Make public the Temporary Measures Bill

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) cautions the government about the formulating of the Temporary Measures Bill that prevents housing developers and homebuyers from suing one another as a result of the delay in completion consequential to Covid-19 pandemic.

Although it is fair that the completion date be extended because of the interruption caused by pandemic, the law should not prevent homebuyers from taking a developer to court over issues other than completion of project longer than three months.

Developers should not be given a ‘blank cheque’ in the delay of their project. The reason of this is because the Movement Control Order (MCO) started on 18 March and work at construction sites resumed from early May.

Enabling developers to extend their project delivery date beyond three months may cause financial hardship to homebuyers who are renting a place to stay while paying housing loans. Other homebuyers may experience problems arising from the delay such as developers facing an overhang in a project may try to find reasons to delay longer than necessary. A protracted delay in a single project would negatively impact hundreds of families particularly those from the Below 40 (B40) or the Middle 40 (M40) groups.

The proposed law should be specific and allows homebuyers to haul developers to court if there is poor workmanship, structural defects, or some other reason other than a reasonable delay in completion. We urge the government to make public the details of the Temporary Measures Bill because it impacts the lives of millions of Malaysians in one way or another.

 

Press Statement, 3 July 2020

Vegetarians have up to 50% LESS CANCER

A STUDY conducted among 50,000 vegetarians (the Seventh-Day Adventists) revealed results that shook the world of cancer research. The study clearly showed that this group has an astonishingly low rate of all types of cancer, and a significantly longer life span.

Another study of Mormons in California showed that cancer occurs in this group at a rate of 50% less than in the normal population. Mormons characteristically eat little meat.

Why do meat-eaters get more cancer? One reason might be the fact that animal flesh which is several days old naturally turns a sickly grey-green colour. The meat industry tries to mask this discolouration by adding nitrites, nitrates and other preservatives.

These substances make the meat appear red, but many of them have repeatedly been shown to be carcinogenic (cancer-inducing).

British and American scientists who have studied the intestinal bacteria of meat-eaters compared to vegetarians have found significant differences. The bacteria in the meat-eaters’ intestines react with the digestive juices to cause cancer.

This may explain why cancer of the bowel is very prevalent in meat-eating areas like North America and Western Europe, while it is extremely rare in vegetarian countries such as India.

Authorities urged to clarify if all water purifiers are safe to use

A water purifier marketed by Coway in Korea was found to be leaching nickel in the water tank and, hence, the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) calls upon the Malaysian authorities to urgently look into the matter and issue a statement.

The Seoul High Court recently ruled that the company had failed to notify its customers that the nickel plating in the water tank can potentially contaminate the water. Consequently, the contamination had caused the users “immaterial damage”.

In Malaysia, the company is offering seven table-top models and two floor standing models and we need to know if any of these are affected by the nickel contamination problem soonest possible as the metal is known to be a health hazard.

The maximum amount of nickel compounds found in the water dispensed from the affected water purifier was 0.386 mg/l  as compared to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s average limit of less than 0.02 mg/l. Nickel is a known carcinogen and it is also able to impair kidney function.

We, therefore, urge the authorities – particularly the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), and the Health Ministry (MoH) – to urgently clarify if water purifiers of Coway and other brands available in Malaysia are safe to use.

 

Press Statement, 1 July 2020  

Sugar and the Immune System

SUGAR depresses the immune system and lowers our immunity to diseases. Over-consumption of sugar paralyses our white blood cell’s phagocytic ability (ie its ability to engulf and absorb waste material, harmful microorganisms, or other foreign bodies in the bloodstream and tissues), increasing the risk of viral infections.

 

There are 60-400 trillion phagocytic white blood cells active in the body. White sugar causes these defenders to become sluggish in their work, thereby lowering resistance to disease.


And it doesn’t take much sugar to impair the immune system.

 

A blood sugar value of 120 is enough to reduce the phagocytic index by 75%. (“Phagocytic index” is a laboratory method of measuring how rapidly a particular macrophage or lymphocyte can gobble up a virus, bacteria, or cancer cell.)

 

Did you know:
> Refined white sugar is treated as a toxic foreign agent by the immune system because of its unnatural chemical structure and the industrial contaminants it retains from the refining process.
> It is reported that after ingesting white sugar, the power of your immune system drops 50% for 24-48 hours.
> In fact, “The average person loses more than 90% of their immune function within 15 minutes of indulging in this poisonous substance. This deficiency lasts for about 2 hours after the stress occurs.” – Dr Walt Stoll
> In a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100 grams of sugar from glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey or orange juice caused a significant decrease in the ability of white blood cells to engulf and destroy bacteria. This decrease in immune function was still present 5 hours after sugar was consumed.

 

Excerpt from CAP Guide: “How Sugar Destroys your Health”
More info: how-sugar-destroys-your-health/

CAP Urges the Malaysian Government to Ban Sand Exports

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) calls for a total ban on sand exports and revocation of approved permits (APs) issued for river sand exports. Our call is in the wake of media report that the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has so far issued 11 approved permits (APs) for river sand exports.

It was reported that AP holders are allowed to export river sand and other minerals to Brunei, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Maldives.

Data for sand exports accessed from the United Nations Statistics Division – Commodity Trade Statistics Database (COMTRADE) reveals that in 2017 total sand (HS 2017 code 2505: sands of all kinds other than metalbearing sands) exports from Malaysia amounted to 1,879,233,138kg with about 95% exported to Singapore. 

In 2018, sand exports from Malaysia saw a slight decrease to 1,693,640,785kg, whilst Singapore was once again the largest importer with 94.7% of Malaysian sand sent to our neighbour. Malaysia then decided to ban sea sand exports to Singapore during the premiership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2018. 

River sand, however, is still being exported through the issuance of APs. It is indeed disconcerting to find that our natural resources are exploited no matter who is in power. There is nary care for the environment.

With the issuance of APs for river sand exports, we are concerned about impacts on the environment and the people. With increasing local demand and exports we are also worried that sand extraction rates from the rivers would exceed natural sand replenishment rates. 

Some environmental impacts of river sand mining that we have observed and received complaints over the years are downstream erosion and related impacts such as damage to infrastructure, public property, loss of farmland and river reserves. 

The aquatic habitat is also affected due to disruption to spawning beds, nursery habitat, shellfish habitat and riparian habitat. The removal of sand from a river will alter the channel and river hydraulics, cause degradation of water quality as the river becomes more turbid. Besides other impacts to the river ecosystem, sand mining also causes resuspension of organic and toxic materials, further degrading the water quality. 

CAP has also encountered many administrative and enforcement issues relating to sand mining. Among them is that technical conditions or requirements are constantly flouted by the sand miners.  There is also a problem of monitoring to check whether operators are adhering to the technical conditions, or extraction of sand is above the allowed capacity. Then there is the issue of illegal sand mining and sand theft, some backed by organized crime. 

Rising demand for river sand and issuance of APs for sand exports will open the floodgates to more damages and these damages are irreversible. World over we need to reduce consumption, avoid unnecessary natural sand consumption in construction projects and stop wasteful use such as for reclamation and luxury projects.   

What the Malaysian government needs to do is to take cognizance that sand is a finite and limited resource. The world is running out of sand and many countries have started imposing bans on exports. Malaysia should do the same and protect our precious natural resource. Stop exporting sand just to fill the coffers of a few.

 

Letter to the Editor29 June 2020