CONSUMERIST – RESPECT THE HOLY BOOKS OF OTHERS LITTLE/BIG NAPOLEANS TOLD!

‘So is it wrong for the more than 40 per cent of Christian voters in Sarawak and the over 10 per cent of Malaysians who are Christians to feel that this very despicable act treats our holy bible in Bahasa Malaysia as a restricted item, and as my Bishop put it –

‘The Word of God has been made subject to the control of man.  This is wholly offensive to Christians.  Any person who respects the Holy Scriptures of any religion would be appalled by this action.

The Christian community in Malaysia has always acted in good faith and with great patience to find amicable solutions without compromising our fundamental beliefs.  But that good faith has not been reciprocated by the Government.  It is the Government that has moved the “goal posts” over the years through a systematic imposition of unreasonable conditions and
restrictions.

We have never agreed to any wording to be endorsed on Bibles to say that it is only for
Christians.  The 1982 order issued under the Internal Security Act 1960 did not state that any form of words had to be endorsed on any copy of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia’ – Dr Jacob George

 

CONSUMERIST – RESPECT THE HOLY BOOKS OF OTHERS AUTHORITIES TOLD!  

Let us face it – it is just not the Christian community in Malaysia that is deeply hurt that the Government has desecrated and defaced the Bible!

It has been a long winding road and one where a systematic imposition of unreasonable conditions and
restrictions have being the hallmark!

And for that matter – not just on the issue of the Alkitab but also with Christian Orang Asli communities and their religious rights or both our submissions to build churches on our own land, or extensions or for that matter a building that has a social element in it like one building near Universiti Hospital where the planning approval was sought from MBPJ ages ago when the total costs was about RM5 Million but thanks to the ‘unprofessional, idiotic and racist behavior’ the approvals took ages and by the time it came with ‘all kinds of conditions’ – the cost today stands at RM12 Million!

As far as the desecration of our Holy Bible is concerned – I have received so many calls from my brother/sister Muslims in and out of the country and as far back as West Asia and UK, from all political divides, from friends who are Hindus and Buddhists!

What – even from one of my own ‘foster father’ a dedicated, honest, caring religious Muslim Theologian from the Holy land of Mecca, Saudi Arabia!

They were equally flabbergasted that there was extreme highhandedness, prejudice and plain stupidity in the way this matter was handled!

Worst, in the background of what is now plain to see was a hypocrisy filled double standards preoccupying 1Malaysia slogan which is now laid to finally rest for what it is today – a plain empty slogan and public relations exercise to win votes – nothing more nothing less!

We are mixing up religion and policy!

At one level, we have the supreme Federal Constitution and among the many articles worth remembering are articles 3(1), 8(2), 11(1) and (3)!

Basically there seems to be no respect for other people’s religion!

So who was the ‘insecure’ little or big Napoleon who gave this stupid order?

Who are these people to put ‘Dengan perintah Menteri Dalam Negeri’ on the cover of our holy book?

Is this very act not a desecration of our holy book?

Is this very act not a violation of the Malaysian Federal Constitution’s guarantees on freedom of religion?

Is the move to introduce new elements requiring that the shipment bear the stamp and serial numbers unreasonable and a new condition and can be construed as ‘targeting Malaysian Christians?

An act that is illegal in its entirety?

Is it also not a despicable act and a lie to try to link the present illegal action on a holy book with the Catholic Church’s court case on the right to use “Allah” — the Arabic word for God — in its newspaper?

Only and absolute idiot or one intentionally trying to look for excuses will grab at the straws and make such links!

At the same time – does all this mean our holy book is ‘banned under the law’ the common man may ask in the streets of Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak?

So is it wrong for the more than 40 per cent of Christian voters in Sarawak and the over 10 per cent of Malaysian Christians to feel that this very despicable act treats our holy bible in Bahasa Malaysia as a restricted item, and as my Bishop put it –

‘The Word of God has been made subject to the control of man.  This is wholly offensive to Christians.  Any person who respects the Holy Scriptures of any religion would be appalled by this action.

