Consumerist: Toll increase burdens urban dwellers!

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Consumer Associations of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) has questioned the government’s simultaneous increase of 18 toll roads at a time the people is grappling with the high cost of living brought about by the Goods and Services Tax six months ago.

Its president Datuk Dr. Jacob George said the government should realise that its decision is painful on the people which has to spend more when at the same time their purchasing power is shrinking.

Why is it that the government fails to understand the sentiment of the people? Why does it not want to share the pains and sufferings of the people?

I hope the government answers that question, he told MalaysiaGazette.

He was commenting on the government’s announcement on Monday to increase toll rates effective tomorrow, of which some has been increased up to 80 percent

The toll rate adjustment involves Damansara-Puchong Highway, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Highway, Smart Tunnel, Guthrie Corridor Expressway, KL-Karak Highway, Kajang Dispersal Highway, Cheras-Kajang Expressway, Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway and Maju Expressway.

Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway, KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway, Butterworth Outer Ring Road Expressway, New Pantai Expressway, Sprint Highway, Sungai Besi Expressway, Southern Klang Valley Expressway, Kajang-Seremban Highway and Senai-Desaru Expressway.

Jacob said the increase affects the most unfortunate middle income group as they are the ones which do not receive any benefits or incentives from the government.

A lot of those in this group has to take up two jobs due to life pressures especially on those who has heavy liabilities and responsibilities.

A majority has to depend on credit cards as they do not have savings to support their income due to the rising cost of living in towns.

Then why burden the middle income group with another toll hike? This toll hike is a shock which should not have happened and not appropriate to the people.

Jacob said the toll increase has drawn the ire of the people and the government should do a census to find out its popularity level at the moment.

The government’s move to increase toll has sent a perception to the people that it is protecting the concession owners and not the people.

                           

Consumerist: Are We Too Afraid To Address Racism In Malaysia?

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Consumerist: Are We Too Afraid To Address Racism In Malaysia?

Are we Malaysians now pure unadulterated racists and members of a new form of apartheid?

A Malaysian chapter of Racist International or Ku Klux Klan?

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Are we really racist, because when wrongs are done, by domestic terrorists of all forms and creed, most times in our name, the interests of our race or religion, we remain silent with no courage to speak out or articulate that this or that, is a wrong?

Racism is when you draw conclusions about people based on racial stereotypes and believe that some races are better than others.

Some racist people use hateful slurs or even act violently toward members of a race they do not like or jealous about!

But the truth is racism is not always so easily perceptible.

Even if you think you would never hurt someone of a different race, deeply embedded racist beliefs can have a subconscious effect on the way you treat people.

As such, to me the best way to combat racists and racism, is to bring to light this devious and unpalatable behavior as to put a stop to it.

To begin with – the belief that some races are superior while others are inferior is the foundation of racism.

If you believe deep down that the race you belong to (or one you don’t belong to) has qualities that make it better than other races, that is racist thinking.

Be honest with yourself!

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Do you stereotype people based on their race?

For example, it is racist to believe that all members of a certain race are untrustworthy, lazy, free loaders, bad or stupid!.

It is equally racist to believe that all members of a certain race are smart.

Applying any one stereotype to all members of a race is racist thinking.

Same with racial and religious profiling!

Many people who practice this type of racism believe that it is harmless.

For example, they might think assuming a person from a certain race is smarter than average is a compliment. However, since this assumption is based on a racial stereotype, it is not a compliment: it is racist.

In worst case scenarios, judging people based on stereotypes can be extremely dangerous.

For in some countries like the US – innocent people usually blacks and nonwhites – are frequently targeted as criminals due to the color of their skin, even when they have not committed any crime.

The same in citing a certain race or from certain background are all terrorist?

How can we go forward, each in our own countries to say – NO – to all forms, strands and hybrids forms of racism or apartheid?

Can we be brave enough to have a conversation on these things so that we pave the way forward towards a better tomorrow for future Malaysians?

If we do this, we will be strictly following what our founding fathers would have done, if, they were still around today!

                           

Consumerist: China Tourist Killed – Another Bad Press For Malaysia?

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‘After all, what can I say – when despite all the funds allocated and agencies set up – with important bourgeoisie tag names and positions – we still cannot address a comprehensive safe public transport system in Malaysia! ‘

Consumerist: China Tourist Killed – Another Bad Press For Malaysia?

