KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Malaysia will likely face devastating socio-economic consequences if it chooses to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Hence, Bantah TPPA/CPTPP Coordinator, Mohd Effuan Aswadi Abdul Wahab, said Malaysia should not ratify the trade deal as it may lose its essential policies flexibility, shaped by the multi-ethnic society.
“Malaysia has a socio-political economic structure that is very sensitive, given the multi-ethnic nature of its society. We have huge inequalities between ethnicities and regions and the Malaysian government needs sufficient space to implement policies to close the gap.
“Therefore, it would be far better for Malaysia not to ratify the CPTPP,” he said in a statement, in response to a recent report titled “CPTPP is good for Malaysia, says think tank”.
Mohd Effuan said the article did not portray the real issues that Malaysia would face if the country chooses to ratify the CPTPP.
“There are many challenges that Malaysia must face and the socio-economic consequences for Malaysia will be devastating,” he said, adding that the CPTPP was also really not about free trade as only six out of 30 chapters dealt directly with trade.
He said many chapters in the agreement would only benefit major corporations more than the wellbeing of the people.
“Some of the major chapters that are controversial are those on investment, investor-state dispute settlement and state-owned enterprises, to name a few,” he explained.
Mohd Effuan was also concerned that the government-linked companies (GLCs) would be restricted in the preferences that they can give to local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) chapter.
“SOEs or better known here as GLCs have been instrumental in strengthening Malaysia’s economy and have proven their capabilities by assisting numerous local SMEs,” he added. — Bernama