MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE PISSED OFF WITH THE ON OFF SPINS ON MH370 DECIDES A REVISIT OF AN ARTICLE HE WROTE IN 2016 AS TIME HOLDS STILL!

DATELINE:
NOVEMBER 1ST 2017

DR JACOB GEORGE PISSED OFF WITH THE ON OFF SPINS ON MH370 DECIDES A REVISIT OF AN ARTICLE HE WROTE IN 2016 AS TIME HOLDS STILL!

‘I am certain that in this age and time, with the sophistication of satellite technology and assets in the air and space, for an airliner with 239 people from several countries on board, to simply vanish is ridiculous!’

‘Is it time to stop the rot and come out with the truth no matter, how unpalatable, distasteful or political havoc, it may result to the airline industry, stakeholders and the power politics and invincible hands behind, that manipulate moves, which affects the course of history but in this case – to finally – tell the truth and give still mourning families a closure!’

Consumerist: MH370 – The Family Need Closure Not More Media Spins!

Two years since the disappearance of MH370, with many of its twist and turns, finds, claims, counterclaims, allegations, spooks, even wild exposures, spin, it remains one of aviation’s greatest mysteries and one that will not go away despite inexplicable eerie silence from those who we expect to protect public policy, interest and most importantly, consumers who use the service of airlines and the MH370 families left behind without closure.

The flight took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia early in the morning, bound for Beijing.

At 1:19 a.m., as the plane was flying over the South China Sea, we are told that Malaysian air traffic controllers radioed the crew to contact controllers in Ho Chi Minh City for the onward flight through Vietnamese airspace.

The crew’s acknowledgment of the request was the last thing ever heard from MH370: “Good night Malaysian three-seven-zero.”

Shortly afterward, air traffic controllers in Malaysia lost contact with the plane somewhere over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.

The aircraft’s transponder, which identifies the plane and relays details like altitude and speed to controllers, was alleged to have stopped transmitting.

MH370 seemingly disappeared without a trace or did it really?
Inexplicably, and to illustrate incompetence at the highest levels, Malaysian authorities revealed later that a military radar had tracked the plane as it inexplicably changed course, turned back to the west and flew across the Malaysian Peninsula, up the Strait of Malacca, before flying out of radar range at 2:14 a.m. and vanishing once again.

Why there was no official protocol response to such a reality, like sending up fighter jets scrambling – was never answered satisfactorily by any quarter – all covering for themselves and others in the chain of idiocies, in a land where free speech is looked upon as a ‘privilege’ rather than a constitutional right?

I am also certain that in this age and time and with the sophistication of satellite technology and assets in the air and space for an airliner with 239 people on board to simply vanish is ridiculous!

The mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has gripped the world.

So far the tabloids and media have had a field day disrespecting families that are still in a state of mourning and no closure!

For example media giants – CNN has seen its ratings soar by broadcasting nonstop coverage of the missing airplane.

Yes, we also have millions of people and other groups both private citizens and others driven to take up a course to care and serve and do their bit by scouring satellite images of the oceans looking for pieces of debris or setting up conversations and the exchange of updates to keep the issue in the public forum which I am certain irritates the powers that be who want it gone – period!

Recently there are endless claims of breakthroughs and finds which is great for a media spin and photo shoots but hurting and reopens unhealed wounds among families and loved ones!

There was recently a report of wreckage of a crashed plane containing a Malaysian flag found in a remote island in Southern Philippines, then, there was that flaperon, which was found on La Reunion in July, by the French body responsible for civil aviation accident investigations.

If we remember at the time of the discovery on the French territory last month, Malaysian officials stated that it was ‘almost certain’ the wing flap came from a Boeing 777 – the same model as the Malaysian airlines jet.

The 6ft-long wing flap washed up 3,500 miles from the doomed jet’s last-known location, had really fueled hopes across the world that one of aviation’s greatest mysteries could finally be solved.

But since then that has gone cold too, despite my conversation with the DCA Chief when we had a conversation on what was to be expected as he checked in at the KLIA airport to fly out to France and with me flying to Vietnam!

But since that event – a piece of suspected plane wreckage was found on a beach in southern Thailand, prompting speculation it might belong to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

The large piece of curved metal washed ashore in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, according to a local official.