The Christian community in Malaysia has always acted in good faith and with great patience to find amicable solutions without compromising our fundamental beliefs.  But that good faith has not been reciprocated by the Government.  It is the Government that has moved the “goal posts” over the years through a systematic imposition of unreasonable conditions and
restrictions.

We have never agreed to any wording to be endorsed on Bibles to say that it is only for
Christians.  The 1982 order issued under the Internal Security Act 1960 did not state that any form of words had to be endorsed on any copy of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.

The latest letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 15 March 2011 is therefore a set of new conditions imposed on the release of the impounded Bibles which is wholly unacceptable to us.  We will never accede to any desecration of the Bible since the Word of God to us is sacred.

We also wholly reject the Government’s contention that the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia is prejudicial to the national interest and security of Malaysia, and treated as a subversive publication.’

As a Christian I cannot but wonder how our Holy Scriptures can become a national security threat where countless number of us find it helpful in bringing hope and healing to broken lives and homes which we can testify to.

Besides it commands us to be better citizens of our beloved nation.

One final word!

One must remember that apart from being ultra vires articles 3(1), 8(2), 11(1) and (3) of the federal constitution, it is suggested by very persuasive argument that the ‘perintah’ or order of the home minister – as manifested by way of a stamped ‘peringatan’ or reminder on the Bibles – is illegal (as an exercise of administrative power) as the said order was not founded upon any federal law or subsidiary legislation that is capable of conferring it with any legal basis.

Secondly, the learned minister and my learned friend must realize that he has no jurisdiction and, therefore, no power to issue the said order.

This is because – there is no law that prohibits any subject who is not a Muslim from using, reading or otherwise possessing a Malay Bible – yet the order purports to also proscribe to cover non-Christians such as a Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus or Sikhs from using the said Bible.

You do not have to be a Queens Counsel or a Professor in Constitutional Law to know this this was a grave error!

Actually if only my learned friend had called me on my mobile I may have suggested in a ‘political’ compromise with the following terms in small prints:

“Al Kitab Berita Baik ini bukan untuk kegunaan penganut agama Islam” or “Penganut agama Islam adalah dilarang membaca atau memiliki Al Kitab Berita Baik ini”

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CONSUMERIST- SHUT UP MAXIMUS ONGKILI – YOU DO NOT REPRESENT CHRISTIANS!

‘Thanks to this despicable and vulgar act, Malaysian Christians of all denominations have come together to make a stand for Their Lord and Faith!

While internationally – thanks to Cable TV and newsprint  Global Christians which includes US President Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton, HRH the Queen of England, her Prime Minister and Cabinet, EU Heads, the Vatican and billions of faithful believers all over would have read or seen this sad tragedy!

Importantly – it would have enraged them as well!’

– Dr Jacob George

 

CONSUMERIST- SHUT UP MAXIMUS ONGKILI – YOU DO NOT REPRESENT CHRISTIANS!

Let us get one thing straight!

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Johnity Ongkili do not represent Malaysian Christians so he should just shut up!

Secondly, he has no right whatsoever to give any ‘pastoral advice’ to any quarter in the Christian community!

His disgraceful attempt in urging the community to “give and take” over the Home Ministry’s decision to place the ministry stamp and serial number of the Al Kitab is not only a classic example political vulgarity it was politically idiotic!

Now who is the ‘not everybody’ in the Christian community who does not consider what has taken place as ‘defacement?”

So name them Maximus I challenge you!

Was he referring to the dedicated, God fearing Malaysian Christians who are today flabbergasted at the manner our religious book and beliefs are being vulgarly tampered with?

So hurt and flabbergasted that it was referred to repeatedly in the worship of Christians all over and in each and every church no matter what denomination!

Or is this politician Maximus referring to the millions of Malaysian Christians in Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak or the Global Christians who certainly must have also seen and heard over cable television and from their ambassador on these issues?

