|D for ?: This anti-TPPA Dude is too lazy to even spell Malaysia out
Puchong, 26 Jan:
The other day, my daughter asked me to tell me what I understood about Asean. So I started from the beginning, how our forefathers founded the grouping with its neighhours, out of fear for the Communist invasion and the need for these newly-Independent nations to find strength in their diversity. They were many naysayers of the new grouping back then but today we are on the verge of an AEC that will provide Malaysian enterpreneurs a market of half a billion people.
|Precursor to ASEAN
Mind you, Malaysia was not a sleeping partner in Asean. We have never been that in any of the regional and international bodies, trade organisations, associations, trade agreements, etc that we are part of.
In Asean, we pushed for Zopfan; in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) we campaigned against Yugoslavia over the ethnic-cleansing in the Balkans; in the United Nations we pushed the war against Apartheid in South Africa and the unlawful and often violent Jewish occupation of Palestine, even when we were not part of the world body's Security Council; we sent our soldiers to take part in peace corps operations all over the world; we shouted at the top of our lungs for Rich countries to forgive the debts of the Poor at World Bank and IMF meetings; we stood our groud at APEC and demanded for "level playing field", much to the chagrin of the US and Australia; we threatened to pull out of the Commonwealth; we have had to shame our laidback OIC brothers into action countless times; and so on and so forth.
|Malaysia a member of the World Bank, 1958
We have never allowed others to dictate the agenda to the point of compromising on our sovereignity. Never. Even when the Afta was formalised, we made a sure we bought some time (an additional five years, if I'm not mistaken) for our national car industry ie Proton to adapt. Myanmar would not have been accepted as an Asean member if not for Malaysia's insistence that we adopt constructive engagement with the nation at a time when the US wanted the world to boycott the Burmese.
|Tun Razak climbs the Great Wall, 1974
Don't forget, tiny as we are, we even made major initiatives to gather other peoples and unite other nations. We took the lead in the South-South Cooperation and created the LID that, in turn, gave birth to SAID. We became known for a while as "Champions of the South". An expensive foray but worth it, many would insist.
Perhaps we deserved more success in our effort to create the EAEG (later East Asia Economic Caucus) but that was not to be. It was defeated not by the Americans, mind you, but by the lack of consensus among own neighbours, some of whom were not quite comfortable with our agenda of excluding the Americans in a grouping that would include China.
|APEC: There was no "selfie" back then
Today, we are close to the US while remaining closer to China (or the other way round).
|Malaysia-US ties wefie-d
In all these regional groupings and world bodies and federations and FTAs, Malaysia has never ever been "colonized" by the US or Russia or China. We didn't kow-tow to the Serbs, De Klerk, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Canberra or even "big brother" Indonesia. We dictated the South agenda but we were never accused of trying to colonize the Africans or the Latin Americans.
I, therefore, find some Malaysians' objection towarsd the TPPA so amusing and their fear that this would lead to neo-colonisation, that we would be forced to kow-tow to the American capitalists , and lose our Independence somewhat childish.
Judge ourselves by our own track record, stupid!
Read Perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPPA) by Najib Razak
Pay attention to the last para.
7. Berbanding dengan perjanjian perdagangan bebas yang sebelumnya, TPPA mengambil kira kepentingan isu-isu khusus kepada Malaysia dengan memberikan pengecualian di dalam hal-hal seperti hak Bumiputera, perolehan Kerajaan, syarikat milik Kerajaan dan sebagainya. Di samping itu, Malaysia mempunyai kebebasan untuk menarik diri daripada TPPA dengan memberi notis bertulis selama 6 bulan. Maka TPPA bukan kontrak yang mengikat Malaysia selama-lamanya. Sekiranya TPPA dilihat merugikan negara maka Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara berdaulat berhak untuk menarik diri daripada perjanjian tersebut.
We can check out anytime we want, but why would we ever want to leave?