FOOD HYGIENE AND HOSPITAL CANTEENS WHY SUCH DOUBLE STANDARDS ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE?

‘Let us not forget that under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983 food premises can be closed down for their failure to meet hygiene criteria for restaurants.’ Datuk Dr Jacob George

FOOD HYGIENE AND HOSPITAL CANTEENS WHY SUCH DOUBLE STANDARDS ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE?

All Malaysians will agree that the number of eateries the Health Ministry (MOH) was compelled to close reflected a poor awareness among Malaysians and those who are expected to protect consumer rights and interests in this area of food safety and hygiene!

For example, in 2015, a total of 124,254 food premises were inspected. Of this 2,422 (1.9%) were ordered closed.

That is not the full story as a total of 8,210 compounds were issued to food premises operators for offenses committed under the Food Hygiene Regulations 2009!

A great move by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health!
Well done!

But sadly the situation shows no sign of improving.

And there are reports that in 2016, first half 645 of the 28,026 food premises inspected were ordered to close.

And allegations/report that 3,418 compounds have been issued for various offenses.

I am sure we are all aware of that circular issued by the ministry on Food Hygiene Regulations 2009, which was fully enforced from January 2014, stated 33 compoundable offenses for food operators.

And they range from licensing to the transportation of meat, cooked food and raw fruits as well as vegetables.

Maximum penalties include fines not exceeding RM10, 000.00 or not more than two years’ jail, or both.

But how many have received such punishments to date?

Food handlers including hawkers must be licensed by their respective councils who will ensure that they have been vaccinated against typhoid.

That is not all as we have a food handlers training programme started by MOH in 1996 in preparation for the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Again if my data is correct we should have more than 251 entities recognized by the Government as training centers.

And those applying for restaurant and hawker licenses are advised to also attend the course.

But dirty eateries thrive, and one must ask, why this is so?

Perhaps, just perhaps, the inexplicable case of that cafeteria at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) in Klang, which was ordered to close and inexplicably allowed to resume operations at 10pm on the same day may give some insights to why we have such heinous actions and defiling of health protocols in a country now playing host to an international event and in full glare of this episode for the world to see!

This really confirms Malaysia is a nation with “endless possibilities!”

There are reports that when HTAR director Dr Ding Lay Ming, when contacted is alleged to have stated that the decision to allow the cafeteria to resume operations was made following a review of the assessment made by the Klang District Health Office (PKD) on the cleanliness of the premises which complied with the set requirements.

We are told that the PKD which had issued a notice for the closure of the cafeteria at 2pm a day earlier following an inspection carried out after a 32-second video clip showing a rat feasting in a vegetable container at the cafeteria went viral on the social media, inexplicably allowed the cafeteria to resume operations after considering the welfare of the hospital staff and visitors.

Seriously – the “welfare of the hospital staff and visitors?”

Of course, we are told by the same good doctor that the same health department would continue to monitor the cleanliness of hospital cafeterias and would blacklist as well as terminate the contracts of operators that were frequently issued clean-up notices.

For one, Malaysians are not a bunch of idiots!

To the reasonable person, it shows clearly that that Health Regulations are not evenly applied.

If HTAR director Dr Ding Lay Ming assurance allows the cafeteria in this storm to be opened same day, would not a precedent be set for others caught for the same offense, nationwide?

Sadly, let me remind the good doctor cum administrator that it was under their watch this happened!

In fact, let me update those in administrative positions in that hospital and others, that this is not the first time this cafeteria has been in such a situation and in the media!

Since 1982, like many other hospitals nationwide, I have very intimate knowledge of all of them!

I need not say more!

Meanwhile, Selangor Health Department director must be asked to whom his loyalty lies – to the public interests or stakeholders caught once again exposed of their incompetence, duty of care and lack of professionalism!

Questions need to be also asked why a canteen that was to be closed for a longer period, was not so?

Amazingly, the canteen is given the all-clear within 8 hours!

