29 August 2014: The Crucial C – Consumer rights

We need to create a new paradign of development and happiness that can generate a three-dimensional peace — with ourselves, with other people and with mother earth.

Consumer Power“…We are a force for a better, kinder and happier world.”

One tends to run the risk of oversimplification when trying to describe a man like Anwar Fazal. First, it’s a name that most Penangites should know of: Anwar is, after all, one of the island’s most famous and colourful personalities. Second, it’s a global name long associated with proactive consumer and environmental movements.

Mother Earth News describes Anwar as probably the most influential figure in the worldwide consumer movement, a ‘whole earth’ coalition of citizens dedicated to helping protect the health of our babies and our bodies, and the conditions of our air, water, and land. For those personally acquainted with Anwar, that claim, lofty as it sounds, is not without merit! From his early days as a homegrown consumer activist, later moving on to the international arena, receiving the Right Livelihood Award and now the Director of the Right Livelihood College, Anwar is a veritable fountain of knowledge and experience. And in Consumer Power: Anywhere, Anytime, Anyone, Anwar shares his wisdom and his wit via a series of speeches and articles from 1974 to 2011.fazal mug

Anwar is a gifted writer, anecdotist and storyteller rolled into one; he often blurs the lines between one and the other (without conflating the issue) to make his ideas more accessible and people-friendly. The 20 articles featured in this book – even if they cover serious issues – are a joy to read, to ponder upon and to challenge us into taking action. They have the power to educate, to enlighten and to reform.

World Consumer Rights Day falls on March 15.