M’sia to study CPTPP
> Impact on efforts to distribute wealth equitably a key point of concern
TOKYO: Malaysia is studying the implications of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) before deciding to ratify the free trade agreement, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said Malaysia has to study the terms of the agreement to see how it would affect efforts to distribute wealth in the country equitably.
“Although the negotiations have been concluded, it has not been ratified,” he told Malaysian media here yesterday on the final day of his three-day working visit.
CPTPP is a rebranded version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, that “collapsed” after the US withdrew in January 2017 under President Donald Trump.
Six countries have ratified CPTPP, Bernama reported.
Mahathir said Malaysia is different from other countries, as it is multiracial.
“The distribution of wealth between the races is not fair. Disparities between the rich and the poor even in a single ethnic group will lead to confrontation and violence. What more if the poor belong to one race, the rich belong to another race. That will cause tension, anger, envy and bad feelings. We want to avoid that.”
One another matter. Mahathir said the government’s efforts to get cooperation from the JR Kyushu Railway Company to look into problems faced by the national railway service is to ensure that it is beneficial to the nation.
He said Malaysia had requested the company’s assistance in conducting a study to enhance the roles and benefits of our railway services, including cargo delivery.
“Our train services are almost complete. However, only 30% is being used.”
Mahathir said many large containers were transported by road, which was inefficient and would disrupt traffic.
“We have to use railway services for transportation of containers and big items. Our railway is electrified but cannot carry containers. In Japan there is a system for trains to move (such items),” he said.
The study by JR Kyushu Railway was one of the issues discussed during Mahathir’s meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, on Tuesday.
Mahathir, who was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, being received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for a lunch event at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo yesterday.