ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS HAS MAS LEARNT LESSONS FOR ADVANCEMENT POST MH370 AND MH17!

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What we have had for so long were self-serving, selfish self-centered, individuals, decision makers, gatekeepers, questionable policies, whose interest it served, the individuals, certain groups, the nation’s or public interests as multi millions was pumped into, from tax payers!

If this is not a crime and a betrayal of trust, I wonder what is!

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS HAS MAS LEARNT LESSONS FOR ADVANCEMENT POST MH370 AND MH17!

When something goes wrong, a decent airline is one that does a professional job of either addressing and fixing that issue or trying to seek help from outside if one does not have the skill sets to address them! Have we done things in half measures prioritizing private agendas rather than addressing issues like a corporate body should? Have we cut costs where we should not and have not cut costs and abuse where we should? Have we looked at the huge obese number of suppliers and contractors we have and does that make economic and quality sense let alone facilitate accountability, good governance, transparency, and a vision that ensures quality, we can all believe in? There are claims that those retrenched are still awaiting their dues. If true, is this not a cruel second blow to one who has served the organization? And why the obsession for investing for a new uniform? Whose interests served here? We say we are cash strapped but that does not stop a few idiots from spending millions refurbishing an old 747 which eventually could not be used?

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Are we the only country which uses or abuses a A380 on routes it should not be flying or keeping one just for spares? So much for return on investments! Of late, we have given away routes, we always had and now working like a regional airline, while our former lucrative destinations are given over in a plate to a competitor by someone rumored to be joining them if the rumor is to be believed? Any conflict in interests issues here? Are we taking great care of our assets which are our pilots and crew?

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Do they have a great take home salary, benefits and allowances (not either or) and many a fringe benefits that are available in other airlines?

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Opportunity for training, development of new skill sets, opportunities to be bedded with another branded airline for exposure training? An opportunity to share both their tributes, agonies and frustrations with policymakers and members of the board without fear of being victimized? For those laid off, have we helped find alternative jobs for them or provide skills training? In the last few decades how many board members have we removed or fired due to incompetence or for a lack of skills to share brought to the table? As a frequent flyer I have the opportunity to evaluate the professionalism and quality of the service of an airline or lack of!

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From even a minor issue of a delayed flight or facilitating redress for passengers wanting to make claims for delayed flights, one can make a judgment call after seeing if during that delay passengers were all kept informed of what was happening; kept comfortable, swiftly transferred to a nearby comfortable hotel with a generous telephone allowance arranged for them to update loved ones on the delays. I have always stated that the following 12 issues are extremely important to an airline brand.

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Can we adopt them if they are not already in the pipeline?

1. Excellent safety record
2. Easy to navigate website with clear, intuitive online booking process
3. Advanced online booking management and online check-in
4. Simple, properly enforced options for elite check-in, baggage, preferred seating and boarding
5. Approachable, professional flight attendants
6. Range of customer-focused policies (and staff available that are empowered to do things)
7. A clean, comfortable lounge with customer-centered features like free wi-fi
8. Excellent connections to partner carriers
9. Good aircraft condition with plenty of cabin space for long-haul passengers
10. A wide range of food and drinks for passengers.
11. Special Priority Privileges for boarding, embarkation, seating, food, for a frequent flyer and supporters of the airline.
12 . An opportunity for upgrade whenever possible.

“If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.” Or “Train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don’t want to!” Those were key statements, from dear friend, Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines, which should end up as a tablet of priority at MAS but have they been? What we have had for so long were self-serving, selfish self-centered, individuals, decision makers, gatekeepers, questionable policies, whose interest it served, the individuals, certain groups, the nation’s or public interests as multi millions was pumped into, from tax payers! If this is not a crime and a betrayal of trust, I wonder what is!

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CASSA: STOP THE RACIAL SLURS IN MEDIA REPORTING KOSMO TOLD!

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We as leaders must be statesmen and Stateswomen and be above reproach!

