COVID 19 – MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE LAUDS HRH SELANGOR SULTAN’S TIMELY REMINDER!

COVID 19 – MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE LAUDS HRH SELANGOR SULTAN’S TIMELY REMINDER!

I am so thankful to HRH for repeating his July 8th advisory to us Selangor Folks on Covid 19 protocols!

I had highlighted my fears whether Selangor will become the new epicenter of this pandemic in my October 1st blog posting.

As early as July 8th our beloved Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had expressed concern that many people in the state have been ignoring the standard operating procedure (SOP) set to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He stated that based on his observation, many people are seen to be no longer complying with the established guidelines by being in public places without wearing face masks and adhering to the social distancing rules.

Sultan Sharafuddin also expressed sadness and worry that if the community were to remain stubborn and refuse to adopt the new normal, the second wave of Covid-19 would occur and affect the economy as well as their daily lives.

Today October 3rd, once again, our beloved and respected Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has expressed concern over the spike in Covid-19 cases, particularly in the state, where two new clusters were reported today.

He urged those who are symptomatic or have just returned from risky areas to immediately undergo screening tests and comply with the mandatory quarantine order.

HRH’s directive and advice was timely and it must be respected not just by us ordinary folks but our politicians and others in the corridors of power!

HRH is right as my recent surveys and walkabouts continue to raise huge red flags on the matt.

HRH is concerned that once our community become less reckless, negligent or lose vigilance the dangers of the threat rises.

The Ministry of Health have just highlighted that there are 31 new cases in Selangor, almost half of whom had a travel history to Sabah: 13 were returnees from high-risk areas in Sabah; 8 were in the new Seri Anggerik cluster, 3 in the Jalan Meru cluster, and 4 in the new Seri Setia cluster in Gombak.

So like HRH, I am disturbed and wondering why no action has yet been taken on those who were impacting the spread, notably our politicians and other ‘political busybodies’ who had absolutely no business in Sabah but decided to go anyway.

At least they should have had the common sense, the responsibility to self-quarantine themselves in a hotel designated for 14 days as their political and social responsibility!

But no, they did not do that!

How inhumane and irresponsible these political shenanigans are and have been.

They are a disgrace for putting others, at risks and these others could easily become fatalities depending on which risk groups they come from.

The advice of HRH to all of us in the 6.5 million in Selangor is to stay at home and not to go out to crowded public places unnecessarily.

HRH is really concerned.

The least we can do is take heed to HRH advice and act accordingly.

TIME FOR CIVIL SUITS TO BE INITIATED AGAINST POLITICIANS AND OTHERS FOR COVID 19 INFECTIONS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMER ADVOCATE PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘There has been enough talk!

There has been enough cutting the corners by inappropriate and scandalous behavior by the politicians who may think they are above the law?

It is now time for the affected consumers to now initiate civil action to find out!’

 

TIME FOR CIVIL SUITS TO BE INITIATED AGAINST POLITICIANS AND OTHERS FOR COVID 19 INFECTIONS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMER ADVOCATE PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

From the onset of this pandemic there were several different responses by those called upon as stakeholders to protect Malaysians from the Wuhan Virus alias Covid 19.

It was very clear from the manner these responses operated.

There was a heavy handed response towards the ordinary consumers.

No exceptions!

Many were dragged in colored attire, handcuffed to be charged.

High fines followed!

Then we had the hypocrisy and double standards blown onto our faces when social media exposed the inappropriate and scandalous behavior of our politicians and their entourage.

The public outcry was tremendous and those who were expected to have integrity were forced to initiate action.

But these were plain cosmetics, knee jerk reaction and soft slap on the wrist.

We did not have politicians or for that matter those who walked the corridors of power having any integrity to do the right thing – resign from public office!

Instead, as the public anger grew, the disgraced politicians got their cyber troopers, their base and fellow party members to spin.

It was embarrassing when news of these inappropriate actions were carried by the international wire.

Did our politicians learn lessons?

There were many photographs of them on motorbikes without helmets, without face masks or practicing safe distancing.

So now it is revealed that politicians returning from Sabah have caused Covid-19 chaos in Penang and Malacca.

Whether there are other states at the time of writing we do not know.

There are reports that some 600 students from SK Permatang Janggus in Penaga, Penang have had to get swab tested for Covid-19 and were placed under quarantine after a teacher was infected with the virus.

Bernama reported that the teacher is the wife of a politician who had campaigned during the Sabah state election.

According to the report, the teacher had fallen ill while at school, before being sent for treatment at a hospital in Kedah.

Her Covid-19 positive result prompted the Penang Education Department to close the school for eight days.

