Free Malaysia Today | February 14, 2014
Night anti-TPPA protest for M’sians in the dark
PSM demands that the TPPA negotiation text be presented to the rakyat.
PETALING JAYA: Candles were lit and banners were hung in front of the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) last night as a form of protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Around 60 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) supporters, including a busload from Perak, held a sit-in protest demanding for the agreement negotiation text, which so far has been shrouded in secrecy, to be presented to the rakyat.
PSM treasurer A Sivarajan said the night protest was a symbolic move as Malaysians were still in the dark on the details of the agreement.
He stressed how it was important for the government to first obtain the mandate from the rakyat before inking the controversial agreement.
“The minority (Barisan Nasional) government has no right to negotiate on our behalf,” he said.
Telling the audience that a meeting was scheduled for today (Friday) between Miti Minister Mustapa Mohamed and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Sivarajan said that the meeting was of no use as the government will still continue with the negotiations.
The banners – painted by the supporters – were in place of a memorandum. One of the banners read “TPPA jahanamkan rakyat”.
Beside speeches and chants of “Tolak TPPA, Bantah TPPA” by prominent PSM leaders, the event was interspersed with a poetry recital and singing of songs by the Pemuda PSM.
There were about five police officers (not including those in plainclothes) on standby to ensure no untoward incident occurred.
Only for super rich
Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar pointed out how the agreement will only help the capitalists.
“The agreement is only a bill of rights for giant corporations. It is not for the ordinary people, instead it is only for the 1% (the super rich).
“We want relations with other countries, but we also want something that will serve the interest of everyone,” he said.
He then claimed that most BN MPs were actually shocked about what the agreement entails.
“They know there is a problem with the agreement, however, they said we have no choice, that it is better to bite the bullet by signing it as we have to be in good terms with the capitalists,” he said.
Jeyakumar further stressed for Malaysia to take the lead and form a trade system based on the rakyat’s interests.
With regard to bringing the text to Parliament, he said that it will obviously be passed as there are more BN MPs.
“However, the government should give MPs a chance to bring the text to the rakyat of each constituency for discussion for at least three months,” he said.
PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan echoed his colleague, saying that the TPPA was only for the rich.
“These rich people go for TPPA meetings, do you think they discuss about the unemployment rate? No, they talk about how to rob the rakyat of their money.”
US big gangster
He also pointed out how Malaysia’s demands will never be heard, giving an analogy of a big and smaller gangster.
“When all these countries go for discussion and the United States (US) and Malaysia sit together, who’s bigger?
“The US is the big gangster. Do you think a big gangster would listen to a smaller gangster?”
He was also adamant that the agreement will be signed secretly.
“Everyday they show on the television about the goods and services tax (GST). But do they show anything about the TPPA?” he asked.
“No, this is because they just want to sign it (TPPA) behind our backs.”