TRUE OR A MYTH THAT NO ONE ABOVE THE LAW ASKS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE!

‘Somewhere somehow, through moral and political degradation, we seem to have lost our moral and ethical compass but not our self-righteousness?’
TRUE OR A MYTH THAT NO ONE ABOVE THE LAW ASKS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE!
There were many a time, many a incidents, many twists and turns and the utterances of public policy decisions and initiatives, that I kept re-asking myself this age old saying that seeks validity if still true not just in Malaysia but many different destinations of the world.
It is troubling when one pays a heavy fine, made to wear custody attire, some seen in chains, even seminarians playing football within their confined campus, scolded, verbally abused and others receiving soft landing and at worst a small penalty.
More so during a roaring episode of a vicious pandemic which has left huge fatalities, infections, which resulted in many unable to pay last respects to loved ones or family when iron-clad restrictions and the common man hears those words – ‘ no exceptions!’
I have had no issues with the part of ‘no exceptions’ if in its entire roll out, those who violated received the same penalties, and, in common practice told to resign in view public interest, if they held public office.
After all we have the requirements of legislation – Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases 1988, passed which takes into cognizance the protection of a nation.
Any disrespect of its provisions should result in penalties without fear or favor.
But it is here things go wrong.
Perceptions are important and when ordinary folks are arrested, charged, pay fines and allegedly a member of the Cabinet, politicians and his entourage do not but get involved in a war of words and justifications aided and abetted by fellow politicos of the party it becomes seriously an embarrassment!
But then again, we are asked – why embarrassed?
Somewhere somehow, through moral and political degradation, we seem to have lost our moral and ethical compass but not our self-righteousness?
Worst, when there is absolutely no apology either.
Then you have a case of a state’s highest officials after a major water cut and pollution caused by allegedly illegal factories and other activities impacting over 1.2 million consumers, causing anxiety, shocks, shivers, economic loss and shutdowns making a statement that they are considering a reprieve for those who legally and technically have been operating illegally and far too close to water catchment areas and rivers and over a period of 30 years a clear and constant danger!
My appeal for a Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal activities and structures received no response either.
But I was advised that fear and horror filled the air as what such a RCI may unearth – basically the symbiotic relationship and of corruption allegedly running into multi millions over time between public officials and industry shenanigans?
Inexplicably my call to level all illegal buildings along sensitive areas and rivers received no response either so did a call that there should be no buildings or activity within a distance of 500 meters and the river.
Inexplicably again, the guardians of self-righteousness within the state were also very silent so much that it added to the eerie atmosphere.
I had the right to raise these issues.
As the states lead consumerist, a person who was appointed chairman for the state consumer council for over 5 terms, also the national council, and as head of a state and national consumer body, an adviser to several members of the Cabinet from time to time, the crying out call was coming from an insider!
The water cuts tragedy had gone viral across the globe!
To my friends within the ASEAN, APEC, and International fold they had serious reservations why my calls were not addressed.
Public interest issues are big policy issues shakers.
Domestically the Malaysian media used me repeatedly on the air to strike home the message that enough is enough and that heads must roll and action taken on those aiding and abetting the shenanigans and illegal industry operators.
It is a pity that the views and feedback of the nation’s lead consumerist are not taken seriously.
It is a pity and a travesty of justice if the rights, interest, health and economic needs of consumers are laid aside so that criminals and those who break the laws of the land with impunity and disregard can roam free.
The double standards and hypocrisy are just shocking and disgusting – period!
May the ALMIGHTY GOD help us all.

AN OLD ARTICLE BELOW SHOWS NOTHING CHANGED ON WATER ISSUES SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘I have no confidence in the Environmental Quality Act 1974 provisions alone at all – it is treating these violent symptoms with kid gloves!

And water is essential for life and unless more punitive actions are initiated with those who threaten this resources, and those who are aiding, abetting through corruption and incompetence starting with this case – it is another big setback to righting a wrong!

Enough is enough!

Heads should roll.

The number of illegal structures operating alongside sensitive water resources is mind boggling.

Are you saying no one in Selangor is aware of this matter?

Who are the cartels, the criminal groups and black hands behind all these?

We have no shame, no honor, dignity or empathy?

Today unlike in the late 70s – 80s, we have various amendments made under the Local Government Act 1976, we have the Environment Quality Act 1974 we have Section 121 of the Water Supply Act 2006, Section 277 of the Penal Code – not enough?

Why not use the laws on terrorism or other security laws as water is a national security issue, and the terror unleashed on more than 1.2 million consumers!

My call now:

Demolish all structures, more so illegals alongside all river and water catchment areas up to over 500 meters!

Set up a Task Force of eminent personalities who have addressed these issues with commitment and dedication.

Give them powers to conduct a comprehensive cleanout, and list all those who directly, indirectly, through proxies and omission, corruption, incompetence had brought the state to this stage putting over 1.2 million consumers lives at risk!

So where do we go from here, newly minted YB Minister?’ – Prof Dr Jacob George

AN OLD ARTICLE BELOW SHOWS NOTHING CHANGED ON WATER ISSUES SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

Consumerist: Remove All Factories & Economic Activities alongside Rivers & Water Catchment Areas!

At one time in the past the Environment Quality Act 1974 was the principal legislation in Malaysia to prevent, abate, and control pollution.

Malaysia is aware from the onset that the command and control mechanism alone is insufficient to address pollution problem in the country.

Hence, does the Act incorporate provisions containing punitive as well as economic measures for the control of effluents discharge into the environment?

And has it worked?

If it had, will we be having contaminating industry operating alongside rivers?

The local council authorities, in fact law enforcement authorities have failed to perform their duties to strictly ban the operation of illegal factories and all factories in close proximity to water catchment areas and rivers!

Now the illegals – why are they even operating – and – who is been paid monthly to close one or both eyes?

The recent disaster in Selangor also show corruption is well and alive in Malaysia!

As a result, 4 water treatment plants were shut down after diesel oil was found to have contaminated Sungai Selangor, affecting residents in Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Shah Alam, Gombak, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Langat and Kuala Selangor.

The victims due to the shutdown were over 1 million consumers made up of household users, businesses, and among them restaurants, eateries, hotels, hospitals all thrown in a state of chaos!

They all suffered economic loss too!

The federal authorities’ response at that tragedy was weak at best with the contamination blamed prematurely on an overturned tanker!

But I want to congratulate the local authority in Selangor for immediately shutting down the water treatment plants and accelerating a clean-up and repairing work which is lauded!

But what happens now?

Will all these be forgotten like the last time?

As far as I can remember, the first scare was in 1983 when a few drums containing pesticides were dumped along rivers in the East Coast?

There was panic then and thank GOD, we located those drums before damage was caused – but based on the recent cork-up – our authorities and enforcement officials have forgotten that incident and are still sleeping on the job!

I wrote on it and it was carried in the Letters column in all mainstream newspapers!

I thank Home Minister, Tan Sri Musa Hitam and others who motivated and encouraged me not to give up.

As far as this criminal spillage is concerned – I have gone on record on the onset of this matter that we must use the penal code criminalizing these actions of owners of such industry – this is not a request – this is a must!

We should have used Section 117 to arrest the owners of this factory and others for a comprehensive investigation which would have caused a major fear tsunami, among others who were doing the same!

I have no confidence in the Environmental Quality Act, 1974 provisions at all – it is treating these violent symptoms with kid gloves!

And water is essential for life and unless a more punitive action is initiated with those who threaten this resources, starting with this case – it is another big setback to righting a wrong!

So where do we go from here, YB Minister?’