Budget 2017: Electricity rebates for senior citizens proposed

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It was proposed for the government to give rebates in Budget 2017, for residences of senior citizens to reduce their burden.

The proposal is giving priority to the senior citizens who are in the B40 group.

The Consumers Association of Subang Jaya and Shah Alam (CASSA) president, Dr Jacob George said the proposal should be considered because senior citizens, particularly those who do not earn regular income, are among those squeezed by the rising cost of living.

“If Tenaga Nasional Berhad can provide rebates for charitable organisations, shelter homes and places of worship, the same discount should also be given to the senior citizens,” he told MalaysiaGazette.

He said, based on studies and direct meetings between CASSA and this group, most of them find it a burden to bear the cost of utility bills.

 

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Even though their monthly bills are not much because their electricity consumption is limited due their situation but they still find it burdensome, as they do not have fixed income.

Dr. George said the proposal should be considered because besides medical and transportation incentives, the senior citizens do not receive other benefits in the annual budget.

He said, it is not difficult to identify prospective senior citizens who are eligible for this rebate because it involves specific residential areas and home ownership.

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As I See It – Budget 2017 Hopes!

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The government should under Budget 2017, consider lowering the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate to 3 per cent from 6 per cent at present.

Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam, Selangor (CASSA) President, Datuk Dr. Jacob George said, even though the proposal is hard to implement, the government should consider due to the high cost of living, rising unemployment and weak consumer spending.

Some employers have also laid off workers as companies want to downsize operations as well as due to the economic slowdown.

George said, the rising cost of living which is soaring now is felt by all levels of society and workers, both the low-income, and the middle income groups.

“Whether or not the government is aware of it, supermarkets, shopping centres and night markets are increasingly deserted. It’s hard for consumers to spend when they have to tighten their belts.

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“There are heads of families who worked three jobs to put food on the table for their children, make ends meet to ensure household and school expenses are enough.

“Therefore, I suggest that the government reduce the GST rate to 3.0 per cent so that the consumers can ‘breathe’,” he told MalaysiaGazette.

He added, all parties acknowledged the implementation of GST has a significant impact on people’s lives because food prices, especially, are rising, even though it has been clarified by the government.

He said the problem occurred because government enforcement agencies did not monitor when the GST was first enforced.

“If monitoring is not done, the price of the same item in store A is not the same as store B, C and D.

George also requested the Prime Minister to consider imposing restrictions on the entry of foreign workers into the country because their presence has affected the livelihoods of the local residents.

He explained, the local population is now finding it difficult to get jobs because they have to compete with the foreigners even in sectors that are not supposed to be in the first place.

“At the supermarkets, cashiers are foreign workers. So much so that Indonesians can open stores in Chow Kit, and Brickfields is brimming with Bangladeshis.

“Even the grocery stores are filled with foreign workers,” said George who did not agree with the government’s view that Malaysians do not want to work in the 3D or ‘dirty, dangerous and difficult’ employment sector.

“If the salary paid commensurate, who do not want to work in the sector, and the government should be transparent in exposing the sectors involved,” he explained.

He said dependency on foreign workers should be reduced as it does not gel with Malaysia’s aspiration to become high income nation.

“We need skilled workers in Malaysia, not an influx of unskilled foreign workers,” he said.

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MALAYSIAN & ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – THIS IS EMBARRASSING MALAYSIA!

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‘Why are we doing everything else, but teach, or address core critical state of the art education modules, which will make our students to be internationally competitive?

No wonder, we are threatened to open our doors to international auditors bench marking the quality of Malaysian education for their classification narratives?’

MALAYSIAN & ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – THIS IS EMBARRASSING MALAYSIA!

On my return from my interactions in the ASEAN/APEC belt on several public policy initiatives and future directions, I was again appalled to read, yet of another very embarrassing and heinous crime and of another level of idiocy by our educationist, aided by incompetent Parents and Teachers Association groups (PIBG), who are doing everything but teaching?

