KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17, 2016:

Malaysia should sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement because it would benefit the country in the long run, according to Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong.

He said debates on the issue should not be politicised as being left out from the deal would affect future generations.

“If we are not among the original signatories, we will be a latecomer.

“I think the MPs should vote (on the matter) wisely.

“We should study this thing deeply and not politicise the issue,” he told a press conference at the special TPPA briefing at the Gerakan headquarters here this evening.

The briefing was given by International Trade and Industry Ministry deputy secretary-general (Strategy and Monitoring) Datuk J. Jayasiri, who is the counrty’s chief negotiator for the TPPA.

Mah said Gerakan’s leaders had studied the agreements in the TPPA and fully supported the government’s efforts to rectify several issues.

Asked whether the party had raised any issues on the deal, Mah said Gerakan leaders were concerned about the effect it may have on the small-to-medium enterprises, apart from medical costs.

“I’m sure the government will take steps to mitigate these factors, but the main point is that in any agreement, we must see the plus and the minus.

“What (happens) if we do not sign? We have actually signed a lot of FTA (free trade agreements) over the last 10 (or) 15 years and we have benefited a lot.

“I think that we must be open to the idea of that (signing the TPPA),” he said.

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