KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27, 2016:

The United States’ culture of suing puts Malaysia at risk if the country signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), argued PKR lawmaker Wong Chen.

The Kelana Jaya member of Parliament (MP) said if Malaysia made any move to change laws that might affect its current and future profits, it could be sued at any time with the use of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).

The TPPA includes the right for foreign corporations to sue governments in international tribunals if it is argued that changes in domestic law or policies can harm their investment.

“The US has the attitude of liking to sue. It is part of the culture.

“This is not criticism against the US because this is based on their very high level of professionalism when it comes to legal matters,” he told Parliament during the ongoing debate on the TPPA.

Wong added that because of this, US investors would not hesitate to sue the Malaysian government if matters are not in their favour.

In response, Setiawangsa MP Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari said that Wong’s argument was as though there was a problem in the ISDS.

“Why can’t we look at it positively, like how government servants will be on their toes all the time. What is the problem?” he questioned, adding that if there was no wrong doing, there was no fear of being sued.

The debate over TPPA continued at 10am today, entering its second and final day of discussion in the Dewan Rakyat.

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