TPPA an opportunity for reforms in governance

Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Modified 22 Jan 2016, 8:55 am

The Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) has released its newest study entitled ‘The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA): Catalysing Reforms in Governance’ in preparation for the upcoming special parliamentary sessions in the Dewan Rakyat on Jan 26 and 27, and the Dewan Negara on Jan 28.

The paper makes a case for parliamentarians to support the trade agreement as a way to incorporate greater transparency, improved accountability and good governance into Malaysia’s political and economic systems.

The TPPA is a valuable opportunity for Malaysia to address its governance problems - such as corruption and its opaque procurement system. At a time when political will to reform is waning, the TPPA can be the much-needed catalyst to push the country back to the right direction.

These are important socio-political benefits of the TPPA that should be considered in deciding whether or not to sign it. Our paper discusses this perspective at length and calls for the Parliament to support the signing of the TPPA.

The study argues that the TPPA can help catalyse four important reforms:

  1. Strengthening the anti-corruption framework in Malaysia
  2. Improving the governance of government-linked companies (GLCs).
  3. Encouraging the government to be more accountable and predictable.
  4. Ensuring that the government procurement system is more transparent and accountable.

Hence, the TPPA is a step in the right direction in terms of economic and socio-political reform and to jumpstart the currently stalled reform that we need in the country.

The paper and the accompanying FAQ sheets can be downloaded from the Ideas website at www.ideas.org.my .

WAN SAIFUL WAN JAN is chief executive of Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas).