by Azly Rahman
It was conceived in secrecy; that even members of the US Congress did not get to read the discussions leading to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the world of global economics’ most comprehensive and controversial trade agreement dictated by America's largest corporations.
It was WikiLeaks that enlightened the world of the deal contained in this global euthanasic note of those ‘developing countries’. Seventeen documents were released to document the nature of the secrecy and the more than 150 corporations backing the global project of neo-imperialism Malaysia has plunged herself into; like suicidal workers assembling some brand name Internet phone, unable to live with the pressures of big businesses using cheap labour to the point of fatality.
Does the Malaysian government really understand what it is all about?
From manufacturing to pharmaceutical to those involved in the production of arms, these corporations are also contributors to both the Democratic and Republican campaigns in a country, land of the brave and the free, in which those who have the money can contribute as much as they want to the candidate of any party they wish to - those parties and individuals who will be given the mandate to sustain and advance America’s corporate interests worldwide: interest of the like of America's now-bankrupt Enron Corporation; interests of the less than 1 percent of the powerful and the rich controlling the struggling and semi-powerless 99 percent Americans worried about their jobs they will be losing to Third World countries able to pay less than US$10.00 a day assembling things, from toothpicks to Bluetooth technology to parts of drones used for micro-mini aerial bombings of those countries considered threats to America’s corporate interests.
The TPPA is ‘Nafta on steroids’, as American workers affected by it say. It is a fast-track American investment plan that will make the Empire live and breathe longer in the face of advancing global, economic, military, and geo-political interests of China and Russia.
The grand design is the biggest ever in the history of the world’s commanding heights; a plan that will have all the legal implications international and over-arching enough that perhaps even the medicine-men and shamans and bomohs of Malaya will not be allowed to save their products and services from the onslaught of the patenting might of the ‘US pharma in a Sicko Nation’ with a deep love affair with capitalism, as film-maker Michael Moore would put it.
Generic drugs cooked and prepared by the bomohs and Thailand and in Bali and in Golok and Pontianak, will not be available as only original ones to cure serious diseases will be allowed under the control of big names of the American pharma empire. The claim that generic drugs will still be available is unfounded when the TPPA will ensure the monopoly of the development and the distribution of it.
The claim made by executives of Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Ministry that the TPPA will encourage the development of new drugs is to say the least naïve and shows the lack of understanding of the precarious nature of the regime of big pharmaceutical companies that would even lay claim and patent species of plants in the Amazon jungle or the Borneo rainforest should the TPPA use the ‘speak silently and carry a big stick’ policy of domination on inventions.
Even the Bomoh Malaya and producers of ‘Anti-Hysteria kits’ might have to register as ‘Health and Wellness service providers’ with the Empire of Corporate Control whose multinational corporations have been having their global reach since the time of Thatcherism and Reaganomics.
And that is just one aspect of the way Malaysia may have signed her suicide note. We have not even talked about the changes in the fundamental character of central banks, and state investment bodies that will eventually be made to kow tow to the dictates of the TPPA in general and to the global corporations in essence; corporations that do not pay allegiance even to the United States but to itself and owners of the means of production and massive profit-making.
Do corporations have a soul?
Do corporations have a spirit and a human soul anyway - although by law it demanded to be treated as human beings with rights and privileges? Does the Malaysian government understand the nature of the American corporation and why and how it is a key player in the secret humongous cartel called the TPPA?
Has Malaysia lost her mind? Today's politicians who are bought into the arguments for the ‘benefits of globalisation and trade arrangements couched in beautiful and elegant language of neo-liberalism aided by the philosophy of gun-boat diplomacy’, may be dead in a decade or so. But once the agreement is signed, we will all be dead economically - now, and for the duration of the agreement.
Already, the Malaysian economy is in its last breath; the TPPA will be that nail bigger than the coffin to ensure the totality of the total global domination of the American Empire on steroids. It will be devastating to generations to come; akin to the selling of a child into debt-bondage and servitude.
Welcome to the matrix of Malaysian madness. the TPPA is a case of ‘Tipah Tertipu Big Time’, if we wish to explain it to the kampongfolks. This one is more real that the puzzles and the mysteries of Najib Abdul Razak’s 1MDB and the missing MH370 airliner.
Don’t our ministers of trade study sophisticated Business English? Or - how to identify a country’s suicide note?
We will be doomed, to start with. We have signed that suicide note. Even the American people know that it is authored by the rich and powerful who serves only one god: money.