Explain TPP’s geopolitical benefits, PKR rep urges foreign affairs minister
By A. Ruban, Malay Mail (14 January 2016) PETALING JAYA, Jan 14 – Debate over the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement continued to rage on today as PKR lawmaker Wong Chen urged Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman to explain why Malaysia, as China’s main trading partner, was supporting an American agenda. He urged the minister to explain in detail the geopolitical benefits of signing on to the trade deal which, according to US President Barack Obama’s State of Union address yesterday, would help contain China. “Why are we pursuing this and willing to risk an erosion of US$100 billion of trade?
“And when China is helping in bailing out (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib's (Tun Razak) 1MDB mess, how can Najib support the United States at this point of time?” he asked in a news conference.
Wong also pointed that Malaysia had always embarked on the “tried and tested” approach in any matter, especially when it involved national policies. “This has been our core foreign policy even during the Cold War when the superpowers were US and Russia and I don't seem to understand why we are breaking from this tradition,” he said.
He, therefore, urged Anifah to brief all MPs on the matter, stressing that the explanation should be done before the TPP was debated in Parliament this January 26 and 27. Twelve countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, Vietnam and Malaysia, concluded the TPP negotiations in Atlanta on October 5 last year.
The TPP is a free trade agreement that has been negotiated by the US, Malaysia and nine other nations as part of the larger Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership since 2010.