No, it is not about high powered or systemic corruption or the alleged manipulation of the systems of checks and balances or what was the message from all these alleged directives, manipulations and inferences to Malaysian’s future generations addressing the rule of law issues or its impact on a nation allegedly on a spiraling downwards on all fronts?

At an international conference on crime issues in 1986, I had stated that for every rape, assault, or serious crimes reported, that over 15 goes unreported!

So I am really disturbed to read, that in a country where religious phrases, claims, utterances, dressing, political leaning, that comes across with every breath in public life and narrative, we have another very disturbing trend, equally thriving?

No, I am not talking about the number of pregnancies or baby dumping cases, the bullying epidemic, the alleged rape in schools or the political rhetoric from deranged religious men and women, who want to criminalize those affected instead of introducing a narrative of counseling, rehabilitation of body, mind and soul or the attempts by thugs and political shenanigans, desperately trying to create race based riots in Malaysia!

In the first, I am alluding to the case of a grandfather and an uncle of a Form One student in Batu Berendam in Malacca who were detained to assist investigations into her rape and molest.

I congratulate the Malacca Police Chief and his team for detaining the two men, aged 64 and 32, after the girl’s mother lodged a police report at the Batu Berendam police station on Oct 9 and 10.

Sadly, the child had been living with her grandparents since childhood because her parents worked in Singapore.

Allegedly, she was reportedly molested by her grandfather several times since August and the victim was also shown porn videos.

She was allegedly also raped repeatedly since May by her uncle who lived in the same house.

I am advised that the said victim had been placed under the custody of the Social Welfare Department.

It is so sad to see the breakdown of the Malaysian society at so many levels, and, one cannot but wonder what is coming next up the road?

And sadly, everyone is busy politicking or covering up their own misdemeanors or felony, or attacking their political rivals, that there is no time to plan, equip and launch positives in nation building?

And I have always stated that these are the reasons for the continued breakdown of standards not just quality education, of skilled and visionary educationists, proactive, public policy deliberations free of racism, in our institutions over the years as we had in the founding years to 1977!

Where the schools and teachers employed were those passionate about teaching and not just rejects, in many cases, who have no other options but to take this course of employment as teachers?

Worst, when instead of teaching academics, some play politics, are racists, while others skilled are asked to do every other undertaking except, teach because of the ‘politics of the day and polarization?’

And those voicing out for the good of quality education sidelined, targeted, or penalized instead of applauded?

Which brings me to the second issue of discussion.

I am advised that parents of children at a primary school in Batu Caves have expressed concern after Year 6 pupils were made to participate in a mock animal sacrificial ritual involving some 70 quails.

That checks at the school confirmed that the programme was conducted yesterday as part of an annual exercise to “educate students on the proper way of slaughtering animals” according to religious principles.”

Inexplicably, I am made to understand that it was a mock slaughter, approved by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), was carried out at the school compound when classes were in session, and supervised by an Islamic studies teacher who guided the students.

And yes, one of the PTA members had supplied the school with the quails?

It is also understood that apart from the ritual slaughter lessons which made some students uneasy with the gory scenes from such an act, 12-year-old Muslim students also attended an exercise on the ritual bath (mandi wajib), an obligatory act after sexual intercourse or ejaculation.

The ritual sacrifice left some parents shocked and wondering if the exercise was part of the national syllabus.

There are reports that several parents were on record that their children were traumatized after watching the birds being slaughtered.

Actually, please enlighten me what the school was trying to achieve by having the gruesome event in the school?

By the way, our enlightened educationist at that school and its PIBG should now explain what the said school management trying to prove, by getting a bunch of 12-year-old children to slaughter live animals?

What is next – cows, goats?

Why are we doing everything else, but teach, or address core critical state of the art education modules, which will make our students to be internationally competitive?

No wonder, we are threatened to open our doors to international auditors bench marking the quality of Malaysian education for their classification narratives?

Will it show, how far down we have degraded thanks to policy initiatives unfounded in total and quality education practices?
Will these be holistically addressed or the damage be total?

The founding fathers if alive today will be fuming!

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