Dr M says can’t quit CPTPP without ‘losing credibility’

Ranjit Singh
Dr Mahathir says Malaysia is committed to participate in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Malaysia is committed to participate in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Malaysia together with 10 other countries — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam — signed the free trade agreement in March.

The Star cited an excerpt of an interview that Dr Mahathir had with a Thai television network last week.

“After the US pullout from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the condition which allows companies to sue governments is no longer something we need to fear. Also, there is less overwhelming dominance of America over the other countries.

“The previous (Malaysian) government had already signed to become a member. We can't withdraw without losing credibility, so we will have to go ahead with the CPTPP,” he was quoted as saying.

The statement clarifies the Pakatan Harapan government’s stand on the CPTPP that Malaysia entered during the previous administration.

The next step before the pact comes into force is when six of the 11 countries ratify the agreement. So far, Singapore, Mexico and Japan have ratified the pact. Australia and Chile have indicated that they will follow suit by year-end.

The CPTPP is a rebranded Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that “collapsed” after the United States withdrew in January 2017 under President Donald Trump.

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