KUALA LUMPUR – The Dewan Rakyat today approved a motion allowing Malaysia’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, moving the country a step forward towards signing and ratifying the trade accord bringing together 12 nations.
The motion was carried with 127 votes for and 84 against.
Twenty-four MPs spoke during the debate on the motion tabled by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yesterday at the two-day special sitting of the house. The Dewan Negara will debate the motion tomorrow.
The motion, among other things, proposed that the Dewan Rakyat approve Malaysia’s participation in the TPPA as it would strengthen the country’s competitiveness at the regional and global levels.
The Dewan Rakyat approval backs the decision of the government for Malaysia to be a part of the TPPA member countries after the talks were concluded on Oct 5, 2015 in Atlanta, United States, following more than five years of negotiations.
Mustapa, in winding up the debate, said the TPPA was not a trade pact drafted solely by the United States as Malaysia also participated in the drawing up the international agreement.
He said Malaysia was also involved in preparing the draft of the TPPA, among others Chapters 6, 21 and 24 in relation to cooperation and capacity building of small and medium enterprises and development as well as other important chapters not contained in any other trade agreement.
“As such, the assumption that Malaysia made use of the United States template (in drafting the agreement) is not true,” he said.
Mustapa said Malaysia would not be influenced by the capitalist system if it were to sign the TPPA and it would also not change the national economic system because Malaysia’s was a mixed economy.
He said the negotiations on the TPPA were not a one-man show but involved many parties, and the matter was brought before the Cabinet more than 40 times over a span of five years. – BERNAMA