Malaysia needs TPPA to secure its future, says Mustapa
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is needed to safeguard the present and future interests of Malaysians.
That was the message from Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed who today urged Malaysians to “think long and hard” before deciding to protest against the TPPA.
Speaking at a briefing session at Putra World Trade Center, Mustapa said although there are pros and cons of signing the TPPA, the benefits it posed far outweighed its disadvantages, especially in the long run.
Mustapa also insisted that Malaysians should not be too pessimistic and afraid of globalisation because it was proven that globalisation is the key for success.
“Qatar used to be a poor pearl fishing country but have improved by leap and bounds after opening its doors.
“Now, it is one of the richest country in the world and there are currently 3,000 Malaysians working in Qatar.
“Even, China gained tremendous growth spurt after it had implemented its open door policy.
“We must accept the reality that if we want our country to prosper, then we cannot do it by ourselves,” he stressed.
Mustapa also said if Malaysia does not sign the agreement then it would lose its first movers advantages that it currently has.
“We have already managed to convince the countries involved in the TPPA negotiations to recognise Malaysia’s constitutions and core policies.
“So if we were to withdraw right now, then I can assure you that the next time we decided to sign TPPA it would not be as advantageous as it is right now,” he said.
He added that if Malaysia does not the sign TPPA, it will inhibit the country’s foreign investment growth.
“International companies such as Intel would probably close its factory in Penang and set up a new one in other TPPA-signed countries.
“This is because members of TPPA will enjoy a free-trade zone with any four countries that it does not yet establish any free trade agreements.
“For Malaysia, those four countries that we have yet to sign any free trade agreements are Canada, Mexico, Peru and the United States,” said Mustapa.
The TPPA negotiations were concluded in Atlanta on Oct 5 and Mustapa was reported to have said that Malaysia would never sign the TPPA if the terms and condition violated the country’s constitutions.
However, some Malaysians have reacted negatively to the news and were up in arms against the country signing such agreement as they have likened the TPPA to a modern form of economic colonisation.
Besides Malaysia, other counties involved in TPPA’s negotiations are the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The three hours public briefing session was organised by the Umno Information Unit and is held at PWTC’s Dewan Tun Huessien Onn.
Besides the briefing on TPPA, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah also briefed the public on 1MDB and Malaysia’s 2016 National Budget.