see and feel a major political sacrifice and a huge reform of this sacred party to ensure the people will keep supporting it in the future without having any doubts.”


However, newly crowned party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has come to Najib’s defence, telling those criticising the ex-president to “not kick a man when he’s down”. To be fair to Mr. Najib, none of the warlords had objected to their ex boss campaigning for the Sungai Kandis by-election. It was only after the results were fantastically horrible that they started sharpening their knives for Najib’s head.

Rahim Thamby Chik - former Malacca Chief Minister

When Najib still walks the corridors of power, all of the ungrateful warlords fought tooth and nail bootlicking the most powerful man in the country. Johari Abdul Ghani, former Finance Minister II, was the same joker who claimed the (Najib) regime will take legal action against the individuals (Najib himself) named in the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil suit related to 1MDB – if found guilty.


Besides being a strong supporter of Najib’s GST (goods and services tax), Johari had also defended Najib when he lied in 2017 that Finance Ministry (MoF) has never given any public funds to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to help settle its debt. Now, the new government has established that the finance ministry, under Najib Razak, had paid RM6.98 billion on behalf of 1MDB.


Astonishingly, Johari Abdul Ghani was the same racist UMNO warlord who arrogantly declared in 2010 that he couldn’t care less about Chinese and Indian votes because he only needed 70% of the Malay votes to secure Barisan Nasional coalition victory. Today, he has the cheek to lecture UMNO for offending the Chinese and Indian voters in the Sungai Kandis by-election.

Najib Razak Praying - 1MDB - Handcuffs

As early as December 2017, Annuar Musa shamelessly proclaimed that Najib Razak was UMNO’s most democratic leader whom wasn’t greedy for money or power. In fact, he told all and sundry that Mahathir Mohamad could not defeat Najib Razak because the latter possessed special talent and genuine friendship and sincere brotherhood within UMNO which hadn’t existed before.


UMNO brotherhood my foot!! Less than 3 months after UMNO lost its power, Mr. Annuar became the first person to suggest Najib should be cut loose to fend for himself. It speaks volumes about the warlord’s ungratefulness when at one time; Najib didn’t cut him loose despite the former MARA chairman caught with his pants down in MARA property corruption scandal in Australia.


Besides opening a Pandora’s Box of MARA kleptocracy in Australia, the corruption scandal of Dudley House apartment block in Australia has essentially revealed more than RM100 million corruption scandal involving four Melbourne properties under Annuar Musa chairmanship. He was also exposed by Johor Crown Prince of siphoning funds meant for Kelantan to buy himself a Porsche Panamera.

Rahim Thamby Chik - Underaged School Girl Rape Scandal - 1994

Lim Guan Eng- Jailed For Defending A 15-Year-Old Malay School Girl

The disgraceful Rahim Tamby Chik should be the last person on planet Earth qualified to criticise Najib, let alone urging UMNO to terminate the son of Razak’s membership. Mr. Rahim was the same pervert and sex maniac who raped a 15-year-old Malay school girl (under Malaysian law, sex with minor constitutes statutory rape) back in 1994.


Ironically, the present Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was the opposition MP who had stood and spoken against the then-Chief Minister of Malacca Rahim Thamby Chik. Mr. Lim was instead arrested, charged and imprisoned 18 months while all rape charges against Mr. Rahim was dropped. In 2015, the UMNO warlord spread fake news that the Selangor prince had converted to Catholicism.


Together with Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Shuib Lazim, the trio were the despicable behind the making, possessing and distributing of a sex video with an evil intention to frame opposition de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim. Still, Najib rewarded the scumbag Rahim with chairmanship at RISDA (Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority).

UMNO Ungrateful Warlords Against Najib Razak - Johari Abdul Ghani, Annuar Musa, Rahim Thamby Chik and Zahid Hamidi

Don’t be fooled by UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s sympathy towards Najib Razak though. The drama queen could be playing good-cop-bad-cop with those UMNO warlords to sacrifice Najib Razak, hoodwinking the already incredible dumb party members and illiterate and ignorant Malay folks with a false perception that UMNO is a newly born innocent organization.


Unfortunately, distancing themselves from Najib Razak at this hour is rather too late. In the contrary, it could backfire and be seen as ungrateful, disloyal, insincere and deceitful for labelling their former president as damaged goods, expired products, toxic substances, obsolete hardware and irrelevant thief. They should not dump but continue worshipping their beloved ex-president (*grin*).


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Dollar vs God – Lira Crashes 16% After Trump Doubled Tariffs To Teach Erdogan A Lesson Fri, 10 Aug 2018 16:08:22 +0000 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has picked the wrong guy for a fight. While Saudi Arabia could bully Canada over a petty issue concerning human rights, Turkey has miscalculated when it thought Trump would not care about American Pastor Andrew Brunson who has been detained since 2016 in Turkey.


