ACCCIM welcome the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations on 5th October 2015 with 12 Ministers of the TPP countries and the timely release of the full details of the TPPA on 5th November 2015. ACCCIM congratulate the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed and his team in reaching this milestone after several years of continuous negotiations to protect Malaysian interests and concerns.
With the recent release of the details of the TPPA, ACCCIM recommend that the Government to take this opportunity to explain transparently all the pros and cons, risks and opportunities to all stakeholders to get their buy-in together with the forthcoming reports on the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). This will allow businesses to gain more informed insights into this game-changing free-trade agreement.
Datuk Ter Leong Yap, President of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) led a 10-member delegation to pay a courtesy visit to Y.B. Dato’ Hamzah bin Zainudin, Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) on 3rd November 2015. Both Y.B. Minister of KPDNKK and representatives of ACCCIM have had a 50 minutes pleasant and fruitful discussion, and exchange views on enhancing domestic trade and consumption as well as issues affecting the business development.
The ACCCIM is shock by the announcement that the toll rates at 17 intracity highways will increase simultaneously within the range of 15% to 200% with effect from 15th October. The ACCCIM would like to express our strong disapproval and objection to this unreasonable and untimely decision.
The cost of doing business has increased tremendously in recent years. This was made worse by the recent economic downturn as business activities in almost all economic sectors are slowing down. The increase in toll rates will affect all walks of life and severely hit and affected the business community as well as burden the rakyat as cost of living will increase greatly. At this juncture, the ACCCIM would like to urge the decision to increase the toll rates be withdrawn immediately.
We should give priority to introducing more business-friendly policies so as to reduce the cost of doing business, revive the economy, attract foreign direct investment and encourage consumption. ACCCIM has constantly suggested freezing and effectively controlling the prices of various public utilities and infrastructure. The announcement by the highway concessionaires obviously is contradicted with the Government’s promise to reduce the burden of the rakyat.