DAP wants special committee on TPPA implementation

Ong

KUALA LUMPUR: Ong Kian Ming has suggested the Dewan Rakyat form a special Parliamentary committee so lawmakers can monitor the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The Serdang Member of Parliament said since the pact would most likely be signed by Prime Minister Najib Razak next month, all MPs may as well think of a method to make the TPPA a more fair and transparent agreement.

“The special committee will have more power and we can ensure that all decisions made by this committee will be more transparent and fair,” the DAP strategist said, adding there were at least 26 items that should be amended in the TPP agreement.

He was responding to a suggestion from Hasan Arifin of Barisan Nasional that a Malaysian TPP research institute be set up with several Opposition lawmakers sitting on its board of directors.

Hasan said the institute would allow lawmakers to decide on the most proactive steps that could be taken to address issues such as Bumiputera rights.

Ong however dismissed Hasan’s suggestion, arguing that the institute would not have any power to supervise or monitor the implementation of the trade agreement.

Ong’s suggestion of a special Parliamentary committee instead was supported by Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad of Amanah and Parit Sulong MP Noraini Ahmad of Barisan Nasional, who agreed that several amendments needed to be made in the trade agreement.

Parliament is currently debating on whether or not the country should sign the contentious trade agreement.

The TPPA is a free trade agreement being negotiated by the US, Malaysia and 10 other nations since 2010 as part of the larger Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership.