Obama claims positive relationship between Trans-Pacific Partnership and human rights in Malaysia

Source: Politifact
First published on August 5, 2016

Trying to rally support for the oft-criticized Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama said it will go a long way to improving human rights conditions across the globe.

Specifically, he said during a press conference with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Loong, it will curb human trafficking in Malaysia.

“The same is true for things like human trafficking, where we’ve got a country like Malaysia taking really serious efforts to crack down on human trafficking,” Obama said. “Why? Because TPP says you need to.”

We’ve rated two other claims from this press conference (a Mostly True on tariff cuts and a Half True on Vietnamese labor rights). Here, we look at the situation on the ground in Malaysia. Read more

Badan hak asasi minta Obama gesa Najib bebaskan Anwar

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

HRWlogoSebuah badan hak asasi manusia antarabangsa menyeru Presiden Amerika Syarikat (AS) Barack Obama menggunakan sidang kemuncak AS-Asean yang akan datang untuk menggesa Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak membebaskan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dari penjara dan menggugurkan semua tuduhan ke atasnya yang bermotifkan politik.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) berkata, jemputan kepada Najib untuk menghadiri sidang kemuncak itu, yang akan diadakan di Amerika Syarikat (AS) minggu depan, menimbulkan kemarahan di kalangan masyarakat sivil Malaysia.

“Presiden Obama tidak boleh berurusan seperti biasa dengan Najib pada sidang kemuncak AS-Asean itu,” kata Phil Robertson, timbalan pengarah HRW di Asia, dalam satu kenyataan hari ini sempena memperingati ulang tahun pertama pemenjaraan Anwar esok. Read more

US, Southeast Asia work on ending human trafficking

Source: The Malaysian Insider

US President Barack Obama says certain conditions in TPP are to ensure partners put in place measures to prevent activities linked to human trafficking. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 22, 2015.

The United States is working closely with countries in Southeast Asia on mechanism to end human trafficking in the region, said President Barack Obama.

Describing human trafficking as a critical problem, Obama said Washington took up the matter seriously with dedicated agencies back home to solve the problem.

He added that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, involving 12 countries, including Malaysia also touched on the importance of advancing human rights.

The president said this before leaving Malaysia after attending the 3rd Asean-US Summit as well as the 10th East Asia Summit on the sidelines of the 27th Asean Summit hosted by Malaysia.

Obama, who was in the city for three days since Friday, said the requirements on human rights underlined in the TPP were to ensure that prospective partners put in place measures to prevent activities linked to human trafficking. Read more

Civil society, free press important for country to thrive, Obama tells Najib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Civil society activists sit down to a meeting with US President Barack Obama (right) at his hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Civil society activists sit down to a meeting with US President Barack Obama (right) at his hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — A developed civil society and free press are important markers that reflect the development of a country, US President Barack Obama said today.

The world leader said he has emphasised the importance of civil society and press to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, after a rare meeting here yesterday with some of Malaysia’s civil society leaders and voiced the US government’s support for their work.

“I also emphasised to PM Najib the importance of civil society and free press,” he told a news conference during the Asean Summit here.

He added that while the US does not expect every country to follow its standards, a certain basic level should be met.

“Every country here has different levels and stages of development both socially and economically.

“We don’t expect that everybody follows the same pattern the US does, but there are some basic principles that are important for us to uphold, as friends and partners to the countries that we are talking to,” he said.

Obama has described Malaysia as a country with diverse faiths and cultures that will benefit from allowing a multitude of voices to be heard, after meeting several prominent civil society activists, including National Human Rights Society president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, electoral reforms watchdog chief Maria Chin Abdullah, anti-graft group C4 director Cynthia Gabriel, and Nisha Ayub from the Justice for Sisters group. Read more

At meeting with Maria Chin, Ambiga, NGO leaders, Obama says US backs their ‘work’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Civil society activists sit down to a meeting with US President Barack Obama (right) at his hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Civil society activists sit down to a meeting with US President Barack Obama (centre) at his hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — US President Barack Obama today expressed support for the efforts by civil society groups here, when he met leaders from several Malaysian organisations at the US embassy today.

In the rare meeting that included Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, Negaraku patron Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, C4 director Cynthia Gabriel, and Nisha Ayub from the Justice for Sisters group, among others, Obama described Malaysia as a country with diverse faiths and cultures that will benefit from allowing a multitude of voices to be heard.

“Many of you civil society groups are concerned about any constrictions on civil liberties and civil rights, and also in expanding the boundaries of civil society so that people here in Malaysia and around the region are able to have their voices heard.

“We very much appreciate the work that they do. One of the reasons I want to meet with them is to send a clear message that the US stands behind the important work that they are doing on a day-to-day basis,” he said in opening statements at the meeting.

