COMMENT Back in 2008, the Malaysian government concluded the signing of a US-Malaysia FTA with 58 redlines or "red-stops", which discontinued the two-year negotiation. Among leading protagonists was then Agriculture Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who mentioned that he would not compromise the livelihood of local farmers.
He was even quoted as saying ‘over my dead body'. MP Khairy Jamaluddin led a protest, citing that the FTA would take away Malaysia's sovereignty, while patent protection would deny access to generic medicine. What has changed in the past five years? One thing for sure, it is definitely not the content of the FTA.