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2016 Feb 2 - Yong: TPPA inevitable even if Sabah were fully autonomous

TPPA inevitable even if Sabah were fully autonomous

KOTA KINABALU, February 2, 2016: Multi-lateral trade pacts are always difficult to negotiate. It took super power America ten years to get 11 other countries on board. Some say that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is an American agenda to re-assert American leadership over the Trans-Pacific economies to counter the growing China influence.

But, unlike what is portrayed by our MP for Kota Kinabalu, to join TPPA is not to choose between America and China. Malaysia, like the other nine members of ASEAN, is already covered by the China-Asean Free Trade Area (China-AFTA) that took effect in 2010. The healthy trade (RM210 billion in 2014) between Malaysia and China will not be affected by TPPA. Our own free trade pact, the Asean FTA, took effect in 1992. Ever since 1992 trade tariffs among Asean countries (and ever since 2010 with China, India and Japan) have been on a downward trend. 90% of trade is now zero-rated.

Sabah, as part of Malaysia, already has free trade pacts with our major trading partners. This is good because the single, biggest economic constraint facing Sabah is the smallness of our market. That is why we have BIMP-East Asean Growth Area with a population of 57 million. Trade pacts give us market access which we otherwise would not have.

When TPPA came along, no small country can ignore it. Each and every country fought hard to get the best possible deal. Nobody wins all or loses all. What would Sabah do if Sabah had full autonomy on international trade? Would Sabah opt out of the TPPA?

TPPA have tough provisions on financial services, dispute settlement, environment and labour standards, protection of intellectual property, anti-corruption and other matters that might be challenging for some sectors of our economy.

Sabah's biggest export item, which is also the Sabah government's biggest revenue earner, palm oil, is not covered by any trade agreement with America, the world's biggest economy. TPPA provides for the gradual abolition of import tariffs of palm oil into America, Canada, Peru and Mexico, the last four TPPA countries that still impose duties on palm oil at up to 11% (America 6%). On the other hand, it will be several more years before, Indonesia, our biggest palm oil competitor, can join TPPA. Hence, Sabah's palm oil has a headway to penetrate TPPA markets before Indonesia. Palm oil was Sabah's saviour during the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98. The palm oil sector continues to support other sectors of the Sabah economy with its multiplier effects. TPPA will benefit this sector. These facts are completely opposite of what the MP for Kota Kinabalu said.

It is to be expected that both opposition and ruling party MPs dutifully voted according to party lines on the TPPA bill in Parliament. But it is important that our MPs understand what they are voting for or against.

By Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President

SAPP Policies

SAPP's 17 point Manifesto - Sabah deserves better in terms of more equitable distribution of opportunities, in social, economic and infrastructural development and a better quality of life. [BM][Chinese]

SAPP's Economic Plan for Sabah - SAPP aims to achieve economic prosperity and financial self-reliance for Sabah. Version in [BM] [Chinese]

SAPP's Land Reform Policy - To promote and protect the rights and interests of local natives and other citizens in Sabah [BM][Chinese]

On Oil Royalty - SAPP is not giving up its struggle for more oil royalty payment for Sabah.

SAPP's Eight (8) Points Declaration - Whereas our mission is to establish a trustworthy govt and a progressive ...

SAPP's 14 point memo in 2006 - Time for Direct Preventive Actions

SAPP Constitution (booklet)

Our Sabah..

Books on ....
RCI Report on Immigrants in Sabah
The Birth of Malaysia
Malaysia Agreement Article 1-11
The Original Agreement of Malaysia
Heroes of Kinabalu 神山美烈誌
Schedule 9 of the Federal Constitution

more on ...
Twenty points safeguard
20 Perkara
Illegals & IC issues
Bernas Monopoly
No to coal-fired plant
Sabah Gas pipeline
3 million acres oil blocks ceded
The Formation of Msia & Devt in Sabah
Proclamation of Msia 1963...details
Restore Sabah's right to appoint JCs,
Ex-minister: Review 20-point
Supply Sarawak power to Sabah...
Sedition Act 1948
Continental Shelf Act 83 (1966)
Petroleum Development Act 144 (1974)
Petroleum Oil Agreement (1976)


SAPP bid to discuss Sabah claim rejected
Take action against anti-Malaysia elements
Call for Philippines Consulate in Sabah
Get the RM1 billion and solve the QEH debacle
SAPP's objection of coal-fired plants in Sabah
SAPP: Explain the RM 601 loan to KL company
The missing billion ringgit "special grant"
SAPP on SEDIA Bill 2009
SAPP supports the call for the abolishment of Cabotage Policy
Probe illegals having Mykad also
Political Autonomy for Sabah
Sabah Schools still awaiting share of RM30 million
Special fund: Eric wants ACA probe
Oil royalty: SAPP not giving up
Scrap Bernas monopoly on rice
More News in Search Archive.....

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