Consumerist: Support Friends In Nepal At TheirTime Of Need After Severe Earthquake!

Dato Jacob George

Dear friends,

It is a sad day.

The much speculated earthquake for several years measuring 7.9 magnitude has finally struck 80km east of Pokhara in Nepal about half way between the town and the capital Kathmandu!

The epicenter was 80km northwest of Kathmandu which is Pokhara, a major tourist venue and favourite of foreigners and trekkers.

I have contacted both Nepal’s Information Minister Minendra Rijal and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam to share our support and condolences and they have indicated that there is damage, many deaths, injuries and thousands shell shocked and old historic buildings collapsing.

Information is slowly coming in and they are continuing to assess the situation as the communication lines are also hit.

Army, Police and essential services are working round the clock to assess and assist.

The airport is open and they are clearing outgoing passengers.

Incoming flights are being monitored and if necessary, diverted to Bangladesh and New Delhi.

As I write this – there has been over 449 deaths!

Prayers welcome!

My Nepalese friends have sent me these personal pictures to update me!

Let us pray for them!

                           

Consumerist: Batu Tiga Toll – Cakap Satu – Bikin Satu – Mereka Fikir Kita Semua Bodoh?

Dato Jacob George

Image result for batu tiga toll

Consumerist: Cakap Satu – Bikin Satu – Mereka Fikir Kita Semua Bodoh?

Is it not true that the concessionaire agreement for the Batu Tiga toll concession company is scheduled to finished by this year?

IF this is so, what is the justification by any quarter to renew its contract until 2035 – a move that sends the perception that somebody is not listening to the grouses of Malaysian consumers!

That somebody is more interested in protecting the interest of greed of cronies?

That somebody is totally insulated from the interests, rights and bleeding hearts and pockets of consumers and if so how to get the support back from the masses?

And how to win – Selangor or for that matter the people’s confidence and trust back?

Please go figure – as – I am totally flabbergasted!

                           

Consumerist: GST & Market Woes! All Because Of Soddy Planning & Implementation?

Dato Jacob George

Image result for No to GST

‘As far as I am concerned – even when there are no formal collective agreements, service charges collected must be distributed among the workers.

To me I insist that the GST should not impede the extra income earned by low-income workers’

Consumerist: GST & Market Woes! All Because Of Soddy Planning & Implementation?

So as I had predicted months ago, the April 1st implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) seems to have hit a snag in the service sector.

And we are now inexplicably told that service providers are now required to display their collective agreement in order to be able to exact service charges.

I nearly fell off my chair in laughter!

So much for policy deliberations and addressing issues before implantation and the numerous so called KPIs before that?

The historic fact that has been from time immemorial is that the said service charge has been there for umpteen years but the Customs Department did not bother about it.

And why?

But when it hinders the implementation of the GST, the service charge becomes an issue.

Now, restaurants and hotels have to display their collective agreement publicly to qualify for charging 10 percent service charges.

Which means just one pertinent thing!

We already know that workers in the hotel and restaurant sector are not union members.

Never have been?

This sector is dominated by foreign workers, so Malaysian workers in this industry have very little say.

Therefore, as a responsible body, the Customs Department must ensure that all service charges collected on behalf of the workers go to the workers.

And not that greedy hands that pops up so often!

As far as I am concerned – even when there are no formal collective agreements, service charges collected must be distributed among the workers.

To me I insist that the GST should not impede the extra income earned by low-income workers.

This target group is already hard-hit by the rising cost of living.

Here the minimum wages remain at RM900.

Unless it is our intention that these groups further slide into the poverty bracket of hard core poor or worst further their belts and risk at all – further defaulting on their installment and credit payments!

                           

 

Consumerist: GST kad prabayar: Kerajaan kena putuskan bukan Telco

Dato Jacob George

Kerajaan perlu ada satu arahan yang tepat dalam isu pelaksanaan Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) terutama melibatkan perkhidmatan kad tambah nilai supaya tidak mengeliru dan mendatangkan kemarahan rakyat.

Pelbagai keputusan dan pengumuman mengenai isu kad tambah nilai menunjukkan kerajaan tidak bersedia dalam melaksanakan sistem cukai tersebut.

Jika kerajaan dilihat seperti flip-flop dalam isu kad tambah nilai pada hari ini, mungkin esok atau lusa pengeluar barangan atau penyedia perkhidmatan lain juga akan mengemukakan perkara yang sama.

