Consumerist: Johor told – Recruit Skilled/ Respected Professional Team To address Communications/Intel Dissemination To Offset Rapid Critics!

Dato Jacob George

Photo: Read http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/Consumerist: Johor told - Recruit Skilled/ Respected Professional Team To address Communications/Intel Dissemination To Offset Rapid Critics!In the public statement it is stated that the Johor Government will hold a meeting with about 2,000 residents in Pengerang, whose land was acquired for the construction of the estimated RM 60 billion Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) complex which is expected to be fully operational by 2017!Dear friend and Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman has put a ‘time line’ for the said meetings to be held early next month where it is expected for the government to update and brief the residents on the relevant National Land Code provisions and matters therein which includes compensation related to the said project!Among the features are that each landowners would receive cash for their land plus a 6,000 sq ft plot for a new home, two acres plot for agriculture and subsidized constructions for the new modern home.On the bigger picture full infrastructure for a new settlement would also be provided and spinoffs from the said project includes 40,000 new jobs and the total development in Pengerang area would be another 8,800 hectares in development plan, which will spread in 30 yearsWhich includes foreign direct investments related to the petrochemical industry which will all make that southern tip a harnessed and optimized for the making of a petrol chemical industry of international proportions!Though I am glad to hear that the Johor State Government will ensure that all necessary environmental issues be carefully looked at which includes an EIA study planned before work starts which includes special provisions for fishermen in the affected area with alternate plans which includes large fresh water fish projects I have my reservations. I am also glad to hear that all State Government agencies will address issues pertaining to RAPID but spare me the details because even before they have moved I am aware from my intelligence unit on the ground in Johor that there are political predators local and foreign, very involved and active teams on the ground already equipped with the scare tactics mounting fear and anxiety among the residents and the neighborhood!They are well funded and financed, well versed with the issues, coordinated, intelligent, extremely motivated, dedicated and focused!And many opposition politicians are also on the bandwagon and it is a strange mix that is now emanating which is powerful and extremely dangerous in political vote count and collateral damage included with a view to GE13!Now compare that with our government agency ‘intelligentsia’, recruits, academia, friendly bloggers, experts, and others addressing counter espionage tactics, spins, and scare mongering – all issues they are not at all trained in nor prepared!Look at their track record so far nationally!Now honestly rate them!You got my drift!It is time for the state government to recruit an experienced team who know how to address and beat off these components in their own game!I pray the state government is listening to me!

Consumerist: Johor told – Recruit Skilled/ Respected Professional Team To address Communications/Intel Dissemination To Offset Rapid Critics!

In the public statement it is stated that the Johor Government
will hold a meeting with about 2,000 residents in Pengerang, whose land was acquired for the construction of the estimated RM 60 billion Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) complex which is expected to be fully operational by 2017!

Dear friend and Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman has put a ‘time line’ for the said meetings to be held early next month where it is expected for the government to update and brief the residents on the relevant National Land Code provisions and matters therein which includes compensation related to the said project!

Among the features are that each landowners would receive cash for their land plus a 6,000 sq ft plot for a new home, two acres plot for agriculture and subsidized constructions for the new modern home.

On the bigger picture full infrastructure for a new settlement would also be provided and spinoffs from the said project includes 40,000 new jobs and the total development in Pengerang area would be another 8,800 hectares in development plan, which will spread in 30 years

Which includes foreign direct investments related to the petrochemical industry which will all make that southern tip a harnessed and optimized for the making of a petrol chemical industry of international proportions!

Though I am glad to hear that the Johor State Government will ensure that all necessary environmental issues be carefully looked at which includes an EIA study planned before work starts which includes special provisions for fishermen in the affected area with alternate plans which includes large fresh water fish projects I have my reservations.

I am also glad to hear that all State Government agencies will address issues pertaining to RAPID but spare me the details because even before they have moved I am aware from my intelligence unit on the ground in Johor that there are political predators local and foreign, very involved and active teams on the ground already equipped with the scare tactics mounting fear and anxiety among the residents and the neighborhood!

They are well funded and financed, well versed with the issues, coordinated, intelligent, extremely motivated, dedicated and focused!

