TPPA Section On State Enterprises Appears To Be Very Damaging: Malaysia Should Not Join In the Conclusion of the TPPA
The Ministerial meeting of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) now taking place in Hawaii should not reach a conclusion of the negotiations because many important issues of public interest have not been resolved. Moreover the public in Malaysia and other countries are still in the dark over what is being negotiated or agreed to.
Even if other countries are willing to reach a conclusion to the whole TPPA draft, Malaysia should not agree to such a conclusion. Instead, the Malaysian delegation led by Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamad, Minister of International Trade and Industry, should give a complete briefing to the public and ask our views on the issues, before deciding whether to join the conclusions of the negotiations.
This need for seeking the views of the public is even more necessary given the information now available on “state owned enterprises” (SOEs) which is one of the most contentious sections of the TPPA. An official summary of the issues and principles of this sub-chapter was made available on Wikileaks yesterday (30 July 2015).
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urge the Perak Fisheries Department to ban the use of spotlight by purse seine fishermen in Pulau Pangkor because it threatens fish fries in the waters off the island.
It is regretful that until now no action has been taken by the authorities although this is a long-standing problem and had jeopardized the livelihood of 1,000 fishermen on the island.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and several residents of Air Itam submitted a petition with 4,140 signatures to the State Government of Penang, Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP) and the Department of Environment (DOE) – Bayan Lepas Branch, objecting the siting of a crematorium in Mukim 16, Bandar Air Itam.
The signatures were collected over the course of one month in Air Itam. Ms. Ching Chooi Ngoh, 46 years old, a resident of Jalan Balik Pulau, who led the entourage of protestors, said building a crematorium project here is not conducive and inharmonious with the environment.
Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will take place this week and next week in Hawaii. It is expected to be the last round of the TPPA negotiations. The Chief Negotiators and their team will meet on 24 - 27 July followed by the meeting of the Ministers of Trade on 28-31 July.
The Ministers are expected to resolve all the outstanding issues and to conclude the TPPA text by 31 July. After some editing and “legal scrubbing”, the Agreement is expected to be signed in October or November 2015.
SAM would like to express its grave concern on the logging encroachment that has taken place since March this year in the customary territory of Long Pilah, Sungai Jahek, in Baram. We therefore would like to state our support to the open letter (see below) from the Long Pilah residents addressed to the Chief Minister of Sarawak dated July 14.
In the past year or so, the Chief Minister of Sarawak has repeatedly stated his stance on the urgent need for the timber industry in Sarawak to operate in accordance with the law and more responsibly. The Chief Minister has even announced the halting of the issuance of new logging licences in the state. Unfortunately however, the story of Long Pilah seems to carry the same old tone.