KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21, 2015:

“The government’s readiness to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) can be compared to selling the country,” said Bantah TPPA (Protest TPPA) chairman Mohd Nizam Mahshar.

He said that when the agreement was signed, the deal would inherently jeopardise the nation’s sovereignty and national interests.

“The TPPA will place the interests of foreign nations and foreign companies over the interests of Malaysia and local businesses.

“There is no guarantee that it will bring more positive impact, rather than negative implications, for the people.

“We do not oppose trading with foreign countries, but urge the government to make the correct choice and not endorse the TPPA,” said Mohd Nizam after leading a protest near the Ampang Park light rail transit (LRT) station today.

The peaceful demonstration started around 2pm at the Asy‑Syakirin mosque at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) before progressing to the LRT station.

More than 150 participants from 52 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and political parties, namely PAS, PKR, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Amanah and Perkasa, joined in the protest.

Kongres Rakyat (People’s Congress) chairman Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid claimed that the TPPA was a tool used by the United States to conquer Malaysia and other countries.

He said the presence of US President Barack Hussein Obama at the 26th Asean Summit certainly had something to do with the US pressuring Malaysia to sign the TPPA.

“TPPA is an agreement riddled with exploitation, gripping and oppressing the people and used by the US as a means to conquer 11 countries in its agenda to compete against China and dominate 40% of world trade.

“Therefore, Malaysia will continue to be tied down and exposed to US exploitation when the TPPA is officiated. The US will use all its powers to take advantage of its own interests.”

Sungai Siput Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Michael Jeyakumar added that the TPPA would have an adverse impact on medication as well as the intellectual property of Malaysians.

He said previously, new medication brought into the country was protected under copyright and patent laws, with the companies that brought in the medication receiving a 20-year business monopoly on the drugs in Malaysia.

“With the TPPA, this monopoly will be extended another eight years, making the period 28 years.

“Even making copies of textbooks will be a criminal offence as the books have copyright extending to 70 years after the death of its author. After that, copies may no longer be made after the death of the writer or a representative.

“The people are urged to return home and tell their representatives not to approve the TPPA and we need the support of Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs to oppose the TPPA because the Opposition lacks the majority in Parliament.”

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