CONSUMERIST: CHARITY DEEDS OR PUBLICITY SEEKING VENTURE?

Dato Jacob George

‘Malaysian parasites and publicity seekers doing ‘charity’ – feeding the orphans, the marginalized, the many homes and less privileged but not without having the media on tour in it!

There are some people who want every good thing they do well advertised.

If they give money to some good cause, they want to have it noticed in the newspapers, by TV3, ASTRO, and a number of other media outfits!

If they are kind to the poor or relieve or feed some case of distress, they are particular that the matter should be duly published.

They take pains that their charities shall not fail to be credited to themselves.’ – Dr Jacob George

 

CONSUMERIST: CHARITY DEEDS OR PUBLICITY SEEKING VENTURE?

It can be the electronic media perhaps the color pages of the print media perhaps the society pages but they are full of it!

Malaysian parasites and publicity seekers doing ‘charity’ – feeding the orphans, the marginalized, the many homes and less privileged but not without having the media on tour in it!

There are some people who want every good thing they do well advertised.

If they give money to some good cause, they want to have it noticed in the newspapers, by TV3, ASTRO, and a number of other media outfits!

If they are kind to the poor or relieve some case of distress, they are particular that the matter should be duly published.

They take pains that their charities shall not fail to be credited to themselves.

Yes themselves!

To some they only do charity to their own race which defeats the whole purpose!

And if you are one who does charity to all and sundry they will accuse you of having a private agenda an evil motive for doing good deeds without racial blinkers!

But this is not the kind of spirit I was taught when indulging in charitable deeds by my God fearing grandparents, guardians, by both my ‘foster fathers’ one a Saudi Arabian Theologian and medical doctor the other an Australian Anglican Priest and the countless others who taught me as I grew up!

I was taught that seeking publicity marred the beauty of such charitable deeds; that instead of announcing to all men what one has done, one should not even let their own left hand know that their right hand had been doing commendable things.

It does not mean that we should not be good before people, that we should never give alms save where the act would be absolutely secret

We do not do it for the sake of men’s praise.

Religious acts instantly lose all their value when any motive but the honor of God and desire for His approval is in our heart.

We should not even ourselves think about our charities, but should forget them as the tree forgets the fruits it drops.

We should train ourselves therefore to do our good deeds without seeking praise or recognition of men.

We should not be so anxious to have our card tacked on every gift we send. We ought to be willing to do good and let God have all the glory, while we stay back unknown and unrecognized.

If you remember one such person was the Godly Florence Nightingale, having gone like an angel of mercy among the hospitals in the Crimea until her name was enshrined in every soldier’s heart, asked to be excused from having her picture taken, that she might be forgotten, and that God alone might be remembered as the author of all the blessings which her hand had distributed.

And that is the reason I feel so vulgar and angry even cringe every time I hear about some multi-billionaire donating money to charity.

I do not cringe because I have anything against charity; in fact, I have a high regard for true charities, as if charity needs a modifier.

I cringe because, to me, charity is selfless, not self-serving.

Billionaires and even lowly millionaires, politicians, and politicians ‘wannabees’ may or may not be altruistic about giving to “charity,” but in either event they gain considerable benefits from their donations. Not insignificant among the benefits of giving is the generous tax deductions granted by both the federal and state governments in some countries!

Maybe after more than 37 years as a Consumer Advocate watching these games played from the sidelines I am today too much of a skeptic as I feel that most so-called philanthropists gain more than just the simple thanks of the people and organizations who are the recipients of their largesse.

Certainly, the money these wealthy people give does a great deal of good to many individuals and to charities around the world.

Poor people in general and the great middle class in particular tend to react favorably to large donations by wealthy individuals and organizations to legitimate charities. Their eyebrows raise at least an inch, inevitably, when I mention my disdain about any particular charitable donation.

Finally as far as I am concerned my dictionary defines charity as “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.” I do not believe givers should be getting anything in return except gratitude.

I have little regard for most charitable organizations I have had any contact with, largely because their bureaucratic organizations “talk the talk” better than they “walk the walk,” as they say in today’s idiom.

In my book, for example I have a great deal of respect for the Salvation Army as they come in head and shoulders above all others. The army does not put you through a ringer before it decides whether to help you or not. If you are in need, the army’s soldiers try to find a way to help — that’s what I call Charity!

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CONSUMERIST – PSC RED HERRING OR HONEST ENGAGEMENT?

Dato Jacob George

‘The last time I was with Minister in the PM’s department, Dr Koh Tsu Koon, a dear friend of over 25 years, I agreed with him that Premier Najib Tun Razak’s idea of transformation and mindset changes needed to move the nation forward to compete against our neighbors and the international arena was lauded!

But I also told him that there were many powerful forces that were working against Najib and his many proactive moves resulting in many of the said projects ending still born!

