Consumerist: Whose The Lucky Blogger With 2 Million ‘In Pocket’ To Write ‘Feel Good’ Stories?

Dato Jacob George

Many told me political writers and bloggers do not make money!

Really?

But a ‘little bird’ – advised me someone out there has had ‘Santa Claus’ visit him much earlier than December 2013!

I am advised ‘Big Santa’ had indeed given him RM2 Million to write!

So if you are wondering just who that ‘lucky person’ is just as I am – keep monitoring which blogger writes in a manner that raises more than the ‘usual alarms?’

It is going to be an interesting read!

What – with RM2 Million worth?

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Consumerist: A Good Friday Prayer For The Nation Facing GE13!

Dato Jacob George

Lord, by shedding YOUR BLOOD for us YOU have established the paschal mystery.

In your goodness, make us holy and watch over us always.

We ask YOU to also watch over our nation, Malaysia facing her 13 General Elections that an accountable stable government will be returned – so that she can be a beacon of goodness, with zero tolerance for corruption, racism, uphold accountability, good governance, practicing what is preached, with holistic respect for all races and religious beliefs and a beacon of example to others in the global village!

In HIS Name Amen!
Blessed Good Friday!

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Consumerist: Govt Agencies Told To Feel The Pulse Of Urban Poverty! ( A flashback Series)

Dato Jacob George

Thursday, 8 Apr 1999 02:05:57 +0800

GOVT AGENCIES ON THE GROUND SHOULD HEED DPM’S OBSERVATIONS ON URBAN POVERTY!

As a consumer advocate, I cannot but fully support and endorse Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s recent observations that a concerted effort must be made to address the growing problem of urban poverty irrespective of racial origin.

The deputy premier must be also commended for speaking “plainly from the heart” where he rightly pointed out that effective strategies and master-plans must be implemented to address the problem, from a truly “Malaysian” perspective!

His views on the eradication of a “subsidy mentality” and “racial polarization” must also be applauded.

The comments coming only weeks after the recent clashes in several “poverty stricken” areas in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor should now result in a concerted implementation immediately.

The dilapidated, harsh living conditions of the various marginalized communities clearly show that some of our elected representatives, local politicos and local government agencies may have neglected the very demograph, they were set up to address!

We should not forget that apart from Kampung Medan and its surrounding areas, there are other similar areas nationwide with their own wooden houses with rusty corrugated zinc roofs, small and illegal workshops, garbage-strewn narrow streets and dusty environment with their fair share of gangsters, drug addiction, juvenile delinquency, fights, social problems and even incests!

It is moments like this when we have to truly ask: why valuable financial resources made available by the government is not used to address to these community woes.

From time to time, we are exposed to the countless wastage of public funds on public relations activities, construction projects, cosmetic changers, the implementation of mega-projects costing millions of ringgit, which does not serve any purpose, except the “egos of certain local politicos or local government managements!”

And when community-based groups, whistle-blowers and individuals address this wastage, they are “attacked as personal non grata, self appointed do-gooders or non-residents”.

Would it not be better to instead divert valuable funding and attention to areas the likes of “Kampung Medan”?

The ‘master plan’ initiated to address the various ‘socio-economic imbalances and inequalities’, lack of adequate housing, education, opportunities for credit for business, development must be well planned and implemented to overcome racial polarization.

If implemented religiously – this holistic solution will prevent the repeat of the recent violent episodes and the possibility of these issues being exploited by a minority, whose sole preoccupation seems to be the “overthrow of a legally elected government”!

The time has come for all of us to “turun padang” and based on the ground conditions and realities to initiate various socio-economic programs that will address the larger community needs!

One final point. In view of the recent findings of the presence of foreigners in such settlements, perhaps, the time is right to conduct a Federal Census Inspection (FCI) by a government appointed task force with the assistance of community based groups to ascertain the number of such foreign and illegal colonies in the country.

And in view of the involvement of such groups in recent clashes and crime, action must be taken to immediately deport such groups in the interest of national security.

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Consumerist: Care Taker Role & Code Of conduct For GE13 – India Good Role Model!

Dato Jacob George

Consumerist: Care Taker Role & Code Of conduct For GE13 – India Good Role Model!

The Election Commission (EC) in some countries are mere brainless stooges. They confirm it the moment they open their mouths and issue statements sounding like politicians rather than statesmen selected to uphold honour and justice.

They are worse than parasites and simply the political hatchet men specially selected by the powers that be, for their long sustained benevolent and unflinching servitude to their political masters. Some may call them ‘mere running dogs’ but I will not be that vulgar.

But in some countries the ECs do justice to their selection and appointment and to the merits and tenets of democracy. One such is the Indian Election Commission.

I had witnessed them in action not only in the last election in 2011 but also in 2004 and the manner in which they carried out their task was just superb.

Whether you know it or not there is a model code of conduct and its values are universal provided your intentions are noble, ethical and serving the free and fair election module. And the code forbids rule by acts of betrayal, treason and worst fraud. How does this code operate?

As an illustration, in 2004 Deputy Indian Prime Minister L K Advani flew in an Indian Air Force helicopter from Bangalore to Tumkur in Karnataka to address an election meeting?

