CAP is Concerned That Coastal Erosion in Melaka Becoming More Serious

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Melaka government to investigate and take immediate action to overcome the coastal erosion problem in the state which is becoming more critical.

The erosion here has not only threatened the environment in the area but also affected the daily activities of the fisher communities.

In a survey conducted at Pantai Puteri, Tanjung Keling CAP found that about 500 metres of the beach has been eroded while in Tanjung Dahan near Kuala Linggi about 300 metres of the beach area here also face erosion.

Dozens of trees along the coast have fallen and several fishing sheds have been damaged due to the coastal erosion. CAP is concerned that the erosion at these two areas is becoming more serious and getting closer to the roads and houses along the coast. Immediate action needs to be taken to curb the erosion.

The erosion over the past six months has caused anxiety among the fisherfolk here because fallen tree twigs and wood waste that drift into the sea often get stuck in their nets and cause damage.
About 200 fishers here also find it difficult to moor the boat as the eroded coastal area has collapsed and become steep. They have to push or pull the boat using a pulley every time they return from the sea.

CAP believes if this problem is not acted upon the situation will become more critical. Coastal erosion can spread widely, escalating environmental destruction and the damage to properties along the coast will definitely increase.

Therefore, CAP hopes that the Melaka government, relevant departments and agencies will conduct a study on the cause of the coastal erosion. The main focus should be on land reclamation activities and the passage of merchant ships that may be contributing to the coastal erosion problems in the state.

In addition, the problem of mud sedimentation and narrowing fishing areas of local fishermen that have affected their livelihood should be addressed immediately. CAP regrets that although the fishermen have voiced their grievances but until now the problem has not received due attention from the authorities.

CAP urges the Melaka state government to disclose to the public the results of the study of the cause of the coastal erosion and the measures taken to overcome the problem.

Unhappy Meals: Diet That Damages Your Brain

1 in 6 Malaysians today has mental illness. What’s snapping our minds, poisoning our brains and ailing our head? The answers might just be on your plate.

WRONG nutrition (from processed food, fast food and junk food) and modern food production methods in the last 50 years which deplete nutrients have reduced the amounts of essential fats, vitamins and minerals we consume and such a diet is poisoning our brains.

Studies have found a number of mental health conditions to be influenced by dietary factors. For example:

> Depression is linked to low intakes of fish (high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good brain health).

> Schizophrenia — epidemiological evidence shows sufferers have lower levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

> Alzheimer’s disease — some studies have suggested high vegetable consumption can protect against the brain disorder.

> Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — research shows that children with this disorder are low in iron and fatty acids.

Are you eating a diet for depression? Is your family being fed unhappy meals? What’s in a happiness diet? Are there foods for positive mood?

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400 Riches Americans vs Masai

In a 1985 survey by Ed Diener (Uni of Illinois) and Martin E.P. Seligman (Uni of Pennsylvania) in “Psychological Science in the Public Interest” (July 2004), respondents from the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans and the Masai of East Africa were almost equally satisfied and ranked relatively high in well-being.

The Masai are a traditional herding people who have no electricity or running water and live in huts made of dung.

This study shows that economic development and personal income do not account for the happiness that they are so often linked to.


Private Hospitals should not charge its patients for what others do not

When a person walks into a restaurant or a shopping mall, a person-in-charge will scan the persons body temperature and, in most places, provide hand sanitizer as well. This is besides the person having to scan MySejahteras  Quick Response (QR) code or register himself in the logbook provided.

It is part of the Covid-19 pandemic standard operating procedure (SOP) and there is no two ways about it.

However, it was brought to the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)s attention that some hospitals are charging their patients a fee of RM5 for carrying out the SOP and we wondered why this is so.

This appeared that only patients are charged because there is a bill to include the cost. We urge the hospitals to consider the provision of such services  body temperature scanning and provision of hand sanitisers  be part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) although it is an enforced SOP everywhere, not just hospitals and clinics.

If it is argued that it is an additional cost, this would also be the same argument in all industries but yet they are able to abide by the SOP and the need with a touch of generosity in times like this.

We urge all hospitals and clinics that charge a fee for carrying out SOP to desist from doing so. The reason is that, even if there isnt a need to fulfil the SOP, will the hospital or clinic risk allowing a Covid-19 patient walk into its premises?

Press Statement, 17 September 2020

Are Malaysians Coping Mentally with the Stresses of Modern Life?

THE World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Emotional well-being is central to our good health in today’s world where mental and physical diseases are linked to our inability to cope with the stresses of modern living. Mental diseases and diseases related to stress are shooting up in urbanised societies.

Mental illness is expected to be the second biggest health problem affecting Malaysians after heart disease.

According to the latest National Health and Morbidity Survey, 30% of adults aged 16 years and above in Malaysia suffer from some form of mental health issues.

The prevalence of mental health issues in Malaysia has tripled from 10·7% in 1996 to 29·2% in 2016. In Singapore it is about 60%. An average of 7 Malaysians commit suicide each day.

Heart diseases, cancers and other diseases which are linked to poor emotional health are the leading killers today. Negative emotions are linked to poor physical health.

Anger raises cholesterol levels and heart attack risks by 300%. On the other hand optimistic people live 19% longer than pessimists. All of us (including children) can be taught emotional resilience, selfcontrol (the lack of which leads to much mental illness), the habits of optimism and handling negative thoughts, and much more which are covered in this book.

This is important as suicides, depression and hyper-anxiety among schoolchildren around the world have reached epidemic levels.A study of US undergraduates found that 45% of them showed serious signs of depression. Schools and institutions of learning do not teach students coping skills and skills for developing emotional well-being. Our children are not taught how to master their own minds, emotions and bodies, which is not only about avoiding stress, but also how to cope with it.

In the West, the trend in schools now is to teach these skills. Psychologically healthy schools, workplaces and society will enhance academic performance, economic productivity and create a happier society in general.

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