Faced with increasing pressure from civil societies and the opposition, the Malaysian government on Thursday stressed that it will only sign the trans-Pacific free trade pact if the terms are “most favorable” to the country.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s Cabinet held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the International Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
“The Prime Minister and Cabinet directed negotiators to continue ensuring that Malaysia’s sovereignty is defended in the course of the TPPA negotiations. They are unanimous in reinforcing Malaysia’s position that we will only agree to the TPPA with terms that are most favorable to our country,” the statement said.
The Cabinet agreed to conduct two more cost-benefit analyses focusing on small-medium enterprises and the ethnic Malay business community besides a comprehensive analysis on “national interests.”
Over 50 organizations ranging from rights groups such as Suaram to trade unions and pro-Malay rights groups such as the Malay Economic Action Council and nonprofit organizations such as the Malaysian Aids Council have banded together recently in an unprecedented move to assert pressure on the government to be more transparent about the TPP negotiations.
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