We are leaders not mentally challenged politicians, political adventurers, shenanigans, thugs, rent a crowd doing the bidding of third parties for monies and other payments!

We must lead by example and thus this response!”

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CASSA: STOP THE RACIAL SLURS IN MEDIA REPORTING KOSMO TOLD!

The Consumers Association Of Subang & Shah Alam, Selangor (CASSA) today hit out at vernacular tabloid Kosmo for publishing an insensitive headline in their front page of its 18th August publication.
The headlines were directed at our Olympics mixed double pair who had to settle for a silver medal in their match contest.

The manner it was headlined showed great in sensitiveness, lack of respect and decorum in appreciating a pair that made Malaysia proud by winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics against great odds and challenges.
It also undermined their efforts and sent a very negative message to budding sportsmen and sportswomen that only Gold medalist are praised!
The headline and comments that followed went also against the federal governments slogan of ‘Rakyat Didahulukan Pencapaian Diutamakan!”
The headlined also undermine the praises stated by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak post that match!
At the Press Conference, CASSA also warned media groups who fan racial, religious baiting and racism!
“We will go down to the grassroots nationwide and urge a national boycott of your newspapers and media.
We will urge your sponsors to stop sponsoring your organizations with advertisements and if they do not, we will urge consumers to boycott all your products as well, for being supporting racists groupings which is against national integration and achievements.”
When asked why CASSA decided not to burn the newspapers as a protest CASSA President Datuk Seri Dr Jacob George replied:
“We received over 276 complaints from throughout Malaysia and from all racial compositions within the first six hours of yesterday.
There was supposed to be over 500 consumers today to support this response but we urged them to stay away and allow us to manage this narrative in the manner, we are doing so today.
We were also asked by the grassroots to demonstrate and during that demonstration burn the newspapers!”
“However, we took a decision this morning collectively not to do so!

Proud parents above!

The reasons is simple. What would be the difference between those who are currently race and religion baiting, carrying out seditious utterances, demonstrating and burning effigies and us then?
We as leaders must be statesmen and Stateswomen and be above reproach!
We are leaders not mentally challenged politicians, political adventurers, shenanigans, thugs, rent a crowd doing the bidding of third parties for monies and other payments!
We must lead by example and thus this response!
Our constituents agree and support us in holistic response.”
In a response to the manner certain media outlets are fanning racism – CASSA will be forwarding a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Communications Minister seeking their support and efforts to address and curb it.
Also at the Press Conference was CASSA Public Policy Analyst Syed Farieh Yahaya.
In supporting a drastic change in the media reporting he reiterated:
“The media has a huge responsibility to play in nation building.
“There is no room for racial, religious bigotry in the national narrative. And I say this as a senior citizen, a corporate player, a father, husband, grandfather and a product of the multi-racial religious sensitive generation of the education system of the 60s to 70s!”

(Above) She created history for her country and see how despite the silver – the Indian media lauds and appreciates the achievement!

Embarrassingly, irrespective what happens in tomorrows match – we are still unworthy of any recognition or honor for the way we treat our sportsmen and women as tools to be used and abused by the bourgeoisie politicians that Malaysia has created!

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – ON YEMENS FORGOTTEN WAR?

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‘My embarrassing and disgust is that despite these war crimes many countries and their merchants of war have continued to sell and transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia and its coalition members for use in the conflict. ‘

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – ON YEMENS FORGOTTEN WAR?

Are you aware that the world has turned its back over the past year on a growing humanitarian crisis?

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Are you aware that on 25 March 2015, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Huthi armed group in Yemen sparking a full-blown armed conflict.

And over the following year, the conflict has spread and fighting has engulfed the entire country.

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As is the result of such tragedies there are horrific human rights abuses, as well as war crimes, being committed throughout the country and the victims and collateral damage of such heinous crimes are again suffering civilians.

I am advised that the strategy of this illegal war is by two fronts namely – relentless bombardment by coalition forces from the air, and a battle being fought on the ground between rival factions.

