Corporate agenda

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This is Najib speaking at the UN general assembly, where he delivered an impassioned speech about the need to oppose extremism. (Check out 2:45 in the video to see the other Malaysians at the UN.) All well and good, but will he oppose extremism, whether religious or racial, which threatens to tear us apart in Malaysia? We are watching, and so far not many are convinced by his resolve in reining in the bigots out to create trouble here.

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While most of us were focussed on the massive 1MDB scandal, we were nearly hit by the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Do-or-die TPP negotiations were almost concluded, but thankfully, they were stalled at the last minute by some sticky points.

But this TPP won’t go away so easily: it is not an ordinary ‘trade agreement’. That term ‘trade agreement’ is part of the corporate media propaganda ploy to try and ‘sell’ the TPP deal to a naive public.

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Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is growing as people in affected countries express their disquiet.

Within Malaysia, I don’t think there has been enough media coverage and political debate on this huge trade pact, which is going to have far-reaching implications. Obama is anxious to get Malaysia and the countries in this region to sign on the dotted line, and that could be why he was being so ‘pal-ly’ with Najib, going on a charm offensive over golf.

So Nurul Izzah’s piece below serves as a timely reminder of what is at stake:

At a recent talk on the GST, I asked those present what they thought “GST” stood for. Most of those present responded, “Goods and Services Tax”.

Then, I showed them a cartoon by Zunar which described GST as “Golfing, Shopping, Travelling”! They got the joke and laughed knowingly.

One of the factors contributing to the persistent fiscal deficit in Malaysia has been the deliberate and gradual reduction of income tax rates over the years.

From a fairly progressive tax system, Malaysia has moved towards a regressive tax system. The government has trimmed the tax rates for the rich and super-rich over the years.

Singapore is now bucking the trend by raising income tax rates for high-earners by 2 per cent.

The TPP is “the largest—and worst—trade deal you’ve never heard of,” says a campaign on In other words, “Nafta on steroids”. You may not have heard of it because the negotiations are all being done in secret. Perhaps even over a round of golf?

Incidentally, Robert Reich in the video above is “an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997” (Wikipedia).