Among those who oppose the TPP in Malaysia, the US is on their crosshair, always. The opposition is so US-centric that I wonder whether they are anti-TPP, or anti-US. Malaysia has signed several other FTAs in the past years and negotiating more but you do not hear any complaint against those. Among the pro-TPP too, whether it is about trade or involving some kind of geopolitical babble, more often than not, it is about the US and sometimes about Malaysia too.

Yet, Malaysia is negotiating the TPP with 10 other countries and there is hardly any question asked about what these countries want out of Malaysia and what Malaysia would get out in return. Judging from various reports, it is quite clear that what Japan wants is very different form what the US wants, never mind the exemptions requested by all countries to accommodate their domestic political reality. But there are not many questions asked on this front.

Granted, Malaysia has active FTAs with six other TPP countries — Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam — through the Asean trade system. There is even one between Malaysia and Chile. The TPP could very well replicate those existing FTAs. But the question I would love seeing asked and answered is how TPP would change the existing ties. Is there any new special request between these countries?

And we know, the TPP has more depth than any of the previous FTAs Malaysia has signed.

What about others that we do not have a treaty with, like, besides the US, Canada, Mexico and Peru? We would have to discuss with them from the ground up. No, there is no question asked here too.

During the Malaysia-Singapore Retreat earlier this week, Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong mentioned the TPP. In this video, he mentioned it at 1:11:

That was a chance to ask specific Malaysia-Singapore issues within the TPP. But nobody asked them there. I do not even see any analysis about the TPP coming from the annual retreat.

So, I think this is the area where the debate in Malaysia at least should spread out to.

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