‘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.