Actually this is not funny anymore!

Road accidents involving buses are an alarming matter in Malaysia.

I am told that the national statistics showed that bus accident cases increased significantly with 48% between the year 2006 and the year 2008.

We are also told that prompted an in-depth study to clearly identify the problems, investigate the characteristics of bus accidents in Malaysia and determine critical issues highlighted from the investigated accidents.

Interestingly, the data of bus accidents during the period of 2007-2009 was obtained from MIROS database of real-world crash investigation and used for the study.

I am told again that a total of 109 cases related to bus accident were analyzed and related important issues were discussed.

And that from that study, several issues that contributed to the high level of fatalities and severe injuries arising from accidents involving bus were identified among them the failure of bus structure integrity, roadside hazard, lack of Safety and Health Environment Code of Practice by the operators, and poor vehicle maintenance, among them!

So what is the agencies tasked to protect the rights and interests of Malaysian consumers and public transport users doing about these findings?

What are the steps taken, if any to address this carnage on the roads that never stops!

So again, there is carnage on the roads with three tourists from China being killed while 14 others, were injured when the bus they were traveling in collided with another bus and a lorry in Batu Pahat today.

The trio died on the spot in the crash which occurred at about 5pm at the southbound 94.1 km North-South Expressway near Yong Peng.

The identities of the deceased have not be ascertained.

Yong Peng Fire and Rescue Department operations officer Assistant Superintendent Bakariya Mohd Salleh said the 24 passengers in the other bus escaped unhurt.

The lorry driver was injured, he said.

He said eight firemen extricated the bodies before sending it to the district hospital.

So well done again – for confirming that we are totally screwed up and do little at basics and post MH370!

After all what else can I say – when despite all the funds allocated and agencies set up – with important bourgeoisie tag names and positions – we still cannot address a comprehensive safe public transport system!

                           

Jerebu – pemimpin bisu dan buta?

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“Saya juga berdukacita dengan duta Malaysia ke Indonesia, sampai hari ini tidak ada satu kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh beliau, jadi beliau ini anggota di sana atau tidak?,” katanya.

Jerebu – pemimpin bisu dan buta?

SHAH ALAM: Pemimpin negara didesak lebih lantang bersabit isu jerebu yang membelenggu rakyat setiap tahun.

Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Subang dan Shah Alam (CASSA), Datuk Dr Jacob George berkata ketidaklantangan suara pemimpin bersabit isu ini hanya akan memburukkan keadaan untuk jangka masa panjang.

“Ini membawa kesukaran kepada orang, tetapi pemimpin…inilah dukacita sebab hanya NGO yang suarakan, hanya satu dua pemimpin sahaja yang suarakan, yang lain semua diam. Kenapa jadi macam ini,” ujar beliau.

Beliau berharap pimpinan negara lebih pro-aktif dalam menyuarakan isu jerebu.

Tambahan katanya, sebelum ini sudah ada perjanjian ASEAN termasuk Indonesia telah menandatangani Perjanjian Pencemaran Jerebu Rentas Sempadan.

“Sebab itu saya kata, apa jadi dengan mekanisme-mekanisme perhubungan di ASEAN?

“Tahun lalu kita diberitahu sudah ada satu pasukan petugas untuk mengatasi masalah jerebu dan dia sudah ada indeks-indeks tertentu dan protokol tertentu sampai hari ini saya tidak dengar apa-apa kenyataan daripada ASEAN juga?,” katanya.

Bahkah, beliau meminta Duta Malaysia di Indonesia menjelaskan tindakan yang di ambil beliau setakat ini.

“Saya juga berdukacita dengan duta Malaysia ke Indonesia, sampai hari ini tidak ada satu kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh beliau, jadi beliau ini anggota di sana atau tidak?,” katanya.

Jacob dalam pada itu turut berkata kesan jerebu menyebabkan ramai yang terpaksa menanggung kerugian.

“Ini mesti kita tegaskan di sini, sebab ini bukan suara saya sahaja tetapi suara daripada akar umbi.

“Ini bukan pembangkang ke kerajaan ke apa, apabila berlaku jerebu banyak perkara terjejas, jualan menurun, pernerbangan menjadi bahaya dan ekonomi kita juga turut terkesan,” katanya.