Villagers discovered the piece of metal and reported it to the authorities to help identify it.

Villagers found the wreckage, measuring about 2metres wide and 3metres long (6.6 by 9.8 feet).

The find has sparked speculation in the Thai media that the debris could belong to MH370, which disappeared with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014.

There has been no official confirmation that the wreckage belongs to a plane.

The barnacle-covered piece of metal has some identifying features, which should help narrow down whether or not it came from a plane.

Then there is news that a metal fragment was found in a sandbank off Mozambique.

It was being taken to Australia where it will be examined by international specialists and officials from Malaysia.

So far in all narratives throughout this two years all we are seeing is caution, irritating silence, no substantive discovery or claim whatsoever!

To the airlines in the center of this tragedy and other controversies, which includes their attempt to stay strong as a brand, economically and business relevance – “It is too speculative at this point to comment?”

The Malaysian Transport Minister also urged caution.

Strangely, no one is paying attention to the sensitivity, rights, and interests, of the family members of 239 that are still missing presumed dead by idiotic and moronic decree?

Is it time to stop the rot and come out with the truth no matter, how unpalatable, distasteful or political havoc, it may result to the airline industry, stakeholders and the power politics and invincible hands behind, that manipulate moves which affects the course of history but in this case – to finally – tell the truth and give still mourning families a closure!

MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS – IS PERSONAL & ORGANIZATIONAL DATA AT RISKS THANKS TO ONLINE SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS AND A LACK OF LEGAL ENFORCEMENT THROUGH LEGISLATION?

MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS – IS PERSONAL & ORGANIZATIONAL DATA AT RISKS THANKS TO ONLINE SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS AND A LACK OF LEGAL ENFORCEMENT THROUGH LEGISLATION?

In all major jurisdictions, ASEAN or APEC let along elsewhere in Europe, South Indian continent, West Asia, the African continent and thanks to constant media attention and consumer advocacy not just organizations but individuals must be concerned what might come into one’s personal environment but also how one’s personal data and information can be abused!

There are data and reports that in the past were ignored now a point of close contention when we have indication that data theft growing at more than 650% over the past three years according to the FBI!

As such there is an awakening that one must prevent internal leaks of both personal and organizational financial, proprietary and nonpublic information.

This is why I have repeated urged and lobbied governments that we need adequate protect in this area!

Why?

With increasing number of dating agencies, social media business, financial institutions, healthcare institutions and publicly traded organizations, banks to create consumer privacy policies and procedures that help them mitigate their potential liabilities.

And to look at this I went undercover using some this week!

In our response one can try to suggest some key ways we can keep and isolate nonpublic information private.

Step 1: Organizations/Consumers need to identify and prioritize confidential information

This is no rocket science!

But despite so we have a situation that vast majority of organizations and private citizens/consumers have no knowledge how to start protecting confidential information.

I take the stand that by categorizing types of information by value and confidentiality, consumers, private citizens and corporations can prioritize what data to secure first.

In my advocacy experience, customer information systems or employee record systems are the easiest places to start because only a few specific systems typically own the ability to update that information.

On the other hand, social security numbers, account numbers, personal identification numbers, credit card numbers and other types of structured information are finite areas that need to be protected.

And certainly, I take the stand that securing unstructured information such as contracts, financial releases and customer correspondence is an important next step that should be rolled out on a departmental basis.

Step 2: Study current information flows and perform risk assessment

Basically what I am alluding to is, that it is essential to understand current workflows, both procedurally and in practice, to see how confidential information flows around whether in the personal orbit or an organization’s universe?

Identifying the major business processes that involve confidential information is a straightforward exercise, but determining the risk of leakage is far more challenging and requires a more in-depth examination.

Consumers and Organizations need to ask themselves the following questions of each major personal and business process:

Which participants touch these information assets?

How are these assets created, modified, processed or distributed by these participants?

What is the chain of events?

Is there a gap between stated policies/procedures and actual behavior?

By analyzing information flows with these questions in mind, I will go as far to state that consumers and companies can quickly identify vulnerabilities in their handling of sensitive information.

Step 3: Determine appropriate access, usage and information-distribution policies

Based on the risk assessment sometimes engaging professionals in risk management or security a consumer or organizations can quickly craft distribution policies for various types of confidential information.

