FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6th November 2015
PRESS STATEMENT: Let’s scrutinise the full text of the TPPA
6th November 2015, Kuala Lumpur – The full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has finally been released by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), a month after the agreement was concluded in Atlanta in early October.
Commenting on the publication of the text, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO of IDEAS said: “I commend the prompt release of the final text of the agreement to the public. This will provide the public with enough time to scrutinise and understand the impact of the agreement to the nation and its citizens before the government decides to sign it.”
“It is clear that the government has secured many concessions in this agreement. This proves that staying firmly in the negotiations has been the right decision, unlike what has been demanded by anti-globalisation campaigners. If the government had followed their demands to withdraw halfway, we would not have been able to secure the concessions.”
“We understand that the Cost Benefit Analysis and the National Interest Analysis will be released within 2-3 weeks. Anti-globalisation activists have been mocking the government for not releasing the studies earlier. This is an absurd demand. How can any analysis be done without the final text being available? However, now that the final text has been released, I urge the government to ensure that the analyses are released as soon as possible, in full and without any alteration.”
“We are still studying the document and it is too soon for me to make a final judgement. But I would like to reiterate that any move towards greater rule of law and greater liberalisation is a move in the right direction. 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.”
“Having said that, I am disappointed that the government did not take this chance to ride on the TPPA wave to bring about radical structural reforms to our economy. 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 from the TPP rules. These are the areas that need radical reforms, but these are also the areas that the government have refused to reform through the TPP.”
Wan Saiful concluded “We will continue studying the full text. 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. Many of them made up their minds blindly without reading the text at all. Our civil servants have worked very hard to ensure our country gets the best deal and at the very least we owe them the civility to read and study the text fully before jumping into hasty conclusions.”
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IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion.
Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals. For more information, please visit http://ideas.org.my/
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