TIME TO ADDRESS ‘TRIAL BY MEDIA’ MALAYSIAN ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE APPEALS!

TIME TO ADDRESS ‘TRIAL BY MEDIA’ MALAYSIAN ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE APPEALS!

Of late, there seems to be that tendency by third parties to attempt to conduct interference in both civil and criminal matters in court the world over!

More so with media groups now are controlled by power political groups and big interest, it is a full blown pain which has to be navigated and addressed!

The latest sensation of the media seems to be an Angola billionaire!

None other than former first daughter, Isabel dos Santos, who has been charged with money laundering and mismanagement during her stewardship of state-owned oil firm Sonangol.

And not surprising allegations that documents leaked this week alleged the daughter of ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, plundered state coffers to build her fortune, estimated at US$2.1 billion.

The words “mismanagement, embezzlement of funds, laundering, influence peddling, harmful management, forgery of documents, among other economic crimes” is all used interchangeably even before the dust has settled!

Alongside the narrative, they play up that she is dubbed Africa’s richest woman!

It is alleged that she used her father’s backing to plunder state funds from the oil-rich but poor southern African country and moving the money abroad with the help of Western firms.

Yes, that usual ‘poor rich narrative used’ to spice up the matter as if the media really cares about the poor?

Adding on, we are told that she stopped living in Angola after her father, who ruled the country with an iron fist for nearly 40 years, stepped down in 2017 for his anointed successor Joao Lourenco.

I am a media person and have a holistic track record of shaping public opinion!

I have done so over 40 years now, but with a sense of real responsibility and accountability!

We must remember, no matter which part of the global world we are from, we must remember that the media is regarded as one of the pillars of democracy.

The media has wide ranging roles in the society.

The media plays a vital role in molding the opinion of the society and it is capable of changing the whole view point through which people perceive various events.

The media can be commended for starting a trend where the media plays an active role in bringing the accused to hook.

But at the same time, it is now a horror tale that the media in some jurisdictions have now reincarnated it into a ‘public court’ and has started interfering into court proceedings.

It completely overlooks the vital gap between an accused and a convict keeping at stake the golden principles of ‘presumption of innocence until proven guilty’ and ‘guilt beyond reasonable doubt’.

In recent years, this has become malicious and defamatory, with the advent of the social media and unregulated commentators using pseudo names and addressing the issues beyond the border of fair comment or the ‘presumption of innocence until proven guilty!’

We must member that this provision ‘presumption of innocence until proven guilty’ owes its origin to the principle of natural justice; that ‘every accused has a right to a fair trial’ clubbed with the principle that ‘Justice may not only be done it must also seem to be done’.

Of course, there are multiple ways in which attempts are made to prejudice trial.

If such incidences, are allowed to be successful, there will be that ‘travesty of justice’ with persons convicted of offenses which they may have not committed.

My humble contention is, that the law as to interference with the due course of justice, has been well stated by the chief justice Gopal Rao Ekkbote of Andhra Pradesh High Court in the case of Y.V. Hanumantha Rao v. K.R. Pattabhiram and Anr. [ii], which to me is, super brilliant – where in it was observed by the learned judge that:

“ …… When litigation is pending before a Court, no one shall comment on it in such a way there is a real and substantial danger of prejudice to the trial of the action, as for instance by influence on the Judge, the witnesses or by prejudicing mankind in general against a party to the cause. Even if the person making the comment honestly believes it to be true, still it is a contempt of Court if he prejudices the truth before it is ascertained in the proceedings. To this general rule of fair trial one may add a further rule and that is that none shall, by misrepresentation or otherwise, bring unfair pressure to bear on one of the parties to a cause so as to force him to drop his complaint or defense. It is always regarded as of the first importance that the law which we have just stated should be maintained in its full integrity. But in so stating the law we must bear in mind that there must appear to be ‘a real and substantial danger of prejudice’.”

Perhaps, we can all learn a thing or two, in upholding the concept of – ‘presumption of innocence until proven guilty!’

