Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 27th of January, 2016
Disappointed that the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Mustapha Muhamed, failed to take up my challenge to set up a special parliamentary committee to monitor the implementation of the TPPA
During my speech on the TPPA this morning, I challenged the Minister of International Trade and Industry to set up a special parliamentary committee to monitor the implementation of the TPPA during the 2 years leading up to possible ratification after the TPPA is signed on the 4th of February, 2016.
Unlike other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), the TPPA will involve 27 amendments for 17 acts before it can be ratified by the participating countries. This special parliamentary committee would have monitored and given input for these amendments in order to ensure that they are consistent with international best practices. It would also have monitored changes in rules and procedures under the various ministries which do not require parliamentary approval. It would also have played the role of ensuring that the certification process which will be conducted by the United States is done in a way which is fair and does not privilege special interests which may try to influence the process. Finally, this committee should have the power to recommend to the Minister that Malaysia pull out of the ratification process if they find that it is not in the best interests of our country to go through with the TPPA.
Sadly, in his winding up speech, the Minister failed to even address this suggestion. This means that the process of ratifying the TPPA would be done in a less than fully transparent and accountable manner. This would undo much of the credibility which the Minister and his Ministry has built up through their public engagements to explain the TPPA.
It is not too late however for the Minister to take up this suggestion. I urge the Minister to announce the setting up of this special parliamentary committee before the signing of the TPPA in Auckland, New Zealand on the 4th of February, 2016.
Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang