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Malaysians rally against US-led trade deal

23 January 2016 15:32


Thousands of Malaysians have rallied in the country’s capital against a United States-led trade agreement that is planned to involve the Southeast Asian country.

The Saturday rallies attracted several thousands of protesters voicing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Upon its expected signing in New Zealand next month, the pact would align Washington, Kuala Lumpur, and 10 other countries bordering the Pacific Ocean in a colossal trade alliance.

The alliance is designed to be the legacy of US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy shift toward Asia at the same time as being meant to counter China’s influence in the Asia Pacific region.

Should it get the blessing of the participating countries in the upcoming signing ceremony in Wellington, it would have to be ratified by each nation’s respective legislative body within two years.

Canada, Brunei, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, and Australia are the other parties to the pact.

The Malaysian demonstrators demanded that the government reject the accord in a parliamentary debate next week.

Prominent Malaysian opposition figure Chua Tian Chang, better known as Tian Chua, told the crowd that the TPPA will affect Malaysia’s sovereignty and that “jobs will be reduced and prices of medicines will go up.”

The pact “will only help the rich people. It will not help the poor people in Malaysia and I don’t see any benefits for my family and I,” said Mohammad Noor Ismail, a student who attended the protest.

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