TPPA in Parliament
10.46 a.m: Good morning from Parliament. I just delivered my speech and did not managed to get to 50% of my content. I have timed my speech, for a mere 12 minutes and given a speaking time of 20 minutes, I have allocated 8 minutes to deal with interjections.
Lately, I have noticed that some UMNO MPs have started a campaign to disrupt my speeches in Parliament. So I was prepared for this by allocating 8 minutes for interjections. They will interject and I am not shy in answering interjections, in fact I thrive on them.
However, I did not expect some really frivolous interjections to seriously run down my clock. The Speaker has also failed to come to my defence and in fact entertained a ridiculous objection that took 5 minutes off my alloted time.
In closing, I stated that I have not been given the right to speak. I looked over at the row of Ministers and I can see they are avoiding eye contact with me. Are my views so dangerous to their agenda that I have to be silenced by these means?
I have to go back to the drawing board on my speeches. Maybe I should just have 4 outlines with 2 minutes and allocate 18 minutes to deal with interjections.
3.37 p.m: Ministers are now answering. I attacked Minister Wahid when he over stated the foreign direct investment coming in. He used page 11 of the PwC report to state his claim.
I challenged him that the assumptions are wrong that the only legally binding numbers are much much lower. I questioned him how could he use the wrong assumptions. He tried to Tai Chi the issue by saying the PwC assumptions are in the book and then said he has no more time to answer because 5 more ministers are waiting.
2nd Minister to answer is MIC’s Subramaniam, the Health Minister. Now Wahid did Tai Chi moves but this minister seems out of his depth as doctors from Pakatan Harapan pile on questions on medicine costs and biologics. To a simple question from YB Charles Santiago, is it 5 or 8 years protection, the Minister could not answer and instead pretended the question does not exist. Gopeng MP Lee Boon Chye kept hammering the issue of data exclusivity and the Minister’s reply is “saya akan ambil pandangan ini”. This is a very sad day, medicine is a very emotional issue and the Minister, unfortunately is fumbling.
5.22 p.m: Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Nancy Shukri takes on the matter of ISDS. She produced a set of percentages of ISDS cases which do not tally up to 100%.
When questioned by Khalid Samad on the fact that her maths only adds up to 90%, she gets very defensive. The Speaker comes to her rescue saying that our question should not insult her. How is asking a Minister a legitimate question on her stats equivalent to insulting her? Khalid Samad nevertheless pressed on for her to explain.
She squirms left and right, then finally said 10% is for cases still not concluded. To this reply, Khalid Samad pointed out that the percentages are for cases that have been fully concluded!
Nancy Shukri must learn her maths but more importantly, she must learn not to tell an outright lie in Parliament.
6.47 p.m: MITI Minister is now winding up the debate. To a question on whether America has certification powers over Malaysia, the Minister gave a short and uncertain answer, tidak betul. That’s a rubbish answer. Only America has additional powers of certification. And at the certification process is where the Americans will squeeze the last drop of blood. This is in the ISIS report commissioned by MITI itself. After a mere half an hour, the Minister refused to take any more questions. We go to vote soon.