TPPA–The United States wins

January 26, 2016

TPPA–The United States wins, the rest are along for the party

by Hafidz Baharom

Hadi the Mad Mullah

He is no Economist, just a misguided Huddudist

It is not surprising that PAS chief Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang decided to say that the Chinese would benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). What is surprising is the fact that it took him this long to say it.

The truth is, no race will benefit more than the other come the TPPA, be they Chinese, Malay, Indian or the Sabahan and Sarawakian indigenous peoples. What Hadi points out is because the Chinese control big business, therefore they will emerge benefiting from the agreement.

Also, a fallacy. The question of who will benefit from this trade deal is answered simply by who can compete on a global scale. It can be state-owned companies, developers and even construction magnates all alike, regardless of race.


Malaysia may need his help soon

But it won’t be small and medium entrepreneurs not the micro businesses. In fact, news reports now say 30% of the Malaysian SMEs may have to shut down, salaries will see no drastic rise and even question whether our GLCs, such as Telekom Malaysia (TM), can compete with incoming competitors from America in the telco sector.

As one source pointed out, TM makes RM10 billion largely from their Unifi service with a staff of 26,000 and even had to sell off their African business after the market opened. Would the state broadband giant see itself reduced to fourth place with the entry of companies such as Verizon, T-Mobile and even Sprint from America?

In fact, with our ringgit devalued (so Bank Negara constantly points out) to the point that it’s now a 4:1 spending ratio to America and a 3:1 ratio to Singapore and Brunei, do Malaysian companies have access to the capital to even set up shop abroad?


MITI Minister–A Hero or  a Stooge?

Or will they then be able to approach foreign banks the likes of Wells Fargo, who already have a branch at G-Tower in Kuala Lumpur?And if this is the case, would this mean Malaysians will then become more reliant on foreign funds, whereas local banks will lose out due to their lack of access to capital? Subsequently, due to the lack of local customers, will Malaysian banks then have to venture out and cater to lower capital markets, such as Vietnam?

Meanwhile, though the Health Ministry says medical bills won’t go up due to the passing of intellectual property evergreen conditions in the agreement, it will still mean that the onus will be on the government to then spend more on subsidising medicine for public healthcare facilities.

Does the Minister guarantee that the private medical sector won’t see a raise in the bills? Of course not.And while some insist that Malaysians can compete with other nations in terms of SMEs, would they be open to admitting that even the very definition of what is an SME is questionable in each and every nation?

Case in point, is an American SME the same size as a Malaysian SME? Will there be a case for standardising these definitions, or will such be seen as just “Malaysian companies being non-competitive” and thus, likely to be shut down?

The TPPA in all regards is a double-edged sword – or in this case, a 12-edged blade – which will allow anyone with the size and capital to take advantage of the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

The problem with Malaysian businesses is this question; can we compete? To summarise, our federation of manufacturers (FMM) are salivating saying they can, as well as AMCHAM (American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce) and even our plastic manufacturers.For some awkward reason, even the Proton car vendors think they’ll make a killing, thinking they will be able to sell their cars in America.

And yet, government-linked corporations – from palm oil to telecommunications are cautious. Nobody has yet to ask the banks on their thoughts, nor has anyone asked the agriculture, construction and even services industry, which have all gone mum.

The early effects of this trade deal is already here. Just last week, Astro announced that Netflix coming into the country has affected their share price. Well, that is but a small case study of what the TPPA can do. Can Astro cope with the likes of the oncoming entertainment onslaught from US companies, such as Time Warner Cable, HBO Go and Hulu Plus?

Will Uber finally be recognised and taxi companies just having to deal with it? In fact, the company just recently launched a food delivery service as well, so Food Panda may want to take notice.

The TPPA won’t just affect the Malays, as Hadi Awang wrongly points out. It will affect all of us hard, be it in SMEs or even micro industries or state-owned enterprises without access to capital or even the economies of scale, to compete on a global scale.

While some are die-hard optimists, falling for Obama’s “yes we can” mentality by supporting this trade deal, I’ll be a realist and just wait for the axe to fall, for me to say “I told you so”.

9 thoughts on “TPPA–The United States wins

  1. hadi is nothing but a zealous country bumpkin and another big disappointment…..and shame on him for undoing all the gr8 work of tok guru

  2. This is based on the economy in the 80s and 90s. The main difference between Private Business and the GLC business is the gearing ratio. We all know that Man seldom profits from experiences of others and never from his own. So whatever system we take on we have to ensure that the bitter lessons are learnt and learnt well. We have only four years four days and 11 months to reach our target 2020. The sooner we start the better.

  3. Are the Malay folks so gullible to believe Hadi Awang’s malicious lie that the Chinese control big business in Malaysia? Take a look at the top companies listed in the KLSE to see how many are owned by the Malay.

  4. The TPPA is not a great deal BUT the detractors are exaggerating its downside. The issue is, why such a not incredibly significant deal, so many are NOT ready for it? Whose fault is it when other less developed countries like Vietnam, Chile, Peru and developed countries like AU, NZ, US that makes noise about trade no matter what are making less noise?

    Hadi is a CHRONIC LIAR..HE HAS NO CLUE WHAT TPPA and he deem himself authority to past no less than a religious judgement on it..The joining of UMNO-PAS will eventually lead to EVEN BIGGER CORRUPTION EVENTUALLY.. Islam is no cure for corruption and abuse of power by track record in Islamic countries, all it does it those who do it have religious credentials and religo-state power to make it worst..

  5. Yes, interesting article from “Common Dreams” above… and an even more interesting lesson for those opposed to such deals… stay focussed or else…

    It was the presence of similar organised groups that forced FDR to go for the New Deal… and it is the absence of such groups now that is making it so hard for people like Bernie Sanders to make the impact the US working class so badly needs..

  6. I am not clear here. Which part of TPPA is not beneficial to Malaysia and which part is beneficial. Surely there are certain items in the TPPA that may be favorable to Malaysia. Perhaps someone can give a rundown item by item instead of objecting wholesale. we can then do a more realistic evaluation.

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