I read with much interest news reports which states that Barrack Obama, the President of the United States, will pay yet another visit to Malaysia in November having just visited last April.
Mind you, that last visit was the first by a serving US President to our shores since Lyndon B Johnson came in 1966, almost 50 years apart.
Why the greater interest in Malaysia and this region?
Could it be because he needs to garner more support for the flailing Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)?
Last month the Obama administration failed to secure Senate support especially from his own Democratic party to give him Fast-Track Authority to negotiate the TPPA. Nevertheless, the Trade Promotion Authority was passed by Congress ever so slightly yesterday, and is now sent back to Senate.
Obama’s continued push for this agreement, which even until now has been negotiated in almost total secrecy, raises a few questions on his exact intention.
As widely reported, the TPPA is a lopsided Agreement benefiting mega transnational companies whilst calling into question the national sovereignty of countries like Malaysia as well as our public health and internet freedom.
Obama’s failure to even convince members from his own ranks, the Democrats, to support the deal even though they stand to benefit greatly from the deal should provide enough indication for Malaysia not to continue with it.
The Malaysian government must therefore make a stand of its commitment, whether they are happy to play into the hands of the US and their big multinational corporations, or that they would do the right thing and uphold the sanctity of the country’s sovereignty.