Trump win im­pact –‘ too early to tell’

> We don’t know what poli­cies he will ac­tu­ally im­ple­ment, says FMM pres­i­dent


KUALA LUMPUR: It is too early to say how Don­ald Trump’s vic­tory in the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion could af­fect busi­nesses here, ac­cord­ing to the Fed­er­a­tion of Malaysian Man­u­fac­tur­ers (FMM) pres­i­dent Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon.

“Trump has said a lot of things on cre­at­ing new poli­cies but I don’t know what he is go­ing to im­ple­ment,” he told re­porters at a joint press con­fer­ence with seven in­dus­try and trade or­gan­i­sa­tions to sup­port in­sti­tu­tional re­forms in po­lit­i­cal fi­nanc­ing in Malaysia here last Fri­day.

“But we must also recog­nise that he has no com­plete au­thor­ity and he is not a dic­ta­tor, so he may not be able to do many things that he wants to do, but again it is too early to say what’s go­ing to hap­pen,” he added.

Trump’s eco­nomic pro­pos­als com­prise four broad cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing trade and im­mi­gra­tion, tax re­form, spend­ing and reg­u­la­tory change.

The out­spo­ken pres­i­dent-elect, who will take of­fice on Jan 20, 2017, has said he will use all means avail­able to get a “bet­ter deal” for the US from its trad­ing part­ners, in­clud­ing re­ject­ing the TransPa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment.

Ear­lier, Saw said money pol­i­tics can lead to favouritism and rent seek­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, which would over­flow into the busi­ness sec­tor, thus cre­at­ing un­fair com­pe­ti­tion, higher cost of do­ing busi­ness and in­ef­fi­cient use of re­sources in gov­ern­ment con­tracts dis­burse­ment.

He was speak­ing on be­half of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Malay Busi­ness­man and In­dus­tri­al­ist As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia (Per­dasama), As­so­ci­ated Chi­nese Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try of Malaysia, SME As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia, Malaysian Plas­tics Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, Malaysian Em­ploy­ers Fed­er­a­tion, Malaysian Iron and Steel In­dus­try Fed­er­a­tion and FMM.

Saw said while the busi­ness sec­tor recog­nises that po­lit­i­cal par­ties re­quire fund­ing to sup­port their ac­tiv­i­ties, there is a need for greater trans­parency, ac­count­abil­ity and dis­clo­sure.

There­fore, he said, the coun­try needs to have a sys­tem that bal­ances be­tween the need for trans­parency and to pro­tect in­di­vid­ual or cor­po­rate donors against vic­tim­i­sa­tion when a do­na­tion is made to any po­lit­i­cal party.

In ad­di­tion, Saw said, do­na­tions must be vol­un­tary and there should have lim­its, to en­sure that no one is forced to make a do­na­tion to any po­lit­i­cal party.

“We are re­quest­ing the gov­ern­ment and the po­lit­i­cal par­ties to pro­ceed car­ry­ing out this in­sti­tu­tional re­form in or­der to build and de­velop sus­tain­able and ro­bust in­dus­try. We just want a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for busi­nesses, where we can com­pete based on our abil­ity and not on our re­la­tion­ships (with any po­lit­i­cal par­ties),” he added.

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