May the Almighty help us all!

WHO DO WE HOLD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE APATHY AND ROAD CARNAGE IN MALAYSIA ASKS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE!

WHO DO WE HOLD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE APATHY AND ROAD CARNAGE IN MALAYSIA ASKS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE!

1.  Malaysia is the third largest/highest as far as fatalities in road accidents in ASIA/ASEAN

2.  We are allegedly behind Thailand and Vietnam.

3.  Road accidents are preventable/predictable but yet where is the said intervention?

4.  Malaysia is among the top 25 most dangerous countries for road users!

5.  In 2016, Accidents were the 4th cause of death after heart disease, Pneumonia and Cerebrovascular disease

So fellow Malaysians who do we hold accountable for the road carnage we see and witness in Malaysia?

I asked these questions yesterday live on TV3 where I was interviewed by TV3 anchors!

Among the places where fingers can be pointed are at the alleged lack of proper law enforcement and this despite hundreds of thousands of traffic summonses issued each year and clear evidence that there is a large demography of drivers driving heavy vehicles, buses and other heavy vehicle, many overloaded on drugs!

The last time we made news again for the wrong reasons was when a study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found Malaysian roads are the 17th deadliest in the world!

But my contention is that study was flawed big time as it used outdated data of 2008 from the World Health Organization, where the said authors of the study found that road accidents caused 30 deaths for every 100,000 people in Malaysia’s population.

Basically it means that 6.0 per cent of all deaths in the country were caused by road accident fatalities.

If one decides to make a comparison of road accidents and fatalities across some regions, we may find that road accidents in Thailand caused 44 deaths per 100,000 of people, making it the second most deadly country for road accidents.

Namibia topped the list with 45 deaths per 100,000 of the population.

In comparison, coronary heart disease made up 17 per cent of total deaths in Malaysia, making it the number one killer in the country.

The other two main killers in Malaysia were cancer, which made up 15 per cent of total deaths and stroke at 9 per cent.

Despite that, the study showed that Malaysia has among the lowest overall fatality rates with 494 deaths per 100,000 people, and was placed 170th among the 193 countries surveyed.

This beckons a very serious question in a land where according to public and international perception among the many lawlessness are the lawlessness we see on the roads of Malaysia!

Are Malaysian road users taking responsibility for their own safety while driving as more than 80% of traffic accidents are caused by human error according to investigations and surveys done by the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam Selangor (CASSA).

Furthermore, the death of 65,850 people in road accidents between 2004 and 2013 had resulted in as much as RM78 billion being lost in economic contributions with an average of RM1.2 million each.

Now this begs a pertinent question!

Who do we hold accountable for the road carnage we see and witness in Malaysia?

Among the places where fingers can be pointed are at the alleged lack of proper law enforcement and this despite hundreds of thousands of traffic summonses issued each year?

I am certain that the stakeholders and among them the police and other relevant authorities are doing their part but that is certainly not enough!

Every road user and vehicle owner needs to abide by the law and ensure safety of him and that of passengers!

Of late we have also my boys and girls on motorbikes riding with a death wish as well!

Are they on drugs as well?

If a vehicle driver’ drives left to right, right to left, they will be immediately picked up by traffic police.

But why are the motorbikes not picked up when they speed, move from right to left, squeeze between vehicles damaging cars?

Instead of blaming others, road users should take it upon themselves to drive safely and be more considerate of other road users and attentive of their surroundings.

Stakeholders who run and manage highways needs to also play their part as they have a contractual duty of care to ensure that the pay and use highways are free of all kinds and forms of dangers!

But this is not always the case as retreaded Tyre parts and other foreign bodies which includes stones and pebbles are on highways and pose a serious danger to users!

Then there we also have heavy vehicles and trans-border coaches which are always in the news after major crashes resulting in deaths!

Every year we have a litany of such cases and reruns and verbal diarrhea from the authorities promises action and draconian changes that never comes!

This weekend is Chinese New Year and just before it we already have a rising statistics of deaths and among them, bikers!