If you thought that was an isolated incident, we are also told the Malacca state administration complex has been shut down after a local politician who returned from Sabah tested positive.

He tested positive after returning from campaigning in Sabah.

He visited the state government complex yesterday.

We will leave it to the readers own imagination what happens when politicians come around public, community areas and administrative centers.

We are told that we have 260 new cases of Covid-19 today of which only one is imported while the remaining 259 were locally acquired infections.

The number includes four new clusters in Selangor, Sabah, Putrajaya, and Kedah.

Based on the feedbacks we are receiving from several states there is anger and disbelief!

One frequent commentator wrote in a popular comment column in an online media:

“As DG Health, how did you allow this to reach this level? You were lax with the irresponsible Cabinet members as well the well-heeled politicians. You were like any other subservient civil servant looking after his rice bowl while the people who pay your salary did not matter. What the masters want, they get. If the people’s real mandate were in power now, you would be facing disciplinary action for dereliction of duty.”

I feel very sorry for the Director General!

He is very professional in his approach!

I am aware how dedicated and passionate he is in fighting this pandemic!

I am aware of the team of front liners all super dedicated, passionate and sacrificing all to protect Malaysian consumers.

But I am also aware as “an insider” the reckless and negligent behavior of our politicians.

From the feedbacks I have received, we have been approached to mull civil action against these politicians.

After all we have the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

And if there is evidence that any infections, especially those now reported in Melaka, Penang, Kedah, Putrajaya or Selangor were caused by one’s negligence or recklessness, the victims should initiate legal action.

There has been enough talk!

There has been enough cutting the corners by inappropriate and scandalous behavior by the politicians who may think they are above the law?

It is now time for the affected consumers to now initiate civil action to find out!

 

WILL SELANGOR BE THE EPIC CENTER OF A NEW SPIKE IN COVID 19 CASES ASKS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMER ADVOCATE PROF DR JACOB GEORGE?

‘The present global fatality has crossed the 1 million mark with over 34 million cases of infection.It is a frightening statistics!And time to end our double standards and plain unadulterated hypocrisy!’

WILL SELANGOR BE THE EPIC CENTER OF A NEW SPIKE IN COVID 19 CASES ASKS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMER ADVOCATE PROF DR JACOB GEORGE?

As early as July 8th our beloved Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had expressed concern that many people in the state have been ignoring the standard operating procedure (SOP) set to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He stated that based on his observation, many people are seen to be no longer complying with the established guidelines by being in public places without wearing face masks and adhering to the social distancing rules.

Sultan Sharafuddin also expressed sadness and worry that if the community were to remain stubborn and refuse to adopt the new normal, the second wave of Covid-19 would occur and affect the economy as well as their daily lives.

Like the writer here, he called on all to have high self-discipline by always wearing face masks, washing their hands, using hand sanitisers, observing social distancing as well as those who are unwell to avoid going to public places.

We cannot deny that within Selangor like others states we have a large population of high risk groups and the Sultan did not want this group to be infected or for there to be more fatalities.

And he rightly pointed out that as long as the Covid-19 vaccine is yet to be found, we will do our very best to comply with the SOP as it has proved effective in curbing the spread of the pandemic.

So I am really saddened hearing from the Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah that Covid-19 is now spreading faster in Selangor than it is in Sabah, following a surge in daily new infections.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Noor Hisham said Selangor’s Rt value was 1.95 while Sabah’s was 1.26. An Rt value is used to calculate how fast Covid-19 is spreading.

“The rise in Selangor’s Rt value is due to the surge in new daily infections of between 10 to 15 compared with two to three cases before this,” he said.

“This indicates an increased risk of outbreaks if public health measures are not taken.”

The fears that I have repeatedly highlighted have come home to haunt us.

We are all to be blamed!

Yes, you know who you are.

We have forgotten the dedication and sacrifices of the front-liners!

Our speeches and advisory were cosmetic and hypocrisy.

There was one ruling to certain demography and another to others.

It was like having no smoking legislation but seeing how blatantly it is violated in Selangor and other states, and, in plain sight!

Coming back to this Covid 19 threat – I fear for the worst!

For those in the high risk groups as I am and others who put their lives to address and contain this pandemic while there are shenanigans totally abusing a situation which is a threat to life!

There should be no exceptions!

Politicians and their families involved in any transmitting of infection must have action taken against them.

This is no laughing matter.

IF they are the cause of any new cluster – they should be charged accordingly under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988!

The present global fatality has crossed the 1 million mark with over 34 million cases of infection.

It is a frightening statistics!

And time to end our double standards and plain unadulterated hypocrisy!

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?’