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Response to Statement from Charles Santiago on MITI’s TPPA Briefing Sessions

  1. In a news report published by Malaysiakini on 23 December 2015, Klang MP YB Charles Santiago has described the briefing sessions conducted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) as a mere propaganda exercise.

  2. He claimed that the briefings are held with people who have no idea what the agreement is about and have not read it. He also said that despite the briefing sessions, MITI has not responded to the criticisms raised.

  3. Since the final TPPA text was made available in the public domain on 5 November 2015, MITI along with other ministries and government agencies have ramped up our efforts in conducting briefing and dialogue sessions to various groups to help improve their understanding of the trade agreement.

  4. Yesterday, two more briefing sessions were held – one with a group of 500 land surveyors from all over the country and another with a group of 300 student leaders from 10 public universities and 15 private universities across Malaysia.

  5. During both sessions, I have provided explanations on TPPA, including its pros and cons, as well as responded to criticisms raised towards it. About 12 questions were asked by the group of land surveyors while the session with student leaders attracted around 20 questions.

  6. The questions, focusing on specific issues impacting them and other general issues were fairly balanced – some were supportive while some were against it.  In the questions, some of the issues raised are similar to those raised by YB Charles and other opponents of TPP. How can YB Charles claim the surveyors and student leaders know nothing about the TPP?

  7. ‎The responses towards the questions have also been uploaded on the MITI website. In fact, there have been more organisations seeking clarifications from MITI on numerous TPPA-related issues and this clearly shows that our engagements are not merely a propaganda exercise. YB Charles has been very unbalanced and unfair in his views, everything is wrong with TPP and nothing is right.

  8. ‎Based on my engagements with various groups, many are knowledgeable and know about the TPP and to accuse them of ignorance is simply unfair and demeaning. At every presentation, I highlighted all the criticisms against TPP, including the ones raised by YB Charles and provided my responses to those criticisms. All of my presentations have been followed by extensive dialogue sessions‎.

  9. We are aware that there are benefits and costs associated with the TPPA, but in our opinion the benefits outweigh the costs. This is the message that we will continue to push through during our public engagement.

  10. I also acknowledge that many more engagements and outreach programmes need to be conducted to enhance public understanding of the TPPA, its benefits and challenges. MITI and the relevant agencies are committed to step up engagements in January 2016.

  11. Merry Christmas YB Charles and all of our Christian friends.


YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed
Minister of International Trade and Industry
24 December 2015

Last Updated 2015-12-29 07:30:16 by Azuna Hasbullah atau Abd Rahman

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