Anifah Aman Must Give Geo-Political Reasons For The TPPA
YB Gooi Hsiao Leung, Member of Parliament for Alor Setar and the chairman of PKR’s International Bureau and I are teaming up to assess the TPPA from a geopolitical perspective.
To that end, we have conducted our first press statement together in the PKR headquarters at 11 am this morning. YB Gooi used to work for the United Nations in Timor-Leste and has vast experience on diplomacy and foreign policy matters. The TPPA is not about economics but driven by geopolitical considerations.
Below are the transcripts of both our press statements:
MEDIA STATEMENT: ANIFAH AMAN MUST GIVE GEO-POLITICAL REASONS FOR THE TPPA
I am the Chairman of the PKR International Bureau, and my office engages diplomats and also track and formulate foreign policies. For matters of international trade my office works with YB Wong Chen’s Investment and Trade Bureau.
Today I would like to do two things:
1. Discuss a bit of history of Malaysian diplomacy and foreign policy; and
2. Challenge the Foreign Minister Anifah Aman to give geo-political explanations for pursuing TPPA.
Unlike his father, PM Najib’s administration seems to take a more aggressive form of foreign policy that take sides on matter of superpower disputes. During his father’s tenure as PM, Tun Razak visited China in 1974 and the two countries established diplomatic relations. This was a massive breakthrough in Malaysian foreign policy, setting the tone that we are committed to the non-aligned movement and that we can think for ourselves beyond the cold war rhetoric.
During the tenure of Dr Mahathir, we cemented our position as a leader of the third world country committed to non-aligned and fiercely critical of the US handling of the Isreali –Palestinian conflict. This foreign policy stance did not change during the Badawi administration.
During Tun Razak and Tun Mahathir’s tenure, the super powers were US and Russia. Our diplomats then were most skilful and have done a wonderful job to ensure that we remained steadfastly neutral, avoiding taking sides.
This style of foreign policy paid off and we saw tremendous economic growth in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The premise of our foreign policy is to remain neutral and be friends with all, the hallmark of a trading nation. Today, China is an emerging super power. Its recent activities in the South China Sea are raising alarm bells. However China is also now our number one trading partner. What should be our foreign policy now, moving forward?
I demand the Foreign Minister Anifah Aman to give us clear answers on Malaysian geo-political stance. If the TPPA does not benefit us economically, then how does it benefit us geo-politically? I would also like to invite both Tun Mahathir and Tun Badawi to give their learned views and opinions on the matter of geo-politics. What motivated Tun Mahathir from taking a strong policy stand in WTO against American economic demands? What considerations motivated Tun Badawi from not signing the US FTA?
Anifah should also explain what geo-political factors are motivating him to pursue the TPPA.
| YB Gooi Hsiao Leung Member of Parliament for Alor Setar Chairman of PKR International Bureau 11 January 2016
MEDIA STATEMENT: TPPA AND FOREIGN POLICY
The PwC report states that in terms of elimination of tariffs (which is a certainty), the difference between signing and non-signing the TPPA is a mere 0.22% differential in GDP growth. In the best case scenario where Non- Tariff Measures are reduced by 50%, of which the basis for these projections are dubious, the difference between signing and non-signing the TPPA is the GDP will grow 1.15% per annum and export will grow by 0.9%. However the so called “best scenario” from signing compared to not signing will result in a 30% DECRASE in trade balance.
The PwC report therefore does not support any economic “game changer” outcome for Malaysia from signing the TPPA. In fact, signing it will retard and decrease our trade balance. Increasing trade balance must surely be the primary objective of any trade agreement.
We are all aware that the TPPA is not a normal FTA. It is an agreement of 6,000 pages where only 6 out of 30 chapters deals directly with trade. It is an agreement that interferes with the sovereign rights of a nation. It is called a modern 21st century “trade agreement” but the offer is in fact as old as time. It offers a Faustian bargain of wealth in return for allegiance to an economic system.
What wealth is being offered to sell our Malaysian soul? The PwC report states not much, just a few lousy dollars.
If money is not the motivator for Malaysia then geo-politics must surely be the driving factor. What are the geo-political gains from signing the TPPA? YB Gooi Hsiao Leung, Member of Parliament for Alor Setar is the International Bureau Chairman of PKR. He is a practising lawyer and previously worked for 3 years for the United Nations in Timor-Leste as a human rights advocate. He joins me in this press conference to discuss the foreign policy issues surrounding the TPPA.
YB Wong Chen Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya 11 January 2016