And many opposition politicians are also on the bandwagon and it is a strange mix that is now emanating which is powerful and extremely dangerous in political vote count and collateral damage included with a view to GE13!

Now compare that with our government agency ‘intelligentsia’, recruits, academia, friendly bloggers, experts, and others addressing counter espionage tactics, spins, and scare mongering – all issues they are not at all trained in nor prepared!

Look at their track record so far nationally!

Now honestly rate them!

You got my drift!

It is time for the state government to recruit an experienced team who know how to address and beat off these components in their own game!

I pray the state government is listening to me!

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Consumerist: Mind Your Own Business Swiss Bruno Manser Fund Told!

Dato Jacob George

Consumerist: Mind Your Own Business Swiss Bruno Manser Fund Told!

Who are the Swiss Human Rights group Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) to urge or even suggest that Sarawakian Olympic medalist Pandelela Rinong Pamg not to accept any rewards from Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, citing “political manipulation”?

“Political Manipulation” – my foot!

For the record – young wonder Pandelela should accept her well deserved reward.

This 19 year old has done all Malaysians proud and has created history for being the first athlete from East Malaysia to win an Olympic medal!

And if much respected Sarawak’s chief minister Taib Mahmud had indeed promised a gift shortly after she had won the bronze medal at the Women’s 10-metre diving event on Aug 10, making her the first Malaysian female Olympic medalist she should accept as it is our Malaysian way saluting our athletes for their accomplishments in the world stage!

In fact, the fund has no moral, legal or ethical legitimacy to make any statements on what is our internal deliberations and issues!

I am deeply saddened to read such disrespect of our customs and way of life by foreign groups with their own political agenda!

And as a consumer, environmental and human rights advocate of national and international standing, I am embarrassed that BMF has with malicious intent ventured into UN-chartered waters to ill-advice a young athlete who has just brought glory to her country!

Perhaps, the BMF is running out of issues to smear the Sarawak state government?

Perhaps, people have realized how manipulative and unethical they are?

But one thing is certain!

The self indulging and opinionated Swiss Bruno Manser Fund can learn a thing or two from this 19 year old lass who has won great admiration ad deep seated respected from all Malaysians with her simple, unassuming demeanor and her ease in handing public attention!

Has she not worked hard to serve this state recognition and award?

To vulgarly suggest she shun any awards from the Sarawak CM is indeed cruel!

My advice to the BMF is – Mind your own business!

 

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CONSUMERIST: BAFIA GAGAL BENDUNG KEBOCORAN!

Dato Jacob George

Photo: BAFIA gagal bendung kebocoran: CASSA!KUALA LUMPUR 14 Ogos - Kebocoran maklumat peribadi daripada institusi kewangan negara sebenarnya berlaku setiap hari tanpa disedari oleh rakyat melalui pelbagai cara.Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Subang dan Shah Alam (CASSA), Datuk Dr. Jacob George berkata, ia berlaku disebabkan Akta Bank dan Institusi-Institusi Kewangan 1989 (BAFIA) hanya berfungsi sebagai slogan kerana tahap penguatkuasaannya daripada pihak berkuasa terlalu rendah.Tegas beliau, jika benar BAFIA berfungsi, bagaimana ramai sering mendapat panggilan daripada pelbagai agensi jualan yang menawarkan barangan mereka.''Sebenarnya isu tersebut bukan sesuatu yang baru di negara ini kerana CASSA sendiri pernah membangkitkan kebocoran maklumat kewangan pelanggan bank sejak lapan tahun lalu namun sehingga kini masih tiada jalan penyelesaian.''Setelah kebocoran tersebut berlaku melibatkan individu berprofil tinggi, barulah isu ini hangat dibahaskan sedangkan sudah terlalu lama ia menimpa setiap genap lapisan masyarakat," katanya ketika dihubungi di sini hari ini.Beliau berkata demikian dalam reaksi terhadap kenyataan Pengerusi Persatuan Bank-Bank Dalam Malaysia, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar baru-baru ini yang menegaskan maklumat sulit atau rahsia pelanggan adalah asas penting dalam hubungan antara pelanggan dengan bank dan ia tidak boleh didedahkan tanpa kebenaran.Jacob turut mempersoalkan kewujudan khidmat agensi rujukan kredit, Credit Tip Off Service Sdn. Bhd. (CTOS) yang secara terang-terang melanggar BAFIA.''Bagaimana sesebuah organisasi itu dibolehkan menjalankan aktiviti menjual maklumat sulit kewangan kepada puluhan bank di seluruh negara sedangkan BAFIA sendiri bertujuan mengekalkan kerahsiaan maklumat dan dokumen yang berkaitan dengan akaun pengguna.''Di sini jelas menunjukkan BAFIA perlu diteliti semula bagi memastikan undang-undang yang ada dapat dikuatkuasakan tanpa ada sebarang pengecualian," ujarnya.Tambah beliau, Bank Negara perlu menjadikan undang-undang berkaitan kerahsiaan maklumat yang digunakan di negara-negara maju seperti di United Kingdom (UK), Australia dan negara Eropah agar masalah kebocoran di Malaysia juga dapat dibendung.Katanya, di Malaysia, hasil siasatan CASSA mendapati maklumat kewangan dapat dibeli di antara RM15,000 hingga RM30,000.''Di negara-negara tersebut mereka tidak akan dapat mengakses maklumat sulit kewangan pelanggan melainkan mendapat perintah mahkamah.''Itulah bukti bahawa tahap kerahsiaan maklumat pelanggan institusi kewangan negara ini sangat mudah diperoleh dan ia memerlukan pelan bertindak yang mantap agar masalah ini dapat diselesaikan," jelasnya.

