Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Beware - Malaysia 'secretly' entering into another FTA Agreement ...full transparency please.

Free Trade Agreements(FTA) - Malaysia enters into free trade agreements with this country and that country - and these agreement affects not just the UMNO-led BN government but all Malaysians..

As such, before any such FTA are signed, it is important that Malaysians are allowed to peruse this agreements, and have the opportunity to discuss and debate it. Media should carry these debates and feedbacks.

All such FTAs and other Agreements that bind Malaysia should also be first tabled in Parliament and agreed to, before Malaysia sits down and signs these agreements.

Malaysia should be fully aware of the consequence of 'free trade' especially when it is signed by 'non-equal' parties. There is a need for a certain amount of discrimination ... a certain amount of of 'special privileges' and protectionism especially of the poor and marginalised. The whole special priviledges/benefits for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak provision in our Federal Constitution indicates this kind of thinking. Are we ready to compete at the same level with the US...and now New Zealand. Maybe the rich and the bigger companies in Malaysia can - but the smaller people and businesses certainly will lose out - and we will be worse of.

Transparency - tell us exactly what the terms of this FTA Agreement is. Allow different viewpaoints to be shared with all Malaysians (In short, get the media to publish/air opinions in support and opinions that are against - so that the Malaysian people get to see all aspects).

Only the government's perspective is of little benefit to the people - since it may only be the reasons that support the government position - i.e. to go ahead and sign the FTA.

Only the general objects or gist of FTA Agreement is not suffuicient - as sometimes, it is that 'small terms' and words that will cause the people (and future governments, i.e. may PR Government) great pain - because it is very very difficult to 'cancel' (terminate) agreements.

Malaysia and New Zealand have stitched a free trade agreement, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said today.


Groser said negotiations for the deal had been finalised after negotiations in Kuala Lumpur.

"This FTA is great news for New Zealand. Our negotiators have secured a high quality, comprehensive FTA that provides commercially meaningful benefits to New Zealand businesses," Groser said in a statement.

Malaysia is New Zealand's seventh largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth nearly US$1.95 billion (RM6.8 billion) annually.

New Zealand exports to Malaysia were worth RM2.25 billion last year and goods exports have been growing at 34 percent annually since 2005.

"Improved market access and greater certainty for New Zealand goods and services exporters and investors are just some of the benefits achieved," Groser said.

"It is an important signal that in the midst of the global financial crisis and the creeping tendency towards protectionism internationally, Malaysia and New Zealand have reaffirmed our commitment to trade liberalisation."

Final deal to be signed this year

The two countries already have a free trade agreement following the signing of a deal between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and Australia and New Zealand in February this year.

But Groser said the new bilateral deal would have more benefits for both countries than the wider Asean deal.Malaysiakini, 2/6/2009, NZ, M'sia agree free trade deal: minister

The FTA Agreement is not yet signed - and note that it is the New Zealand government that have gone public about this - not the Malaysian government.

Both Malaysia and New Zealand will seek legal and technical verification of the deal and domestic approval before the signing of the final agreement.

Both countries believe that the final deal will be signed this year, Groser said.- AFP, Malaysiakini, 2/6/2009, NZ, M'sia agree free trade deal: minister

Anyway, why don't Malaysia just put all their FTAs and MOUs on the relevant Ministry's website. Why are they a 'secret"? Why are there so many secrets in Malaysia? When will be having a Freedom of Information Act? When will government 'secret" documents became available to the public - in some countries after a certain number of years (say 20 years), all secret documents become available to the public - why do we not have this in Malaysia.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Please don't be a paranoid, although we could all benefit from more information and updates, MITI does post information on Malaysia's FTA. Granted the information may not be as detail but you are pretending as if there is none at all and just flaming anti FTA sentiments.

Check out: http://www.miti.gov.my/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.section.Section_8ab55693-7f000010-72f772f7-46d4f042&rootid=com.tms.cms.section.Section_8ab48a0a-7f000010-72f772f7-4dc62890