Where are we heading?

Forestry Department Brought To The Task

Water Catchment

About twenty years ago, One friend closed to Land and Survey informed me water catchment were given out to timber company for oil palm plantation after timber removed.

If such allegation is true then the problem highlighted recently in local newspaper is nothing new and it has been on-going thing. Recent weather change could be due to ‘the death’ of water catchment?

It is sad to see no action taken until now. Next thing we have to pay attention is could we reclaim the water catchment area from the private company? After it has been ‘sold’ to these companies. Unless we are not serious about the welfare of our future generation, isn’t it time for Sarawakian to look seriously into the matter and put a stop to such ‘mismanagement’? Should Forestry Department take all the blame or they are just following the instruction and doing their job?

The ‘abuse’ of water catchment zone has indicated very clearly that laws and regulations to protect our water source through protecting the water catchment area has become unenforceable owing to human factor.

Should the land office system, if computerised, give special coding to these water catchment zone or the like to prevent any transaction of protected areas intentionally or unintentionally?

What is next after knowing the mistake (of ‘selling’ water catchment area) made in the past? Will such issue blow out of proportion during the coming 13 general Election?

Competition Act is losing its teeth?

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Competition Act Waiver Application

Competiton Act

Competition Act is taking effect from 1 Jan 2012 to ensure competition existed in all sectors of services and products retail/distribution outlets for the benefit of rakyat/consumers.

Yesterday, Star newspaper business column caught my eyes with the front page header Waiver Sought by 4 parties applying for exemption from Competition Act.

They are The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), Association of Malaysian Hauliers, a joint application by the Malaysia Shipowners Association, Shipping Association of Malaysia and federation of Malaysian Port Operators Council. The sole individual – Nestle Products Sdn Bhd.

Many could not see the reasons behind such waiver application and there is no reason to consider such application if waiver would put consumers/customers at disadvantage.

For an example, Life Insurance companies have been deciding jointly to extend the critical year of insurance policy citing financial downturn and hence the lower return of insurance companies investment as the main reason. This has put their customers in a difficult position as many of insured prompted to surrender their insurance policy for cash in view of continuous payment of insurance premium with no definite date of last payment. When misfortune do happen to this group of people; their family has no insurance protection to ensure their livelihood not affected by the untoward incidence. Hopefully the Competition Act will put a stop to this misery but now if the waiver application is approved it will be back to square one.

There is an annual fee of RM10,000 for the waiver application and RM20,000 block exemption. These companies willing to pay for such annual fees shows that their interest is affected by the Competition Act and such waiver is not necessary beneficial to their customers and consumers.

The authority should ensure that any waiver is for the benefit of raykat/consumers/users or else Competition Act will be redundant and serve no purpose.

Hard To Be A Good Councillor

Under-performing councillors urged to relinquish post

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It is a harsh warning to the newly appointed councillors in Miri by the CM. If we are really having under-performing councillors and since it is by appointment system whose fault could that be? To the councillors they might not see that they are under-performing since they have attended every meeting and agreed to every proposal tabled. So what is a good and performing councillor?

May be a public election of councillors system might or might not solve the problem? As only when a person voice out or act responsibly or irresponsibly then public will know who is not performing. Performance is decided by the person or group of persons affected by the councillors’ decision or proposal. If decision or proposal is beneficial to them they will perceive it as ‘councillors are performing’, otherwise councillors are not performing. What do you think?


Credit Card Fraud

Sunday (4th March 2012), I went online to purchase ticket from Cebu Pacific Airline. I used UOB credit card to finalise transaction and UOB sms code to complete transaction but Cebu Pacific Airline rejected the transaction twice for unknown reason.

Today, I call UOB to inquire about the transactions and the lady said UOB approved the transaction but Cebu Pacific Airline rejected the transaction and she said the airline could claim the transaction within 7 days. I asked her if UOB could put a permanent stop to these transaction since airline had rejected the transactions; her answer was NO. Then I asked if I forward the print-out of rejection message of the two transactions, will they do it. She said NO. She said I have to wait until they do charge to my account then I could instruct UOB to deal with it. Isn’t it silly?

I wonder why credit card holders have to go through this kind of risk when such risk can be stopped before anything has happened?

I told UOB lady I might complain to Bank Negara if later such fraud/mistake do happen later and I asked for her name and I wrote down her name, today’s date and time that I made the call.

Competition Act Creates Chaos?

Free For All?

Kopitiam Outlet

During a morning kopi-o drink with my friends in a kopitiam, some of my friends said the argument of Competition Act creating chaos could not hold any water. They reasoned even before Competition Act comes into law, Sibu Coffeeshop and Restaurant Owners Association has no control over its members charging public higher prices than recommended by Sibu Coffeeshop and Restaurant Owners Association during or after Chinese New Year.

Any kopitiams or outlets deciding to charge more will risk losing its customers as once ‘cheated’ by sudden increase in price public will move to other outlets. The only thing council or ministry of domestic trade & co-operative and consumerism should enforce is to make sure all prices of drinks and food listed on each table so that public will know prices before ordering. If too expensive public can decide to stay or move to other outlets.

Will the authority proceed to declare food and drinks sold in kopitiams and food outlet as “controlled item” if prices of food and drinks ‘out of control’ as claimed in the news? One friend jokingly suggested the authority should set the profit margin of all food and drinks prepared and sold in kopitiams and food outlets to 10-20% maximum. That will create a win-win situation perhaps?

Waiting For Hand-out?

1Malaysia People Assistance

Some regarded the “1Malaysia People Assistance (BRM1)” as hand-out while others alleged such assistance nothing but political candy.

