PARLIAMENT | International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali was told in Dewan Rakyat to correct his "erroneous statement" on the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
This came when former finance minister Lim Guan Eng pointed out that Pakatan Harapan rejected the CPTPP as it was worried that the free trade agreement would expose Malaysia to the foreign interference.
Lim was rebutting Azmin who said the cabinet, during the Harapan administration, endorsed the ratification of the free trade agreement on Sept 5, 2018, after previous BN government inked CPTPP with ten other countries on March 8, 2018.
"I want to dispute (your statement) because the cabinet did not agree with the ratification for fear of foreign interference in domestic trade and affairs.
"It is not correct for you to say the (Harapan) government agreed to ratify (CPTPP). Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he disagreed, and his statement had been endorsed by the cabinet then," he said.
Azmin, however, argued that the minutes of the cabinet meeting dated Sept 5, 2018, showed that the Harapan government agreed to ratify the CPTPP.
Lim then asked Azmin to review the latest cabinet's decision on the matter, instead of referring to the documents from September 2018.
Meanwhile, Azmin said there is no time from for the ratification of the CPTPP, unlike the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which must be ratified with 24 months of the signing of the agreement.
He noted the CPTPP had entered into force for seven countries, including Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore and Vietnam.
In November 2019, the then international trade and industry minister Darell Leiking said the government would only ratify after the government was very certain that it would benefit the nation.
The Malaysian Reserve reported that the cabinet would make a final decision on whether to ratify CPTPP.
The 11 countries of the CPTPP pact form a trading bloc representing 13.5 percent of global GDP.