WHEN POLITICIANS & THE LEADERSHIP DON’T WALK THE TALK ITS FRIGHTENING, HEARTBREAKING AND EMBARRASSING SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE.

 

‘It is difficult for those whose finances are secured like VVIPs, Ministers, politicians and the civil servants to understand that there are communities going to bed hungry and others traumatized how they are going to manage another day, pay rent, loans, and workers or stay afloat?”

WHEN POLITICIANS & THE LEADERSHIP DON’T WALK THE TALK ITS FRIGHTENING, HEARTBREAKING AND EMBARRASSING SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE.

It is a fact that Covid-19 spread is already in the community!

My dear friend and Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has already stated that the entire country, except for Sarawak, will come under a second full movement control order (MCO 2.0) from Jan 22.

In an earlier statement, he also stated the current protocols initiated demands everyone to follow diligently and no exceptions given to any quarter!

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has also rightly reminded Malaysians from all walks of life to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs).

He is reported to have stated:

“I would like to remind myself and the people regardless of pangkat (position), ethnicity and other (categories) to follow SOPs.

“You are advised to stay at home if you do not have important matters (outdoors) because Covid-19 is already in the community and it is spreading.

“But if you have important matters (outdoors) please ensure we adhere to SOPs – wear a mask at all times, wash your hands and maintain a physical distance of at least one metre,” he said at the end of his Covid-19 briefing recently.

Brilliant advice it is, but are the VVIPs, politicians the corridors of power following them?

Have some sensitivity for our first responders and front-liners!

The reality is while the common man and women followed except a certain recalcitrant community, the worst offenders have been those who have been preaching to us as VVIPs, leaders, politicians and members of the sitting government!

Many are currently falling ill like dominoes with Covid-19!

Perhaps, it is divine repudiation?

It is no secret with the evidence of photographs making its rounds and the news of the current political persona joining the Covid 19 statistics.

So please share with us the common folks which part of the Covid 19 protocol of:

  1. Wear a mask at all times,
  2. Wash your hands and
  3. Maintain a physical distance of at least one metre, you did not understand?

Is this a just a ‘political technical glitch’ or political high-handedness and arrogance showed from day one of the infection spread in 2020?

And will these politicians be expecting special treatment and privileges by an already exhausted and stretched community of first responders and front-liners at our public hospitals?

Will they bring in their “political office and runners” into the hospital eco-system as well, putting the entire hospital community at risk?

This is a very serious question put forward!

The facts speak for themselves.

We say the country is under MCO but just look at Selangor, the current title holder for the highest Covid-19 infections, as I had predicted in September last year after monitoring community behavior and responses in the state to protocols.

It is business as usual.

The traffic jams are back all over!

There is a total disregard of protocols.

Even foreigners and foreign-workers, I am speaking of both legal and illegals walking around as if their bodies contain the necessary antibodies to prevent infection?

And then we are also churning out standard operating procedures that makes no economic, social and business sense and the sudden zig zags or claims that one is consulting the “Ministry of Health” is becoming comical.

I have been addressing healthcare issues from 1982 and from my experience and track record, while MOH in all fairness are expected to have answers to healthcare administration they are not super experts on all matters!

They have their own set of shortcomings and issues and we will not go into that here!

So if policies are going to be made which will impact social, business and others eco-systems let us be professional enough to rope in a taskforce of respected stakeholders who have been addressing such issues and with their input – plan an action platform that will not make victims of an already victimized and bleeding community and  business interest.

It is difficult for those whose finances are secured like VVIPs, Ministers, politicians and the civil servants to understand that there are communities going to bed hungry and others traumatized how they are going to manage another day, pay rent, loans, and workers or stay afloat?

And when the community returns fire with such responses as hashtag #SiBodohKauDengarSini (Listen here, idiot), we claim to be shocked?

And shocked at what, our own stupidity?

TERRORIST ATTACK ON CAPITOL HILL – DO NOT COMPROMISE WITH TERRORIST SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘It is also time to address other forms of race and religious based terror unleashed against minorities the world over!’

TERRORIST ATTACK ON CAPITOL HILL – DO NOT COMPROMISE WITH TERRORIST SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

The argument against negotiating with terrorists has always been consistent and direct at least as policy.

It has been a standard benchmark that democracies must never give in to violence, and terrorists must never be rewarded for using it.

And it is a fact that any negotiations give legitimacy to terrorists and their methods and undermine all state or other actors who have pursued political change through peaceful means.

We cannot have it both ways.

Negotiating with any terrorist groups will destabilize the negotiating governments’ political systems, moral ground, undercut international efforts to outlaw terrorism, and set a dangerous precedent.

But the fact is there are in practice, democratic governments who often negotiate with terrorists.

They forget that negotiating with terrorist groups legitimize them? How can policymakers engage with multifaceted, horizontal terror organizations without their ethical and moral standards being challenged?

I have always stated that these negotiations incite violence, weaken democratic states, and weaken the norm of non-violence.

As such those involved in and others who incited the storming of the US Congress must be dealt with severely in the national and international interest!

It is also time to address other forms of race and religious based terror unleashed against minorities the world over!