US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama meet with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during an audience at Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh;Queen Elizabeth II;Michelle Obama;Barack Obama

Which should include the President of the United States of America, His Secretary of State, HRH the Queen of England, her Prime Minister and majority of the Cabinet, major leaders of the European Union, the Holy Father, Vatican heads, Commonwealth countries and not forgetting senior leaders of various governments in West Asia including Palestine?

Or is he referring to ‘Christians’ who are politicians first and Christians second?

I wonder!
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CONSUMERIST – GOING NUCLEAR MINISTER’S ZIG ZAG STATEMENT TELLS ALL!

‘Minister Peter Chin’s body language and comments were enough to convince the fence sitters that all is not well – KPI or not KPI!

It also confirms our methodology in positioning politicians in portfolios is more for political expediency rather than on the academic background, brilliance and competency level of the politician!

For the record – Peter Chin is not the only politician who has come out looking silly and incompetent when controversy strikes!

There is work to be done before calling for GE13 Prime Minister Sir!’ – Dr Jacob George

 

CONSUMERIST – GOING NUCLEAR MINISTER’S ZIG ZAG STATEMENT TELLS ALL!

NONEI am neither shocked nor surprised that the minister in charge of nuclear power, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui, has deftly refused to state the government’s stand on atomic energy for power generation despite the matter being directly under his purview.

Chin refused to affirm or deny the government’s nuclear ambitions in the face of a possible atomic reactor meltdown in earthquake devastated Japan.

The verdict from those monitoring this issue even before public input and feedbacks, the building of the said plants, before any controversy about cost over-runs, the choice of contractors, the financing  involved, the place it is going to be situated, environmental impact studies whether initiated professionally or fabricated, whose decision and finally when disaster strikes is a flat no!

This is simple reasoning – no rocket science!

He is the minister of energy, power and water and he is evasive answering to questions posed by reporters concerning the government’s stand on the issue regarding the proposal to set up the new nuclear plant?

This is no ‘pencil pushing PTD officer’ in the civil service but the minister himself!

Basically – both the government and this minister have already lost the perception war!

His answer came minutes after my last posting and hours after the comments by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad!

The truth is this really ‘decent and lovable politician’, this Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui got so ‘muddled and muddied’ up with not only the questions posed by the reporters but he also got the names of the agencies in the three-minute press conference, frequently referring to the Nuclear Power Corporation, an agency under the Prime Minister’s Department as ‘Nuclear Development Agency’ all wrong!

Clearly an early warning sign that all is not so well at this front!

The irony is this plan to build two 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants by 2022 was announced by Chin in December last year.

Perhaps, this tragedy in Japan can be a blessing to Malaysia when we shelf this project once and for all!

Peter Chin’s body language and comments were enough to convince the fence sitters that all is not well – KPI or not KPI!

It also confirms our methodology in positioning politicians in portfolios is more for political expediency rather than on the academic background, brilliance and competency level of the politician!

For the record – Peter Chin is not the only politician who has come out looking silly and incompetent when controversy strikes!

There is work to be done before calling for GE13 Prime Minister Sir!

Remember Japan is the world third strongest economy and the Japanese with all their brilliance, transparency, accountability, ethics, straight talking, ready to commit hara-kiri and with expertise are staring at a total collapse of their society brazing for a worst case scenario if meltdown continues after all the cores we are advise is already compromised and its final impact on humans and the food chain unknown!

The fallout does not end there – we also saw the Tokyo stock exchange’s biggest two-day sell-off in 24 years resulting in a global market rout, the headline Nikkei share index recovered 4.37 percent this morning as investors snapped up bargains.

Remember in this chaotic state the central Bank of Japan pumped another 3.5 trillion yen (US$43.3 billion) into the financial system, adding to trillions spent this week since Friday’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami crippled a large swathe of the economy.

One final word – There is no shame in any decision to pull out of this nuclear energy thingy!

There is already worldwide precedence with Switzerland, Germany, Turkey to South Africa withdrawing from earlier decisions to initiate the former and public interest re-awakening in the UK and the US on the same!

