Clandestine activities, subversion of democracy

Engr Hj Mohd Prasad bin Hanif | .

While Umno continues to mesmerize the people with fantastic light shows coupled with the occasional comedy relief, little do the people realize that clandestine deals and negotiations are taking place.  For the next few weeks, the government controlled mainstream media will focus on Umno or GHB, whichever brings them higher sales and revenue, to keep the people busy on trivial and minute issues. Meanwhile, away from the hulabaloo, UMNO and Barisan Nasional will sign the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

PAS Selangor is disturbed and concerned, not only on the contents of the agreement, but also by the manner it is portrayed to the people. This is an agreement that might have far reaching consequences and massive impact in terms of copyright laws, intellectual property, local business competition, protection for locals businesses including arts and music, censorship laws as well as the country’s sovereignty. However, little is made public on the content of the agreement. Many quarters, including businesses, non-government organizations, only possess information that are mere conjecture or extrapolations, at best. Most are in the dark over the actual contents of the agreement for Malaysia, specifically.

An extrapolation could be based on TPP agreements that other countries signed. For example, we consider the TPP agreement signed by Australia. One of the TPP provisions is said to allow corporations to sue governments that pass rules that might hurt the corporation’s business. Philip Morris, a tobacco company, sued Australia over its “plain packaging” law and is now suing Great Britain. (Be mindful if the deal includes this. If we catch our children smoking, Malaysians might not be able to implement a law to prevent it.)

The government has purposefully taken action to minimize coverage and information on this agreement. By classifying the agreement as a secret document, Umno has subverted democracy by denying the people to make informed decisions on the future of this country. They have unilaterally decided on this agreement without the consent or the mandate of the people. Umno and Barisan Nasional is not acting based on the trust given to them, nor in the best interest of the country. They have not published the agreement publicly based on reasons they have yet to explain or in the worst case scenario, to protect their own personal gains or interests.

Common sense dictates that an agreement that serves the best interest of the people and the country will be well received and supported by the people. So why hide it, Umno?

Be Transparent. Publish It.

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