BAFIA gagal bendung kebocoran

Oleh TERMIZI CHE ANUAR
pengarang@utusan.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR 14 Ogos – Kebocoran maklumat peribadi daripada institusi kewangan negara sebenarnya berlaku setiap hari tanpa disedari oleh rakyat melalui pelbagai cara.

Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Subang dan Shah Alam (CASSA), Datuk Dr. Jacob George berkata, ia berlaku disebabkan Akta Bank dan Institusi-Institusi Kewangan 1989 (BAFIA) hanya berfungsi sebagai slogan kerana tahap penguatkuasaannya daripada pihak berkuasa terlalu rendah.

Tegas beliau, jika benar BAFIA berfungsi, bagaimana ramai sering mendapat panggilan daripada pelbagai agensi jualan yang menawarkan barangan mereka.

”Sebenarnya isu tersebut bukan sesuatu yang baru di negara ini kerana CASSA sendiri pernah membangkitkan kebocoran maklumat kewangan pelanggan bank sejak lapan tahun lalu namun sehingga kini masih tiada jalan penyelesaian.

”Setelah kebocoran tersebut berlaku melibatkan individu berprofil tinggi, barulah isu ini hangat dibahaskan sedangkan sudah terlalu lama ia menimpa setiap genap lapisan masyarakat,” katanya ketika dihubungi di sini hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam reaksi terhadap kenyataan Pengerusi Persatuan Bank-Bank Dalam Malaysia, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar baru-baru ini yang menegaskan maklumat sulit atau rahsia pelanggan adalah asas penting dalam hubungan antara pelanggan dengan bank dan ia tidak boleh didedahkan tanpa kebenaran.

Jacob turut mempersoalkan kewujudan khidmat agensi rujukan kredit, Credit Tip Off Service Sdn. Bhd. (CTOS) yang secara terang-terang melanggar BAFIA.

”Bagaimana sesebuah organisasi itu dibolehkan menjalankan aktiviti menjual maklumat sulit kewangan kepada puluhan bank di seluruh negara sedangkan BAFIA sendiri bertujuan mengekalkan kerahsiaan maklumat dan dokumen yang berkaitan dengan akaun pengguna.

”Di sini jelas menunjukkan BAFIA perlu diteliti semula bagi memastikan undang-undang yang ada dapat dikuatkuasakan tanpa ada sebarang pengecualian,” ujarnya.

Tambah beliau, Bank Negara perlu menjadikan undang-undang berkaitan kerahsiaan maklumat yang digunakan di negara-negara maju seperti di United Kingdom (UK), Australia dan negara Eropah agar masalah kebocoran di Malaysia juga dapat dibendung.

Katanya, di Malaysia, hasil siasatan CASSA mendapati maklumat kewangan dapat dibeli di antara RM15,000 hingga RM30,000.