It is time to do the right thing Malaysia – saying NO to Nuclear Energy!

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CONSUMERIST – SAYING NO TO NUCLEAR ENERGY!

‘My foot!

So that puts ice water on the claim that ‘local agencies knew what they were doing and would do the best they could to ensure public safety!’

More so, when in Malaysia we are still confused at how big business running into billions and politics and the manner decision making is processed or rushed!

And ‘Nixon and Reagan’ are not the only liars in politics!

In a way we must be thankful for Dr Mahathir’s comment and this Japanese experience as fears about nuclear safety that took a generation to overcome after the accidents at Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island are fast resurfacing around the globe.’ – Dr Jacob George

 


CONSUMERIST – SAYING NO TO NUCLEAR ENERGY!

It is three to five times more expensive than other technologies!

The chance for cost over-runs more than five times!

The cost in decommissioning is unthinkable!

The cost in storing waste and addressing disasters shocking and alarming!

So why is Malaysia still ‘gun ho’ about this project?

More so, with the certainly timely but unexpected comment from former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealing that his administration did not pursue nuclear power because of a “bad experience” with the technology!

He went on record to state that his cabinet only supports the use of four methods to gain energy namely fuel, coal, gas and hydro (electricity).

His cabinet was not supportive of the nuclear energy option as there was a concern over how they will dispose of the waste.

But the unthinkable happened when he stated at the same gathering that ‘we have had a bad experience with it,”

However, the former premier did not elaborate on what was the “bad experience”.

It has got many curious whether he was referring to the mini-reactor in Bangi commissioned in 1982 by Malaysian Institute of Nuclear Technology for research purpose and rumors surrounding it!

Malaysians must have also not forgotten the infamous Asia Rare Earth either!

I was working with the Consumers Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) Friends of the Earth, Malaysia then and know first hand the issues around this despicable project!

That episode and the manner it was handled and the damage it caused would in any other jurisdiction result in criminal chargers being filed against those who aide, abetted and played key significant roles in its despicable presence in Perak, Malaysia!

My foot!

So that puts ice water on the claim that ‘local agencies knew what they were doing and would do the best they could to ensure public safety!’

More so, when in Malaysia we are still confused at how big business running into billions and politics and the manner decision making is processed or rushed!

And ‘Nixon and Reagan’ are not the only liars in politics!

In a way we must be thankful for Dr Mahathir’s comment and this Japanese experience as fears about nuclear safety that took a generation to overcome after the accidents at Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island are fast resurfacing around the globe.

I am glad that they are casting new doubt on a controversial energy source that has seen resurgence in recent years, amid worries over volatile oil prices and global warming.

In the U.S., federal officials scrambled to reassure Americans those U.S. nuclear reactors are safe.

The fact is – Today Switzerland freezes plans to build new nuclear plants, Germany raises questions about its nuclear future, and opposition to atomic reactor construction mounts from Turkey to South Africa, to the United States.

I am sure prior to this tragedy in Japan the Japanese too thought all was well and perhaps the ‘minute by minute’ change and confusion caused by a utility company still managing the disaster and the spin doctoring that is going into all these is also raising alarms in the minds of all ordinary Japanese that Hiroshima and Nagasaki may be its past but the future is another fatal exposure due to the Fukushima Nuclear plants and its impact on humans and the food chain!

The no show of the International Atomic Energy experts in the Japanese tragedy is all the more shocking and adds new twists and turns!

I pray that this crisis at the tsunami-stricken Japanese nuclear plants will halt what has come to be known as the nuclear renaissance?

Remember – despite what our politicians, contractors and our ‘experts’ say – Malaysia is better off without Nuclear plants – period!

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CONSUMERIST – BANK NEGARA, CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND SNEAKY ADVERTS!

‘After a thankless 37 years in consumer advocacy – what can I say?
 
This is a real occupational hazard!
 
Dedicated and honest Consumer advocates and Consumers in Malaysia get royally screwed by all and sundry!
 
