30 Jul 2015 Kuala Lumpur
Taking a look at a local press this morning, all the headlines are about TPP talks in Hawaii. Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has stated that Malaysia will not sign any agreement during the current round of talks, which runs until July 31st and reassured critics that it will stand firm on issues of sovereignty, government procurement, state- owned enterprises and the bimiputra agenda.
TPP has been a big mistery to us all. Although the talks have been going for few years now, United States still didn’t give out an official full text of the agreement. Some portions of it have leaked to the public. This unofficial information assured us, that TPP is not as ideal as United States make it sound. WikiLeaks gives us grounds to suspect what the real deal is about. TPP doesn’t seem to be what is called- a ‘free trade agreement’ . It would boost the profits of big corporations by outsourcing jobs, undercutting worker rights, dismantling environmental, health, labor and food safety laws. And what is most important, it would allow corporation to challange national laws in international tribunals. Company would be able to sue TPP member country government if its new laws or regulations are causing them a loss of profits. Combining it with TPP chapter on environmental laws (WikiLeaks realesed it on 15 January 2014), the countries wouldn’t even be able to protect their natural environment, if it would be reducing corporation’s income.
There is no wonder Malaysia prime minister didn’t agree to sign TPP deal in Hawaii today. Not only Malaysia, but other countries taking part in negotiations, have doubts concerning who truly would benefit from TPP . With more information regarding confidential contest of TPP chapters reaching the public, more questions appear. All the signs show that after TPP deal is concluded, one who would gain the most of it are huge international corporations. According to the New York Times, “the clearest winners of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would be American agriculture, along with technology and pharmaceutical companies, insurers and many large manufacturers” who could expand exports to the other nations that have signed the treaty. Proponents of TPP deal in Malaysia believe that other countries, especially, US must upheld the equality and fairness of all, irrespective of his/her race, colour, creed, sex and religion principle. Therefore this will help to decrease inequalities and stop race based unfair policies in Malaysia. There might be some true in that, as still for Malaysian government one of the main worries in TPP negotiations, is to keep its currents bumiputra laws. Check http://travelviewblog.com/?p=1467
‘On government procurement Malaysia is looking at ensuring that the current bumiputra and SME preferences will be maintained.’ writes local ‘the Sun’
Malaysian malaysiakini.com which claimes to be an independant media and to reach over 2.5 million readers every month delivered these news yesterday. Today there are three comments below the article. This can give some ideas about the interest of Malaysian society in TPP issue. They have learnt to accept things as they are, not being worried too much about politics.
30 Jul 2015 Kuala Lumpur