Sekiranya perkara seumpama ini dibenarkan berlaku, pelaksanaan GST akan menjadi mimpi ngeri kepada rakyat yang belum dapat menyelaraskan cukai tersebut dalam perbelanjaan harian.

Presiden Persatuan Pengguna Subang dan Shah Alam, Datuk George Jacob melahirkan rasa hairan mengapa kerajaan tunduk kepada permintaan syarikat telekomunikasi dan bukannya melindungi pengguna.

Sedangkan, bertahun-tahun pengguna berhadapan dengan isu-isu telekomunikasi termasuk isu gangguan panggilan dan perkhidmatan teruk oleh syarikat-syarikat telekomunikasi tidak mendapat perhatian pantas seperti isu GST.

Syarikat telekomunikasi tidak rugi-rugi apa jika tidak mengenakan GST kepada pengguna kerana selama ini pun mereka mendapat wang terlebih dahulu sebelum perkhidmatan digunakan.

“Pengguna perlu beli dahulu kad tambah nilai dan baru boleh menggunakannya. Syarikat telekomunikasi sudah untung di sini. Begitu juga dengan pembelian kad Touch n Go.

“Jika GST dilaksanakan ke atas kad tambah bayar, syarikat telekomunikasi mengaut keuntungan berlipat ganda,” katanya kepada MalaysiaGazette.

Lagipun, GST ke atas kad tambah bayar tidak menggambarkan sistem GST – cukai dibayar apabila mengguna barangan
dan perkhidmatan.

Semalam, kastam mengumumkan syarikat telekomunikasi kini boleh mengenakan cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan (GST) sebanyak 6 % bagi perkhidmatan
kad tambah nilai dengan syarat mereka menawarkan masa berbual tambahan.

Bagaimanapun, Pengarah Kastam bahagian GST, Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy memberitahu, syarikat telekomunikasi mempunyai dua pilihan sama ada mengekalkan harga kad tambah nilai dengan menyerap enam peratus GST atau boleh mengenakan caj enam peratus daripada harga kad tambah nilai dengan syarat mereka memberikan masa berbual tambahan kepada pengguna.

Syarikat telekomunikasi akhirnya bersetuju dan menetapkan sekiranya harga kad tambah nilai RM10.60, pengguna akan diberikan masa berbual tambahan sehingga RM1.

Pengumuman tersebut dibuat sehari selepas pengguna dimaklumkan oleh Subromaniam bahawa harga semua kad tambah nilai kekal apabila syarikat telekomunikasi bersetuju menyerap GST. – MalaysiaGazette

                           

Consumerist: India Shows Great Improvement In Combating Corruption While Others Just Give Lip Service!

Dato Jacob George

“I believe it is all because of the new government, in place which possibly captured the anti-corruption mandate on which the new government was elected and the possibility of some new reforms in this area.

Will all this result in the passing of more legislation including the right of citizens for time bound delivery of goods and services and the much awaited “Redressal of their Grievances Bill?”.

Only time will tell but I am excited!”

Consumerist: India Shows Great Improvement In Combating Corruption While Others Just Give Lip Service!

Are you aware that India has showed some improvement in addressing corruption this year, ranking 85th among 175 countries as against 94th last year?

This is indeed a great achievement indeed!

Denmark retained its position as the least corrupt country in 2014 with a score of 92 while North Korea and Somalia shared the last place, scoring just 8!

In India’s neighborhood, China moved to 100th place, down from 80th last year, while Pakistan and Nepal were at 126th position.

Yes, Nepal where tourist of the world retreat for spiritualism?

No surprise with Bangladesh which was 145th and Bhutan 30th in the ranking.

Sri Lanka was ranked 85th with India. Afghanistan was at a bleak 172.

I am also advised that according to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report by TII, “the CPI score for India increased by 2 points in 2014 from its 2013 score, helping India’s rank move up to 85 in 2014 from 94 in 2013?.

India’s score stood at 38 as compared to 36 last year.

The improvement in CPI for India was driven primarily by two data sources — from the World Economic Forum and World Justice Project’s (WJP) index.

A score increase on WEF suggested businesses in India were viewing the environment favorably with regards to their perception of corruption and bribery in the country.

The WJP score also went up reflecting the perceptions of public sector corruption coming down slightly in India.

I believe it is all because of the new government, in place which possibly captured the anti-corruption mandate on which the new government was elected and the possibility of some new reforms in this area.

Will all this result in the passing of more legislation including the right of citizens for time bound delivery of goods and services and the much awaited “Redressal of their Grievances Bill?”.

Only time will tell but I am excited!