KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26, 2016:

Malaysia must not lose out while other countries benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said 50 years ago, Singapore was poorer than Malaya but now their per capita income was five times that of Malaysia.

“TPPA will give us a new avenue to do business in as well as open ourselves up to foreign investments.

“Look at Singapore that does not have oil reserves or even palm oil but it has five times higher income per capita than us because of its open system policy.

“Even though it does not have a drop of oil, it is one of the biggest refined oil producers in the world. We have to admit that it is more successful than Malaysia,” he said while moving the motion on TPPA in Parliament today.

Mustapa said Malaysia now had the choice to be open or stay closed.

“We will regret if we do not join TPPA while others around us benefit from it. BN believes that to be a developed nation, to ensure better growth and to bring more development to Sabah and Sarawak, we have to be part of international trade and investment.

“We have to be more competitive so that we can be part of the global value chain.”

He said if people had the view that foreign investment stole opportunities from locals, then Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng should close down InvestPenang and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali should close InvestSelangor, while Mustapa himself should close Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

“Our policy is to encourage foreign investments as they bring benefit to the country.

“In Kelantan we have a Japanese company; Rohm-Wako Electronics, that has been operational for 30 years. They had not stolen any opportunities but instead invested RM924 million and created 1,700 jobs in the state.”

He asked if Penang would suggest that companies like Dell and Intel leave the state on the same basis.

“I am sure (Lim) will not do so, therefore be careful when you speak because Malaysia depends on foreign investment and trade.”

Malaysia is among 12 countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the United States and Vietnam, to have finalised negotiations on the TPPA last October.

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