Press freedom, human rights, minority rights and democracy are among the conditions set by the European Union before Malaysia can enter into a free trade agreement with them. Absurd and unbelievable!
Visiting European People's Party member Dr Werner Langen said at the Parliament lobby on Tuesday that the EU would be looking into this areas, which includes public procurement and social services.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz agreed with Langen, saying that Malaysia needed to look deeply into matters such as affirmative action. Not sure whether he agreed to the conditions or with what he only understood. We have yet to hear from Tok Pa, our MITI minister.
However, the EU dropped such conditions on Singapore and South Korea. Even Thailand, a country with so many coups and political instability, was given a leeway by having its democracy, human rights and public procument spared.
Such conditions do not reflect a well-composed EU. Many of its countries are still plagued with minority problems. Denmark, Germany, Spain, the UK, Holland and Switzerland still hold a bad record when it comes to minority treatment.
Minority Muslims and foreigners are still being oppressed and mistreated by local authorities, if not by the government for certain rules and restrictions.
Some countries still hide the fact that they too are actually racist and anti-immigrants. I wonder why Turkey (for its bad public procurement and political instabililty), among EU's newest member was accepted easily while Croatia (a peaceful and fast growing economy, its per capita among the highest in Europe) was slapped with so many pre-requisites.
Did Nazri give a good answer to the EU envoy? Did he try to explain the nature of our politics, our freedom of the Press and human rights to him? I doubt it (and why must he was chosen to attend to Langen).
And the fact that Langen also met with Anwar Ibrahim and Suhakam (apart from his meetings with Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and the Federal Land Development Authority) tells us everything. Suhakam, in collaboration with Anwar must have given Langen (and their allies in the West) a distorted picture.
Speak for your EU, Langen! Tell them that Malaysia is better off than some of its member countries in the context of human rights, Press freedom and minority rights. And we dont separate mosques from churches like what they are doing.
Malaysia has signed many FTAs with other countries and organisations. Only EU and the United States imposed silly and unacceptable conditions on us.
We wont lose anything if we dont sign up with them!