Malaysian politicians obsessed with records, should take this speedy approval as another potential first for the Guinness Book of Records – No?

The speed with which the operator was allowed to re-commence his services reflects the depth of scrutiny the canteen was subjected to?

And why and whose interest is being protected?

Perhaps, the MACC should now seriously look into this case which has received great public interest and anger!

On the other hand, administrators managing hospital canteens or cafeteria from the world over should send teams to learn from the Malaysia’s Selangor Health Department, how they managed such a feat post an exposure such as this in such a short time frame!

On the other hand let me congratulate the Federal Territories health department who had launched a crackdown on eateries, stalls and restaurants to curb the spread of typhoid in the city.

That task force had inspected 160 premises in Kuala Lumpur and 10 were shut down for failing inspection guidelines as outlined by the Food Act 1983 and Food Act 2009!

Let us not forget that under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983 food premises can be closed down for their failure to meet hygiene criteria for restaurants.

More importantly, I wonder why we have such sensitiveness and high tolerance levels for rats in Malaysia and protect them!

Indeed, pun intended!

ON BEHALF PEACE LOVING MALAYSIANS, MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST APOLOGIZES TO SINGAPORE ON UTUSAN MALAYSIA ARTICLE!

“However in recent times this non-interference principle appears increasingly undermined through expanded membership, new challenges arising from globalization processes, growing demands for democratization, the increasing international prominence of cosmopolitan norms or by the now increased racism, fascism, religious fanaticism and bigotry!”

Datuk Dr Jacob George

ON BEHALF PEACE LOVING MALAYSIANS, MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST APOLOGIZES TO SINGAPORE ON UTUSAN MALAYSIA ARTICLE!

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was created in 1967!

Interestingly it was Asia’s first regional body dealing with a variety of common interests that has survived to the present day!

I am advised by my colleagues in the international diplomatic circles and intelligentsia that the original norms meant to guide ASEAN’s behavior were first and foremost rooted in the principle of non-interference among neighboring states.
And in view that has significantly contributed to ASEAN’s regional stability.

Member-states are strongly discouraged from meddling in one another domestic affairs, political revolts or any acts or omissions that can contribute or disrupt another member of the grouping!

This directly, through “black operations” or by covert operations!

However in recent times this non-interference principle appears increasingly undermined through expanded membership, new challenges arising from globalization processes, growing demands for democratization, the increasing international prominence of cosmopolitan norms or by the now increased racism, fascism, religious fanatics and bigotry!

So I can understand the irritation of Singapore’s envoy to Malaysia who has taken Malaysia’s Utusan Malaysia to task for publishing what he cites as “inaccuracies and misrepresentations” regarding Singapore’s upcoming presidential election.

My learned friend High Commissioner Vanu Gopala Menon warned that:
“Singapore will not tolerate the use of race or religion to promote ill-will between different segments of Singapore society, or to undermine our institutions.”

Like Vanu, I am equally confounded what was the real intentions of Utusan Malaysia in publishing in its Aug 14 commentary titled “Berubahkah nasib kaum Melayu di Singapura? Presiden sekadar simbolik (Will the fortunes of Malays change in Singapore? President is only symbolic)”.

I am equally surprised why the same newspaper never published the envoy’s response to these articles?

Sadly, this omission can be interpreted as mischievous, arrogant and an abuse!

For those of us who have the needed intelligence, decorum, international political experience, the needed diplomatic exposure, we know that in clean Singapore, the president is the symbol and unifier of multi-racial Singapore and the custodian of the country’s reserves.

He is also the protector of the integrity of the republic’s public service.

On behalf of all respectable, peace-loving, law abiding and sensitive Malaysians, I sincerely offer my deepest and heartfelt apologies to Singapore!

In the ASEAN spirit, this should never have happened.

I wonder what the reaction and response would be if Singapore throws the rules and engagement of diplomacy and decides to also publish a series of articles on politics in Malaysia?

ARUL KANDA – IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR KHAZANAH HEAD SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST!

