Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Industry first or people first? - Government of Malaysia suppresses oil palm smallholders in the interests of industry

Thousands of oil palm smallholders in Sarawak are severely impacted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s (MPOB) directive prohibiting traders from purchasing fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) of ‘suspicious’ origins. The directive came into effect since 1 July, 2014.

It has come to Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM)’s knowledge that at least in the Baram region of the Miri division of Sarawak, the directive has subsequently resulted in the revocation and suspension of trading licences following subsequent enforcement actions by MPOB.

Solve irrigation problem to stop declining padi yields in MADA area

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) to take prompt action to resolve the problem faced by farmers in Kampung Kubang Pisang, Mukim Rambai, Pendang District, Kedah.

The problem faced since five years ago not only threatens the paddy plants grown by the farmers in the village but has also reduced their income during each harvest season.

 

TPPA: Shocking US certification process that violates country’s sovereignty

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is deeply concerned by the shocking process by which the United States of America (USA) squeezes more concessions from other countries it negotiates free trade agreements (FTAs) with, even after the treaty’s text is signed. This was outlined in new research released yesterday at http://tppnocertification.org/. This process of one-sided extraction of concessions is called ‘certification’ and the USA is demanding it be part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated by Malaysia and 11 other countries including the USA.

No to “Pay Polluter” in TPPA

The latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations involving Malaysia and 11 other countries including the United States began on 3 July and will continue until 12 July 2014 in Ottawa, Canada.

According to news reports, the chapters that will be negotiated there include: investment, services, intellectual property, tariffs on goods and exceptions such as for health including tobacco control and the environment.

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is deeply concerned by the provisions that have been agreed to in the leaked TPPA investment chapter.  Foreign investors have successfully challenged laws on health, environment and other crucial public interest areas in other countries that have signed similar treaty provisions.  Those cases have even shown that when the foreign investor breaks the law of the country it is operating in and it is punished as allowed by the host country’s law, the foreign investor can still sue the host government under these treaties and win.

Make no concessions in TPPA meetings

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is concerned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations are going full steam ahead.

There will be a meeting of negotiators including the chief negotiators of TPPA countries to be held in Canada from 3-12 July, 2014. We urge the Malaysian government to stand firm on all its positions during this negotiating round and to strengthen its positions further, in line with the Red Lines on the issues which civil society organisations including CAP have drawn up and submitted to the government.

We understand that at the round in Canada, the issues likely to be negotiated include intellectual property (IP), investment, state owned enterprise (SOEs) and possible exceptions for tobacco control. Each of these issues is very sensitive in which there are high stakes for Malaysia.