Study TPPA text without prejudice, Ideas tells rakyat

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Source: FMT News

CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan says rakyat should not be swayed by anti-globalisation activists and politicians who will try to “score cheap points.”

Pic from FMT

PETALING JAYA: Now that the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has been released by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the people should strive to read and understand its contents without prejudice, said Wan Saiful Wan Jan of Ideas.

In a press statement today, the CEO of the local think tank said, “We urge the Malaysian public to carefully study this document and they certainly must not be influenced by the anti-globalisation activists and politicians who are trying to score cheap points.”

He lamented that many had made up their minds “blindly” without reading the text at all, in total disregard of civil servants who had worked tirelessly to negotiate for the best deals possible that would benefit the country.

He said that his think-tank would be scrutinising the details of the TPPA as well and that while it was premature at this point to make a final judgement, Ideas would support the controversial agreement if they found that the “conditions” in the agreement were right for the country.

“If the text, upon our further analysis, is found to be pushing us towards greater economic growth and prosperity for the rakyat, then of course we will support it and we urge the rakyat to support it too.”

He did however state his disappointment that more radical structural reforms had not been negotiated in certain areas.

“We still see concessions on government procurement, exclusion of government contracts administered under the Prime Minister’s Department through UKAS, unclear political will to make Bumiputra businesses less dependent on the government, and exemptions of some GLCs (Government-linked Companies) from the TPP rules.

“These are the areas that need radical reforms, but these are also the areas that the government has refused to reform through the TPP,” he pointed out.

This aside, he commended the government for seeing the negotiations through to the very end, rather than caving in to the demands of anti-globalisation activists, as this tenacity on the government’s part had resulted in many concessions having been secured.

He also touched on the issues of Cost Benefit Analysis and National Interest Analysis, scheduled to be released in the coming two to three weeks, and said he hoped the analyses would be conducted “in full and without any alteration.”