If some of our policymakers are still in comatose let me bring them to speed of the following statistics which should point to their incompetence!

July 1st 2016, two people were killed when an express bus rammed into a road divider at KM194.9 of the North-South Expressway near Bukit Merah, Taiping.

We then had six members of a family, including three young grandchildren, were killed in a road accident involving two lorries on the Gua Musang-Kota Baru trunk road.

There have been others cases over the years and you can get my sarcasm and drift!

22 August, 2013

An express bus with 53 occupants from 6 different countries rammed a divider while negotiating a steep slope, and plunged into a 60-metre ravine near Genting Highlands, en route to KL. A staggering thirty-seven people, mostly foreigners, died at the scene – making the accident the deadliest road mishap in Malaysian history. An investigation later revealed that the bus, which had exceeded its maximum capacity of 44 passengers, had been placed on a blacklist by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) well in advance of its fatal journey.

20 December, 2010

A double-decker tour bus packed with Thai holidaymakers returning to KL from Cameron Highlands lost control while negotiating a sharp bend, smashed violently into a divider and went airborne, somersaulted and crashed upside-down in a ditch. The impact was so great that the roof was sheared off, and some passengers were flung through the air, landing many metres away. Of the 37 passengers on board, only 10 survived with severe injuries. Road safety experts later questioned the wisdom behind using a double-decker bus for steep, uphill travel, which they judged highly unsuitable.

13 August, 2007

A 42-seater coach en route from Melaka to Butterworth crashed through a steel barrier while cruising downhill near Bukit Gantang, Perak, and nosedived into a 6-metre ravine. Twenty two of the bus’ occupants (some of whom were catapulted from the vehicle) were killed, while all surviving passengers were severely injured – with the notable exception of a 24 year-old Nepali man, who walked away with barely a scratch. A police investigation later revealed that the deceased bus driver had had 13 summonses and two warrants of arrest for traffic offences, while his employer, the bus operator, had previously been slapped with 19 summonses.

10 October, 2007

An express bus heading north on the North-South Expressway near the Simpang Ampat toll plaza struck the rear of a car, swerved into the median guardrail, crashed through to the opposite lane, and ploughed into an oncoming bus, two cars, a van and a motorcycle. Thirteen people from all vehicles involved were killed, and 45 were injured, many seriously.

23 November, 2003

Two express buses collided along Jalan Lipis-Merapoh, near the Pahang-Kelantan border, killing 14 people.

12 April 2001

The brakes of a tour bus failed as it cruised along Jalan Baling-Pengkalan Hulu in Kedah, causing the coach to career off the road and crash into a ditch. Twelve women and 1 young boy were killed, while many others were gravely injured.

July 16, 1996

A chartered bus filled with vacationing factory workers and their families lost control while descending Genting Highlands and plummeted headlong down a 120 metre-deep gully. Seventeen passengers – including 6 children – were killed, while 15 others were seriously injured.

February, 1990

The notorious Karak highway was the scene of one of the grisliest road accidents in Malaysian history. A multiple-vehicle pile-up occurred when a fast-moving passenger bus collided with a tanker lorry, 6 cars, 2 taxis, a truck and a number of Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) riot police vehicles. Seventeen people, including 11 FRU personnel, were killed, and many more injured. Thousands of vehicles heading to and from KL were tangled in a resulting jam of epic proportions which lasted many hours.

Will change come in 2020?

I think you know the answer to that just as I!

CAN WE HAVE OUR FOOD HANDLERS ACT – PLEADS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE!

CAN WE HAVE OUR FOOD HANDLERS ACT – PLEADS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE!

I am done with asking what ever happened to that much hyped statutory provision that we all contributed to call the ‘Organ Transplant Act?’

I am advised it is gathering dust because some religious morons and idiots didn’t have their way with it so it’s in the cold storage?

I would not even ask about the speed breakers on all public and heavy vehicles much lobbied for the safety of those using Malaysian roads with its super high casualty figures in the ASEAN neighborhood!