”Di negara-negara tersebut mereka tidak akan dapat mengakses maklumat sulit kewangan pelanggan melainkan mendapat perintah mahkamah.

”Itulah bukti bahawa tahap kerahsiaan maklumat pelanggan institusi kewangan negara ini sangat mudah diperoleh dan ia memerlukan pelan bertindak yang mantap agar masalah ini dapat diselesaikan,” jelasnya.

 

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Consumerist: Authorities Told to Handle With Care New Police Custody Death In Penang!

 

Dato Jacob George

Consumerist: Authorities Told to Handle With Care New Police Custody Death In Penang!

It is sad that a 36-year-old man died in police custody in Penang yesterday morning!

And naturally family, relatives and all Malaysians are equally shocked at this incident as many will construe this as – another controversial death while in Police custody – ala Teoh Beng Hock No:2!

The Police have indeed responded.

Georgetown OCPD Gan Kon Meng who I personally know as a ‘no nonsense tolerating’ officer truly professional had stated that an officer would be assigned to investigate the case, adding there would be “no cover up”.

Gan had rightly stated the various procedures involved investigating the death from multiple angles and finally that the investigation papers will be submitted to the AG’s Chambers with recommendations for an inquest and further instructions on how to proceed with the case.

We should now allow the Police to do their job!

Let us cut the spins and trial by media now!

I am sure the Ministry of Home Affairs is aware of public sentiments that since 2000, at least 147 people have died in police custody (unless otherwise stated, statistics are from PDRM – released during my learned friend’s P. Uthayakumar’s ongoing sedition trial).

There is already allegations of little accountability, transparency or any real investigations by the authorities responsible, namely the courts, the police, the Attorney General’s Chambers and the hospitals which provide medical assistance or conduct postmortems.

Many state that despite the obvious seriousness of any death in custody, these important state institutions in most, if not all of these cases, chose to gloss, downplay, cover up, ignore or even make outrageous claims over these deaths – causing these institutions to lose credibility and public confidence.

As a consumer advocate I can feel their pain and anxiety!

I too find it unacceptable.

It is undeniable that the numbers or statistics on ‘death in custody’ is rising and Malaysians want to see a comprehensive and detailed move by the authorities to arrest this issue.

The ordinary citizen on the street is furious and it is in the interest of the government to come with findings that makes legal sense all around!

It is time to position an independent select committee to conduct the investigations to uphold accountability, transparency and zero tolerance for any forms of fabrication and ‘cover up!’

In the meantime, my heartfelt prayers go to the family of the deceased.

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Consumerist: Syabas – Unlike Other Rogue Jurisdictions Australian High court dismisses Tobacco Industry Challenge!

 

Dato Jacob George

 

Photo: Read http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/Consumerist: Syabas – Unlike Other Rogue Jurisdictions Australian High court dismisses Tobacco Industry Challenge!From time to time the Almighty is gracious and us Consumer Advocates around the world get their motivation and an upliftment in their many pursuits to uphold and strive for accountability good governance, a level playing field, pro consumer legislation and victories against rogue organizations that work against the rights and interests of consumers around the world!So indeed I am overjoyed at hearing from my colleagues from Australia that cigarettes will be sold in plain packaging from December after the High Court this morning dismissed the tobacco industry’s challenge to the world-first laws.A majority of justices rejected manufacturers’ argument that laws were unconstitutional. The court did not publish the reasons for its decision.The industry had argued the Government failed to acquire their trade marks on “just terms” and claimed they were entitled to billions of dollars in compensation.The decision means that from October, cigarettes made in Australia will need to be packaged in drab brown boxes featuring standard fonts and larger graphic health warnings.Logos, slogans, colors and other branding will be banned.From December all products on shelves will need to be in plain packaging.Tobacco companies had earlier launched a legal challenge to plain packaging through international trade laws but these are likely to take years to be resolved.Dear friend, Jonathan Liberman, the director of anti-smoking group McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer had rightly stated that the court’s decision was welcome and "resound globally" as other countries considered plain packaging.He went on to add:"It shows to everybody that the only way to deal with tobacco industry claims, sabre rattling and legal threats is to stare them down in court!”“It would be great if the tobacco industry would just say ‘We understand our products are addictive, they kill up to half of long term users and we will cop on the chin whatever the Government decides needs to be done to reduce their harm’” Jonathan added!Like Jonathan, I am also confident the Government would prevail in the trade disputes in any jurisdiction provided the rights and interests of consumers are taken into cognizance – period and not the industry and big business!Chief Justice Robert French in his judgment had stated that the majority of justices found the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill was not in contravention of Section 51 of the Australian constitution.The tobacco companies have been ordered to pay the Commonwealth's legal costs.Many groups are elated at this decision and among them health groups who feel the decision was a major win against smoking.Australian Council on Smoking and Health president Mike Daube, who chaired the Federal Government committee which called for plain packaging, said the decision had global ramifications."Today’s High Court decision that tobacco plain packaging can proceed is a massive win for public health and also the global tobacco industry’s worst defeat yet," he said."The global tobacco companies have opposed plain packaging more ferociously than any other measure because they know that plain packaging will have a major impact on smoking here and other countries will follow.”Cancer Council Australia chief executive Ian Olver said it was a landmark ruling that put public health before vested commercial interests.In Malaysia I am after pushing for a ban on smoking in ALL PUBLIC PLACES awaiting for a just and courageous step to be taken that will surely be welcomed by all Malaysian Consumers!

