CASSA CHIEF DR JACOB GEORGE SAYS – SEEK VIEWS BEFORE DRAWING UP NEW HEALTH POLICIES!

The Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam, Selangor (Cassa) has criticised the health ministry’s new policies on promoting healthier living, including limiting 24-hour eateries.

It claims no proper studies or discussions with stakeholders were made before drawing up these policies.

Cassa president Dr Jacob George said the ministry should have initiated comprehensive consultation with related bodies, associations or ministries which could have provided valuable feedback.

“When you limit restaurants’ operating hours, you are impacting on their business.

“When you make policy decisions which can disrupt economic activities, you are inviting trouble and public resentment.

“For example, not everyone is working at fixed hours from 8am to 5pm,” he told FMT, referring to a new policy that will limit operating hours of eateries until midnight.

This policy is to be carried out in stages in 2018 and 2019.

George referred to pro-tourism countries like Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong which allow long operating hours for restaurants to woo tourists.

He asked where people would eat if eateries closed early and what alternatives there were for those who did not cook at home or those working on shifts.

He said if the health ministry was really interested in promoting a healthy lifestyle, then it should first do a post-mortem on its previous million-ringgit lifestyle campaigns.

He claimed these campaigns were a disaster due to incompetence, disastrous delivery system and failure to rope in stakeholders.

“Look at the cleanliness in our hospitals which look like pasar malam with outside businesses operating in the lobby and open spaces.

“This goes against international protocols on safety and hygiene. Hospitals need the space in case of emergency evacuation.

“Have the policymakers visited all the major hospitals in the country pertaining to this?

“What about the quality of food sold within the canteens?”

George said he had a 40-year track record of addressing hospital policy issues in Malaysia but had not been invited for any discussions or sought for feedback by the ministry.

He said the ministry must be more transparent and accountable in its policies.

New Straits Times reported recently that a special cabinet committee had come up with 13 new policies to promote healthier living and fight non-communicable diseases.

These policies include banning advertisements on food and drinks with high fat, salt and sugar content.

They encourage eating of fruits and vegetables in schools and workplaces.

Sports equipment will be exempted from import duties while newly-launched housing schemes will have “green areas”, including bicycle lanes and hiking spots.

MELBOURNE ATTACK – PERPETRATORS SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO ACCOUNT FOR THIS HEINOUS CRIME SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE!

MELBOURNE ATTACK – PERPETRATORS SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO ACCOUNT FOR THIS HEINOUS CRIME SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE!

The modus operanti used by terrorists in several attacks around the world was again used on noncombatants!

Just analyzing these attacks from the 2014 Jerusalem tractor attack, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ramming attack in Canada, the Jerusalem vehicular attack, the second Jerusalem vehicular attack, the Alon Shvut stabbing attack in the West Bank, the Dijon attack in France, the Nantes attack again in France, the deadly silence and pause then another attack in 2016 Nice in France, the Ohio State University attack in the United States, the Berlin attack in Germany followed this year where Jerusalem was again the target followed by the Westminster attack in London, where some victims were thrown off Westminster Bridge by the ramming and again that deadly Stockholm attack in Sweden which was followed by another London Bridge attack in June, the Finsbury Park attack and the Champs-Élysées car ramming attack in Paris, Paris mosque attack, the Levallois-Perret attack, in France followed by the Charlottesville vehicle-ramming attack, the Barcelona, Edmonton and the New York City truck attack are all classic cases of a weaponized vehicle used to inflict maximum carnage!

This time in Melbourne, Australia where a car deliberately ploughed into pedestrians at a crowded intersection in the Australian city of Melbourne!

At the time of writing, I am advised there are 14 people injured.

The terrorist driver and his accomplice had been detained.

Though the Australian Police have yet to state the motive for the attack, it is by no means rocket science as it has the chilling echoes of several attacks by Islamist militants in various parts of the world over the past two years.

