TPP might be sealed in February, reveals Najib

Source: The Malaysian Insider

tppa_graphic_bahasa_101015The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could be sealed in New Zealand in February, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said this was stated by New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Phillip Key during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 23th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders Summit in Manila.

“Key also informed me that there is a possibility that this agreement will be signed in New Zealand in early February if, in the context of Malaysia, parliament were to give its approval,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the 12 TPP member countries met for the first time after the trade pact’s text was made public.

The meeting was hosted by US President Barack Obama. Read more

Final text, analysis will help dispel fear of TPP, says Najib

Source: The Malaysian Insider

tppa_graphic_bahasa_101015The final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) coupled with the government’s cost-benefit analysis to be tabled to the Cabinet next week will help dispel fear of the trade pact, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“I think there is a lot of disinformation that has been spread around. The introduction and dissemination of the final text will help allay or correct disinformation and secondly, the cost-benefit analysis that will be presented to the cabinet next week will certainly help,” he said.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said it was not new for people to oppose trade pacts.

“It has happened before to our FTA (free-trade agreement) deal with Japan, but after (the pact was signed) our trade with Japan has increased. Same goes to FTA with Turkey, bilateral trade has jumped by 40% as a result.

“So, you can see without exception, all bilateral and multilateral (trade agreements) have resulted in significant increase in total trade,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Manila today. Read more

Baram dam on hold for now, says Sarawak CM

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem says while the Baram Dam project is put on hold for now, he hopes that those who oppose the project will not regret their decision in the future. — The Rakyat Post File pic

The Sarawak government has decided for now to put on hold the controversial Baram hydroelectric dam in Baram, Miri, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

He said this was because the people in Baram did not welcome the project. Read more

What APEC means to poor people in Asia — Cherian Mathews

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY CHERIAN MATHEWS

An opinion piece - file pic

An opinion piece – file pic

NOVEMBER 18 — Manila is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting, which is going to be attended by prominent world leaders. For Oxfam, this is a good time for APEC leaders to re-examine the prevailing development and economic paradigm that has increased the wealth of a handful while millions remain in poverty, creating a landscape of staggering inequality.

Steady economic growth in most of the countries across Asia in the last quarter of this century has created jobs, new wealth and reduced poverty.

But a study from the Asian Development Bank(ADB) found that inequality in the region between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s has risen by as much as 18 per cent and that 1.6 billion people continue to live on less than US$2 (RM8.77) a day.

Gini coefficient — a common inequality measure — has worsened during 1990s and 2000s in the countries where more than 80 per ent of the population lived in Asia. That inequality increased in the midst of the region’s much vaunted economic growth means that something is amiss. Read more

Suhakam urges moratorium on executions pending death penalty review

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam is hoping Putrajaya also reviews all criminal laws to ensure that any death penalty that could be imposed is only applied for the most serious crimes. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 18, 2015.

Lauding Putrajaya’s plan to abolish the mandatory death penalty in drug-related offences, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) urged for a moratorium on all executions for the time being.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam also urged for the proposed amendments to the law to be taken to Parliament soon.

In a statement, Hasmy described the government’s plan as a positive development that will bring Malaysia’s position on the issue closer to many countries that have  abolished the mandatory death sentence in recent years.

“The commission recommends that the government consider acceding to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its Second Optional Protocol, and to aim towards the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia, joining approximately 140 of the 193 United Nations Member States that have abolished the death penalty or introduced moratoriums, either in law or in practice,” Hasmy added.

He also suggested that the government review all criminal laws to ensure that the death penalty, if imposed, is applicable only to the most serious crimes as defined by Article 6(2) of the ICCPR. Read more

1MDB critics out on bail as court rules against SOSMA use

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan (left) was detained since September 23 under anti-terrorism law SOSMA after a global tour to solicit investigations by other countries into 1MDB. ― MMO File pic

Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan (left) was detained since September 23, 2015 under anti-terrorism law SOSMA after a global tour to solicit investigations by other countries into 1MDB. His lawyer Matthias Chang was detained later on October 8, 2015 under the same law ― MMO File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 ― The High Court here today found that the sabotage charge against two critics of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) did not fall under the purview of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin said that the security law was passed without the intention to include cases on banking and financial services, and granted former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang bail at RM10,000 each with a single surety.

Khairudin’s lawyer, Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said that he expected the deputy public prosecutor to file an appeal but was glad for the decision today.

“What is most important right now is that both Datuk Khairuddin and Matthias Chang have been released today on bail,” he told reporters here. Read more

Roundup on Budget 2016 – Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4)

Source: The Malaysian Insider

 

Anti-graft group gives Budget 2016 low marks for transparency, best practices

Malaysia gets low marks in budget transparency, the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said in an analysis of Budget 2016, saying Putrajaya failed to produce three out of eight accompanying documents recommended by international standards.

The documents were a pre-budget statement, a citizens’ budget and a mid-year review report, C4 said.

C4’s analysis also found a lack of mechanisms to enable public and civil society participation in the budget setting process and monitoring of its implementation. Read more