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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26, 2016:

The Opposition does not reject open trade in the country but encourages more of such activities with many countries.

“In principle, the Opposition doesn’t reject open trade, and we welcome such activity with any country, except for Israel,” Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.

Speaking when debating the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) at the Dewan Rakyat, today, the Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament said Pakatan Harapan would not tolerate extortion or greed among any parties and countries where trade is concerned.

As such, she called on the Barisan Nasional Whip Tan Sri Abdul Shahrir Samad to allow the BN Members of Parliament to vote with their conscience.

“I call on the BN Chief Whip to direct all BN Members of Parliament to vote with conscience, and it should be done discreetly.

“If the TPPA discussions can be done in private, I believe voting should be treated the same way.

“I also call on all Members of Parliament to reject the motion as it would benefit greedy foreign investors instead of protecting the rakyat’s welfare,” said Dr Wan Azizah.

However, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said while the decision of whether to allow secret balloting was under the prerogative of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, there was no interpretation of such practices in Malaysia.

“The practice of voting tomorrow in one voice, that depends on the Speaker but if 15 Parliamentarians ask for block voting, there will be block voting.

“But if you ask me, it’s been hot enough outside (parliament). I expect a heated atmosphere inside the Dewan Rakyat, but that hasn’t happened yet. It’s still under control.

“There is no Malaysian interpretation on secret ballots. That depends ond the speaker. He decides, not us,” he said.

Mustapa also chided Members of Parliament who were debating on the TPPA in parliament today by slamming foreign companies.

“If there are Parliamentarians who take the approach of bashing multinationals, then kick them (companies) out of Malaysia if that is their approach,” he said.

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