And that it was about time – he sacked some in his inner circle ‘advisers’ bringing in new faces for a timely assault against his political foes within and outside and to see good policies implemented!

And as far as the General Election or GE13 is concerned, only MALAYSIANS must be allowed to vote in their government and not Indonesians, Filipinos or others masquerading as Malaysians! ‘ – Dr Jacob George

 

CONSUMERIST – PSC A RED HERRING OR HONEST ENGAGEMENT AT THE TRUTH!

The political flavor of the month that has got many spins and brickbats to the core is the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC)  to look at polls reforms!

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, came out with the said proposal after repeated exposure, controversy and allegations that our electoral roll has been compromised for political expediency putting national security at risk!

There were serious allegations that there are today more than 3 million Indonesians and 1.67 Filipinos as Malaysian citizens!

Political party PAS, says it has evidence of the government covertly issuing MyKad to foreigners and relocating locals, who are then inserted as BN Trojan horses in the Pakatan-held constituencies.

True, false or words of spin, public interest and national security demands an investigation!

Not denials, politicking, lies, half truths and a refusal to address the core issues emerging!

PAS alleged that there was a resort in Cherating, Kuantan, which is being used as a processing center as well as to distribute the MyKad!

These are very serious allegations that in any other country, would have resulted in Parliament being recalled on emergency sitting to deliberate an issue that threatens the very foundation of Malaysia, and its future if indeed, foreigners are awarded citizenship to boast political membership and allegiance!

Worst, this is treason!

But before one could assimilate the said Najib announcement, three statements followed which gave yet again the perception for the man on the street that our politicians were all not on the same page as Najib!

One made by the deputy premier, another by the sitting law minister and the third by one, most Malaysians alleged to be a stooge at the EC, who is a disgrace to the tenets of constitutional democracy!

All three statements kept chipping away an announcement that was initially welcomed!

Which resulted in a confirmation rightly or wrongly, that the announced PSC was a red herring!

The facts are clear by itself!

For a Parliamentary Select Committee to be initiated, Parliament must be recalled and proposals for the PSC be put to the legislature, discussed, debated, voted with terms of reference included with the composition and protocols entrenched!

None of the above had been done!

The allegations of phantoms are frightening in view the Sabah allegations and who in their right mind would forget Sabah – or the hidden dirty hands that played its despicable role and now Selangor, where the issue of ‘instant citizenship’ were alleged with the advent of the notorious Mismahgate Affair!

Malaysians are now asking why in this climate of controversy was not Parliament recalled?

Let us look at the Westminster style of government, where we have our roots!

When the recent riots broke out in England, Prime Minister David Cameron went on the offensive and called an emergency sitting of Parliament!

Politicians cut short their summer vacations and returned for national duty!

That was commitment to the core to democracy!

There was a healthy debate and consensus achieved as both political divides went on the streets speaking and addressing the issues in one voice as nether had anything to hide or fear!

When the scandalous News of the World exposé made the news they again called an emergency sitting and once again, addressed the issues involved!

The speaker during both events and in essence in all their sitting totally robust, darling, bipartisan, fair and firm to the tenets of Constitutional Democracy that it was a pretty sight to watch!

That is the role of Parliament to uphold accountability, good governance, transparency and not be a silly rubber stamp!

The truth is if we are indeed serious about reforms, then, we must start with the total revamp of the Election Commission (EC) and the National Registration Department (NRD) if the proposed parliamentary select committee is to be taken seriously.

It is certainly not enough to simply have a select committee to look into polls reform if, at the end of the day, the committee merely made recommendations but not before facing hostile public institutions that refuses to come clean or cooperate!

If we are serious then the present composition of the Election Commission must be asked to resign enbloc!

There must be proactive exercise to “purge” the system if any real change was to be seen in the electoral system.

We need to reveal the identity of who is behind this phantom and instant citizen menace and who was financing this Treason!

Finally, the members of the said PSC when initiated must be bipartisan!

It must comprise of politicians, non politicians and members of the civil society who are respected on the ground not just the recycled individuals we see repeatedly which is an embarrassment in a population of 27 million and a voting population of 12 million – even – when some of them are from the consumer and civil society groups but hardly respected on the ground since they ‘hunt with the hounds and run with the hares!’

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CONSUMERIST: VOTERS SHOULD REJECT CORRUPT POLITICIANS/GOVERNMENTS!

CONSUMERIST: VOTERS SHOULD REJECT CORRUPT POLITICIANS/GOVERNMENTS!

CORRUPTION: – Yes, today we devout our thoughts to this interesting phenomenon that is so very rampant all over the world that even India is contemplating a precise legislation on it!

