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PSM: Where is Pakatan Harapan in anti-TPPA protest?

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Socialist party PSM has called out Pakatan Harapan component parties PKR, DAP and Amanah for what it claimed is their "pathetic" mobilisation for the upcoming anti-TPPA protest.

"Until today, if we observe from how far they have gotten in moving and mobilising their members to fight the TPPA, it is just plain pathetic," PSM supreme council member S Arulchelvan in a statement.

"It is worrying that the anti-TPPA mobilisation by the Anti-TPPA Group seems not to be getting the full support of (Pakatan) Harapan parties.

"It seems they haven't yet decided on it. And no orders have been issued for their members to mobilise the rakyat (to join the rally)," he continued.

Amanah has been reported to have announced its support for the rally, though PKR and the DAP has said that they will have to wait for Pakatan Harapan leadership to come up with a decision on the matter.

Arulchelvan posited that the issue here may be that Harapan is conflicted as some of the primary movers of the anti-TPPA protest are PAS and Perkasa, who are not aligned to the opposition pact.

He argued ideological and political differences should not be an issue when faced with an urgent issue of public interest like the TPPA.

"PSM believes that we must unite against TPPA which is a corporate agreement that will make paupers of the rakyat.

"Only a large rally composed of multiple groups and parties will drive home the message to Umno/BN that it (TPPA) is not popular at all."

Arulchelvan lamented that the lacklustre performance of Amanah in the fight against TPPA is not new.

He said even before they seem to lack the fortitude to carry the fight with only a few in the pact like Wong Chen from PKR and Charles Santiago from the DAP to be carrying the torch.

He likened this to the opposition's supposed declaration of "war" against the GST last time, lamenting that only grumblings were heard when the tax was passed in April 2015 and no cogent action taken.

subhead: Last chance to show rakyat's rejection of TPPA

Arulchelvan said this weekend's rally is probably the last chance for the rakyat to express disagreement with the much-criticised trade pact.

As such, opposition parties should set aside any differences and join the fight and make sure that the people's voice is heard, he said.

"The time has come for the opposition parties to set aside their political squabbles and put the sovereignty of the country and rakyat first.

"Because once in force, TPPA will not differentiate between religion, race, and ideology."

He also expressed his appreciation to electoral reform coalition Bersih and other NGOs for their stated support and promised mobilisation of the anti-TPPA rally.

Protests against the US-led trade pact has intensified with critics claiming that it will victimise and threaten the sovereignty of smaller economies like Malaysia, and provide easy pickings for corporate giants and larger economies.

This weekend's rally organisers have said that they wil comply with existing laws on public demonstrations and have informed the police as legally required, though police said that they are still waiting for a 'complete' notification from organisers.

The government will table the pact for the Parliament's approval next week, and a heated debate is expected though with the BN dominating the legislature it is expected to go through without too much ado.

Arulchelvan said it would be interesting to see if BN parliamentarians who are not aligned to the current Umno leadership like former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will vote on the TPPA.

He wondered if they will vote against TPPA or "play safe" by not attending the parlimentary sitting to debate the trade pact.

Related reports

Bersih joins anti-TPPA protest, predicts huge turnout

‘Complete notice to hold anti-TPPA rally yet to be received’

Malay NGOs lock horns over TPPA

Jomo's TPPA analysis flawed, says think-tank

‘More bumi manufacturers will be export-ready with TPPA’

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