Alarming. Pandemic. Crisis. It's the words to sum the situation of non-communicable disease (NCD) in our country. According to National Health and Morbidity Survey of 2015, almost one out of five Malaysians has diabetes. The projection was set in 2020 but came true five years early. Other finding shows nearly half of our population are overweight -the highest prevalence in the region. According to a The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report, obesity cost our country RM4.3 - RM8.6 billion last year - an equivalent of 10 and 19 per cent of our country's healthcare spending.
The lack of physical activity coupled with unhealthy diet that comprises excessive calories, high consumption of sugar or salt among us are seen as the main contributing factor to high NCD in Malaysia. Many initiatives like social media, creating collaboration among stakeholders, awareness among people and even a new logo to help consumer choose healthier food products has been created to improve our Malaysian health. The abolishment of subsidies for sugar back in 2013 in hope to decrease sugar consumption, did not achieve its intended goal. How can we tackle the NCD pandemic more effectively? PHREAM believes the next step lies in improving the product labelling and how nutrition information is conveyed to consumers.
Melindungi Hak Pengguna dalam E-Dagang
15 Mac ialah Hari Hak-Hak Pengguna Sedunia (WCRD). Ia merupakan acara tahunan pergerakan pengguna di peringkat antarabangsa. WCRD menyatukan pergerakan pengguna sejagat melalui kempen yang sama.
Tema bagi sambutan WCRD bagi tahun 2018 ialah `Membina Dunia Digital yang Adil dan Selamat’ (Making digital marketplaces fairer). Di Malaysia pula, FOMCA telah memilih tema `Perlindungan Pengguna dalam E-Dagang’
Walaupun e-dagang membawa banyak faedah, pengguna juga terdedah kepada risiko membeli-belah dalam talian. E-dagang / membeli-belah dalam talian merupakan bilangan terbesar aduan yang diterima oleh NCCC dari tahun 2014-2016, dengan nilai kerugian berjuta juta ringgit.
KUALA LUMPUR: Consumer groups have urged the government to exclude services used by the people on a daily basis from the Services Tax, as they fear that it could lead to higher cost of living.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA) deputy president, Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, said services which cover daily necessities such as food should not be taxed.
“Take food trucks, for example. If these are taxed too, it will indirectly lead to higher food prices. The people will feel the effects.
“This is a major concern among many as cost of living is a subject close to the people’s hearts. In fact, Pakatan Harapan (PH) had before this pledged to tackle cost of living so that it doesn’t burden the people,” he said.
Mohd Yusof said the government need to review the list of taxable services as it could have a direct impact on the people.
Pertubuhan Mesra Pengguna Malaysia (PMPM) deputy president, Azlin Othman, shared the same view and urged the government to review the list of taxable services.
“Even though the GST (Goods and Services Tax) is now zero-rated, the prices of goods including food have yet to go down. My concern is that if they are not exempted, the prices of goods will continue to rise,” she said.
She said if the government is keen on implementing the tax, then tax on services used by the people daily should be reduced to one per cent, as opposed to the proposed six per cent.
“The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry should also play a more serious role in monitoring traders to ensure that they do not take advantage of the situation to the extent that it burdens the people,” she said.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, in tabling the Services Tax 2018 bill for its second reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday, said services which would undergo improvements and tax unformity measures include restaurants which also encompass catering, takeaways, food trucks and others.
However, such businesses would only be taxed if they generate annual sales of RM1 million.
FOMCA fully supports the concrete actions of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to address the pressing cost of living issues being faced by consumers, especially low and middle income consumers. Firstly, a full market review of the food supply chain needs to be undertaken. The analysis would indicate the extent of monopolistic behaviours, either through local players in the local food supply chain or through the approved permits systems for imported foods. Next, the government should use the full provisions of the Competition Act, 2010, to take stern actions against traders or groups of traders in the supply chain practicing any form of monopolistic behaviour to manipulate and overcharge consumers to make excessive profits. Similarly, all food approved permits for imported need to be eliminated to promote free trade that would ensure lower prices, higher quality and more choices for consumers. The Ministry had reported that 297 companies were holding APs for importing food items. It is time to eliminate this practice, once and for all.
Next, the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act, 2010, needs to be strictly enforced to ensure that all forms of price manipulation and overcharging of consumers, to make excessive profits, is eliminated. Traders certainly have the right to “normal” profits; however, making excessive profits for essential foods will result in great suffering to especially low income consumers.
The Ministry can also further examine and strengthen the Pasar Malam/Pagi mechanism to facilitate the direct movement of food from farmer to consumer. Through eliminating the middle-men and their exploitative practices, farmers benefit from higher prices and consumers benefit through fresher goods and lower prices.
