TPP text released confirms deadly impact of access to medicines in Malaysia — Malaysian AIDS Council

Source: The Malay Mail Online

NOVEMBER 5 — The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a plurilateral trade agreement involving 12 countries including Malaysia and led by the United States. It contains 30 chapters, but only 4-5 of these pertain to traditional trade matters. The chapter that is of the most concern to the Malaysian AIDS Council is the intellectual property chapter. With the release of the finalised text today by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we as an organisation are horrified to note the confirmation of our very worst fears — that these provisions will put generic medicines out of the hands of patients all over Malaysia and decimate the public health budget. Read more

TPP members ensure no unnecessary barriers to trade

Source: The Malay Mail Online

tppa_graphic_bahasa_101015KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The 12 members of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have ensured that technical regulations and standards will not create unnecessary barriers to trade.

According to the final text of the TPPA released today, the parties, under the technical barriers and trade chapter, have agreed to rules that will make it easier for companies to access TPP markets.

“Under the TPP, parties are required to allow the public to comment on proposed technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures to inform their regulatory processes.

The TPP also includes regulation of specific sectors to promote common regulatory approaches across the TPP region, including, among others, cosmetics, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, the Trade Remedies chapter said transparency and due process in trade remedy proceedings would be promoted but it will not affect members’ rights and obligations under the World Trade Organisation. Read more

MITI: TPPA to include core obligations from WTO

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will include core obligations found in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other trade agreements on national treatment, most-favoured nation treatment and market access, among others.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said chapter 10 of the final TPPA text specified that the TPP parties accepted the obligations on a “negative-list basis.”

This means that their markets are fully open to services suppliers from TPP member countries, except where they have taken an exception, it added.  Read more

TPP members to ensure framework of fair competition in region

Source: The Malay Mail Online

tppa_graphic_bahasa_101015KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The Trans-Pacific Partnership parties will ensure a framework of fair competition in the region through rules that require the parties to maintain legal regimes.

This includes prohibiting anti-competitive business conduct, as well as fraudulent and deceptive commercial activities that harm consumers.

According to the final text of the TPPA, released today by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), it said the TPP parties have agreed to adopt or maintain national competition laws that proscribe anti-competitive business conduct and work to apply these laws to all commercial activities in their territories.

“To ensure that such laws are effectively implemented, TPP parties agree to establish or maintain authorities responsible for the enforcement of national competition laws, and adopt or maintain laws or regulations that proscribe fraudulent and deceptive commercial activities that cause harm or potential harm to consumers,” it said.

It said the parties agreed to cooperate on matters of mutual interest related to competition activities.  Read more

TPP outlines areas of collaboration among members

Source: The Malay Mail Online

tppa_graphic_bahasa_101015KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — Broad-based economic growth, including sustainable development, poverty reduction, and promotion of small businesses are among the three specific areas of collaboration outlined once the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes into force.

According to the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement released today, the trade pact also spells out collaborative work on women and economic growth.

It said these include helping women build capacity and skills, enhancing women’s access to markets, obtaining technology and financing, establishing women’s leadership networks, and identifying best practices in workplace flexibility.

The agreement also calls for collaborative work on education, science and technology, research, and innovation.

It said a TPP Development Committee would be established and meet regularly to promote voluntary cooperative work in these areas and new opportunities as they arise.  Read more

Trade pact confirms our worst fears, says anti-TPP group

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement group Bantah TPPA says the deal will affect access to affordable medicines. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 5, 2015.

The finalised texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement confirm its worst fears about allowing a select few driven by multinational commercial interests to establish a deal behind closed doors, a group against the trade deal said today.

Bantah TPPA said the deal would jeopardise access to affordable medicines, adding that its concerns regarding the agreement had not been overblown.

“[The intellectual property chapter] enables drug companies to press for patent term extensions beyond the standard 20 years and compensate for any ‘unreasonable’ time a patent office or drug regulatory authority takes to approve a patent application or grant marketing approval,” the group’s chairman Mohd Nizam Mahshar said in a statement today. Read more

Government to unseal TPPA details soon, trade minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 ― The full text of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that has been shrouded in secrecy will soon be made public, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Members of the public will be able to access the documents on his ministry’s website, he said, adding that he hoped to upload them all within the next 24 hours.

“The full text will be made public… maybe in the next 24 hours. Read more

Sister of Sarawakian on death row thanks Singapore activists, asked where’s Malaysia?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Kho Jabing was scheduled to hang tomorrow but was awarded a temporary reprieve less than 24 hours to the executive after his lawyer filed a criminal motion at the Singaporean Court of Appeal. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 ― Relieved that her brother Kho Jabing has been spared the hangman’s noose temporarily, Sarawakian Jumai Kho thanked today a Singaporean human rights group for their help in securing a stay of execution.

Jumai said she was overwhelmed to know that the Singaporean group had fought hard to save her brother’s life, and questioned why the Malaysian government had refused to do anything for Jabing despite him being a citizen of this country.

“We are relieved of course. We couldn’t sleep or eat last night. How can we? He’s our brother.

“But now there is still a bit of hope..and if it is not for the Singaporeans. They fought really hard for my brother despite him being Malaysian. What about our own government? Shouldn’t they be doing something to help their own kind?” Jamui told Malay Mail Online when contacted. Read more

Warga Sarawak beri ibu S$12.80 sebelum jalani hukuman gantung

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Perkara pertama Kho Jabing buat apabila ibu dan kakaknya tiba dari Miri, Sarawak untuk melawatnya di penjara di Singapura minggu lepas, ialah memberi mereka satu-satunya harta miliknya – S$12.80 (RM38.50) hasil kerjanya selama 8 tahun sebagai banduan.

“Bila dia nampak kami, dia beri kami wang itu, dan katanya, ini pemberian pertama dan terakhir darinya,” kata adik Jabing, Jumai.

Jabing, 31, dijadualkan menjalani hukuman gantung di Singapura pada waktu subuh esok.

“Dia bekerja untuk mendapatkan wang itu selama 8 tahun dalam penjara, dan dia menyimpan wang itu supaya dia boleh memberikan sesuatu kepada ibu kami,” kata Jumai kepada The Malaysian Insider dalam temu bual telefon lewat Rabu.

Jumai berada di Singapura dengan ibunya sejak 26 Oktober selepas mereka mendapat tahu peluang terakhir Jabing untuk menerima pengampunan ditolak. Read more

US defends human trafficking report, Malaysia’s ranking in question

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Graves of human trafficking victims found in Wang Kelian, Perlis. House of Representatives subcommittee has grilled US State Department officials about the Trafficking in Persons report, which Malaysia’s ranking was improved. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, November 5, 2015.

This year’s US State Department human trafficking report was not watered down because of concerns about how it might affect trade deals or diplomatic relations, State Department officials said late yesterday.

Members of a House of Representatives subcommittee grilled State officials at a hearing about the Trafficking in Persons report, which has raised concerns that politics trumped human rights in the rankings of countries such as Malaysia and Cuba. Read more