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FMT Video and PASTv: #BantahTPPA protest at KLCC – TPPA is a myth of free trade – 11 Oct 2013

The Star Online
11 Oct 2013

NGOs march to KLCC in protest of TPPA

BY T. AVINESHWARAN

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) protesting against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) marched to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) from the As’Syakirin Mosque here Friday afternoon to pressure the Government against signing the agreement.

The demonstration, amid heavy rains, coincided with the visit of United States Secretary of State John Kerry, who is expected to push the Malaysian government to sign the agreement.

Led by Bantah TPPA coordinator Anas Alam and Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) coordinator Badrul Hisham Shahrin, better known as Chegubard, the group shouted anti-TPPA slogans.

Opposition leaders like Batu MP Tian Chua and Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar took part in the demonstration.

“We’re here because we are angry over the pro-business terms of the deal.

“It only benefits the multinational companies of the country. The people here will suffer if we sign the TPPA,” said Dr. Jeyakumar.

However, the demonstration was cut short when security officials from KLCC asked the group to disperse from the area.

Although Malaysia has yet to sign the agreement, NGOs have claimed that the Government has negotiated 19 times with the US and everything was kept in the dark.

The TPPA is an initiative to establish a free-trade agreement among the 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region and is open to other Apec economies.

The 12 TPP members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

Free Malaysia Today
11 Oct 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Around 100 protestors gathered in front of the KLCC As-Syirikin mosque and thereafter marched towards KLCC to protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The protest was led by Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) and supported by other NGOs such as Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Aids council group and Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (MIPAS).

In support, opposition MPs too made their presence in the protest namely; PAS leader Salahuddin Ayub, Batu MP
Tian Chua and Sg. Siput MP Dr Jayakumar.

Other notable NGO activists such as S Arutchelvam and Badrul Hisham Sharin aka Chegu Bard were also seen at the protest.

The march which started at 2.30 pm walked towards KLCC and stopped there for almost 40 minutes to allow the opposition politicians and NGO activists to give talks in protest against the TPPA.

Around 60 police personnel from the special branch, criminal division and internal security division were at the post to control and monitor the crowd.

It is also believed that these police personnel are from Bukit Aman, Dang Wangi and Brickfields district police.

At 3.15 pm a heavy down pour forced some of the protestors to leave the scene.

However around 30 protesters stood their ground and marched till the front of Jalan Ampang before stopping.

Then around 10 protesters continued to hang around in front of the Petronas KLCC entrance and started singing patriotic songs.

After 5 minutes a police officer interrupted the group and stopped them from singing; urging them to disperse.

Arutchelvam and Jayakumar from PSM then informed the police officer that they will disperse in 5 minutes; which they promptly did.

The protest was done in a peaceful manner despite the heavy rain which did not deter the spirit of the protesters who continued to march.

The protest was held while the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2013 was in progress at the KLCC.
The two day summit beginning today was attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The march today is seen as a direct snub to International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed who had advised the public during last month’s Parliament session not to hold any demonstration during US President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit.

Kerry is here in place of Obama, who is held up back home due to the US government’s shutdown over a political deadlock caused by Obama’s healthcare plan.

During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak made a strong stand in defending Malaysia’s position that flexibility was the key to a successful pact.

He had also said that Malaysia would not be a mere “yes man” in the ongoing TPPA negotiations as its priority would always be to protect the country’s sovereign rights and welfare of the people.

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