These policies govern exactly who can access, use or receive which type of content and when, as well as oversee enforcement actions for violations of those policies.

And if anyone within the system or organization is violating or selling personal and organizational data for financial gain?

In my experience, four types of distribution policies typically emerge for the following:

  1. Customer information
  2. Executive communications
  3. Intellectual property
  4. Employee records

Once these distribution policies are defined, it does not end there but there is a need to implement monitoring and enforcement points along communication paths.

Step 4: Implement a monitoring and enforcement system

The ability to monitor and enforce policy adherence is crucial to the protection of confidential information assets.

Control points must be established to monitor information usage and traffic, verifying compliance with distribution policies and performing enforcement actions for violation of those policies.

Like airport security checkpoints, monitoring systems must be able to accurately identify threats and prevent them from passing those control points.

Due to the immense amount of digital information in modern organizational workflows, these monitoring systems should have powerful identification abilities to avoid false alarms and have the ability to stop unauthorized traffic.

I am advised by professional with more knowledge than I have on this matter, that a variety of software products which can provide the means to monitor electronic communication channels for sensitive information are available!

Step 5: Review progress periodically

As my late father, an educationist, used to say “Boy – lather, rinse and repeat!”

For maximum effectiveness, consumers and organizations need to regularly review their systems, policies and training.

By using the visibility provided by monitoring systems, organizations can improve employee training, expand deployment and systematically eliminate vulnerabilities.

In addition, systems should be reviewed extensively in the event of a breach to analyze system failures and to flag suspicious activity.

External audits can also prove useful in checking for vulnerabilities and threats.

I am advised from the professionals that both consumers and companies often implement security systems but either fail to review incident reports that arise or to extend coverage beyond the parameters of the initial implementation.

And they concur that through regular system benchmarking, consumers and organizations can protect other types of confidential information; extend security to different communication channels such as e-mail, Web posts, instant messaging, peer-to-peer and more; and expand protection to additional departments or functions.

One final word!

Protecting confidential information assets throughout by consumers and organizations is really a journey rather than a one-time event.

It fundamentally requires a systematic way to identify sensitive data; understand current business processes; craft appropriate access, usage and distribution policies; and monitor outgoing and internal communications.

Ultimately, what is most important to understand are the potential costs and ramifications of not establishing a system to secure nonpublic information from the inside?

While on this topic, I must congratulate the Indian judiciary for a recent landmark decision on personal data protection!

Once again that judiciary stands tall!

I will raise this issue on personal and organization data with Malaysian Premier Najib Tun Razak and friends in the Malaysian cabinet soon as I am aware of their great concern in this matter!

LANDMARK RULING ON CHILD BRIDES BY INDIA’S TOP COURT ONCE AGAIN SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST!!

LANDMARK RULING ON CHILD BRIDES BY INDIA’S TOP COURT ONCE AGAIN!

From time to time when you least expect comes a great judgment!

And I am alluding to India’s top court ruling that sex with child bride is rape in landmark ruling for women’s rights

Yesterday India’s Supreme Court ruled that a man is committing rape if he engages in sexual intercourse with his wife who is aged between 15 and 18, a landmark decision that will affect millions of child brides.

For the record, the legal age of consent in India is 18 years.

They are strict and the law regards even consensual sex with a woman under 16 as rape, but an exception had been made in the past for intercourse between a man and his wife who is between 15 and 18.

“If a man has sexual intercourse with a wife who is below 18 years, it is an offense. The minor wife can complain against the husband within one year,” said the court, adding that lowering the legal age for sex to 15 for a married girl is “unconstitutional”.

The Supreme Court ruled the age of consent was 18 for “all purposes” after hearing a petition by Independent Thought, a non-profit group that sought to criminalize sex with underage wives.

however yesterdays landmark ruling and verdict would not be applied retrospectively, which based its conclusions on India’s Child Marriage Prohibition Act.

One must bear in mind that though illegal, child marriage is deeply rooted in India.

Like many jurisdictions elsewhere there factors such as poverty, weak law enforcement, patriarchal social norms and concerns about family honor are often blamed.

But challenges are there and this is clear from the views of a social activist!

