Heated TPPA debate expected


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Debate during the special Parliament sitting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on Jan 26 is expected to be a heated affair.

Hints of this came after a closed-door briefing held between International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and lawmakers from the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara yesterday.

While Mustapa insisted that his explanation on the benefits of the TPPA was accepted by some opposition lawmakers, he acknowledged that there were still some who may have their reservations.

“I want to state that they (lawmakers) were happy with my explanation and have a better understanding of TPPA.

“However, whether they vote to support TPPA in Parliament or not is something I cannot say,” he told reporters following a closed-door briefing at Menara MITI here yesterday adding that he received positive response from several opposition lawmakers after his two-hour briefing.

“An opposition MP even came up to me and said that TPPA was not a bad deal after all,” he added.

He urged Opposition lawmakers to debate in a professional and responsible manner when TPPA is tabled at the special sitting.

“They should not raise unfounded questions.

“I answered all their questions at the briefing and they were happy with my answers,” he added.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club’s chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who was present, chided several quarters for instilling fear among the people over TPPA.

He said the nation must be brave in accepting challenges if it was to move forward.

When approached for her comments, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said they were not convinced by Mustapa’s explanation.

“He gave the picture as though he could answer the questions.”

“However, he cannot predict what will happen in the future,” she said.

Barring a better explanation on TPPA’s benefit to the nation, Dr Wan Azizah said they would not support it when tabled in Parliament.

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