I was in the UK when two of those attacks took place there!

What I find quite strange is, in January this year four people were killed and more than 20 injured when a man deliberately drove into pedestrians at a spot just a few hundred meters away from this incident in Melbourne and we had claims that incident was not terrorism-related.

In today heinous crime, I trust the Police will have no difficulty in addressing what is clearly a deliberate act of terrorism!

With a witness account that the said vehicle used as a weapon to kill was traveling at 80 to 100 kph (50-62 mph)on Flinders Street, a major road that runs alongside the Yarra River, in the central business district of Melbourne which is a popular place and more so just days before Christmas, it is certain that this was no accident!

Reports indicate that the Police have arrested two men.

And I am indeed glad that based on the said DNA of this attack Victoria Police Commander Russell Barrett, has told reporters that they believe this was a deliberate act!

It is now very critical that Australia’s federal and state police, security and intelligence teams set up a task force to work together to secure the scene and investigate this tragedy!

There should be a comprehensive probe and all parties involved in this heinous act of terrorism, which includes those who aided, abetted, financed and had knowledge of this vicious attack be rounded up!

My heartfelt thoughts, prayers, vigil goes out to the victims, their families, the emergency and healthcare teams and those who continue to work round the clock to make certain that those responsible for this attack are brought to justice and others planning arrested and keeping all of us safe!

MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE SAYS TRANSFERS NOT THE ANSWER TO CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE!

TRANSFERS NOT THE ANSWER TO CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE!

I am certain none of us have forgotten that in March this year, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealed that half of Malaysian government officers found guilty of graft were under the age of 40.

The MACC, then went on to state strongly, that between 2014 to 2016, 2,329 arrests were made for graft.

From that figure, 54 per cent or 1,267 people were aged 40 and below.

From that number, 635 or 50 per cent were civil servants.

If I am not mistaken, during that same period of time or thereafter, the MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner, Azam Baki went on to state that corruption in Malaysia was getting serious.

I am certain no one was surprised at that statement!

He went on to state that based on their statistics 665 investigation papers were filed against government officers last year.

And as of February 2017, they had detained 548 civil servants for graft.

If one thought that was an isolated review, event and response there were more shocks when six policemen, in Penang, who were arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for allegedly receiving a RM4,500 kickback following a drug raid!

We are told that they were transferred out of the George Town district police Narcotics Investigation Department after disciplinary action was taken against them.

Then we had that infamous incident in Melaka, which I am advised hit the international wires where 21 police officers and policemen including from the Narcotics CID were detained on suspicion of protecting crime activities including drug distributing syndicates but after the initial big splash news, there had been no further updates in the public interest!

Then if anyone thought that the above exposures and responses by our proactive MACC had dented corrupt activities they were proven yet again wrong, when we are told that three syndicates, each with a specialized role, were the prime movers behind the trafficking of Bangladeshi nationals into the country!

And the man who made this announcement was none other but our Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

We are told that this revelation came after the Home Ministry “proactively” transferred over 600 Immigration officers, many of whom were suspected of links to the syndicates operating in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

It was certainly very well organized where one of the three syndicates operating out of Bangladesh was responsible for identifying suitable candidates to be smuggled into Malaysia.

Then we had a second syndicate who would handle the logistics for the candidates’ entry into the country.

The third and final syndicate was responsible for receiving and placing the smuggled Bangladeshi nationals here.

Basically, this was a very well organized and financed operation by three groups who specialized from recruitment, logistics and transportation, to the corralling of the trafficked victims in Malaysia!

Having had extensive research initiated in this subject matter involving the Bangladesh from the 80’s, when the Bangladesh sector was opened, I fully concur with the deputy IGP, that this is a program initiated and run by well-connected, financed team of Bangladeshi operatives and nationals both from the native land and others well connected in Malaysia, several of whom are married to locals, have business operations and strong symbiotic relationships to both businessmen and politicians?

