Green light for TPPA after 127-84 vote

28 Jan 2016 / 01:19 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat passed the controversial motion to sign and ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) today.
The Opposition's supplementary motion to remove the word "ratify" from the TPPA motion was defeated in the Dewan, which means that upon signing TPPA, the government can proceed to amend the 26 laws to allow its enforcement in the country.
The TPPA is scheduled to be signed on Feb 4 in New Zealand.
The motion was passed with a bloc-vote of 127 majority against 84 opposition MPs after a two-day debate which began on Tuesday and will go through the senate tomorrow.
Thirty-two MPs debated on the motion with six ministries winding up on the debates.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed in winding up the special meeting said the agreement is done in the best interest of the country.
"TPPA will not change the economic model of the country. This I can guarantee; we will still have Bumiputra companies and government-linked companies," he said.
Adding that all member countries will be have a representative at the TPP Commission, Mustapa said there will be no veto power but refused to give a guarantee to it.
"It is not true that TPPA is following a US-template but we use the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the World Trade Organisation's template for certain chapters," he said.
Mustapa also refused to answer whether the government will consider to form a special select committee to scrutinise the amendments to the relevant laws that will be done upon signing.
The proposal to form a special select committee was placed by Ong Kian Ming (DAP-Serdang) while debating and was supported by Datuk Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong) stating that the suggestion is reasonable and would provide better accountability.
Mustapa said when tabling the motion, that TPPA became controversial because it did not just focus on tariffs and tax reduction.
"It is a new era and comprehensive treaty. The agreement covers six important matters including lower tax for certain products specifically electronic and electrical goods, liberalisation and protection for overseas investments and environmental, labour and intellectual property enforcement, transparency and anti-graft policy."
Malaysia is the only country among the 12 member countries involved in the treaty to debate it in Parliament.

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