Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

CAP Urges the Malaysian Government Not To Sign the TPPA -- The Trade Deal That Will Rob Our Future

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) text was finally released on 5 November 2015. This comes almost five years after Malaysia joined the negotiations, during which the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) had consistently called for disclosure of the text. It is unconscionable that the government has negotiated an agreement that will greatly impact the lives of all Malaysians in secret, for so long.

Yet, the two cost-benefit analyses and national interest analysis that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry had promised to carry out and disclose, are only going to be made available in about two weeks time. The pledge to do so was actually made more than two years ago. It belies all understanding that the government should fail to release these documents, when – at least even in preliminary form – these should have been carried out and made public before entering into the negotiations.

TPP agreement reached - Dark Day for Malaysia

Despite widespread international opposition, trade officials from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Atlanta, USA announced yesterday that they have reached an agreement on a devastating trade deal that threatens people and the planet. 

The final texts are expected to be available within weeks. The TPP trade ministers’ press release states that to formalize the outcomes of the agreement, negotiators will continue technical work to prepare a complete text for public release, including the legal review, translation, and drafting and verification of the text.

Hence the fight is not over, the TPP still faces a number of procedures and challenges before being ratified at the national level. Firstly, the TPP is not yet signed and Malaysia will still have to decide whether to sign. The public and Parliament can still make their views known, and influence the government not to sign. Secondly the text of the TPP is still a secret and it is imperative that it be released so that the public can know what exactly it says and its implications.

CAP calls for a single updated and comprehensive law on auctions

Auctions have been carried out since the country was under the British rule and the laws regarding auctions have generally remained unchanged. It is time we bring the auction laws to the 21st century for the benefit of all parties concerned especially the bidders (buyers).
Currently the auction business is governed by the 86 year old Auction Sales Enactment F.M.S. Cap. 81 (No. 2 of 1929) and the slightly younger National Land Code of 1965.

The 1929 Enactment has 13 sections and is only four pages long covers very briefly issues like – licensing, notice of sale, details of auctioneer to be displayed what auctioneer may buy, details of bidding agent, a separate contract of sale for every lot auctioned, completion of sale, penalties, power to make rules and sales under court order. The renewal of the auctioneer’s license is still RM10 and the fine for breaking the law stands at RM100.

SAM new publication on the Penan community: Systemic failure to protect the NCR in Sarawak


In 2002, the Sarawak Penan Association (SPA) released the Long Sayan Declaration 2002, which was signed by more than 40 Penan community leaders. Among others, the declaration called for the halting of all logging operations on Penan territories, the gazetting of their territories into Communal Forest Reserves and the provision of accessible healthcare, education, quality housing, power and clean water supply as well as agricultural training and support to the community.

However today, more than a decade later – the Penan community of Sarawak by and large are still living without adequate land rights security and in substandard living conditions. Worse, due to the depletion in natural timber resources in Sarawak as a result of three decades of unsustainable logging, timber tree and oil palm plantations are fast taking the place of the declining timber industry. Plantations, which require the total clearing of logged over forests, will certainly bring about more adverse consequences to local communities, although the impacts of logging operations had all the while been severe enough.

Indonesia has abandoned plans for high-speed rail project -- Why haven't we?

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is glad to see that the Indonesian Government has decided to abandon their plans for a high-speed rail project. 

Malaysia has also made plans for a HSR project that will connect Kuala Lumpur and Jurong East in Singapore.

In May of this year, CAP clearly stated that we are against this project being carried out in Malaysia because of several reasons and we still stand by our beliefs. Some of the reasons we cited before include tremendous cost, mass resettlement, high chance of unprofitability, and the fact that this will be a long-ongoing kind of project, etc.