Brunson, who is from North Carolina and has worked in Turkey for more than 20 years, has been accused of helping the group Ankara claims was behind a failed military coup in 2016. The pastor, who has denied the charges, faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty. Last month, Trump threatened to slap “large sanctions” on Turkey if it refuses to free Brunson.


Washington’s threat prompted an angry response from Ankara. Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, called Washington’s threats unacceptable and damaging to the U.S.-Turkey alliance. The escalation from the U.S. was triggered a day after a Turkish court ordered that Pastor Brunson be moved to house arrest after 21 months in detention.

American Pastor Andrew Brunson

Escorted out of prison in the coastal city of Izmir, Brunson’s lawyer said he was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. Washington had actually expected the American pastor to be freed at his trial last week because after rounds of U.S.-Turkish talks, United States officials was under the impression that the deal was in place.


Trump unleashed his tweet, after Turkey refused to free Pastor Brunson – “The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!


President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, a devout Christian, didn’t need to try too hard to teach Erdogan a lesson. Even before Trump’s threat of imposing sanctions on Turkey, the country was already in quite a mess. The Turkish currency – lira – has lost one-fifth of its value this year over concerns about the central bank’s ability to rein in double-digit inflation.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence - Devout Christian


Last month, Erdogan named his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, as the country’s finance minister after being sworn in to another five-year term. But the financial markets were not impressed and as a result, the country’s stock market and currency Lira fell. The financial markets were concerned that nepotism (and dictatorship for that matter) in the upper echelons of power is getting out of control.


The U.S. subsequently announced on August 1 sanctions on Turkey’s justice and interior ministers, prohibiting U.S. citizens from doing business with them. The final straw that broke the camel’s back happens today after President Donald Trump authorized the doubling of metals tariffs on Turkey – a whopping 20% on aluminium and 50% on steel.


All hell breaks loose, with the Turkish Lira totally collapsed to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar. It crashes close to 16.63% as of time of writing. The first wave of Lira selling came early Friday after a Turkish delegation returned from the United States with apparently no progress on the detention of a U.S. pastor. However, Erdogan refused to be intimidated.

Currency - US Dollar vs Turkish Lira - 10August2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Worry

Erdogan told his supporters – “There are various campaigns being carried out. Don’t heed them. Don’t forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God. We are working hard. Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now.” Erdogan also claimed Turkey was facing an “economic war” but promised the country would respond to those countries who had started it.


He also urges the Turks to sell dollars and gold and buy Lira in what appears to be a desperate attempt to support the local currency. President Erdogan told his people – “Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks. This is a domestic and national struggle.”


Of course, it has gotten worse. The Turkish president statement is seen as a desperate call, hence the sell-off escalates. The last thing the financial markets need is a leader appealing his people to help defend the currency. It is a sign of panic, not to mention a signal that the Central Bank of Turkey can no longer defend the national currency Lira.

Turkish Lira Currency - Crashes After Tariff From Trump

Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell, said – “Currency weakness is fuelling inflation and making it more expensive for Turkey to repay its large foreign currency denominated debt.” The latest estimates from the IMF show that the total amount of Turkish debt payable in other currencies is more than 50% of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product).


Inflation in the country has been rampant with consumer prices rising almost 16% in July alone. This year, the Turkish Lira currency has fallen more than 40%. Turkey’s sovereign dollar-denominated bonds tumbled with many issues trading at record lows. Naturally, investors are busy today selling off shares in European banks with large exposure to the Turkish economy.


But this is just the beginning. The Lira’s continuous depreciation drives up the cost of imported goods from fuel to food for ordinary Turks and if not controlled, Erdogan could get a taste of what Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei are facing – nationwide demonstration against the government.

US President Donald Trump vs Turkish President Erdogan


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Prove It Bro!! – Najib’s Unbelievable Story His Office Had RM3.5 Million Cash Lying Around Fri, 10 Aug 2018 05:17:13 +0000 It’s commonly said the Queen doesn’t carry cash. Likewise, the President of the United States doesn’t carry cash too, as experienced by former President Obama in 2014 when his credit card was rejected in a New York restaurant. Thankfully, his wife Michelle was present on that occasion to pick up the tab. The Secret Service agents who are on hand at all times can provide a loan if necessary.


Back at the White House, a small stash of petty cash is on hand for employees to use for small, incidental expenses, such as postage stamps, office supplies, groceries, and staff lunches. There’s a reason why petty cash is deliberately kept to the minimum – to prevent theft. In 1995, former office director Billy R. Dale was charged of embezzling US$14,000 in petty cash, but was acquitted.