Obama stated that the US firmly believed that having a strong civil society was necessary to achieve more accountable governance, and that it was his country’s policy to meet leaders of such groups during his trips abroad.

He also described Malaysia as make remarkable advances in the areas of freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly, among others. Read more

Standard anti rasuah TPPA tinggi, jadikan negara bertanggungjawab, kata Obama

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Presiden Amerika Syarikat (AS) Barack Obama menyampaikan ucapan beliau menekankan kepentingan TPPA di Asean Business and Investment Summit di Kuala Lumpur hari ini. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Najjua Zulkefli, 21 November, 2015.

Presiden Amerika Syarikat (AS) Barack Obama mengatakan hari ini Perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPPA) mempunyai standard anti rasuah paling kuat berbanding perjanjian perdagangan lain.

Berucap pada Persidangan Perniagaan dan Pelaburan Asean 2015 di Kuala Lumpur Obama berkata, ini akan menyebabkan negara terlibat menjadi lebih bertanggungjawab.

“Ia mensyaratkan negara terlibat mempunyai undang-undang anti rasuah termasuk memberi rasuah kepada penjawat awam.

“Ia mensyaratkan negara terlibat menguatkuasakan undang-undang ini,” katanya.

Obama turut menggambarkan perjanjian itu sebagai mempunyai standard paling tinggi berbanding perjanjian perdagangan lain.

“Bukan sahaja ia akan mewujudkan peluang pekerjaan, ia juga akan mewujudkan undang-undang perdagangan lebih kuat bagi Asia Pasifik,” katanya. Read more

LGBT rights, same-sex marriage should be respected by state, says Obama

Source: The Malaysian Insider

US president answering questions from youths at the Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur last night. He says marriage as a civil institution by the state should be available to everybody, not just some. – Reuters pic, November 21, 2015.

US president Barack Obama explained same-sex marriage law to young leaders from Southeast Asia at a town hall session in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, saying that government policy on civil marriage should be equal for all persons.

People of different sexual orientation deserved respect and dignity “like everyone else,” he said when answering a question from a bisexual youth from Thailand, named Dara, who asked if anyone should be sent to jail for their sexual orientation.

“The simple answer to that is no,” Obama said to applause from a crowd of about 500 youths representing 10 Asean countries under the US Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).

Obama said that while people had their own religious and cultural traditions, no one should force anyone to behave in a certain way.

“Part of the point we made in this debate was, if a church or mosque or temple does not want to recognise those marriages, they shouldn’t be forced to have to marry somebody contrary to their religious beliefs.

“But marriage as a civil institution by the state should be available to everybody, not just some. Read more

Perjanjian TPPA berimbang, baik untuk semua, kata Obama

Sumber: The Malay Mail Online

tppa_graphic_bahasa_101015KUALA LUMPUR, 20 Nov — Perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPPA), yang kini dalam proses untuk diluluskan oleh setiap 12 negara peserta, merupakan perjanjian yang seimbang, yang mengambil kira manfaat setiap orang, kata Presiden Amerika Syarikat (AS) Barack Obama.

Menjawab kebimbangan beberapa pihak mengenai TPPA, beliau berkata dokumen persetujuan itu sudah dimuat naik dalam laman web, dan setiap orang memperoleh akses untuk membaca setiap bab sebelum ia disahkan, tertakluk kepada penerimaan atau ditolak oleh setiap parlimen negara yang terlibat.

“Perkara yang saya katanya ialah secara umumnya, dalam persekitaran baharu global, perubahan berlaku setiap masa dan sudah menjadi prinsip dan nilai saya bahawa kami akan memastikan perubahan itu baik untuk rakyat biasa.

“(Selain itu), ia baik untuk peladang, penuntut yang masih muda, baik untuk wanita, baik untuk negara membangun, dan saya tidak percaya bahawa kita perlu berhenti untuk berubah,” katanya menjawap soalan yang dikemukakan pada sesi townhall bersama alumni Inisiatif Pemimpin Muda Asia Tenggara Asia (YSEALI) di kampus Taylor’s University Lakeside, di sini hari ini. Read more

Obama defends TPPA, says drug prices will come down

Source: The Malaysian Insider

US President Barack Obama says there must be protection for certain drugs as no one would invent new products without intellectual property protection. – Reuters pic, November 20, 2015.

US President Barack Obama defended his Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) against accusations that it is an elitist deal by a young Malaysian participant at the town hall session today.

He said from a drug pricing perspective, the deal was done in such a way as to ensure that it protected the need for generic drugs for lower income people.

Obama said it was understandable that people had expressed concerns over the drugs patents, given that the US pharmaceutical industry was prominent across the world.

However, he said there needed to be some protection for certain drugs because without intellectual property protection, nobody was going to invent new drugs. Read more