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On Arul Kanda:

“Only the foolish, wayward, and politically bankrupt, would say that with such a track record, he is not worthy to lead the RM145 billion-Khazanah Nasional!” Datuk Dr Jacob George

ARUL KANDA – IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR KHAZANAH HEAD SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST!

Khazanah Nasional Berhad is the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Malaysia.

It holds and manages, selected commercial assets of the Government and undertakes strategic investments on behalf of the nation.

Among them – sectors such as power, telecommunications, finance, healthcare, aviation, infrastructure, leisure and tourism, and property, amongst others.

The fund is a member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, which maintains and promotes the Santiago Principles on best practices in managing sovereign wealth funds.

Its portfolio includes Axiata, CIMB, Tenaga Nasional, IHH Healthcare, UEM Group, Telekom Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, and Malaysia Airports.

For the record, Khazanah was incorporated under the Companies Act, 1965 in Malaysia on 3 September 1993 as a public limited company and commenced operations a year later.

It is owned by the Malaysian government and administered by the Minister of Finance Incorporated, except for one share held by the Federal Land Commissioner.

As per governance it is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors comprising representatives from the Government and the corporate sector with diverse professional backgrounds and expertise.

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Beloved Malaysian Premier Najib Razak, and Minister of Finance, is the Chairman of the Board.

So what am I alluding to?

There is news report that there are changes expected with the retirement of Azman Mokhtar who has had a very good spell at Khazanah!

But as always in going forward with new heights to scale, we need new blood, new visions and new leadership in view ever changing global matrix!

This is why I am excited to hear that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) president; Arul Kanda Kandasamy is among the candidates to succeed Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Azman Mokhtar when he leaves in 2019.

It is important to prepare a successor to allow a period for the candidate to understudy Azman and prepare to take effective control of the organization.

And why do I think Arul is an ideal candidate?

He has vast global experience as a senior management leader and investment banker, with extensive experience in structured finance, corporate finance, and restructuring across multiple markets including London, the Middle East, and Malaysia equips him adequately for both domestic and global challenges!

He is a UK-qualified Barrister.

He received an LLM with distinction in Corporate and Commercial Law from University College London in 2000. He also earned an LLB degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1998.

More recently, Arul Kanda has been at 1Malaysia Development Berhad and also serves as its Chief Executive.

He had been the Group Executive Director at 1Malaysia Development Berhad since January 2015.

Previously, he served as an Executive Vice-President and Head of Investment Banking at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank P.J.S.C.
For the record, Arul Kandasamy had joined the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in July 2008.

Prior to this, he worked in several leadership positions at Barclays Capital and Credit Agricole.

He was the Director of Investment Banking and Financing Solutions at Barclays Capital plc.

He served as the Head of Islamic Financing Solutions at Barclays Capital, Dubai from September 2006 to July 2008, as Head of Islamic Banking, London at CALYON from July 2005 to August 2006.

He had also served as the Director of Capital Markets, Bahrain at the CALYON from June 2004 to June 2005.

That is not all!

He was an Associate Director of Securitization, London at the CALYON from July 2003 to May 2004.

He also served as a Securitization Analyst, London at the CALYON from January 2002 to June 2003 and as a Director of Global Investment House K.P.S.C. until June 04, 2015.

From July 2009 to May 10, 2011, he served as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of RHB Investment Bank Berhad.

He has also served as a Director of RHB Islamic Bank Berhad.

Only the foolish, wayward, and politically bankrupt, would say that with such a track record, he is not worthy to lead the RM145 billion-Khazanah Nasional!

I rest my case!

