TPPA: Borrow Now, Pay Maybe?
Good afternoon, it’s Tania here! Early last year (when I first interned here actually; how time flies!), Wong Chen worked alongside Klang MP Charles Santiago to oppose Malaysia’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Here again both MPs caution that haste makes waste, concerning the Malaysian Government’s attitude towards incoming “investments”—but these are not what they seem. To find out why, read Wong Chen’s remarks below, which are partly quoted in the FMT article at here.
“We must always remember that Chinese investments aren’t really “investments.” The Malaysian Government will ultimately foot the bill. The Chinese are actually “contractors” bringing in soft loans from Chinese banks which need to be repaid.
“We need to analyse whether these projects can actually generate an economic multiplier effect. For the China companies, they in turn must make sure the loans are repayable.
“I strongly advise these China companies against marking up prices or engaging in corrupt practices. They must act professionally and have clear project feasibility targets as contractors.
“In Malaysia, if the project isn’t financially feasible and results in the Government of Malaysia being unable repay these China loans, the Chinese investment for resources will not work. This is because land and mining rights belongs to state governments and oil and gas belongs to Petronas.
“Pakatan Harapan will review all China projects when we come to power. We hope China will allow some room for renegotiation of concluded projects. As for projects which haven’t been signed, we will freeze them, then weigh the economic benefits first before making a decision on whether to proceed or otherwise.
“This process of weighing the economic benefits requires two separate independent feasibility reports and an internal government feasibility report. We will make all these reports public.
“We shouldn’t commit to multi-billion ringgit projects without doing proper due diligence.”