I pray that the incoming Biden administration will take a more hands on approach on these attacks.

That such issue will be addressed at the highest levels in the US, in the EU and the United Kingdom.

And trigger various forms of repercussions which include international sanctions, against those who are these regimes state and outsourced actors of these violent deeds!

KEEP OUR SCHOOLS CLOSED SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘I have already stated that the flooding in several states and the sudden steep rise in Covid-19 cases are enough reasons for the reopening of schools to be postponed and parents told to play their custodial roles!’

KEEP OUR SCHOOLS CLOSED SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

As I write this piece, I am advised there is a record 2451 reported new cases of Covid 19 infections, there are 542 fatalities.

About 26,185 warded and a total infection number of 133,559 reported cases!

I have already stated that as I see it – Malaysia is now in the Intensive Care Unit and there is fatigue, fear, frustrations, failing hearts and courage and the naked silence of certain individuals quite apparent.

We are told that our healthcare is at breaking down mode.

I am sure these individuals have been professionally advised and I will echo that any failure of a duty of care will confirm the blood of these infected and dying or dead will be in their hands!

I have always stated if only our politicians fought corruption, incompetence, racism, fascism, race and religious baiting and local versions of apartheid utterances, as they fight the opposition and attack minorities, how good it would be in the eyes of natural justice?

It will be foolish to expect that!

But let us address a very delicate and pertinent issue which is a ticking time-bomb in the eye of the current covid-19 escalation.

I am referring to the announcement that schools will be reopened.

I have repeated appealed that there should always be consistency, clarity, accountability in public policy deliberations.

The decision to open the inter-state movement despite knowing that our local recalcitrant communities will go insane and not follow the SOPs was a big mistake as was that Sabah political adventure!

Now we are talking about opening the schools when the state of unpredictability is still staring at us is reckless!

Even in the UK and other destinations there is a re-think about this.

What more here in Malaysia when what we see daily is sheer recklessness behavior by all?

Where is the assurance coming from that opening the schools is the best response during the floods in the east coast and in the eye of the now spike in covid-19 cases?

Please put their names on record!

I have already stated that the flooding in several states and the sudden steep rise in Covid-19 cases are enough reasons for the reopening of schools to be postponed and parents told to play their custodial roles!

Keeping the schools closed does not mean they can then take the family to the malls, outings, picnics, for walk-a-bouts as well.

Even if the number of children they have is large and the numbers creates traumas for them.

Do not out-source your duty of care and parental responsibility!

Far too many are doing this!

Of course children no matter how many, need better surveillance, oversight and care unlike the number of cats they breed which they let loose and become a source of irritation and disturbance in any community.

So for now in view the current state of the unknown is it not better that a decision is taken to keep our institutions of learning or education closed and confined to online education?

Can we have a push-back of the reopening to the middle of February?

HOW MUCH INFECTION AND FATALITY ARE WE AT EASE TO TOLERATE FOR POLITICAL SURVIVAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘For my diplomatic friend a veteran – no lives should be lost on the altars of economics, politics, power abuse and corruption.

She feels we are answerable to GOD for lives infected and lost through our indifference, incompetence and corrupt practices.’  

HOW MUCH INFECTION AND FATALITY ARE WE AT EASE TO TOLERATE FOR POLITICAL SURVIVAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

I asked a dear friend who is a diplomat in a foreign country the above question.

The answer I will highlight later!

As I write this piece I am aware that England’s third national lockdown has legally come into force.

The protocols include

  1. a stay-at-home order
  2. the closure of schools

As a result we can safely state that the UK is now under strict virus curbs, with Wales, Northern Ireland and most of Scotland also in lockdown.

The reaction though debated came after daily confirmed cases UK topped 60,000 for the first time.

Which mathematically means that one in 50 people in private households in England had the virus last week – with the figure rising to one in 30 in London.

And they acted and dear friend PM Boris made that bold and timely move!

Which translated means:

  1. People cannot leave their homes except for certain reasons, like the first lockdown last March
  2. These include essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work for those who cannot do so from home
  3. All schools and colleges will close to most pupils from Tuesday with remote learning until February half term
  4. For some inexplicable reason early years settings such as nurseries will stay open
  5. End-of-year exams will not take place this summer as normal
  6. Elsewhere, university students should not return to campuses and will be taught online
  7. Restaurants can continue to offer food delivery, but takeaway alcohol will be banned
  8. Outdoor sports venues – such as golf courses, tennis courts and outside gyms – must close
  9. But outdoor playgrounds will remain open
  • Amateur team sports are not allowed, but elite sport such as Premier League football can continue

But what caught my eye was the move by the US Embassy’s latest health alert which instructs Americans in Malaysia to consider returning home in view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.

This is no fake news as the advisory was released on the US Embassy’s official website on Jan 4, the alert says that Americans should “consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means available”.

The advisory tells Americans they develop a travel plan that does not rely on the US government for assistance.

That was not all as, Americans were also reminded that most routine consular services had been suspended due to the CMCO in effect in Kuala Lumpur where the embassy is located, but said emergency appointments could be requested.

No coincidence these as it comes just over a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a “Level 4 – Avoid All Travel” health notice for Malaysia.