While there may be many quarters who feel that the answer to such heinous crimes against the nation should not be taken lightly with transfers and a loss of rank, I like them state that this action by these shenanigans must be viewed as treason, as it jeopardizes the internal security of a nation’s borders, the integrity of its homeland security and ultimately, defense of a nation!

To me personally, as Malaysia’s lead consumerist transfers and a loss of rank is a kid’s glove response!

And the ever suspicious public have the right to ask why there is no criminal charge being instituted, followed by a publicized court hearing and adequate punishment to not just these conduits, but, the masterminds and collaborators both in Malaysia and in Bangladesh after a comprehensive investigation to get at the root of this problem!

Let me be blunt here!

Transfers cannot be the legal remedy and response to crimes of corruption and for being conduits in jeopardizing the nation’s internal security!

Though I am glad, to observe that Malaysia’s Public Services Department, the proactive MACC, the Police and Home Ministry intelligentsia openly recognizing and admitting that we have very serious issues, flaws, vulnerabilities, integrity, competence and professional gaps at many tiers which if unattended and addressed and punished with impunity in the public interest will position the country, its administration and borders at serious and severe risks!

MH370: THANKS TO ADVENTURERS & SPIN DOCTORS – WE ARE LOOKING FOR DEBRIS INSTEAD OF THE AIRCRAFT?

MH370: THANKS TO ADVENTURERS & SPIN DOCTORS – WE ARE LOOKING FOR DEBRIS INSTEAD OF THE AIRCRAFT?

An official report’s assessment – “it is almost inconceivable that the aircraft has not been found”

Another body says – ‘the understanding of MH370’s location “is better now than it has ever been” and reiterated earlier estimates that the most likely location of the downed plane was a 9,700 sq-mile area to the north of the earlier search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Gosh, seriously and what supports that?

Another felt more conciliatory by saying:

“It remains a great tragedy and we wish that we could have brought complete closure to the bereaved. I hope, however, that they can take some solace in the fact that we did all we could do to find answers.”

He is actually correct, as the effort to locate MH370 which disappeared with 239 people on board in March 2014, less than an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is the largest and most expensive surface and underwater searches in aviation history, eventually covering more than 46,000 sq miles.

Interestingly, this multinational effort cost more than $160m, and involved ships and aircraft from countries including India, China, the US and Australia!

And after a fruitless 1,046 days it was suspended but not before many parties and all of them, shenanigans, adventurers, unscrupulous politicians and hangers-on managed to squeeze massive political media publicity from this tragedy!

The fact remains that despite the years gone by since March 8th 2014, the loss of MH370 cannot be established with certainty!

But many individuals have benefited and profited from this tragedy!

We will not be wrong to say that the fate of MH370 is likely to remain one of aviation’s greatest enduring mysteries and further fuel the countless conspiracy theories surrounding its disappearance.

And the involvement of adventurous and actors and actresses, each with their own need for a frolic, creates more high drama, which we can do without!

For example, a case in point, the untimely death of Honorary Consul of Malaysia, Zahid Raza who was shot dead in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo is being spanned by a certain group of adventurers who seem to have taken control of this narrative, by managing media shoots, searches, and dialogues with governments on the pretense of being experts?

Let us look at the narrative – who stated and went on record that Honorary Consul of Malaysia, Zahid Raza spent years investigating the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370?

Let me out rightly challenge, as to who is the source, that he first of all, was working on the disappearance of MH370 and secondly, that his murder was a direct result of the first?

As I always say some people must have been reading far too many spy novels or Tom Clancy books?

As far as I am aware and I should know, both the authorities in Madagascar where the murder took place and Putrajaya, have gone on record to say it is far too early to make any links between the murder and the missing MH370!

So unless there is evidence, hard core evidence, could the adventurers – the ‘Indiana Jones and Jane of the world’, please zip it!