By the time Advani had completed his speech, the EC had announced the dates for the general election and enforced the Model Code of Conduct for parties and candidates. Advani was thus compelled to send the helicopter back and return to Bangalore by car.

Such is the power of the Model Code of Conduct.

The Election Commission through its Code of Conduct monitors the behavior and actions of the political parties and their candidates in any elections.

1. What is the Model Code of Conduct?

It is a set of guidelines laid down by the Election Commission to govern the conduct of political parties and candidates in the run-up to an election.

2. What is the need for such a code of conduct?

It is intended to provide a level playing field for all political parties, to keep the campaign fair and healthy, avoid clashes and conflicts between parties, and ensure peace and order. Its main aim is to ensure that the ruling party, either at the federal level or at state level, does not misuse its official position to gain an unfair and vulgar advantage in an election. That there will be no institutionalized fraud and worst treason.

3. When does it come into force?

The Model Code of Conduct comes into force the moment an election is announced and remains in force till the results are declared.

In 2000, in India there was a tug of war between the central government and the Election Commission on the Model Code of Conduct.

The government went to the Supreme Court against the Commission’s ruling that the code of conduct comes into force the moment elections are announced. The government insisted it should be enforced only from the date of formal notification of each phase of election.

The Election Commission called an all-party meeting to settle the row. Eventually all parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, agreed unanimously to support its stand on the Model Code of Conduct.

That was democracy, people-power, and statesmanship in action.

4. To whom does the code apply?

It applies to all political parties, their candidates and polling agents, the government in power, and all government employees.

5. So what does the Model Code of Conduct mean for a ruling party?

In 2004 in India’s ministers, including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, were not allowed to combine their official visits with electioneering work. They also cannot use official/government machinery or personnel for electioneering work.

Public places for holding election rallies and helipads for flights in connection with elections are to be made available to all parties on the same terms and conditions on which they are used by the party in power.

Government institutions and enforcement agencies were expected to play a neutral role and not as active participants for the incumbents as in some countries.

6. Can ministries sanction grants out of the government’s discretionary funds during election time?

No. Ministers and other authorities cannot sanction grants and payments out of discretionary funds from the moment the elections are announced.

7. Can the government run an advertising campaign in the mass media?

Advertisements at the cost of the public exchequer or in some countries using the Ministry of Finance and misuse of official mass media for partisan coverage during an election have to be scrupulously avoided.

8. What are the other guidelines for ministers and other government officials?

Ministers and other government authorities should not announce or promise any financial grants to the people; they should not lay foundation stones for or inaugurate any projects; they should not promise public facilities like roads; and they should not make any ad hoc government appointments.

9. How do candidates and parties campaign when the code of conduct is in force?

Parties can issue their manifesto detailing the programmes they wish to implement if elected to government, the strengths of their leaders, and the failures of parties and leaders opposing them.

They can use slogans to popularize and identify parties and issues, and they can distribute pamphlets and posters to the electorate.

They can hold rallies and meetings where candidates can persuade, cajole and enthuse supporters, and criticise opponents. Candidates can travel the length and breadth of the constituency to try to influence as many potential supporters as possible.

10. Can parties/candidates hold meetings wherever they want?

Yes, but the party or candidate has to inform the local police authorities of the venue and time of any proposed meeting well in advance to enable them to make necessary arrangements for controlling traffic and maintaining order.

11. Can parties call for votes on communal lines?

No. The Model Code of Conduct strictly prohibits parties and candidates from making any appeals to caste or communal feelings, on race, religion, or pitting communities one against another aided by a racist vernacular media as in some countries for securing votes.

Mosques, churches, temples, and other places of worship also cannot be used for election propaganda. No party or candidate can indulge in any activity that may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension among different castes, communities, religious or linguistic groups.

12. Can parties criticize their opponents?

Yes, but the criticism of other political parties should be confined to their policies and programmes, past record and work. Parties and candidates should refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortions should be avoided. Worst they should not use third parties to orchestrate all forms of allegations and gutter politicking.

13. What happens if a candidate or party does not obey the Model Code of Conduct?

The Election Commission has warned that any breach will be dealt with sternly. The Commission has the power to disqualify a candidate if s/he refuses to follow the Model Code of Conduct.

I salute the Indian Election Commission again for their commitment to democracy, fair play, accountability, good governance, transparency and zero tolerance for corruption and corrupt practices and not succumbing to direct and indirect attempts by the powers that be to manipulate and taint them.

They are unlike others ‘hunting with the hounds and running with the hares’- milking all the business advantages and perks from the incumbents domestically, then inexplicably they trade the shades in other forums putting on the face of reformers, which is the height of hypocrisy.

One such political Czar, an inhabitant of the shadowy corners where politics and billion ringgit business meet is a case to mention as he glides in this late hour from the dark ages of Malaysian politics making predictions and perhaps hoping against hope that the ‘status quo’ will be retained and he spared culpability for the many misdeeds he is alleged to have his hand in?

Based on the above criterion, it is obvious WE have FAILED MISERABLY!

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