“President Barack Obama will be visiting Malaysia at the end of this month and there is a general fear that this will cause the government to agree with ISDS,”
PETALING JAYA: An anti-TPPA movement today expressed its fear that the government would embrace the contentious Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause and sign the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
“President Barack Obama will be visiting Malaysia at the end of this month and there is a general fear that this will cause the government to agree with ISDS,” said Bantah TPPA chairman Mohd Nizam Mahshar in a press conference today.
In concurring with his statement, Malaysian Aids Council policy manager Fifa Rahman added: “However, we fear this will not be in our favour”.
TPPA is a secretive free trade agreement made to tie 12 countries with the United States as the head to a restrictive global law that will dictate trade terms from medicines to internet use.
The TPPA which has been in negotiations since 2008 has received protest from all the countries involved in the ongoing negotiations.
To date, the TPPA negotiation is still shrouded in secrecy and is lacking in transparency. Even the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) has gone on record to affirm that notion.
Fifa further reiterated that lack of synchronised information from the various governments and bureaucrats has led to more discrepancies on the matter.
“At first they (government) want to stand their ground on the matter, but now, they want to negotiate. However, I have received different information on that matter,” she said.
Adding to that, Nizam claimed that although Miti was apologetic, the ministry has not done anything to resolve the problems. Meanwhile, Fifa also said that if TPPA was realised, the price of medicines would soar.
“Not every Malaysian can afford to pay RM10,000 a month to cure a disease. We hope when Obama is here, this negotiation will be brought forth and discussed,” she added.
It will be deadly for Malaysia to accept the agreement in the absence making solid amendments that benefits the public and the nation, said Nizam.
Malaysia is currently in negotiation with 11 other countries including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, Vietnam and Japan to conclude the TPPA.