MEDIA STATEMENT: ANIFAH, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY ARE WE PIVOTING TO US?
I reiterate that the PwC report shows insignificant economic gains for Malaysia by signing the TPPA. Therefore, the conclusion is Najib’s attempt to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is driven not by economics but by geo-political factors.
The Americans have never been shy to express their geo-political strategy of containing China’s rise in the region via the TPPA. The most influential American think tank, Brookings Institution, states in an article titled “Why the TPP is the Linchpin of the Asia Rebalance” dated 28th July 2015 noted that the TPPA is the core strategy in Obama’s Pivot to Asia.
I respect the fact that the US has a right to pursue whatever foreign policy that it chooses. It is their sovereign right to pursue whatever geo-political strategy in this region that suites its needs. If America chooses to support Israel in all matters relating to the Palestinian issue, it is their prerogative. If it wants to contain China’s rise, it is their prerogative.
However, why is Malaysia taking part in this American policy agenda? Why is Malaysia pivoting to the US for negligible economic gain? These questions are especially pertinent because of three additional issues and matters.
First, China is our number one trading partner, with USD 102 billion of bilateral trade in 2014 (2015 figures pending). Why are we pursuing an American agenda and willing to risk an erosion of USD 100 billion of trade?
Second, China is bailing out Najib’s 1MDB mess with the Edra Energy deal (RM 17 billion) and 1MDB land sale (RM 7 billion). How can Najib support the US in a move against China after receiving RM 24 billion of bailout money from China?
Third, when super powers clash for dominance, we have always taken the tried and tested the foreign policy approach of neutrality. This has been our core foreign policy during the cold war when the super powers were US and Russia. Why are we breaking from this tradition?
Therefore, Anifah Aman as Foreign Minister must give a special and detailed geo-political explanation to all Members of Parliament as to why Najib wants to ratify the TPPA. We have less than two weeks before the TPPA debate in Parliament on the 26th and 27th January 2016, so Anifah must engage the MPs now.
YB Wong Chen Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya 14 January 2016