And who are the players here?

We have the Huthis on one side, an armed group whose members belong to a branch of Shi’a Islam known as Zayidism.

They are aligned with supporters of Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

And of course, the opponents are the anti-Huthi forces that are allied with the current President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Saudi Arabian-led coalition.

And in the middle caught between these warring factions innocent, helpless, exposed, vulnerable civilians and noncombatants!

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As I write this piece with information from friends and international NGOs like Amnesty International another aerial bombing has taken place killing children and civilians in a hospital!

It is sheer hypocrisy and religious apartheid that the worlds puritans and selective breeders of foreign affairs deliberations have remained in comatose as thousands of civilians are trapped in the middle – thousands killed and injured and a humanitarian crisis has spiraled.

Are you aware – that over a year stakeholders of the world has ignored this raging conflict and heard little about its devastating consequences.

Is it because there is no oil here?

Is it because Yemen is an extremely poor country?

Is it because we have vested interests and politicians sucking up and kissing the asses of Saudi Arabia’s bourgeoisie for various strategic interests of certain pariah nations saying something but practicing another?

War is one thing but when various invading forces impose a partial aerial and naval blockade on areas under Huthi control to cut off supplies, it is creating a situation of genocide by severely limiting the import and provision of fuel and other essentials, obstructing access to food, water, humanitarian assistance and medical supplies and causing food prices to soar, creating a desperate situation for millions of people.

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That is not all as there is widespread damage and destruction to key logistical infrastructure, including bridges, airports and seaports, has also severely hampered the movement of crucial humanitarian supplies.

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I am not partial to any group here and I acknowledge receiving information and data that even the Huthi armed group and allied forces have endangered the lives of thousands of civilians in the southern city of Ta’iz by blocking the entry of crucial medical supplies and food in recent months.

And the result is the same we have seen in all conflict territories throughout the world!

With no medical supplies, no resources – hospitals just shut down creating a platform where civilians and others face death!

Those that still are open – very vulnerable due to a lack of supplies.

Like events in all conflict territories – there are growing human rights abuses by all sides!

I am advised that dedicated and committed friends at Amnesty International have gathered evidence revealing that all the parties to this conflict have committed violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

For the record, there is comprehensive data of more than 30 air strikes across six different governorates (Sana’a, Sa’da, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Ta’iz and Lahj) by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that appear to have violated international humanitarian law – the rules that apply during a conflict which are sometimes known as the “laws of war” – resulting in 366 civilian deaths (more than half of whom were women and children) and 272 civilian injuries.

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I must reiterate here as an attorney and expert in International law – that these included attacks that appear to have deliberately targeted civilians and civilian objects such as hospitals, schools, markets and mosques, which may amount to war crimes.

My embarrassing and disgust is that despite these war crimes many countries and their merchants of war have continued to sell and transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia and its coalition members for use in the conflict.

And yes, these arms have also been diverted into the hands of Huthi and other armed groups fighting in Yemen.

Now who are these shenanigans behind the war trade?

Prominent are the industry players from the UK, USA, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain!

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A reported licenses and sales to Saudi Arabia worth more than $25bn in 2015 including drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles.

The again hypocrisy and irony is these states are parties to the Arms Trade Treaty which has the aim of “reducing human suffering” and which makes it unlawful to transfer weapons where there is a high risk they could be used to commit serious violations of international law.

From this part of the emerging world voices, I lend my voice to Amnesty International who is appealing to all states to ensure that no party to the conflict in Yemen is supplied – either directly or indirectly – with weapons, munitions, military equipment or technology that could be used in the conflict until they end such serious violations.

This also applies to logistical and financial support for such transfers.

I appeal to the decision makers and stakeholders of conscience if there are any left in these jurisdictions of UK, USA, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, please intervene to stop the unraveling tragedy!