The notice stated that “travellers should avoid all travel to Malaysia”, as it might increase their risk of contracting Covid-19.

Though Malaysia is currently in the thick of its third wave of infections, with new daily cases regularly breaching the 1,500 mark, interstate travel and many activities are not restricted, with planeloads of locals flew into holiday destinations like Langkawi, Penang and behaved irresponsibly!

How do you teach a recalcitrant community to adhere to Covid-19 protocols, to avoid congested super sales shopping outlets and restaurants?

How do you tell them that smoking in public areas is prohibited which includes restaurants and in front of pregnant women, children even babies?

A responsible and honest government will take all steps to protect her citizens.

And that is what the US is doing!

They do not play political games.

They do not in private put into motion a figure of fatality and infection acceptable to facilitate economic and political activity and games!

Even when it is now public knowledge that available healthcare response is stretched and now broken?

The US advisory is a damming statement and to me a veteran in public policy matters and deliberations a shock that raises the question whether the US intelligence had picked up something adverse?

That is not all.

The roller-coaster statements on vaccines are also causing concern!

I am sure the world over we do not need a repeat of what we saw in Poland where celebrities and politicians got Covid vaccine before being eligible!

I am again asking for a taskforce of respected public and people policy individuals to be roped in so that public interest is protected and any form or layer of abuse is prevented.

Both the UK and the US have shown the way forward and where their priorities lie!

While many globally, are still in a daze, maze and playing both political and greed filled war-games?

For my diplomatic friend a veteran – no lives should be lost on the altars of economics, politics, power abuse and corruption.

She feels we are answerable to GOD for lives infected and lost through our indifference, incompetence and corrupt practices.

COVID 19- GLARING LACK OF FOCUS AND LEADERSHIP MORE CHAOS EXPECTED WHEN VACCINE ARRIVES SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘I shudder with fear to know what drama will play out, controversies, high powered politics, when/if the vaccines finally arrive here in Malaysia?”

COVID 19- GLARING LACK OF FOCUS AND LEADERSHIP MORE CHAOS EXPECTED WHEN VACCINE ARRIVES SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

My God what is coming next?

Despicable!

Utterly shocking!

What an embarrassment!

After all the song and dance, the hero worshiping, the accolades, the gamesmanship, the vernacular media running wild, huge lifestyle portraits of individuals all over our highways telling us of made in Malaysia – Avengers, in the first quarter of 2020?

Not forgetting honorifics?

Then as always the reality kicks in not the fake narratives and the cyber troopers planted to attack commentators in online media who disagrees, questions the fake narratives.

Efforts were also made to attempt to seek the identities of commentators critical of the poster boys and girls falling over each other and others desperately using the pandemic for political and personal gratifications.

Even those we once respected and loved showing their true face in the diabolical plots that kept politics at the forefront not the people in a desperate struggle to make ends meet!

  1. As early as March last year, I raised many alarms as an insider, a senior and veteran consumerist involved in public policy initiatives, deliberations and the law.
  2. I asked that we focus on both incoming foreigners and foreign workers housing or lack of and their movements.
  3. I went further that illegals should be immediately deported and industry captains and their outfits penalized if not adhering to the law on housing and legalities!
  4. I appealed that Selangor be shut down as I predicted post Sabah we will have runaway numbers!
  5. I appealed that inter-state travel be disallowed.
  6. I cried out for a task force of eminent healthcare professionals (past and present) to be embedded to tackle all aspects of this pandemic without political bias, prejudice, and abuse, malicious intent, accountable and ethical to the call of the much published Hippocratic Oath.
  7. I asked that unless the daily media drama had substance and provided basic and raw data and information it be discontinued as it was turning out to be counterproductive and now an embarrassment based on the comments on online-media.

So are we surprised that the much regretted and insane decision to allow – Interstate travel and social activities have led to the rise of 14 new coronavirus clusters?

From grassroots leaders in Langkawi, Penang, Kelantan I had already received data and information the madness of arrivals and their behavior on the ground as if they were just released from prison!

Tak malu dan tak ada maruah?

So it is a reality that there were five clusters linked to inter-district and interstate travel after the activity was allowed on Dec 7.

In Pahang, there were three clusters reported, namely Intan, Semambu and Tembok Mempaga.

Kelantan and Perak have the Seragam Chepa and Ehsan Ibol clusters respectively.

Meanwhile, the emergence of nine clusters was due to social activities.

They are known as Gerbang Pongsu in Perak; Lintas Seraya (Sabah); Sungai Redan (Johor); Maringkan (Sabah), Cassia Diamond (Penang and Selangor); Paginatan (Sabah); Sungai Burong (Selangor and Negeri Sembilan); Kupi-Kupi (Sabah); and Bandar Impian (Johor, Kelantan, Perak).

What a mess, what an embarrassment at a time we are also told that our healthcare response facilities are at breaking points with now imminent changes in protocols again?

I shudder with fear to know what drama will play out, controversies, high powered politics, when/if the vaccines finally arrive here in Malaysia?

Sadly those who we had expected to show leadership and treat us with dignity, decorum and truth failed us with their political and personal greed and agenda!