Such assistance may be useful/helpful for those in financial difficulty but even in such case it will be ‘bad’ for the nation if wrong ‘habit’ has been inculcated in the process. Such generous act under BRM1 if becoming yearly or monthly event it will deplete our nation resource.

Most of us remember the Chinese fable of a farmer coming across a rabbit running into a tree and felt unconscious and became dinner for the farmer. From the following day onwards the farmer decided to wait by the tree for the same thing to happen as farming was definitely a tough job. He waited for months and yet no more rabbit would run into the same tree for him to have a easy harvest of rabbit. Hopefully, our people won’t treat “1Malaysia People Assistance (BRM1)” as the rabbit that would continue to provide ‘easy harvest’ without any effort on our own.

I believe most of us had often heard comments by our leaders saying “It is better teaching the needy how to fish instead of giving them fishes”. But are we doing the right thing by giving out “1Malaysia People Assistance (BRM1)” and the long queue at the “dispatch/distribution” counter has either confirmed a large number of our people are having financial difficulties or we are encouraging easy life by giving handout and at the same time inculcating wrong attitude?

Isn’t it better for Malaysian Government to adopt pro-active strategy to help Malaysian irrespective of race out of poverty and hardship? Some even suggested that if corruption could be stopped at all level Malaysian would not have to depend on “1Malaysia People Assistance (BRM1)”. But what should be the best solution for our problem?

What I don’t like about AirAsia website?

AirAsia Website Problem

AirAsia blindsided by fares issue

I find the following two items the worse problems online booking customers would face:
1) Insurance fee included first and you have to ‘cancel’ it to exclude it in the price.
2) Seat selection fee of RM30 (for HOT seat and RM 6 for normal seat allocation) included instead of having default selection of free system allocation of seat.

If you are in a hurry, you are forced to get confused and mistakenly allowing these two items to be included in the price. May be it is the intention of the website?

Why using the ‘cancel’ instead of straight forward something like this:
You need to buy traveling insurance? [Yes] [No]
Let people decide for themselves please, don’t intentionally force them to have insurance though it could mean coverage for any untoward incident.

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk

[Click the picture to read in full size]

[Click the picture to read in full size]

It was reported in today’s Sin Chew Newspaper saying Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) has not been issued to the house involved in the brutal killing at Jalan RTM, Sibu.

The president of developers association Lau Ga King said without CFO developers could still proceed to obtain water and electricity supply for the house.

Mr. Lau also said it is required under council’s law and regulation that terrace house and semi detached house must have 9 inches thick of fire-wall (equivalent to 2 pieces brick size) up to the roof to prevent spread of fire and those with ulterior motive to climb over to next doors via space between roof and ceiling.

With these information, council should be able to come up with the following plan:

1) Council’s architect must check on the quality of finished houses (for any sinking or cracks on the building) as well as checking fire-wall as mentioned above up to the roof before issuing certificate of fitness for occupation. The developers of the housing project must sign a letter of indemnity to take full responsibility of any defects discovered and any harm incurred owing to the defects/poor workmanship of the houses in the next 3 years. Photos should be taken by architect to prove that proper inspection has been carried out before issuing CFO and these photos must be properly filed with the relevant documents for future reference.

2) Certificate of Fitness for Occupation must be obtained before water and electricity supply could be approved to prevent house owners taking the risk of living in ‘defective’ houses.

3) For existing houses that do not have the proper fire-wall council should contact developers to have it completed as soon as possible.

How to prevent next brutal killing from happening?

Murder case solved?

Police believe quadruple murder solved

After intensive investigation by polis force, at last the criminal identified. But some would say if the terrace houses in the region has proper walls built (inside the ceiling) to prevent illegal entry from neighboring terraced or semi detached house units via ceiling such brutal killing and similar tragedies can be avoided.

To prevent similar thing from happening, please make it a law that all semi detached and terraced houses must have full brick or concrete walls inside the ceiling to prevent spread of fire as well as case like this – murder from repeating!

If I am not wrong in Johor Bahru it is a must that adjacents walls with neighboring units must reach the roof to prevent fire from spreading as well as illegal entry through the opening in the space between roof and ceiling.

It is not difficult to move from one house to another if there is no walls between roof and ceiling. You just use a ladder to climb into your ceiling and from there you walk on the wooden frame into all the houses next to yours. Just imagine if a criminal can access it what will happen next? If you are having terrace or semi detach house make sure there is no such ‘loophole’.

Councillors in Sarawak should learn something from this brutal murder case especially when come to issuing CFO (Certificate Of Fitness For Occupation). Please make sure the adjacent walls that separate terrace houses or semi detached houses are built right to the roof top. If a law need to be passed in State Cabinet please do it. A new concrete house will give house buyer ‘false sense’ of security when in actual fact the houses they bought could be ‘defective’.

Industrial gas or cigarette smoke which is the worse?

welding torch

If smoking in air conditioned room is bad what about welding and grinding metals in air conditioned space? When I raised such matter up to the person -in – charge he said it is ok just for a while only. If same logic applied, smoking in air conditioned space ok if ‘for-a-while’ only? Witness so many cases of welding and grind metals inside shopping mall. I presume it is better than smoking within air conditioned room as no action has been taken so far and people take it lightly?

Just imagine the shop assistants, workers, tenants and shoppers have to breath all these industrial gas (chemical solvent, industrial gum, welding and grinding smell) in shopping mall. Councils should give instruction to mall owners to ensure no such thing is allowed in the air conditioned space. All these should be done outside the air conditioned space.

If such thing is allowed may be mall owner can rent their space for welding shop within the air conditioned space?

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