Thursday, December 26, 2013

MARAH says MERS 999 misleading victims of crime

2-step my foot, says M A R A H
"... given the possible life and death nature of emergency services, MARAH calls upon MERS 999 to stop misleading the public that it is a two-step process and to publish a clarification immediately." - MARAH
You'd think that Dave Avran, the founder of citizens' crime-busting initiative M.A.R.A.H., would be thrilled with MERS 999, the government's initiative to assist victims of crime. But, nope, he isn't at all; on the contrary, he is bloody put off by MERS 999. He thinks MERS 999, developed by the Communication and Multimedia Ministry at a cost of nearly RM1 billion - yes, ONE BILLION RINGGIT* - is daylight robbery!

Avran has done two postings on the matter. Excerpts from his first posting:
SaveMe999, developed at a cost of almost RM1 billion and launched on Sept 9, is currently solely reserved for disabled persons, who need to register with their Welfare Department registration number.
This is very distressing news indeed. What do we do in the meantime when there is no direct link to PDRM? The current MERS999 emergency hotline is administered by Telekom and precious minutes are wasted by the operator’s vetting process before they decide to connect you to PDRM, Hospital, Bomba or National Defence, where the caller will again have to go through another verification process by giving name, identification number, address and nature of emergency. Not exactly the experience we would want to have to go through when we are in a distraught and panicky state. 
Quoting the latest Auditor-General's report, Avran said some 32 per cent of emergency calls made to MERS 999 had gone unanswered between Jan and Aug 2012.
That works out to roughly 7.6 million unanswered calls!
It's hard to disagree with Dave when he says:
"Even if only a minuscule 1% of these emergency calls were a life and death situation, the repercussions are truly alarming ..."
Read more SaveMe999 replaces MyDistress mobile app by Spanking the Monkey, Nov 23.
Also AG's Pembayaran Tidak Wajar, Oct 1.
Click h e r e for links to SaveMe999

In his second posting dated Dec 22, Avran reproduced a press statement issued by MARAH against MERS 999 for "misleading the public" with its newspaper advertisement. He also challenged the wisdom of using the traditional voice call method when an existing mobile app (recently ditched allegedly to make way for MERS 999 and SaveMe999) had proven to be easier and hell of a lot cheaper.

"I would like to draw your attention to the half page color advertisement on page 28 (Nation) of the Star daily newspaper dated 21st December 2013. A copy of the ad is posted above for your easy reference.
"This advertisement falsely implies that it is a two-step process to dial 999 and seek assistance in an emergency. This is in direct conflict with its own which clearly states five steps ...

* Actually it was only RM801 million


  1. Anonymous7:59 pm

    Shit load of money is wasted on shit like this while the rakyat is expected to put up with price hikes everywhere.

    Rm 801 million would have made Rais ?? a very happy man.

    How in the blue hell could someone in the Govt have approved such a hefty budget for a telephony system?

    1. Anonymous10:37 am

      And that telephony system doesn't even work!!

  2. Anonymous9:16 pm

    Whether the actual cost was high, or whether RM801 million qualifies as "nearly RM1 billion", seem to be side issues to an extent.

    Spanking D.M. goes on to say:

    "The MyDistress app which was launched in August 2011 is a mobile application that sends out a distress signal to the police when its user activates it, and has chalked up numerous success stories and even won the Malaysian government local and international recognition via the Asia Pacific Information and Communication Technology Alliance (APICTA) awards."

    I guess the best questions to ask are:

    a) Was the MyDistress app defective or not performing? It has good reviews and I remember my female friends feeling quite positive about it.

    b) Why not continue with it until such time as a replacement is found to cover everyone, not just OKU:

    c) If the MyDistress app was developed on a very minimal budget, who exactly was tasked with creating a new one for RM801 million? Which company?

    Either way I'm just hoping that profit & politics did not triumph over common sense here.

    We lose, in the end.

  3. Anonymous5:57 am

    I dont buy the crap that the Govt spend RM 1B to build up the Saveme999 mobile application. Someone is spinning here and it is obvious.

    More likely the RM1B was spent to build MERS 999 infrastructure and it was launched few years ago. Saveme999 is a free addon service, I think.

    1. Distressed10:43 am

      Anon 557am,

      Saveme999 is an apps that doesn't work, thrown in as a sweetener cum afterthought for the MERS999 behemoth, I think.

  4. Anonymous10:28 am

    Just last week at noon my wife who stopped her car at a traffic light got the shock of her life - some mat rempit gang of six threw a big brick smashing her side window trying to grab her handbag.Her Facebook friends related there were 3 similar incidents in last 3 months in same vicinity...nobody was caught yet.Grabbing handbag from behind is so yesterday, now smashing window to grab handbag is latest game, nevermind the brick can kill the lady.

  5. Anonymous11:31 am

    There is a giant, ugly lobster di sebalik this particular lump of rock.

    From that:

    "Yet another area where the A-G recommended disciplinary action and surcharges to be imposed is in the promotion and publicity of the MERS 999, due to excess payment of RM3.19 million by the ministry to TM for nothing since the ministry terminated the promotional programme in 2008."

    Celaka betui. And don't tell me that when this 3 million changed hands, nobody knew that the campaign had ended in 2008?

    It gets worse:

    A mere RM303,813 claimed by one person for a four-day trip to Geneva to "study" the 999 system. Great.

    The next time the gomen wants to raise prices and shaft us, they need to look in the mirror first.

    Sadly, a good and useful innovation for society gets killed off, just so that some idiot cronies can make a killing off an inferior replacement.

    Endless possibilities!

  6. Anonymous8:15 pm

    Bullshit after bullshit after bullshit. I am wondering still..why educated and thinking rakyat supports the gomen and ministers. These people should be shot for treason..either the rakyat got no brains or got brainwashed. Hmmm...