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Presiden CASSA terima ugutan kerana bela nasib penduduk kondo

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Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Subang dan Shah Alam (CASSA), Datuk Jacob George bercakap pada sidang media mengenai presiden CASSA terima ugutan bunuh di Lake View Club Subang Jaya, Selangor. foto IQBAL BASRI 31 JULAI 2017

Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Subang dan Shah Alam (CASSA), Datuk Jacob George bercakap pada sidang media mengenai presiden CASSA terima ugutan bunuh di Lake View Club Subang Jaya, Selangor. foto IQBAL BASRI 31 JULAI 2017

SHAH ALAM – Gara-gara membela nasib penduduk Kondo Bunga Raya Saujana di sini, presiden Persatuan Pengguna Subang & Shah Alam (CASSA), Datuk Dr Jacob George menerima ugutan dari perbadanan pengurusan kondo tersebut.

Dalam sidang media yang diadakan, Jacob memberitahu dia telah dilantik oleh beberapa penduduk di situ bagi mewakili mereka dalam urusan undang-undang.

Namun kerana tidak senang dengan kehadiran Jacob, dua lelaki menaiki motosikal untuk mengugutnya.

Kejadian berlaku pada awal pagi 27 Julai ketika Jacob baharu sahaja meninggalkan kediamannya di TTDI Jaya, Shah Alam.

Jacob yang memandu kereta ketika itu pada awalnya terkejut setelah cermin keretanya diketuk salah seorang penunggang motosikal tersebut dan memberinya amaran.

“Jangan masuk campur hal Bunga Raya Kondo ini, sebelum Datuk diapa-apakan,” ujar Jacob sebagai mengulangi apa yang diperkatakan oleh salah seorang penunggang motosikal tersebut.

Ekoran kejadian, Jacob membuat laporan polis berhubung kejadian berkenaan.

Menerusi sidang media yang sama, Jacob menerangkan, dia mewakili penduduk di situ bagi urusan undang-undang berkenaan ketidakpuasan hati mereka terhadap perbadanan pengurusan kondo tersebut.

Penduduk di situ berasa tidak puas hati dengan perbadanan pengurusan terbabit yang telah menebang pokok-pokok besar yang menjadi hiasan landskap di kawasan kediaman mereka.

Pelbagai aduan telah dilakukan termasuk kepada Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA) dan Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan.

Meski pun aduan berpihak kepada penduduk namun pengurusan kondominium itu tidak melayan hal tersebut dan meneruskan kerja-kerja tersebut.

Salah seorang penduduk di situ, Charlotte Lee, 70 tahun memberitahu, mereka telah meminta mesyuarat jawatankuasa penduduk diadakan bagi membincangkan hal tersebut namun usaha mereka sekadar sia-sia.

Wakil penduduk, Charlotte Lee bercakap pada sidang media mengenai presiden CASSA terima ugutan bunuh di Lake View Club Subang Jaya, Selangor. foto IQBAL BASRI 31 JULAI 2017

Malahan Charlotte telah membuat laporan polis setelah dia dikasari salah seorang wakil perbadanan pengurusan tersebut.

“Pada 27 Julai lalu, mereka telah mengunci kerusi-kerusi rehat di kawasan kondo, ketika saya bertanya kenapa mereka mengunci kerusi tersebut saya telah dikasari mereka,” ujar Charlotte lagi.

Aduan telah dibuat di Balai Polis Ara Damansara pada hari yang sama. – MalaysiaGazette

MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS – ARE MALAYSIAN COMMISSIONER OF BUILDINGS TOOTHLESS TIGERS AND IMPOTENT?

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Above: Residents hand over petition for an EGM & Stop Work Order to the COB!

MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS – ARE MALAYSIAN COMMISSIONER OF BUILDINGS TOOTHLESS TIGERS AND IMPOTENT?

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Strata Management ACT 2013 (Malaysia) – ACT 757 – Is It Serving Its Purpose?

Are you aware that the Strata Management Act, 2013 received its Royal Assent on 5th February, 2013 and was gazette on 8 February, 2013.

In the marketplace it is known as Act 757!

With the gazette, ACT 663 (BUILDING AND COMMON PROPERTY (MAINTENANCE AND MANAGEMENT) ACT 2007  or popularly known as JMB ACT  and Strata ACT 318 are automatically abolished.

