Dr M says it again: We don’t need TPPA

Malaysia can still expand its market without the TPPA, says Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is still of the opinion that Malaysia should not sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) as Malaysia can still expand its market without the agreement.

“If we do not sign the TPPA, we can still expand our market and be one of the biggest markets in the world,” said Mahathir during a roundtable discussion held by the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) here today.

“Our trade has increased year by year and without the TPPA, we have become a rather big trade market.

“We do not need the TPPA, we have managed to expand our market without depending on agreements,” stressed the former prime minister who has been vocal about his opposition to the agreement.

He further stressed that Malaysia should not sign the agreement as there is not much that the country can export.

“Why must we accept this agreement which will open our market to the United States (US) as though they are our people?

“What can we sell to the US? Can we sell to them, fighter jets?” he asked.

He also claimed that the US’ promise of increased export for Malaysia was nothing but bait on the latter’s part.

“They promised if we sign the TPPA, our export will increase.

“However, it is just bait for us to sign the TPPA. They will instead block our export,” he said.

Control trade

The former premier also said there was no such thing as free trade, rather, control trade, with regard to the agreement.

“All the member countries will have to follow the terms set in the agreement. By tying ourselves to the US, we won’t have freedom anymore.

“Everything will be controlled by the US as the agreement is meant to colonise Malaysia and the other smaller member countries,” he said.

He further stressed that the agreement will only be beneficial for the US.

“If we study the agreement, some of the terms will only incur losses for us.

“It’s not a partnership, rather, the agreement is to tie a few countries who are not so aware that some of the terms will only benefit the US.

“The US won’t introduce an agreement with other countries unless they can reap as much profit as possible,” said Mahathir who cautioned that agreements will only put Malaysia at the losing end.

“We are always trapped when we join agreements with other countries,” said Mahathir, citing the water agreement with Singapore.

He then added that although the US make it seem as though member countries can export their goods easily, the fact is otherwise.

“Although the US say they are opening their market, their terms will be strict.

“And for example, because we cannot fulfill their terms, we cannot sell our cars to them,” he said.