KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17, 2016:

Any party that wishes to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should first read its contents, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said that a number of criticisms and concerns on the TPPA were based on rumours, not facts, and made before the agreement document was released.

“When the text came out, many stated that their worries were taken into account and that they were satisfied.

“However, unfortunately, a number of criticism made after the texts were released showed that they had not read (the agreement), in my opinion. They have to evaluate their stand.

“If it is based on emotion, wanting to sell the country, sell to America (United States), to foreign companies, that is all emotion and incorrect,” he said after giving a speach on the TPPA to government agencies today.

Bantah TPPA president Mohammad Nizam Mahshar will be leading a demonstration on Jan 23 at Dataran Merdeka that will be joined by 53 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Perkasa and the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim).

PAS, which is currently viewed to be friendly with Umno, will also be attending the protest to oppose the BN- led government’s efforts and intention on signing the agreement with 12 nations.

Mustapa added that the allegations led people to believe that signing the agreement was to “sell the country”. This may have been relevant in previous years when Malaysia was still a small, growing nation that lacked great foreign investments.

“Back then, allegations like these might be relevant as Malaysia was small, but now we are mighty. Our investments abroad are RM600 billion, RM500 billion.

“Who would have thought that Malaysia would become a great nation. It is not easy for Malaysia to be colonised again.

“The ones who are talking are saying as if foreign investments is a new thing and that we don’t have investments abroad.

“We must realise that we have the strength,. The proof is that our companies are abroad (and) not just any companies, for example, companies like Petronas.

“They must be fair, inspect their stand based on the facts that are transcribed within the texts that were distributed on Nov 5, 2015.”

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