Consumerist: Syabas – Unlike Other Rogue Jurisdictions Australian High court dismisses Tobacco Industry Challenge!

From time to time the Almighty is gracious and us Consumer Advocates around the world get their motivation and an upliftment in their many pursuits to uphold and strive for accountability good governance, a level playing field, pro consumer legislation and victories against rogue organizations that work against the rights and interests of consumers around the world!

So indeed I am overjoyed at hearing from my colleagues from Australia that cigarettes will be sold in plain packaging from December after the High Court this morning dismissed the tobacco industry’s challenge to the world-first laws.

A majority of justices rejected manufacturers’ argument that laws were unconstitutional. The court did not publish the reasons for its decision.

The industry had argued the Government failed to acquire their trade marks on “just terms” and claimed they were entitled to billions of dollars in compensation.

The decision means that from October, cigarettes made in Australia will need to be packaged in drab brown boxes featuring standard fonts and larger graphic health warnings.

Logos, slogans, colors and other branding will be banned.

From December all products on shelves will need to be in plain packaging.

Tobacco companies had earlier launched a legal challenge to plain packaging through international trade laws but these are likely to take years to be resolved.

Dear friend, Jonathan Liberman, the director of anti-smoking group McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer had rightly stated that the court’s decision was welcome and “resound globally” as other countries considered plain packaging.

He went on to add:

“It shows to everybody that the only way to deal with tobacco industry claims, sabre rattling and legal threats is to stare them down in court!”

“It would be great if the tobacco industry would just say ‘We understand our products are addictive, they kill up to half of long term users and we will cop on the chin whatever the Government decides needs to be done to reduce their harm’” Jonathan added!

Like Jonathan, I am also confident the Government would prevail in the trade disputes in any jurisdiction provided the rights and interests of consumers are taken into cognizance – period and not the industry and big business!

Chief Justice Robert French in his judgment had stated that the majority of justices found the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill was not in contravention of Section 51 of the Australian constitution.

The tobacco companies have been ordered to pay the Commonwealth’s legal costs.

Many groups are elated at this decision and among them health groups who feel the decision was a major win against smoking.

Australian Council on Smoking and Health president Mike Daube, who chaired the Federal Government committee which called for plain packaging, said the decision had global ramifications.

“Today’s High Court decision that tobacco plain packaging can proceed is a massive win for public health and also the global tobacco industry’s worst defeat yet,” he said.

“The global tobacco companies have opposed plain packaging more ferociously than any other measure because they know that plain packaging will have a major impact on smoking here and other countries will follow.”

Cancer Council Australia chief executive Ian Olver said it was a landmark ruling that put public health before vested commercial interests.

In Malaysia I am after pushing for a ban on smoking in ALL PUBLIC PLACES awaiting for a just and courageous step to be taken that will surely be welcomed by all 27 Million Malaysian Consumers!

 

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