1.  What is it?

Lack of integrity or honesty—especially susceptibility to bribery

Corruption is the abuse of public power for private gain. Corruption comes under many different guises: bribery, misappropriations of public goods, nepotism (favouring family members for jobs and contracts), and influencing the formulation of laws or regulations for private gain are common examples of wrongdoing or misconduct.

2.  Why should Malaysians care?

It is widely believed that between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion dollars  are lost globally each year to illegal activities, according to World Bank estimates. Corruption decreases the amount of wealth in a country and lowers the standard of living. Corruption affects you even if you do not come into direct contact with it.

For example, corruption:

  • Discourages businesses from operating in a corrupt setting, reducing the overall wealth in a country.
  • Reduces the amount of money the government has available to pay workers and buy supplies, such as books, medicine and computers.
  • Distorts the way the government uses its money, lowering the quality of  the services it provides: schools, health clinics, roads, sewer systems, police.
  • Allows those with money or connections to bend the law or government rules in their favor.
  • Undermines everyone’s trust in government.

Did you know that when countries tackle corruption they increase their national incomes by as much as four times in the long term. Business can grow as much as 3% faster, and child mortality can fall as much as 75%.

Four reasons that corruption can thrive are:

  • Opportunity: People get involved in corruption when systems do not work well and they need a way to get things done regardless of the procedure and laws.
  • Little chance of getting caught: A lack of accountability comes when there is little transparency (for example, public officials who do not  explain what they are doing, how and why), and weak enforcement (law agencies who do not impose sanctions on power holders who violate their public duties).
  • Bad incentives: For example, a clerk not earning enough to live on, or not sure that he will have a job tomorrow, might supplement his income with bribes.
  • Certain attitudes or circumstances make average people disregard the law. They may try to get around laws of a government they consider illegitimate. Poverty or scarcity of key goods such as medicine may also push people to live outside the law. Instead of thinking about bribing officials to obtain something that may be valuable to them personally (like having a phone line installed), people should realize that giving a bribe contributes to corruption in their country. Instead they should work to change the circumstances and curb corruption. Fighting corruption is closely related to improving governance in a country. It’s about improving how the government is set up and managed.

3.  What is the international community doing?

Corruption and good governance concern everyone in the international community: donors, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and citizens in developing and industrial countries alike. The key to curbing corruption is disabling its causes.

Some of the ways the international community is helping to curb corruption include:

  • Providing assistance to countries that ask for help in curbing corruption
  • Contributing to international corruption-fighting efforts
  • Striving to prevent fraud and corruption in donor-financed projects
  • Fighting corruption is a key focus of the World Bank’s analysis and consideration of lending to a country. Did you know that in September 2007, the World Bank, in partnership with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), launched an initiative called the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative to help developing countries recover assets stolen by corrupt leaders, help invest them in effective development programs, and combat safe havens internationally. “There should be no safe haven for those who steal from the poor,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “Helping developing countries recover the stolen money will be key to fund social programs and put corrupt leaders on notice that they will not escape the law.”
  • In addition – Transparency International looks at corruption in each country in the world and rates the countries on a corruption scale.

4.  What can We as Malaysians do?

Corruption would not stop unless we choose to stop it. Make the right choices:

  • Choose not to give or receive bribes
  • Choose to achieve things on the basis of personal integrity
  • Choose to speak out when you see corruption around you
  • Reject corrupt governments, NGOs, leaders, politicians, and others

You can also:

  • Lobby your government for changes to the current system and to create laws that protect whistle blowers
  • Write articles to popular online websites and blogs like at http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/  when you see corruption in action
  • Join campaigns to fight corruption and for good governance in Malaysia and around the world

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CONSUMERIST:EZAM ASKED ‘WHO IS THE REAL BARUA AND KAFIR?’

‘I cannot but articulate the views rightly stated by a commentator when stated:

Is a Muslim an enemy of Islam because he pursues truth as an objective ?

Is a Muslim an enemy of Islam because he or she works for a news portal which publishes diverse and alternate viewpoints on events ?

Is a Muslim and enemy of Islam because he or she takes a different and opposing position on an issue affecting the life of a nation ?

Is a Muslim an enemy of Islam if he or she does not regard non Muslims as ‘baruas’ and ‘kafirs’ simply because they express or allow the expression of views which are contrary to the views of Barisan Nasional/UMNO Senator – one Mohd Ezam Mohd?

And all this happening in the holy and reverend month of Ramadan and after Friday prayers !

May the ALMIGHTY help us all!’– Dr Jacob George

CONSUMERIST:EZAM ASKED ‘WHO IS THE REAL BARUA AND KAFIR?’

NONE

The truth is, if I was not brought up by religious and God fearing grandparents, guardians, foster-parents, relations and taught by teachers who were dedicated to the calls of ethics, good governance, truth, fair play, accountability, rejection of falsehoods – I would have used many a ‘superlatives in vulgarity’ to describe UMNO Senator Ezam!

