Jomo: Foreign political funding always raises red flag

Source: FMT News

Forum on electoral reform hears proposal to prevent caretaker government from announcing new projects and dishing out contracts during a general election campaign. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Whenever a political party receives funds amounting to billions of dollars from a foreign donor, alarm bells should be set off, economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram said.

“It’s something that we need to view seriously. These foreigners donate not because they support a party, but because they have another motive,” Jomo told a forum on electoral reform here last night.

While he did not specify any particular case, it is believed he was alluding to the RM2.6 billion that was deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts in March 2013, two months before the last general election (GE13). Read more

Envisioning “Another World”: A Public Dialogue between Muto Ichiyo and Jomo K.S.

Taken from KLSCAH Facebook page

Taken from KLSCAH Facebook page

Envisioning “Another World” : A Public Dialogue between Muto Ichiyo and Jomo K.S.

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Time: 2 PM
Venue: Auditorium at the KLSCAH 
Address :No.1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur

Languages: English

Speakers:

(1) Muto Ichiyo
Japanese activists are active in Japan. One of the founding members of the Asian Peace Alliance (Asian Peace Alliance, APA), a senior peace campaign and militarization movement, the people’s plan for the 21st century (people’s plan for the 21st century, pp21) Adviser to the Asian cultural development forum on development, acfod. In Japanese and English, the council has been translated into Chinese.

(2)佐摩 Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Malaysian Economist. The Chairman of the international research group, London, London, and the international research institute of the International Research Institute. Professor of economics, University of Malaysia, who served as the United Nations Assistant Secretary-general in 2005, was also a member of the United Nations International Monetary Fund and the financial system reform commission.

Description:

After the end of the cold war, political scholars declared “the end of history”. but the progressive movement of popular movement remains committed to the creation of a new world, the imperialist heritage of the struggle against exploitation and oppression, until years ago. At the point of the key historic turning point – Trump takes on the United States President, its European allies reject globalization, but the president of China and others are strongly committed to it. How is the world changing? How do we change the analysis? In the new world order, how can a broad range of popular alliances be established?

After the end of the Cold War, political scientists proclaimed “the end of history”. Nevertheless, progressive people’s movements continued to strive to build a new world in opposition to imperialism’s heritage of exploitation and oppression, until this momentum also began to weaken over a decade ago. We are now at a crucial historic turning point, with Trump the new US president and his friends in Europe opposing globalization, while Xi Jin Ping and others champion it. How has the world changed? How should our analysis change? How do we build a broad people’s alliance in the new world order?

FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1424506060914224/

Admission is free and welcome. Any queries, please contact the snow secretariat (03-2274 6645).

Jomo’s take on what ails the Malaysian economy

Source: The Star Online

DOES having a balanced budget really matter?

No, according to Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

The prominent economist stresses what’s important is how the Government spends its money annually to generate meaningful growth for the country’s economy. But sadly, that is something that is sorely lacking in the Malaysian context.

Not one to mince his words, Jomo says Malaysia has been running on “humdrum” budget deficits for the last two decades, without any serious effort to put the country’s economy on a sustainable growth path.

As he sees it, the country is presently mired in a political crisis that has led to a paralysis in effective economic policy making. Reform measures have somewhat stalled, and there is a self-defeating illusion that the country’s economy is moving in the right direction, and that it will become a high-income nation in the next four years.

Jomo says Malaysia needs bold leadership to implement bold measures that can take the country’s economy to the next level of growth. Read more

Discuss TPPA in public’s interest – Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Source: The Malaysian Insider

BY JOMO KWAME SUNDARAM

Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Source: IFPRI (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifpri/); taken from TPPDebate.org

Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Source: IFPRI (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifpri/); taken from TPPDebate.org

Parliament has a rare opportunity to do the right thing – first, to allow more time for careful consideration of the 6,350-page Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) document, which will have a huge impact on our collective future, and second, to unite across party lines to protect public interest for present as well as future generations of Malaysians.

Who gains how much?

Most people think the TTPA is about greater growth from freer trade. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the overly optimistic computable general equilibrium (CGE) projections, made on methodologically moot grounds, recognise that more trade does not mean more growth.

After all, freer trade not only means more exports, but also more imports. Without adequate compensatory mechanisms, nothing guarantees that all will benefit.

The net gains for growth from increased trade are difficult to estimate reliably, and depend very much on crucial assumptions made for modelling. Read more

PwC’s problematic case for the TPPA – Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Source: IFPRI (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifpri/); taken from TPPDebate.org

Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Source: IFPRI (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifpri/); taken from TPPDebate.org

As is well-known, Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) was commissioned by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) to produce one of two government commissioned studies on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The 2015 PwC Study on potential economic impact of TPPA on the Malaysian Economy and selected key economic sectors is the major reference for any serious consideration of the likely consequences of Malaysia’s participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). It therefore deserves some careful scrutiny, but a short and selective review cannot do full justice to or more importantly, the 6,350 page TPPA document itself.

The PwC study claims net economic gains for Malaysia from the TPPA on rather dubious premises. These include a GDP increase of US$107 billion to US$211 billion between 2018 and 2027, if all TPPA countries eliminate tariffs and reduce non-tariff measures (NTMs) by 25% to 50%; more than 90% of these gains are supposed to come from the reduction of NTMs.

The study was undertaken on the basis of information available before the agreement was fully negotiated in October last year. While this is crucial to recognise, it would be unfair to criticize the study for not fully anticipating the final text, and its full implications. Read more

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Fraud – Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Source: The Sun Daily

BY JOMO KWAME SUNDARAM

Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Source: IFPRI (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifpri/); taken from TPPDebate.org

Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Source: IFPRI (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifpri/); taken from TPPDebate.org

THE Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), negotiated in Atlanta in October 2015 and to be signed in Auckland in February 2016, favours foreign investors while imposing substantial costs on partner countries. Touted as a “gold standard” 21st century trade deal, it is critical to ascertain what gains can really be expected and whether these exceed costs.

Modest trade gains

Mainly using methodologically-moot computable general equilibrium (CGE) models, all studies so far project modest direct economic growth gains from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade liberalisation. Actual net gains may be even more modest, if not negative, as many assumptions in projection exercises are not in the final trade deal. Read more