The Strata Management is now operational nationwide from 1.6.2015

Now whose rights, needs and interests, does it serve?

Basically, it affects any person who purchases a unit in a strata development construction.

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Above: Murdering the trees?

And by which action, they enter into a three-fold legal relationship:

  1. The purchaser is the individual owner of his unit;
  2. The purchaser is a co-owner with all other owners of the common property and the land of the strata development; and
  3. The purchaser is automatically a member of the owners’ body to whom the management and maintenance of the scheme is entrusted to serve, protect with accountability, good governance, transparency, with dignity and decorum!

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Picture 1: Residents call in the Police to intervene!

Picture 2: Resident use their vehicles to block heavy machinery coming in to cut the trees which will destroy their ecosystem!

Picture 3: Residents post a Press Conference show their displeasure at the act of destroying their environment!

And harmony and goodwill among all in such situations can only be achieved if the strata development is managed properly and the common property and facilities maintained adequately and regularly and all owners work together and contribute to the betterment of the community.

There is no place for a heavy hand!

There is no place for verbal and physical abuse! Even for four letter words! But there have been and I have documentation of such attacks!

There is no place for threats, abuse of power and acts and omissions that positions one set of property owners against another or pitting one against another!

There is also no place for personal gain or for corrupt acts in running and holding office.

The office held is in trust!

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Very sadly, there are now cases where with the apparent impotence of the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) and the abuse of ACT 757 by power hungry individuals holding office, there are many cases all over Malaysia which calls for a judicial review and legislation to mandatory force an intervention by the COB by playing a proactive role when there is a crisis rocking and threatening property owners!

This is no more a legal question but a moral one!

From Penang:

A dear friend from Penang wrote the following as she has had a running battle with similar issues and with the COB!

“Penang COB is toothless tiger. Difficult to even get him to commit his legal opinion in writing and act against law breakers within my condo management committee. Very frustrating. Property managers are also a massive problem, particularly when they openly admit they are not afraid of COB who has no powers!” NW

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From Kuala Lumpur:

“Every time I raise an issue they threaten me. The last time the developer who is still in control warned me. “I have deep pockets – I will destroy you!’ He followed up by harassing me with his SUV and blocking my entrance which was intimidation…” MT

From Selangor:

In another case in Selangor, it was shocking that despite repeated letters of protest, personal appeals, Police reports, memorandum to the COB, Press Conference and media walkabout, demonstration and protest by residents, initiating a human and vehicle barricade to protect more than 20 year resort like ecosystem and environment, trees are cut without following the professional arborist advice!

According to the latest intelligence, the residents are also initiating reports with the MACC to intervene in view allegations of corruption and abuse.

Individual suits are also initiated!

One cannot but wonder what is the ‘real intention’ of the tree cutting?

Members of the visiting FRIM team believe the trees cut could well be ‘African Mahogany’ which is expensive and sought after!

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The authorities need to investigate these allegations in the public interest so that the truth is revealed in all fairness!

Meanwhile, there are rumors circulating that the cutting of the trees will commence again tomorrow despite the protest and police reports.

Meanwhile chairs kept in the common area are being chained to prevent residents from gathering and protesting!

The pertinent question is why is there no stop order?

Why is there no order for an EGM despite residents handing over a request 48 hours ago?

As an independent observer, I am disgusted at the incompetence and lack of professionalism of the government agencies!

You go to their office no one is there! (See below!)

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Speaks volumes!

You try to intervene to initiate a peaceful resolution; at the management company’s office, they turn and abuse you with threats and vulgarity!

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Who are these people? Who is protecting them?

Meanwhile I have received several photographs and recordings which are really shocking, which raises many issues!

It really shows and speaks volumes!

I intend to play it to the federal ministers who I am expecting to meet!

Part 2 to follow! – Inviting Malaysia’s first Lady who is committed to environmentalism and the professional way to protect and not destroy an ecosystem to visit the residents and hear their plight!

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