Using a Malaysian description then I would also be ‘kurang ajar!’

But no I will not go down that low!

I am of course upset, saddened and angry like over 12 Million Malaysian voters waiting for the next general elections to be called so that I can vote wisely and remove liars, idiots and those ‘politically suffering’ from ‘neurological disorders and various falsehoods and political pretence!

Now why am I angry?

First, this idiot threatens to burn down two internet portals of international reputation!

Secondly, he utters threats and statements that were seriously seditious!

Thirdly, under fire, he attempts to retract his verbal outburst and seditious statements which was carried in all international wires which must have embarrassed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia campaign!

But not without calling others running dogs, kafirs, and a sitting minister in Najib’s cabinet ‘bodoh!’

The pertinent point is what he had stated was an outrageous threat not just to the news portal’s building but also one that if carried out will cause a serious threat of grievous bodily harm or even loss of life to staff, journalist, and others!

This was uncalled for, unwarranted and unaccepted if Malaysia is truly 1Malaysia!

That individuals who are educated and who hold political office cannot debate, discuss in a competent, professional, dedicated and moderate manner on any issues!

Is it the culture now in Malaysia to issue threats, scream seditious utterances and name calling and in this case including criminal intimidation and damage to private buildings housing news portals?

What is the message we are giving to Malaysians, to students, our young and old and to the international community by this act and outburst?

The threat was made by a senator, from the ruling party, not a political moron or idiot suffering from some neurological disorder. Is this going to be the Malaysian way to address national issues every time a scandal or fiasco is unearthed?

To address them with threats, seditious utterances, criminal intimidation, and to burn effigies and portraits of political foes and opponents at each and every political discourse?

I cannot but articulate the views rightly stated by a commentator when stated:

Is a Muslim an enemy of Islam because he pursues truth as an objective ? Is a Muslim an enemy of Islam because he or she work for a news portal which publishes diverse viewpoints on events ? Is a Muslim and enemy of Islam because he or she take a different and opposing position on an issue affecting the life of a nation ? Is a Muslim an enemy of Islam if he or she do not regard non Muslims as ‘baruas’ and ‘kafirs’ simply because they express or allow the expression of views which are contrary to the views of UMNO and Barisan Nasional’s Senator – one Mohd Ezam Mohd?

Malaysian laws have been again broken and I am awaiting to see if action will be taken!

Most importantly, whether Premier Najib will immediately withdraw Ezam’s senator ship for bringing to disrepute its office!
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CONSUMERIST – UMNO SENATOR WANTS TO BURN NEWS PORTAL!

‘By his behavior he has damaged, smeared the image of all senators who are expected to uphold the law, not break it, no matter what the allegations or issues are!

Malaysia is not a banana republic! We have laws in Malaysia, we have public institutions, we have the Police and legislation to address issues not mob justice and rule!

I cannot but fear for the future!’ – Dr Jacob George

CONSUMERIST – UMNO SENATOR WANTS TO BURN DOWN NEWS PORTAL!

I am shocked that it has come to this. That individuals who are educated, hold political office, cannot debate, discuss in a competent, professional, dedicated and moderate manner on any issues!

Is it the culture now in Malaysia to issue threats, scream seditious utterances and in this case a threat to burn down private buildings housing news portals?

What is the message we are giving the international communities by this act?

The threat was made by a Senator, from the ruling party, not a ‘political moron or idiot’ suffering from some neurological disorder!

Is this going to be the Malaysian way to address national issues every time a scandal or fiasco is unearth?

To address them with threats, seditious utterances, criminal intimidation, and to burn effigies and portraits of political foes and opponents at each and every political discourse?

NONE

I am sure these threats issued in the manner they have appeared, first in Penang a month or so ago, and again, today shockingly, in the month of Ramadan and after Friday prayers, when it is a religious month where one reflects, pauses, fasts, prays, do all such good works, initiates reconciliation between man and man and man and the Almighty!

I am certain there is nothing in there that mentions about uttering seditious statements, threats, even criminal intimidation and damage to property in this case initiating a fire on a property housing two news portals that have being extremely popular domestically and respected internationally on an allegation that is unfounded and wild!

How is Malaysia going to attract foreign direct investments, investors and international tourists if these forms of increased religious bigotry, racism, arrogance and Thuggery becomes our way of life!

Now we have racist NGO’s playing vigilant roles on public and private morality and values and at times forcing down their tunnel vision racist philosophies on others!

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the entire Barisan Nasional Team is this the way to address issues in Malaysia?

Is this UMNO Senator above the law?

By his behavior he has smeared the image of all senators who are expected to uphold the law not break it no matter what the allegations or issues are!

We are not a banana republic! We have laws in Malaysia, we have public institutions, we have the Police and legislation to address issues not mob justice and rule!

I cannot but fear for the future!

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