TI-M Urges Government Not to Sign TPPA Unless Anti-Corruption Tools are Put in Place

Transparency International-Malaysia (Ti-M) urges our Malaysian Government, especially the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), not to proceed with the signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) until a consensus has been achieved with all stakeholders, especially the agreement is likely to affect the live hood of all Malaysians. The era in which the government imposed excessive controls and adopted the attitude of ‘government knows best’ is over. Even though, the MITI Minister has insisted that his ministry would ensure the country’s best interests are protected in the negotiations.

The next round of TPPA negotiations will be held in Singapore from February 22 to 25, 2014 and nobody seems to know the agenda. Ti-M strongly urges MITI to include good integrity programmes, strong anti-corruption and legal and transparency regulatory requirements in the TPPA negotiations. Most of the 12 participating countries are party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and thus are also familiar with these kinds of provisions.

The UNCAC is a legally binding international anti-corruption instrument, and touted to be the most promising initiative and the first global framework to harmonise anti-corruption efforts worldwide. The objectives of the Convention are to promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively; to promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption, including in asset recovery; and to promote integrity, accountability, and proper management of public affairs and property.

Malaysia has signed UNCAC on 9 December, 2003, and subsequently issued a confirmation on September 24, 2008. The Convention came into force on October 4, 2008. On February 10, 2014 the 502-page full Country Review Report covering Articles 15 – 42 of Chapter III : “Criminalization and Law Enforcement” and Articles 44 – 50 of Chapter IV : “International Cooperation” of the UNCAC was released and presented by

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOCD) to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Kuala Lumpur. With this ratification of UNCAC, it is an obligation of Malaysia to support the inclusion of anti-corruption and transparency provisions in the TPPA in the settlement of any disputes for the benefits to our country, Malaysian businesses and consumers.

Corruption must be stopped for investment and trade to flourish, and transparency is essential for the benefits of trade agreements to be fully realized. It is up most important for Malaysia to include strong, enforceable provisions in the TPP Agreement which will help to protect legitimate business and promote governance accountability. The inclusion of these integrity programmes and anti-corruption provisions would also make a strong mandate and statement that Malaysia is committed to addressing proper governance and transparent in business activities not only in our own country but also aboard for the economic and social welfare of all citizens. Ti-M calls upon our Malaysian government to use the TPPA negotiations so as to achieve the highest level of commitment to combat corruption and look forward to working with the MITI and MACC as the negotiations proceed.

END.

Issued by :
Dato’ Akhbar Satar, President Email: akhbar@transparency.org.my
Transparency International Malaysia Mobile: 017-256 0811

Dr KM Loi, Secretary-General Email: kmloi@transparency.org.my
Transparency International Malaysia Mobile: 012-303 6757

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