But let me address another matter that I have addressed from time immemorial the inexplicable reason why we still have food poisoning cases when those providing the service are considered super halal protocol followers?

I remember on February 5th 2010 I spoke and highlighted at length on the critical need of a well addressed and comprehensive Food Handlers Act for Malaysia!

I remember my discussions with both the Minister and the then director General of Health who were very supportive of my concerns!

Fast forward 23 June 2018 – mainstream newspapers then went at length on the same topic in a run up and justification of shutting the door on cooks in the Malaysian business kitchen!

As always these are two separate issues!

If you want to close the door go ahead, but, only after a white paper on the justification of such, a comprehensive discussion with stakeholders at the gaps, and the facts revolving why such a fast track knee jerk reaction without consultation and whose interest being served?

Most important – what will the economic costs be to businesses nationwide at all the tiers?

And the flashpoints in escalation of minefields in international diplomacy with our neighbors whose citizens are sent packing off without proper and adequate remuneration or heads up to respective governments therein?

So if you are going to minimize foreigners in our hospitality/service sector first have the common decency to start a conversation with the real stakeholders!

Not the “political high powered business mafia heads who have been operating from rag to riches using foreign workers funds from the onset to build their today’s brand names in the Malaysian space!

Let us initiate the protocols and the guidelines but shut up until the system is in place!

Now fast track to January 2020, back to my appeal for a Food Handlers Act!

Yes, I sound like John the Baptist – a voice crying in the wilderness urging, appealing and screaming for a comprehensive Food Handlers Act in Malaysia!

The reasons are aplenty from the ineffectiveness of the Food Act 1985 which is outdated, to the sorry, corrupt and ineffectiveness of our enforcement and total invasion of this sector by foreigners from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Africa, Middle East and West Asian countries to our own Malaysians!

With the reemergence of many once eradicated diseases, we need to question and seek answers to the present problems brought about by apathy, incompetence, corruption and sheer lack of political and professional will!

So if my appeal for a Food Handlers Act is favorable –

What do they cover?

The Regulations applies to all types of food and drink and their ingredients.

But some businesses – generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as dairies or wholesale fish markets – follow their own product specific regulations.

These regulations are listed

Identifying and controlling food hazards

As the proprietor of a food business, you are expected to make sure food is supplied or sold in a hygienic way; to identify food safety hazards; know which steps in your activities are critical for food safety; ensure safety controls are in place, maintained and reviewed.

And their controls do not have to be complex.

There are systems that can be used by food businesses to ensure that hazards are identified and controls are in place.

For example – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is one of a number of such systems.

The Regulations aim to set out basic hygiene principles, which are generally not new. But their emphasis is different from previous regulations.

They focus more strongly on how to identify and control food safety risks at each stage of the process of preparing and selling food.

Rather than simply following a list of rules, the Regulations let you assess the risk to food safety and then apply controls relevant to your own situation.

This will work provided you are accountable and ethical both a majority of ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ – business head are not in their pursuit of maximizing profits!

But in all fairness – not all the requirements for the structure and equipment of food premises will apply to you.

Some are followed by the words where appropriate or where necessary!

For example, one provision states that, where appropriate floors must allow surface drainage.

But where you have a system to ensure water does not build up, so that there is no risk to food safety, actual floor drains may not be necessary.

So there is no absolute requirement to have them.

Basic requirements for food businesses

Food premises should be clean and maintained in good repair; be designed and constructed to permit good hygiene practices; have an adequate supply of potable (drinking) water;

have suitable controls in place to protect against pests; have adequate natural and/or artificial lighting; have sufficient natural and/or mechanical ventilation; provide clean lavatories which do not lead directly into food rooms; have adequate hand washing facilities; be provided with adequate drainage.

Let us not forget that rooms where food is prepared, treated or processed should generally have surface finishes which are easy to clean and, where necessary, disinfect.

This would, for instance, apply to wall, floor and equipment finishes.

