Many have expressed concern over Malaysia’s impending involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations, which have been shrouded in secrecy as the on-going negotiations were held behind closed door with details remained confidential from elected representatives, both of the ruling party and Pakatan Rakyat, as well as non-governmental organizations. In light of this, think tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) opines that a full parliamentary report of the developments and related issues on the TPP negotiations should be presented in the second sitting of the First Term of the 13th Parliament, which will convene on 23 September.

 On June 17, 2013, Congressional Research Service of the United States prepared a report entitled “The Trans-Pacific Negotiations and Issues for Congress”, comprising the background and evolution of the TPP, the TPP and U.S. trade policy, U.S. trade relations with other participating countries, and core negotiating issues of the TPP, to provide the Congress an overview of the TPP. In KPRU’s point of view, when dealing with controversial policy, Malaysian government, particularly the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) should be held highly accountable to Parliament, the public and all other stakeholders, to make various aspects of the negotiations available and to keep the public informed with the current developments. Such report is crucial as an analysis of cost-and-benefit or comparative advantage study to safeguard national sovereignty and interests.

 Particularly, considering the TPP is being negotiated in secret but keeping giant corporations in the loop, its process appears to be set up to push corporate interests and override the rights and interests of common people. Also, the Investor-State Dispute System (ISDS), whereby foreign investors are given more legal powers and can challenge the government in an international tribunal, which is one of the issues being negotiated in the TPPA can indeed hugely undermine our sovereignty and legal system.

Full report in Malay

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