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And to other governments and political pretenders without backbone or spine whose governments always are racially and religiously selective in addressing war crimes and carnage in line with the silos based religious interpretations and political interest, please do get off your backsides and lend your voice to end yet another international tragedy without fear of favor!

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Consumerist: Retracing – MH370 – So What Really Happened – The Truth Please!

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‘It is also a shame that till today there has been no action brought against those who failed in carrying out their duty of care, or their office with a sense of competence and professionalism!

This is an heinous crime!’

Retracing – MH370 – So What Really Happened – The Truth Please!

00:41, 8 March 2014 (16:41 GMT, 7 March): Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and was due to arrive in Beijing at 06:30 (22:30 GMT).

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Malaysia Airlines says the plane lost contact less than an hour after takeoff. No distress signal or message was sent.

01:07: The plane sent its last ACARS transmission – a service that allows computers aboard the plane to “talk” to computers on the ground. Sometime afterwards, it was silenced and the expected 01:37 transmission was not sent.

01:19: The last communication between the plane and Malaysian air traffic control took place about 12 minutes later. At first, the airline said initial investigations revealed the co-pilot had said “All right, good night”.

However, Malaysian authorities later confirmed the last words heard from the plane, spoken either by the pilot or co-pilot, were in fact “Good night Malaysian three seven zero”.

A few minutes later, the plane’s transponder, which communicates with ground radar, was shut down as the aircraft crossed from Malaysian air traffic control into Vietnamese airspace over the South China Sea.

01:21: The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said the plane failed to check in as scheduled with air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh City.

02:15: Malaysian military radar plotted Flight MH370 at a point south of Phuket island in the Strait of Malacca, west of its last known location. Thai military radar logs also confirmed that the plane turned west and then north over the Andaman sea.

In maps accompanying its 1 May report, the Malaysian government revised the time to be 02:22 and put the position further west.

02:28 (18:28 GMT, 7 March): After the loss of radar, a satellite above the Indian Ocean picked up data from the plane in the form of seven automatic “handshakes” between the aircraft and a ground station. The first was at 02:28 local time.

08:11: (00:11 GMT, 8 March) The last full handshake was at 08:11.

This information, disclosed a week after the plane’s disappearance, suggested the jet was in one of two flight corridors, one stretching north between Thailand and Kazakhstan, the other south between Indonesia and the southern Indian Ocean.

08:19: However, there is some evidence of a further “partial handshake” at this time between the plane and a ground station.

This was a request from the aircraft to log on. Investigators say this is consistent with the plane’s satellite communication equipment powering up after an outage – such as after an interruption to its electrical supply.

09:15: This would have been the next scheduled automatic contact between the ground station and the plane, but there was no response from the aircraft.

The plane’s planned route would have taken it north-eastwards, over Cambodia and Vietnam, and the initial search focused on the South China Sea, south of Vietnam’s Ca Mau peninsula.

But evidence from a military radar, revealed later, suggested the plane had suddenly changed from its northerly course to head west.

So the search, involving dozens of ships and planes, then switched to the sea west of Malaysia.

Further evidence revealed on 15 March 2014 by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak suggested the jet was deliberately diverted by someone on board about an hour after takeoff.

The issue here is one on truth!

There are a lot of potholes in the dissemination of truth here?

It is also a shame that till today there has been no action brought against those who failed in carrying out their duty of care, or their office with a sense of competence and professionalism!

This is an heinous crime!

Instead, it has been a wild ride of idiocy, foolishness, outright lies, fabrication, denials, delusional talks, a media frenzy and other media vigilantes and adventurers high jacking this narrative for their personal and private agenda!

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We all are aware that the most powerful nation in the world have assets that can solve this nightmare for an immediate 239 families whose lives are in a limbo and to the extended families and friends and others like us working in an international volunteer task force trying to pierce it all together since that morning on March 8th 2014!

But will they?

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – MALAYSIA HAS THE WORLDS GREATEST TOWN PLANNERS – YES OR SIMPLY NO!