The rooms should also have:

  1. adequate facilities for washing food and equipment;
  2. Adequate facilities for the storage and removal of food waste.

Of course, many of the Regulations are basic minimum hygiene standards which apply to every food business.

But how they are applied still depends on the situation.

For example, every food premises must be kept clean.

But how they are cleaned, and how often, will be different for a manufacturer of ready-to-eat meals than for bakery selling bread or even fast food outlets!

Supplies of raw materials

Do not buy or supply any raw materials if you think that even after sorting or processing they could make food unfit for human consumption.

Any material which you suspect or know to be infected or contaminated with parasites or foreign substances to this extent should be rejected.

Quality of Water in food

There must be an adequate supply of potable (drinking) water, to be used whenever necessary to ensure food is not contaminated.

In the vast majority of cases, this is supplied via the public water supply.

And our public water system today is compromised!

And if there is any doubt about the quality of a water supply, you should seek advice from your local council Environmental Health Services.

Personal hygiene for food handlers

Now the meat of my argument!

Anyone who works in a food handling area must maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness.

And the way in which they work must also be clean and hygienic.

Food handlers must wear clean and, where appropriate, protective over-clothes. Anyone whose work involves handling food should/must:

  1. observe good personal hygiene;
  2. routinely wash their hands when handling food;
  3. never smoke in food handling areas;
  4. report any illness (like infected wounds, skin infections, diarrhea or vomiting) to their manager or supervisor immediately.

If any employee reports that they are suffering from any such illness, the business may have to exclude them from food handling areas.

This is today questionable in Malaysian outlets!

Such action should be taken urgently.

If you have any doubt about the need to exclude, you should seek urgent medical advice!

Employers must not send them to work fully knowing that they are ill as many do today because those ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ types with their “political connections’ want the workers to work irrespective what?

Preventing food contamination

Here we have failed in super class!

All prepared food is openly displayed and from customers to insects and pests (rats included!)

Food handlers must protect food and ingredients against contamination which is likely to render them unfit for human consumption or a health hazard.

For example, uncooked poultry should not contaminate ready-to-eat foods, either through direct contact or through work surfaces or equipment.

How often have we seen them together!

Training and supervising food handlers

Our food handlers come from challenged societies in several ASEAN and South Indian continent – where several diseases continue to operate more so ones Malaysia had in the past eradicated but since the arrivals of workers and big profits for politicians, manpower agents, business operators cum agents in the greed for the foreign workers commissions this is been compromised!

So it is vital that food handlers must receive adequate supervision, instruction and/or training in food hygiene.

Do they?

Each food business must decide what training or supervision their food handlers need by identifying the areas of their work most likely to affect food hygiene.

Many of the guidelines in this guidance apply equally to food businesses trading from temporary or occasional locations like those under the tree, stalls, by hawkers, entrenched sites, canteens and so forth.

But because not all of them will be practical, there are also some slightly different requirements.

However, wherever food is sold, two basic rules always apply:

  1. there should be adequate facilities to prepare and serve food safely; and
  2. Food handling procedures should avoid exposing food to risk of a contamination.

Even some fast food and high end outlets are guilty of this from consumer feedbacks and our observations.

I have repeatedly asked those operating under such licenses to read again the conditions of their franchise from the mother company in the United States, the UK, Europe, and Spain, Germany or the cold terrains of the North Pole!

Can our stakeholders bravely commit and say in January 2020 – No to any more food poisoning incidences or worst the continued increase of diseases we had at one time eradicated!

DESPITE FATALITIES ON MALAYSIAN ROADS WIDE BROAD HYPOCRISY CONTINUES SAYS MALAYSIAN ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST!

DESPITE FATALITIES ON MALAYSIAN ROADS WIDE BROAD HYPOCRISY CONTINUES SAYS MALAYSIAN ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST!

I have always stated that the wrongdoers in Malaysia – those, who break the laws of the land, know the government policymakers psyche far too well!

It goes like this and it is a SOP that is today entrenched in our lives, sadly.

