Even Vietnam signed TPP, why are we so scared? Najib asks

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today questioned the reason behind some Malaysians’ fear of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), amid heated debate on the controversial agreement.

Najib said even countries like Vietnam have daringly entered into the agreement, and that backing out of the free trade agreement would signal a lack of bravery on Malaysia’s part when it should have the competitiveness and the might to compete internationally.

“That’s why we are not scared and we should not be scared … If we are in AFTA, the Asean Free Trade Area, can’t we compete within the Asean context? If Vietnam is brave enough to enter TPP, don’t tell me Malaysia is scared of TPP?

“Where is our bravery? Don’t tell me we are only good are cheering, we need to be brave in competition where our country too can succeed,” he told undergraduates in his closing speech at the National Undergraduates Leadership Conference here.

Najib told the undergraduates here that he would be shedding more light on the TPP in the Umno general assembly which begins this week.

“We want TPP, and I told President Obama, ‘Mr President, yes we want the TPP but we want it on our terms’,” Najib said, referring to US president Barack Obama.

“And it was done, though we had to play hard to get a little but in the end, we got it .. We got a deal which I feel is very good and I will explain more on it later in the Umno General Assembly scheduled in the next one or two days.”

Negotiations over the TPP, which would create the largest trade bloc on both sides of the Pacific Ocean involving 12 countries, have been shrouded in secrecy for years and its contents were only unsealed last month.