Further, Malaysia needs to take concrete steps to increase food production to be more self-sufficient. Malaysia’s food import bill has been steadily increasing, form RM 26.3 billion in 2009 to RM 45.4 billion in 2015. Previously, there has been an excessive focus on cash crops such as oil palm and rubber. Food production has often been neglected. Malaysia thus is only self-sufficient in chicken, fish, eggs and pork. Thus all the other essential foods are imported. Further, animal feed is also heavily imported affecting the price of the sold farm animals. There thus needs to be serious attempts to ensure food availability and food affordability. The government needs to re-emphasise the production of food in Malaysia to bring down the costs of living.
The government should also focus on consumer education to empower consumers to change their attitude, skills and knowledge to be more prudent consumers. Focus should also be on financial education to empower consumers to better manage their consumption, savings and their credit.
Addressing the cost of living is the responsibility of both the government and the consumers. The government needs to undertake programs and policies to bring down the costs while consumers need to better manage their consumption and better manage their finances in this challenging economic environment.
“E-wastes” are broken, non-working or obsolete electric and electronic appliance.
Electrical and electronic waste is growing exponentially worldwide because of tremendous growth of demands and a high obsolescence rate on the use of electrical and electronic equipment. Globally, 50 million metric tons of e-waste is estimated to be generated in 2018 (Baldé C.P. et al, 2015). Meanwhile, based on the projection made by Ministry of Environment Japan (MOEJ) the total amount discarded E-waste will be increased by an average of 14% annually in Malaysia, and by the year 2020, a total of 1.17 billion units or 21.38 million tons of E-waste will be generated.
As reported by WHO, the total amount of e-waste produced is exponentially increasing because of multiple and interlinked factors which are development, technology, human mentality and population. Apart from that, one of the major factor of growing e-waste problem is the short lifespan of most electronic products which is less than
Every major festivals in Malaysia such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas Day, the townspeople will return to their respective villages. This will lead to increased demand for water supply in the area. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) in June 2017, water supply during the festive season will increase dramatically five to six times more than usual. Preparatory activities in celebration of festivities are also a factor in increasing water demand.
The problem of water disruption during the festive seasons is an issue that has been delayed and no solid solution has been implemented. Almost many states experienced similar problems, including Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor, Pahang, Perak, Johor and Negeri Sembilan.
Among the cases that have happened are as follows:
We often talked about carbon footprint but have we ever heard or talked about water footprint? Water footprint measure the amount of water required to produce all the goods and services consumed by the individual or community, a nation or all of humanity. This includes direct water use (such as for drinking and cleaning) as well as indirect use (the water required to produce goods and services). A water footprint has three components: green, blue, and grey. The green water footprint is the volume of green water (rainwater) consumed, which is particularly relevant in crop production. The blue water footprint refers to consumption of blue water resources (surface and ground water). The grey water footprint is the amount of fresh water required to assimilate pollutants to meet specific water quality standards. It is also an indicator of the degree of freshwater.
Everything we eat, sell, buy and use requires water. Even to produce clothes and growing plants and rice require a voluminous amount of water. Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME), 2016 has reported that to produce 1kg of rice requires 2,497 litres meanwhile according to The Logical Indian, 2017 up to 11000 litres of water are used to produce a pair of jeans.
It is vital for us to be concerned of water footprint as it could help us to understand for what purposes our limited freshwater resources are being consumed and polluted. As the world population is growing, the need for fresh water is growing too. Thus, it is a must for every country to keep water footprint at low level. If we don’t take measures, soon we will be running short of fresh water. Experts predicted that
As reported by The World Counts on April, 2014 we use 10 billion tons of freshwater worldwide on daily basis. Furthermore, according to the Second UN World Water Development Report, if present levels of consumption continue, two-thirds of the global population will live in areas of water stress by 2025. In addition, human demand for water increases along with the number of world population growth and coupled with the disastrous impact of climate change will worsen the water scarcity crisis. This tightens the competition for water amongst agricultural, industrial, and human consumption. With the current situation, our water supply is definitely not secure enough in the future. As recently reported by WHO and UNICEF, there are still 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home. What will happen to them if this current trend of water consumption prolonged until 2025?
Added to this, the changes in human lifestyle and activities are the main factor of water scarcity crisis. The changes in human lifestyle and activities require more water per capita. According to MWIG 2017, domestic water consumption per capita per day in 2015 – 2016 was 209 liters, which is still above from Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) goal which is 180 liters by 2020.
Malaysian current domestic water consumption is literally high mainly due to
Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather," or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). According to Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD), the characteristic features of the climate of Malaysia are uniform temperature, high humidity and copious rainfall. Winds are generally light. Climate change is a change in Earth's overall climate which means could be a change in Earth's average temperature or could be a change in Earth's precipitation patterns.
The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era and of human civilization. average temperature has risen a little more than one degree Fahrenheit during the past 100 years or so. However, a small changes in Earth's average temperature can lead to big impacts.
The Earth is currently facing the impact of climate change. The melting of ice, the rise of sea level, the extreme weather, drought, massive floods, the changing of rainfall patterns and growing seasons are the impacts of climate change. Climate change has
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