“It is unclear how this judgment will be enforced as child marriages are rampant in tribal societies across India,” said social activist Mustafa of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.

It is believed that the implementation of India’s top court ruling will be especially challenging amongst tribal peoples in western Rajasthan state and adjoining Madhya Pradesh province, where hundreds of child marriages are believed to take place every year.

We cannot deny but appreciate that social activists have been campaigning to prevent child marriages through education and economical empowerment.

But the reality in India’s 2011 census showed that whilst child marriage had declined marginally from a decade earlier, more than five million girls were still married before the legal age of 18.

Historically, if asked one finds difficulty answering the exact origin of infant marriages!

But according to claims by social scientists and village elders, they believe that this practice started around the 10th century with the first Muslim invasions that lasted over 700 years.

It was a reaction and fear of the conquering invaders that they would carry off their daughters and as such, rural families began marrying them off at an early age to ensure their safety.

MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST SAYS – BEWARE – THE CLOSET TERRORISTS WITHIN AND AMONG US MALAYSIANS!

‘We cannot have it both ways – say one thing in international platforms self-righteously claiming moderation but in Malaysia’s ground zero closing both eyes to the continued attacks, race, religious baiting and seditious utterances that goes unattended in domestic political expediency?’

BEWARE – THE CLOSET TERRORISTS WITHIN AND AMONG US MALAYSIANS!

We must be grateful that we have a professional formidable counter-terrorist unit in Malaysia, whose work has kept us all from harm’s way!

Thank you my dear friends!

But we cannot deny that there are far too many sympathizers and closet supporters herein.

Our borders are also very porous as well and entry and exits at our international airports and ports!

Just read and analyze the comments sections of online media and facebook of those which belong to a certain cross section of religious brethren!

The extremist ideologies, hatred, intolerance, seditious tones and utterances quite explicit which puts fear in the hearts and minds of the reader!

In the past, we must accept shamefully that we have had reports of Malaysian women apparently sympathetic to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and have reportedly traveled to the Middle East to offer themselves sexually to militants!

According to certain intelligence reports these women are believed to have offered themselves in sexual comfort roles to ISIS fighters?

The practice called Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by fringe hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.

Malaysia is not alone here as there is intelligence exchanged with other countries that reveal that Sunni Muslim women from Australia and the United Kingdom had also joined up with ISIS.

I am made to understand that Australian intelligence officials have information that more than 100 Australian Muslims were in Syria fighting alongside ISIS.

Malaysia initially revealed that about 30 Malaysians might have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIS.

Let us not forget, closer to home Indonesians and Malaysians, are among foreign jihadists fighting the Philippine army in Mindanao as stated by Manila’s solicitor-general which is a rare admission that outsiders are collaborating with domestic Islamist groups.

Let us not forget that there are also reports that several terrorists have also have stints at our institution of higher education, while others gone rogue when the cover was blown!

And this inexplicably has come back to haunt and hurt us and silence of those who were expected to defend our Federal Constitution and the secular state, address such atrocities, race and religious baiting, seditious utterances, playing race and religion has worsened the situation giving rightly or wrongly the perception it is alright to race and religious bait, threaten fellow Malaysians not of the same race and religion?

As such, it was a welcome sight that the Malay Rulers yesterday expressed concerns over the eroding unity and harmony in Malaysia, in light of racially controversial issues that have taken place of late.

A statement from the rulers, signed by keeper of the ruler’s seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, read:

“In recent weeks, the actions of certain individuals have gone beyond all acceptable standards of decency, putting at risk the harmony that currently exists within our multi-religious and multi-ethnic society.”

I am glad and it is heartwarming that the Malay Rulers as a body have found the present state of affairs in the country unhealthy and even dangerous.

Their stand supports the stand taken by our beloved His Majesty the Sultan of Johor and the Crown Prince!

I am glad that the Crown Prince of Perlis, and the Rulers have criticized the actions of “certain individuals which would further put our multi-religious and multi-ethnic society” at risk.

So far it is clear that the most dangerous groups in the country seem to be government-sponsored Muslim bodies and NGOs supposedly established to reach religious righteousness and instead preach only hatred and bigotry.

