Putrajaya still pursuing TPP, says Mustapa

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), outside the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur on August 23, 2013. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

THE government will still pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) showing progress.

International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the TPP is still relevant to the country and discussions are moving in tandem with the RCEP.

“We have spent a lot of time and invested a lot of money in the TPP and also reached a final agreement (for the pact) before it was abandoned.

“We are still looking at alternatives and discussing with other TPP countries on the agreement. There will be a meeting to be hosted by Australia regarding this matter next month,” he said today. Read more

US human trafficking report a farce, says Santiago

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A DAP MP has criticised the United States’ Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report following Malaysia’s improved rating for the second consecutive year although no significant action has been taken since the discovery of human trafficking camps and mass graves near the Malaysia-Thailand border two years ago.

In the recently released 2017 TIP report, Malaysia was upgraded from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2.

Last year, Malaysia was upgraded to the Tier 2 Watch List from Tier 3, at a time when the US was pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that would have included Malaysia and 10 other countries.

Speaking to FMT, Charles Santiago said the TIP report has become a farce driven by political objectives.

He said it was a “major disservice” to the fight against human trafficking.

“It has been two years since the discovery of the migrant camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian in Perlis, yet no Malaysian nationals have been convicted and the report acknowledges this,” added the Klang MP. Read more

Anti-TPP groups withdraw lawsuit following trade deal’s collapse

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Tindakan 3 NGO memfailkan semakan kehakiman pada November lepas tidak dapat diadili kerana mahkamah tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa mendengar dan membuat keputusan mengenai TPPA yang masih belum ditandatangani. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 12 Januari, 2016.

Tindakan 3 NGO memfailkan semakan kehakiman pada November lepas tidak dapat diadili kerana mahkamah tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa mendengar dan membuat keputusan mengenai TPPA yang masih belum ditandatangani. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 12 Januari, 2016.

PUTRAJAYA, March 16 ― Three groups opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement today dropped their lawsuit to halt Malaysia from joining the free-trade deal.

The US, which spearheaded the negotiations, and Malaysia have both decided to pull out from the 12-nation pact.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla informed the Federal Court that his clients instructed the withdrawal of the lawsuit as the matter was now academic.

“First by withdrawal of US from the TPP on January 23, 2017 and the second one (is) where our own minister of trade just two days ago had in Parliament confirmed that as the terms of agreement as it stands, Malaysia is not keen to proceed,” he told the court.

The Federal Court panel chaired by the Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif struck out the application and made no order as to costs, as the government’s senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan had agreed not to seek any.

The two other judges on the panel are Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop and Datuk Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham. Read more

Rekindling Tunku’s commitment to liberty and justice — Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY TUNKU ZAIN Al-‘ABIDIN

opinion-clipart-k12118272FEBRUARY 10 — Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj declared in the Proclamation of Independence of the Federation of Malaya, and then the Proclamation of Malaysia, that this nation of ours will “forever be a nation based on the principles of liberty and justice”.

Right from the beginning, liberty and justice were the twin principles that were to inspire our nation — sentiments repeated across his many speeches and writings, as well as those of other leaders of the era such as Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman or Datuk Mohamad Said.

The Rukunegara talks about “guaranteeing a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions.”  Those who fail to realise these values are the founding philosophy of our country should read the documents instead of distorting and misinterpreting selected words of the Constitution.

Unfortunately, politicians everywhere have lost the ability to lead, and have instead succumbed to winning simply through populism, as the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump have shown.  My fear is that we will see a greater lurch towards populism as we get closer to the 14th General Election.

Exploiting ethnic and religious tensions is among the easiest ways to make political gains, notwithstanding helpful electoral boundaries and privileged access to media which will pliantly obscure the elephants in the room. Read more

US’ withdrawal no cause for celebration with Malaysia’s anti-TPPA groups

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Protesters holding a TPPA protest poster and candles while sitting on the road at the entrance of Komplex Pejabat Kerajaan Jalan Duta, on February 13, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Protesters holding a TPPA protest poster and candles while sitting on the road at the entrance of Komplex Pejabat Kerajaan Jalan Duta, on February 13, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Although initially opposed to Malaysia joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), local critics are not rejoicing over the United States’ withdrawal from the 12-nation free trade deal, cautioning instead that the trade pact may be revived or survive in other forms.

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, president of anti-TPPA group Persatuan Teras Pendidikan dan Kebajikan Malaysia (Teras), indicated that it was still unclear if the TPPA deal is truly called off just because the US decided to pull out.

“For me I’m not celebrating anything yet, as government has already started process of ratifying, the government have to announce what has been amended and how far we have gone, because we may have done some changes, amending policies and laws even though TPPA dysfunction.

“Now we only heard from America that it is withdrawing, but the other 11 partners they are just saying without US, it’s not workable. Have they actually dissolved it, have they actually come out with official statement of status of TPPA?” he said, questioning if the deal would dissolve on its own or if steps would have to be taken to officially dismantle it.

