Monday, August 12, 2013

'Obama's visit will add pressure on TPPA'

President Barack Obama's visit to Malaysia will be further leverage to pressure Malaysia into signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), warned Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today.

NONE"Malaysia has been asking the US president to come every year and our concern is because of the desire of the Najib (Abdul Razak) administration for Obama to come.

"This will be further leverage for the US administration to put pressure on Malaysia (with regard to inking the TPPA)," he told a press conference.

Anwar said while Pakatan Rakyat welcomed Obama’s visit, the opposition bloc however would not allow it to be used as leverage and a form of pressure. 

The TPPA is a wide-ranging free-trade agreement currently being negotiated between 12 countries in the Asia pacific region and Obama is scheduled to visit Malaysia in October.

Sovereignty is at stake
NONEAnwar said PKR would reject the TPPA outright unless a comprehensive study on the agreement was made public, adding that the sovereignty of Malaysia was at stake.

"PKR holds the position that we should reject the TPPA outright, unless and until a comprehensive and impartial CBA (cost benefit analysis) and comparative advantage study are conducted and the results extensively communicated to the public,

"Our rejection is purely on national interest, looking at the provisions which are lopsided, (the TPPA) would only benefit the bigger economies, particularly the US.

"This agreement has a direct impact on our legal and judicial system, economic structures and democratic institutions, our national interest and therefore, sovereignty is at stake,” he added.

Anwar also went on to question why some countries friendly to the US in the region such as South Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan were not interested in the negotiations.

Asked if signing the agreement with haste due to Obama's visit would affect bilateral ties with regional countries that were opposed to the TPPA, such as Indonesia, Anwar said Malaysia "would be perceived as too close, if not a lackey of the US."

~ Malaysiakini

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