Party whips should not not be imposed and MPs should be allowed to vote on the TPP according to their conscience next week. But I would like to know the stand of each party and each MP.
I, for one, am convinced the TPP is going to be disastrous for the nation. Not only will it lead to higher healthcare costs, it will also enhance the power and influence of the MNCs and conversely, erode our economic sovereignty.
Look at today’s TPP protest and check out which parties, which MPs participated.
The Malaysiakini rolling report mentioned reps from Pas, Amanah, PSM, PKR, apart from groups such as Bersih, Perkasa, medical patients’ group Malaysian Treatment Access and Advocacy Group (MTAAG), PKKIM Ikhlas, Abim and Isma, participated in the rally. (One activist, Amir, is believed to have been detained – why?)
What about the other political parties? What about the party leaders? Were they there?
Sadly, we know how the BN MPs are going to vote on the TPP.
We also know PSM, Pas and perhaps Amanah are against the TPP.
But what about MPs from the other parties?
Do they subscribe to the neoliberal logic of this so-called ‘free trade’ pact in the belief that it will result in higher investments – something that is highly questionable. (By the way, is a long-term monopoly on drug patents that prevents competition from generic medicines part of ‘free trade’?)
Will the TPP improve wages and living standards and create more jobs or will it put added pressure to keep wages low? Will jobs be lost to lower-wage nations?
Will the TPP result in more value-added production or will we become an assembly line for MNCs with little value added? Will the share of national income going to labour drop and move to capital?
Worryingly, the TPP will expose the Malaysian government to multibillion ringgit lawsuits in opaque overseas tribunals by MNCs that feel their future profits might be threatened by government policies aimed at protecting the public interest or the environment.
All MPs must turn up in Parliament and each must make public his or her stand so that we can all judge who is protecting our interests.
Stop the TPP!