For obvious reason, the White House is unable to accept cash, checks, bonds, gift certificates, foreign currency, or other monetary equivalents. With little cash and tight security, the White House will be the last place bad guys want to rob. It’s hard to believe that the White House’s petty cash is flushed with US$1 million, let alone US$3.5 million.

Malaysia Ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak - Stash of Cash in Prime Minister Office

So, why the heck was former Malaysian premier Najib Razak’s office – Prime Minister Office (PMO) – flushed with RM3.5 million cash? It was jaw-dropping news when 17 security personnel of the Prime Minister Department had helped themselves to the cash on the night of polling on May 9, after learning that the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition “was losing the election.”


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as the saying goes, fits perfectly on the world’s biggest crook Najib Razak and the thieves his previous regime had recruited to guard the PMO. Like Najib’s wife Rosmah, the 17 thieves couldn’t resist showing off when they used their ill-gotten fortune to buy five vehicles – a Volkswagen Golf GTI, three Honda and a Perodua Alza – and 11 motorcycles.


The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has so far seized RM978,800 in cash, five cars, 11 motorcycles, five rings, a bangle, four necklaces, 11 handphones, as well as electrical goods, suggesting the thieves had spent about RM2.5 million on their shopping spree. Interestingly, former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed he had no knowledge of millions in cash kept in PMO.

Najib Razak - Keep Quiet Gesture

Mr. Najib, however, has claimed ownership, saying the RM3.5 million stolen from his old office was part of UMNO election funds. He said – “The cash was seized after being hurriedly transferred from the PMO to the apartments the day after the elections for eventual transfer to the new UMNO president.” In the same breath, he also claimed the RM117 million cash seized from his children’s luxury condominium belongs to UMNO.


Conveniently claiming all the cash, RM3.5 million and RM117 million together with RM1 billion worth of 12,000 pieces of jewellery are part of UMNO election funds is clearly Najib’s easiest way to wriggle out of the charges of stealing, plundering and laundering national coffers. Still, it’s an insult to the peoples’ intelligence that PMO once held over RM100 million cash and RM1 billion worth of jewellery.


As crazy as Trump might look, he would never have kept over US$100 million cash in the White House, let alone hurriedly transporting the massive cash – supposedly donations – from the White House to his daughter Ivanka Trump’s luxury apartment upon learning he was losing the 2020 Presidential Election. Mr. Najib’s story is a truckload of bullshit.

Putrajaya Prime Minister Office PMO

It seems that nobody knows about the stash of RM3.5 million cash hidden in the PMO, let alone the RM117 million cash, except Mr. Najib himself (and of course the 17 security personnel). Even if it’s true that the RM3.5 million cash indeed belongs to UMNO, it doesn’t prove the RM117 million cash found in his children’s apartment also belongs to the party.


It’s already hard to believe that RM3.5 million cash were lying around the PMO waiting to be picked up by lucky strangers. It’s absolutely insane that PMO was storing RM117 million cash being leftover from the 14th general election campaign, as suggested by the serial liar Najib Razak. Amusingly, he said he didn’t know why the cash (RM3.5 million) was not stored in safes.


Should not the so-called UMNO money be transferred to the party’s headquarter – PWTC (Putra World Trade Centre) – for safekeeping instead? There are more security guards at PWTC than his children’s luxury Pavilion Residences condominiums. As ordinary people struggled to put food on the table, it’s mind-boggling that his office and children’s apartments were flushed with cash.

PWTC UMNO Headquarter Building

Until today, neither Najib Razak nor UMNO leaders can explain satisfactory why the RM117 million cash were not deposited into banks after “more than 1 week” the 14th general election concluded. It was only after a raid at Najib children’s apartment units in Pavilion Residences that they started cooking stories the money belongs to the political party.


Najib can claim all the cash – found everywhere – as UMNO’s, but he still need to prove the ownership. It doesn’t matter if the money came from drug lords, gangsters, Saudi royal families or foreign countries betting on his regime. He still need to show proof that those money was indeed donations for UMNO. As the police previously said – UMNO wasn’t printed on the seized cash.


Perhaps the 17 security personnel entrusted to guard the PMO knew the RM3.5 million was dirty money which even UMNO dares not report if being stolen. Without him realising it, his latest admission could be used by the police or MACC to slap Najib Razak with additional charges of laundering money in his capacity as prime minister at the Prime Minister Office.

Najib Humiliated Election Defeat 2018 - Sombre Look At Press Conference


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