Now the irony is – instead of looking for MH370, the latest spin is looking for debris, “here there and everywhere like Old McDonald’s farm” as if that will conclusively tell us where, what remains of that aircraft is?

My call is – let us be open, look for the aircraft but, bear in mind that it may not be where everyone is claiming it to be!

Expert or no expert!

If the sea has something, it will never hid it, but which sea?

Or for that matter, even land? Got my drift?

I have stated this at various official and private meets, that for me and to millions of consumers traveling it is inconceivable, repressive and unacceptable in this age of technology that a very sophisticated and ‘state of the art commercial aircraft’ can be missing and for the ‘powers that be’ not to know with certainty, what became of the aircraft and those on board?

And as for the search, is it on, off, on again and that in itself, is a riddle, we are tasked to understand, cry over, go a begging, not how we find closure for family and loved ones who still mourn, some terminally ill and would love to know the truth what ever happened to loved ones – the 239 passengers and crew on a Malaysian aircraft called MH370!

HOW EXTENSIVE IS THE ABUSE OF INTERNATIONAL DONATIONS BY SHENANIGANS WORKING WITHIN THE SYSTEM AND IN THE SHADOWS ASK CONSUMER AND HUMAN RIGHTS ICON DR JACOB GEORGE?

‘So once again things not what they seem to be, a phrase I always tell those who want to be big players not realizing what happens and the dangers within the shadows?’

HOW EXTENSIVE IS THE ABUSE OF INTERNATIONAL DONATIONS BY SHENANIGANS WORKING WITHIN THE SYSTEM AND IN THE SHADOWS ASK CONSUMER AND HUMAN RIGHTS ICON DR JACOB GEORGE?

I have seen this kind of repulsive behavior all over!

Whether it is post war, civil unrest, earthquake, floods from the episodes of marginalization and exodus situations post genocide I always wonder what happens to the big donations from willing sacrificial hearts and taken in the name of those hurting?

Does it go for administration, salaries, bourgeoisie lifestyles of consultants, kickbacks, and how much to the cause really in the final count?

As such, no person more than I am delighted that the British government has suspended a foreign aid project after a BBC Panorama investigation found taxpayers’ cash was being diverted to extremists in Syria.

Britain was one of six donor countries paying for the project, which provides community policing to the rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Idlib and Daraa provinces.

The intelligentsia advises me that those funds were actually intended finance an unarmed civilian police force, and not co-operate with extremist groups!

So once again things not what they seem to be a phrase I always tell those who want to be players not realizing what really happen and the dangers within the shadows?

But hats off and I am again overjoyed that that Panorama has found examples where that was not the case and the evidence cited troubling!

From my undergraduate days I was always thrilled at the work Panorama does, the passion which they do it coupled with the sacrifice and dedication for truth, accountability, good governance and transparency!

So what are Panorama’s allegations against the project?

I am advised among others:
1. Police cooperating with courts that carry out summary executions – including a case where two women were stoned to death
2. Police being paid in cash and then being forced to hand over funds to an extremist group controlling the area
3. Police officers being handpicked by an extremist group
4. Dead and fictitious people are on the police payroll

What really shocked me was the allegation that Officers from a UK-backed police force in Syria have also been working with courts carrying out brutal sentences.

A UK government spokesman has gone on record that they take these allegations seriously.

Adam Smith International, the British company running the project, on the other spectrum strongly denies the allegations.
Britain was one of six donor countries paying for the project, which provides community policing but now the stench coming out of these allegations really troubling.

So instead of going on a defensive or at worst, a spin which are the behavior traits of adventurers – and make rubbish statements like:

“We believe that such work in Syria is important to protect our national security interest but of course we reach this judgment carefully given that in such a challenging environment no activity is without risk.”

Instead there should be a high powered task force of international advocates investigating these from end to end so that the truth will be secured!

Anything less is a compromise between strange bedfellows even in a war against terror or the art of war within the shadows?