There is disaster, structures collapse, road caves in, train accidents, bus lorry plunges a ravine kills many, it can be fatalities on Malaysian highways, or the road carnage when overloaded heavy vehicles, many with retread tyres, drivers tired speeding to make repeat trips or others who have traffic violation and pending summons, many among them addicted to various forms of substance abuse are on our roads!

We must also take into account, the illegally modified vehicles speeding on the same stretched undeterred!

If one wants to analyze the reasons for these accidents, they could be any of these:
1. Urbanization
2. Poor safety standards
3. Corruption & lack f enforcement
4. Distraction/fatigue/substance abuse/drunk driving/speeding
5. Parental Negligence or recklessness!

The statute – the Road Transport Act has enough provisions to address and curtail this menace but there is a big ‘If’ on enforcement!

And because they are still on the road, they are a threat to life and limb of every law abiding road and highway user!

And immediately after fatalities, the SOP is, we have ministers, politicians the media falling or pushing and promising change, fearing public backlash, but, the change does not come, because of lobbyists and sitting politicians pussyfoot on the change needed, because they then speak not for the country but for the various interest groups and base they actually represent!

The latest is the issue on child car seats and the uncompromising need for it!

I congratulate the efforts of the Ministry of the Transport, for spearheading this development, and the Women, Family, and Community Development ministry for the proactive statements coming from them on the same!

There are still idiots attacking its implementation, which I found out when I was on a live television talk show, this week!
In many global jurisdictions, the laws pertaining to child car seats have been tabled passed and enforced without compromise!

In the US alone, between 1975 and 2008 more than 9000 children were indeed saved because of its non-compromising implementation!

Malaysia is home to about 32 million and perhaps a few more millions of both documented and those undocumented.
We can safely say that one third of the population is made up of children.

Malaysia has made great strides in reducing child poverty, eradicating diseases, legislation protecting children and access to education!

But what are we doing about child safety issues?

As far as accidents are concerned Malaysia is the third largest in this part of the world behind both Thailand and Vietnam.
Globally, we are among 25 most dangerous countries for road users.

We are advised that for every child that dies of dengue 30 die on the road.

Dangerous road stretches include those in Selangor, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, the national highways and several rural roads.

In several countries there is no argument against the introduction to child seats to protect children but sadly here in Malaysia there are silly, stupid statements made by many quarters and among them:
1. I have far too many little children, so must I buy seven seats and where do I put them in my small car?
2. I cannot afford a child seat.
3. You must give us more time for its implementation!
4. I trust God and if God wants my child dead it will happen even with child seats!
5. If the government wants to implement this ruling they should subsidize its costs as well.

No one wants to know that in 2016, accidents were the 4th cause of death after, heart disease, Pneumonia and Cerebrovascular disease.

Currently, I acknowledge that there is no laws mandating the use of child car seats, and, the announcement that January 1st 2020 will see its advent to me is hilarious, as I foresee a delay in its no compromise implementation, like all other implementations which includes the No Smoking Drive in public spaces,because of the hypocrisy and double speak among those expected to protect the public interest rather than that one of political expediency and self-interest!

Some scream out, we need more time – seriously?

I have been in the service of consumer interests for over 40 years and we have always pushed for the 5Es!
1. Education
2. Enforcement
3. Engineering for Social and Legal policies for child protection
4. Initiating an Environmental Eco-System for Child Protection.
5. Evaluation to audit that we keep up with the latest and current universal standards without compromise.

But we cannot continue if there is neither political will nor courage by lawmakers and enforcers to walk the talk!

With helmets, wearing seat belts and child seats, one’s risk of death is reduced, so forgive me, if I find those obstructing its strict implementation to be a bunch of hypocrites, idiots and morons, whose negligence and recklessness would be taken to task without fear nor favor, in any civilized law abiding country!

WILL LESSONS BEEN LEARNT AND BOLD HOLISTIC CHANGES TO BE MADE FOLLOWING PH TRASHING AT TANJUNG PIAI ASKS MALAYSIA, ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST?

