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Malay NGOs lock horns over TPPA

Published:  |  Modified:

Malay rights pressure group Perkasa today challenged the pro-Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) coalition Majlis Perundingan Melayu to show if it is a registered entity and does indeed represent Malay voices.

Perkasa said it was once a member of the MPM but parted ways with the coalition in 2011.

MPM in a statement yesterday said it represents more than 200 NGOs and supports the government’s bid to sign the TPPA.

“I hope MPM can list out the NGOs said to be backing them so we know which NGOs back the government’s bid to sign the TPPA.

“This is so any NGO which is listed by the MPM and who are opposed to the agreement can then correct their stance,” Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali said in a statement.

Despite earlier anti-TPPA statements by its president, Syed Hassan said Perkasa was still on the fence with regards to the TPPA.

It is hosting a roundtable discussion on it this Saturday involving economists and other industry players and is in the midst of confirming the attendance of international trade and industry ministry representatives, he said.

“Arguments by anti-TPPA quarters showing that the risk of undermining the position of Islam, the bumiputera and the country outweighs the benefits is of a concern for us,” he said.

Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu (MTEM) and the Malay Chamber of Commerce are opposed to the TPPA.

Among others, there are concerns that the TPPA will erode the government's ability to impose bumiputera-friendly conditions when bidding for government contracts.

The TPPA is up for parliamentary debate at a special session next week and will be signed next month if Parliament consents.

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