Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

4th Industrial Revolution (4IR): doom or boom?

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) takes great concern at increasing reports of workers losing their jobs due to the advent of the “4th Industrial Revolution” (4IR), which is touted to replace many skills and functions with automation aided by software.

The laying off of employees, especially senior workforce members who have operated in their respective fields for decades, due to the introduction of automation and technology is an alarming phenomenon that has not been given due recognition.

Don’t sign revised TPP agreement, CAP calls on government

According to news reports, the 11 countries that agreed to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), without the United States, have now concluded negotiations to sign an agreement very similar to the TPPA. Malaysia is one of the 11 countries.

Yet the Malaysian public has been kept in the dark on these recent negotiations and on the new agreement.

According to news reports, the new agreement known as CPTPP, is almost the same as the TPPA, except for a few minor changes.

BANKRUPTCY CASES AILS THE NATION

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is concerned about the number of Malaysians driven to bankruptcy or on the brink of it. More than quarter of a million people – 294,000 Malaysians to be exact – are involved in bankruptcy cases. It is largely attributed to their failure to settle their hire purchase loans, credit card loans, personal loans, housing loans and social guarantors (due to errant debtors).

According to a 2013 news report, most of those bankrupts were from the 35 to 44 (34 per cent) age group. It is worrying that some 22,663 Malaysians under the age of 35 have been reported bankrupt from 2011 to September 2015. They are supposed not to be smudged by bankruptcy particularly at this point in life when they are building their career and family.

Make Public State Action Plan on Paired Road Projects

The Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) deeply regrets the approval by the Department of Environment (DOE) of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the three paired road projects on 10 November this year.

TBRA has learnt about this from the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) who were informed about the EIA approval by the DOE.We also have learnt that the Penang State Government was required by the DOE to submit an ‘Action Plan’ based on all the issues raised by the public, prior to the EIA approval and this was complied with by the State.

BE PRUDENT IN SPENDING ON SCHOOL UNIFORMS

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is very concerned not only about the rapid increase in the prices of school supplies but how parents tend to spoil their children by buying them new sets of uniform and other school supplies when school reopens.

Parents should be prudent with their spending on school items, even more so with the prices of particularly school uniforms having increased between 30 to 40 per cent as compared with last year as our survey at supermarkets and shops in Penang showed.