WILL LESSONS BEEN LEARNT AND BOLD HOLISTIC CHANGES TO BE MADE FOLLOWING PH TRASHING AT TANJUNG PIAI ASKS MALAYSIA, ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST?

After a quiet and ‘under the radar’ walk-a-bout at ground zero, I had shared with a media friend, on location that the incumbents are in for a trashing instead, of a speculated win by 7000 vote margin!

Being a seasoned journalist and one at many power epicenters, she agreed.

And the incumbents nightmare came through, as we had predicted when the BN, represented by MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng, won by a whopping 15,086-vote majority against Harapan’s Karmaine Sardini, who is from Bersatu.

Jeck Seng garnered 25,466 votes to Karmaine’s 10,380 votes.

In the run up to the by-election, at Tanjung Piai, which became the epicenter of activity from the quiet town it is, with ministerial and politicians visits, and the “coincidences” of funds for various developments projects in quick succession!

Even the family of the late Member of Parliament, was brought into the narrative with messages, which bordered on emotional blackmail?

Nothing was sacred!

It was obvious to us that PH were copying the same script, which they spoke and preached against prior to GE14!

While those expected to act as guardians of elections, were alleged to be silent when million ringgit goodies were announced.

While this was going on, the irony and hypocrisy was there were many articles written by the DAP elites continuing the blame game, talking about kleptocrats, corruption, the abuse of power when the same perception was felt in this run up.

Generally, premiers do not go down to help, by-election candidates, and, in this case, one that is certainly not critical or threatening the balance of power of the incumbents!

Thus the pertinent question asked, post this humiliating thrashing, is why despite the Prime Ministers presence and his undertaking a personal campaign to the extent of writing a personal letter had failed miserably to change the outcome.

However, it remains to be seen, if this is humbling enough, to initiate resignations, a cabinet reshuffle, or a new leadership line-up, which follows a PH spring cleaning exercise with the critical need at the removal of dead wood politicians, ministers and one spearheading holistic policy directions.

If no systemic change come, will we see the once outspoken and committed to social and natural justice platform DAP leave the PH coalition?

Or will the DAP and PKR elites now enjoying the perks of GE14 victory delay and pussyfoot to protect personal and private interests to that of the grassroots and Malaysian community who voted them into power?

Whether right or a wrong analysis, it is currently viewed that the whole PH narrative seems to be dictated by Bersatu and Tun Mahathir, to the detriment of the whole reform agenda of the other allies.

And the elegant silence of the elites in the DAP and PKR causing grave anxiety to voters!

The fact is this is a humiliating and crushing defeat for a Mahathir nominee!

It is a strong signal of dissent by voters against the form and substance of both Mahathir and the PH!

There is room for only one decision to be made.

And that is a demonstrably genuine return to foster and promote the aspirations of PH as declared during its inception and prior to GE14!

It is also time for that father-son apologist’s combo to stop in view the trouncing PH got at the hands of the voters!

The result is not because voters love kleptocrats, the abuse of power, and those peddlers of the 3R, corruption and corrupt politicians!

Voters are still committed to making Malaysia a leading nation of integrity regardless of race, religion or region!

And I believe that even former Umno vice president Hishammuddin Hussein when commenting on BN’s landslide win in the Tanjung Piai by-election exceeding expectations stated quite clearly that while the result was overwhelming, it was time to get back to the right track and not be arrogant!

So basically this is a wakeup call to both the incumbents at Putrajaya and those who lost power at GE14 to seek holistic and not cosmetic change!

For this to happen, both the PH and BN will have to show their commitment to Malaysia as a leading nation of integrity regardless of race, religion or region!

I am certain there will be by-elections coming soon, which will again send messages to the recalcitrant, and, let us pray that the rights, interests and real needs of all Malaysians are taken instead of the political shenanigans, race and religion baiters and foreigners/outsiders who have no right to be here muddling in our country’s affairs!