Establish PSC to examine TPPA, govt urged

24 Jan 2016 / 11:18 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should establish a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to scrutinise the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) instead of putting it to a vote.
DAP's Klang MP Charles Santiago said the debate and vote in Parliament on Jan 26 does not matter as the TPPA's wording could not be changed.
"The debate and vote on Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan 26 and 27) is of no significance, it is just going to be a yes or no vote.
"You can't change one word of the agreement," Charles told reporters at near Dataran Merdeka after he attended the Anti-TPPA protest here earlier.
Furthermore, he said, it would take MPs from both political divide to oppose the TPPA for it to be voted down, an unlikely event considering that the government has the majority in Dewan Rakyat.
Charles also pointed out that the government only revealed the full text of the TPPA in late December while the parliamentary debate is only weeks away.
With more than two million words on 6,000 pages divided into 30 chapters, he said, this is simply too much for MPs to digest and debate effectively.
Charles said it would be best if a PSC comprised of experts be formed to look into the TPPA.
He also claimed that the TPPA is not a trade agreement but one to regulate the state as many of its chapters does not concern trade.
Charles said, for example, if the government wishes to introduce new regulations in the future concerning medicine, international pharmaceutical companies can sue for millions of dollars in compensation.
Commenting on the seeming lack of DAP members at the protest, he agreed that perhaps the party could have done more for the protest but insisted that the party is against TPPA.
Charles said some DAP Youth members are present at the protest while the party had also organised events to raise awareness about the negative aspects of TPPA.

thesundaily_my Sentifi Top 10 talked about stocks