KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is still free to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) even after endorsing it next month.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia could exit TPPA without having to pay any penalty as stipulated in Chapter 30 of the proposed agreement.
"If the agreement is detrimental to the country, we can always scram after giving six months' notice," he said during a briefing on the TPPA's costs and benefits here yesterday.
Mustapa said this was to allay fears that the controversial deal would put Malaysia at the losing end.
"There are pros and cons. Compared to the time when the 12-page Pangkor Treaty was signed in 1874 where the nation was sold out (to British imperialism), we are smarter now.
"We make sure that TPP will be a win-win deal," he said, adding that Malaysia was not being forced to endorse the TPP agreement drawn up by the United States with 11 other countries.
However, Mustapa said the 595-page TPP agreement that came with a 5,755-page appendix should not be viewed as "Aladdin's magic lamp" that could strengthen the ringgit and the Malaysian economy.
"There is no guarantee that the ringgit will appreciate after signing the TPPA," he said.