World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Europe Should Freeze Malaysia Talks If Taib Becomes Governor

Europe Should Freeze Trade Talks With Malaysia If Taib Is Appointed Governor Of Sarawak

NGO community will call for political and economic consequences if Malaysia continues to violate its international obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption

(BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / GENEVA, SWITZERLAND) Non-governmental organizations in Europe are calling on the European Union and the European Free Trade Association to stall trade talks with Malaysia if the federal government in Kuala Lumpur should be backing outgoing Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to become Governor of the Malaysian state in Borneo.

After 33 years in power, Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud has recently announced he will step down by the end of February 2014 in order to become Governor, a public office that might grant him immunity from criminal prosecution.

“We make it very clear that the Malaysian government will have to face political consequences if it backs Taib Mahmud, one of South-East Asia’s corruptest politicans, as Governor of Sarawak”, the Bruno Manser Fund writes in a statement. “In particular, the NGO community will pressure the European Union to stall the ongoing timber trade talks under the EU’s FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) program.”

Until now, Malaysian officials have routinely blamed the Sarawak state government for the lack of progress in the negotiations, which started back in 2006. “If Prime Minister Najib Razak allows Taib Mahmud to become Governor, he will personally endorse the rampant corruption in the timber and palm oil sector in Sarawak. As a consequence, the EU should stop the FLEGT VPA talks with Malaysia with immediate effect. “

The Bruno Manser Fund will also bring the issue of Taib corruption into the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between Malaysia and the European Union (EU) as well as with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). “Malaysia should not be awarded with international trade agreements if the country fails to respect basic anti-corruption norms and protects kleptocrats like Taib Mahmud.”

While the Malaysia – EU free trade talks have been going on since 2010, a first serious round of negotiations between Malaysia and EFTA (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) will start on 24 March 2014 in Geneva.

With an export volume of 8.9 billion US dollars (2012), the European Union is Malaysia’s fourth largest export market after Singapore, China and Japan.

- Ends -

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news