Among them from – Crooked and chameleon politicians speaking with a forked tongue, industry, healthcare providers, service and utility monopolies, banks, finance companies, credit cards companies, developers, direct selling or multi level companies, get rich scheme operators,…………’ – Dr Jacob George

 



CONSUMERIST – BANK NEGARA, CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND SNEAKY ADVERTS!

‘Dear Dr Jacob George,

Why does Bank Negara allow financial companies, specifically, credit card companies get away with sneaky advertisements?

What has happened to the days of straightforward, transparent REAL deals and offers?

We used to trust offers by credit card companies associated with large banks simply because they were BANKS.  Somehow, people don’t expect banks to go out to cheat people.

We just never expect banks to have sly marketing programs in the same way as we do not stop to question whether that 20% or 50% or 70% Discount offer in a Jaya Jusco or Guardian means a discount on the full retail price tag or just partial amount of the price tag.

Increasingly, credit card companies have become more and more blatant about their so called ‘great deals’.  Bank Negara actually approved such ads.

I refer to my emails below with the AmBank Credit Card Dept.

The gist of my story:

I was attracted to AmBank’s very aggressive offer of 20% Cash Back Weekend Groceries banners all over the local hypermarkets in Dec 2010.

So when their sales personnel approached me (as they always do at strategic locations at the hypermarkets) asking if I already had an AmBank credit card, I sat down to listen to their pitch.

The AmBank salesman even showed me on a credit card statement how the cash back would be reflected in the billing. He did mention the maximum cash back for the 20% Cash Back Weekend Groceries was RM80 a month.  I would also get maximum of RM50 cash back a month on the 20% Cash Back Weekend Petrol transactions.

However, he neglected to highlight to me (I don’t know for sure whether it was intentional or not) a piece of information which would have significantly influenced my decision to sign up for the card.

There was a catch - that big 20% Cash Back figure was calculated in BLOCKS OF RM100 FOR GROCERIES AND IN BLOCKS OF RM50 FOR PETROL PER TRANSACTION.

Meaning, should my grocery bill be RM186, only RM100 would be counted for the 20% Cash Back promotion. The balance of RM86 goes down the drain.

For petrol, it is the same - if the bill comes up to RM75, RM50 qualifies for the 20% Weekend Cash Back while RM25 goes down the drain.

I just happen to call AmBank to check on the terms of the 20% Cash Back promotion.  Plus, mine being an Islamic card (which also surprised me as I did not know the salesman submitted my application for the Islamic card); there were restrictions on merchants which were categorized as ‘HARAM’ or more diplomatically, ‘non-halal’.

Immediately, I wrote to AmBank on Dec 22, 2010 (see email below).

My card has since been cancelled but AmBank insists that I pay the RM50 Government Tax because my card was issued in Dec 2010.  It is accumulating interest till I settle it.

My question:

Why should I pay RM50 + interests when I have not even used the card?  I did call and cancel my card upon learning of AmBank’s unfair trade practice.  I followed it up with emails.

Isn’t AmBank’s tactic tantamount to bullying the less discerning consumers out there?  First AmBank was not upfront with such an important information regarding their 20% Cash Back Promotion.

Not being transparent and upfront in their business dealings IS AN UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE.  Then they insist I pay for the govt tax when I’ve not used the card at all.

Attached are AmBank’s adverts in the Star.  Do the ads mention anything about calculations based in BLOCKS of a certain amount?  The 20% Cash Back is practically shouting at the reader but one would need a magnifying glass to read the Terms & Conditions, if they are even mentioned in the first place.

And please, why are banks allowed get away with stating in teeny tiny font, squeezed at the bottom of the ad, “Terms and Conditions Apply”?

Another thing, it is common for ads to state “please refer to (website provided) for more info.”

How many credit card members in Malaysia are internet savvy such that it justifies the credit card company not allocating bigger space for their SPECIAL or UNUSUAL TERMS & CONDITIONS?

I would appreciate Bank Negara’s stand on this matter.

Thanks.

Sincerely,

MC’

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