Invites Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to a Dialogue on the Ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP)

Gabungan Kedaulatan Negara (National Sovereignty Coalition) has sent an invitation today to YB Senator Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), to participate in a dialogue on the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP).

It is understood that the MITI Minister in an exclusive interview with CNBC news channel on Thursday 5th January announced that the Government will not reassess the impact of the CPTPP on our country. The Minister was also reported to have said: “It is true that there are some issues raised by various parties, but the matter has been dealt with and many actions have been taken by the ministry and the government to deal with it. So we are very committed to join CPTPP”.

However, the fact is that so far there has been no detailed response from MITI regarding the concerns raised by various civil society organisations and experts. Just like the answers made in Parliament by former Minister of MITI Azmin Ali, the current Minister’s comments in the CNBC interview were general and full of assurances but never directly answered the various specific and factual concerns of the critics of the CPTPP.

The memoranda submitted to each Government (Barisan Nasional, Perikatan Nasional, and now the Unity Government) over the years show that specific provisions and Malaysia’s commitments under the CPTPP, as a whole, reduce the country’s freedom to make and implement policies for the benefit of the rakyat.

We welcome the new Government’s commitment to address issues of people’s rights, economy and welfare, especially the B40 group in today’s uncertain global environment. Legally binding commitments under the CPTPP were last concluded in 2015. The world has changed drastically since then, but the cost and benefit analysis (CBA) published by MITI in July 2022 clearly states that the study assumes that the world remains the same as in 2021 when the study was done. This alone is sufficient reason for a total review and reassessment of the CPTPP’s for Malaysia.

In addition, the scope of MITI’s CBA is also not comprehensive. We do not understand how that can be the basis for the Government to decide that the benefits of the CPTPP far outweigh its costs. We have proposed that a dialogue with the MITI Minister be held on 6th January or any date convenient to him as soon as possible.



– Press release by Gabungan Kedaulatan Negara
Azlan Awang
Senior Fellow
Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu

Chee Yoke Ling
Executive Director
Third World Network

Press Release, 6 January 2023