Noting that the agreements with the US allegedly tend to be biased towards the influential economic superpowers’ interests, he said Teras is urging the Malaysian government to stop any amendment of policies and laws in the country’s bid to bring them in line with the TPPA and to restore them to the pre-TPPA position. Read more

Jika TPPA gagal, Malaysia teruskan perdagangan bebas

Sumber: FMT News

Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed berkata keutamaan akan diberikan dalam mengukuhkan integrasi ekonomi dalam Asean dan berusaha memuktamadkan Kerjasama Ekonomi Komprehensif Serantau.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia akan mengkaji kemungkinan untuk meneruskan Perjanjian Perdagangan Bebas (FTA) 2 hala dengan ahli Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPP) yang berkaitan jika TPPA tidak menjadi kenyataan, kata Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

FMT News file pic

FMT News file pic

Mustapa berkata negara juga akan memberi keutamaan dalam mengukuhkan integrasi ekonomi dalam Asean dan berusaha untuk memuktamadkan Kerjasama Ekonomi Komprehensif Serantau (RCEP).

Mustapa, yang mengetuai delegasi Malaysia ke mesyuarat tahunan Forum Ekonomi Dunia, di Davos, Switzerland dari 17-20 Januari, berkata demikian ketika ditanya mengenai strategi Malaysia jika TPPA tidak menjadi kenyataan pada majlis makan tengah hari perniagaan di sini.

Majlis tersebut dihadiri pelabur antarabangsa yang berpotensi dan sedia ada daripada pelbagai sektor dan negara anjuran bersama Khazanah Nasional Bhd dan Lembaga Pembangunan Pelaburan Malaysia (MIDA).

Berdasarkan sentimen dasar perlindungan yang meningkat di beberapa negara, menteri itu memberi jaminan kepada masyarakat antarabangsa Malaysia kekal terbuka kepada perniagaan.

“Pelaburan asing memainkan peranan penting dalam pembangunan ekonomi kami dan kami akan terus mengalu-alukan pelaburan berkualiti tinggi, terutamanya dalam subsektor pemangkin seperti bahan kimia, elektrik dan elektronik, jentera dan peralatan, selain bidang pertumbuhan lain yang berpotensi tinggi termasuk aeroangkasa, peranti perubatan dan ekonomi digital,” katanya. Read more

Ratu Naga to face trial for online insult after losing constitutional challenge bid

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Facing the law: Syarul Ema Rena leaving the Sepang Sessions Court. Pic taken from The Star Online

Syarul Ema Rena, pic taken from The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — The Sessions Court today dismissed Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah’s bid to proceed with her constitutionality challenge of a law criminalising online insults.

Her lawyer Melissa Sasidaran said her client, who is more popularly known as Ratu Naga, had applied to refer her constitutionality challenge to the High Court.

“The Sessions Court judge rejected our application so the case is now going for trial,” she told Malay Mail Online today.

“The judge said the application was premature because the trial hasn’t begun and the judge referred to the Federal Court case of Adam Adli, Fariz Musa, Mandeep Singh, Maria Chin,” she added. Read more

Minister: Malaysia ready to face possibility of TPPA cancellation

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a lopsided agreement favouring the United States. Two leading American economists have urged Putrajaya to safeguard Malaysians before signing the deal, which is set to be concluded at year-end. Pic taken from FMT News

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a lopsided agreement favouring the United States. Two leading American economists had urged Putrajaya to safeguard Malaysians before signing the deal, which is set to be concluded at year-end 2016. Pic taken from FMT News

IPOH, Jan 8 — Malaysia is ready to face any eventuality arising from the possibility of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) being scrapped.

This follows the indication by United States President-elect Donald Trump that he was not in favour of the trade pact.

Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said Malaysia envisaged a negative impact from the TPPA initiative not being implemented, as research had indicated it would help enhance the Gross Domestic Product and earnings as well as job opportunities.

He said the TPPA would fail without the participation of the US as it is the world’s largest economy.

“If the US does not endorse the TPPA, I feel he (Donald) will also face a problem, in not realising that this is a trend with 420 of 620 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) having been finalised at present. Read more

Future free trade pacts must not impair Malaysia’s policy space: Legal consultant — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

PETALING JAYA: The likely demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) gives Malaysia an opportunity to ensure that any free trade agreement in the future does not impair the country’s policy space, said Sreenevasan Advocates & Solicitors consultant, Gurdial Singh Nijar.

Read more

TPPA’s fate to be determined at APEC meeting in Peru next week

Source: NST Online

TPPA-copy

TUMPAT: The fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact will be determined at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to be held in Peru next week, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said Malaysia was disappointed with US President Barack Obama’s administration for suspending efforts to win congressional approval for the Asian free-trade deal before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Read more