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“Are our cities and construction approvals based truly on the need with emphasis on density, land use, public space and the layout of infrastructure and services to make a difference in delivering quality of life at the right price point before approval is given or are approvals given because someone’s hands is being greased?”

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – MALAYSIA HAS THE WORLDS GREATEST TOWN PLANNERS – YES OR SIMPLY NO!

Just look at our cities!

Look at the urban planning or lack of that goes into it!

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Take a drive into any city in Malaysia, any township, any construction or development planning or lack of and you will be shocked!

You will be wondering how on God’s earth are these town planners and administrators planning or approving construction that has created a monstrous nightmare of a concrete jungle!

They go for international – ‘Lawatan Sambil Belajar” or international excursion trips to international cities on tax payers monies and what have they learnt from planners and administrators in leading cities and municipalities around the world?

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In Malaysia – who really decides on approvals and based on what or whose criterion?

Is it the town planner, or the politicians and bureaucrats pilling pressure due to symbiotic relationships and outright corruption they enjoy with those behind such monstrous projects?

You will not be wrong to ask if planners had looked at the holistic policies on density, land use, public space and the layout of infrastructure and services making a difference in delivering quality of life at the right price point before approval is given?

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More than a decade ago when I spoke extensively as CASSA President that Subang Jaya is being planned chaotically and with business and pirate interest with a Manhattan style in pursuit I was attacked so violently and even lost my job at a leading private hospital!

But look at the chaos in Subang Jaya today and was not my prophecies of then all come true?

Look at TTDI, Damansara Jaya and Damansara Utama, areas near Bandar Utama – another madness in progress where every limited space is planned with a towering multi towered construction plan already in progress!

Those we have entrusted not just our living space and future but those of future generations should be asking what is being planned in our name!

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As far as I can recall from my days at tertiary education in Singapore and interactions with well-known and respected professionals like Dr Liu Thai Ker a Singapore architect and urban planner who—through his service as CEO of the Housing Development Board and Urban Redevelopment Authority, and Chairman of the National Arts Council—has made an indelible impact on the urban and cultural landscape in Singapore.

Or yet again, another in Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore whose life and work speaks for itself!

Why stop there and I cannot, but also mention someone who was very close to me post my studies in Singapore, and reading law in England!

I am referring to the late beloved and admired father figure, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the man who guided Singapore from slum to eco-city since its independence in 1965!

Why cannot we learn from the world’s best like these personalities?

Why cannot we adopt those practices that have worked in a city and state like Singapore?

Sadly the majority in Malaysia has forgotten that urban planning is a valuable force for city leaders to achieve sustainable development.
It is a means to bring about a difference!

Actually, planning helps make the most out of municipal budgets by informing infrastructure and services investments, balancing demands for growth with the need to protect the environment.

That is not all as it distributes economic development within a given territory to reach social objectives and creates a framework for collaboration between local governments, the private sector and the public at large.

If one did not know or refuse to acknowledge that indeed urban planning is a framework that helps leaders transform vision into implementation, using space as a key resource for development and engaging stakeholders along the way.

And do we indeed engage?

It is not too late and if we decide to now change our present self-destructive narratives and protocols in the name of development we can still save the local habitat!

There is no substitute for good professional planning!

Is it rather difficult to acknowledge that planning is a framework for growth?

All thriving cities all over the world have a vision and follow it through with a framework to develop in an orderly manner.

A framework is not about centralized command and control but a way to anticipate needs, coordinate efforts, and draw a path to a horizon that is collectively held.

In the narrative there are major efforts to enhance livability, prosperity and equity taking place.

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Such transformation impact is not a product of spontaneity, instead of constructive planning.

In fact I will go so far to say that a planned city is a well prepared city
Anticipating the future allows us to be better prepared today.
So this brings us back to the key point!

Are our cities and construction approvals based truly on the need with emphasis on density, land use, public space and the layout of infrastructure and services to make a difference in delivering quality of life at the right price point before approval is given or are approvals given because someone’s hands is being greased?

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