There are also claims of extremists and deviationist teachings by preachers and visitors from abroad wanted by their own governments on allegations of funding terrorism and money laundering activities and others from just north of our borders with Thailand!

The latter also uses children to collect monies for various causes but who is monitoring these activities and where are these monies going to?

I have never heard any of these groups advocating the virtues of peace, goodwill, love, generosity, unity in diversity and gentler aspects of their faith, instead there is only more hostility and supremacy preached; we have state muftis supporting discrimination against non-Muslims; one mufti actually stated that it would be acceptable for non-Muslims to be killed.

Was he ever charged by the laws of the nation?

That is not all, as we witness on a daily dose for further intrusions into the rights, interests and practices of non-Muslims – from forms of worship these have spread into one’s culture, way of life, and social practices.

We have cases where a civil servant has refused to execute a court order and till today, has made no real progress in apprehending those who openly kidnapped Christian pastors.

What is the perception or message sent out to peace loving and law abiding Malaysians?

What is the message given to these extremists and shenanigans?

We have politicians throwing stones and hiding their hand, we have spineless politicians who watch from the sidelines and in political comatose to who questions should be asked whether they are our politicians as well or just representing this racial group?

We cannot have it both ways – say one thing in international platforms self-righteously claiming moderation but in Malaysia’s ground zero closing both eyes to the continued attacks, race, religious baiting and seditious utterances that goes unattended in domestic political expediency?

WELL DONE HR MINISTRY – NOW ALL COMPANIES CAN USE THE MAS FORMULA TO RETRENCH WORKERS?

WELL DONE HR MINISTRY – NOW ALL COMPANIES CAN USE THE MAS FORMULA TO RETRENCH WORKERS?

Basically, did the very ministry, whose shoulders the rights, interests and needs of workers declare that a Company can avoid its debts and legal obligation by changing its ownership?

Remember MAS did not declare bankruptcy; it was just taken over by Khazanah as the losses were mounting.

And Parliament had been used to legalize the unfair dismissal thanks to the The Malaysian Airline System Berhad (Administration) Act 2015!

So please throw away or burn the books on the code of conduct for industrial harmony when retrenching staff as it is perhaps, no longer relevant to addressing industrial woes in Malaysia!

Inexplicably, despite legal and industrial harmony experts holding that the 40-year-old code specified the various steps when retrenching staff as it would cause the least disruption and inconvenience to both workers and employers.

The operative words being the disruption and inconvenience to both workers and employers!

So if you thought that the duty of the government as a responsible unit and stakeholder in public interest and social and industrial justice is to ensure that the workers’ welfare was given top priority should now re-examine these norms and priorities held high in civilized countries?

Malaysia ASEAN/APEC lead Consumerist, Datuk Dr Jacob George was commenting on the statement by Minister of Human Resources who stated that cases involving former Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS) Berhad cannot be referred to the Industrial Court because the airline is “no longer in existence
“If the company has gone bankrupt or has wound up, we can’t go after the company.

“And by law, we can’t go after the individuals (responsible for the retrenchment) either,” Minister Riot stated when asked to elaborate on his previous remarks on the matter, at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Riot had previously declined to offer reasons for why his ministry will not be referring the cases to the Industrial Court.

This was after the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) asked why there is yet to be any action on the cases referred to the ministry by retrenched staff.

MAS were re-branded as Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) in 2015, after it was delisted, and its operations were taken over by the government’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

As part of its rescue plan for the national carrier, Khazanah retrenched 6,000 workers – half of whom were cabin crew, who took up their cases to the ministry through Nufam.

It is disgusting that the whole question of Natural Justice to those MAS former workers who sought a remedy is put into the burner!

Questions will also be asked if there was “a fraud” conducted in the entire process through the moratorium (on MAS) which was lifted on May 24 which according to sources may have caveated workers’ rights, Dr George reiterated!

The moratorium bared any legal action from being taken against MAS was instituted with the passing of the Act.

It was put in place to allow MAB to replace MAS as the national carrier, as well as to provide for an effective, efficient and seamless means to transition the business, property, rights, liabilities and affairs of MAS to MAB.

Nothing surprises or embarrasses me any longer, said Dr George who is a lawyer and Malaysia’s lead consumerist and human rights practitioner, as a parting short!