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Malaysia Rejects Bid To Stop Discrimination System August 15, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in big fat no, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, ethnic Malays, free trade agreement, Malaysia, Malaysian, Racial, racial privilege, Racism, Racist, Rafidah Aziz, Rejects, socio-economic, sovereign, System, Washington.

Malaysia said it would reject any bid to have their system of discrimination in favor of ethnic Malays canceled.

Malaysia and the United States are now in the process of negotiating a free trade pact which will cover Malaysian government procurement awarding profitable contracts to Malays or bumiputera.

The country’s Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz said that Washington knew Malaysia’s necessity to keep its policies for Malays, who comprise about 60 percent of the population, as its sovereign right.

“If government procurement in transparency is what is required, no problem. But if anybody, the U.S. or anybody, wants to impinge upon our rights to put forward or to implement a particular type of policy, that’s no go,” she told AFP.

“If anybody tells us we would like for you to change your policy, the answer is a big fat no.”

The free trade agreement between two countries is scheduled to be signed by mid-2007.

Foreign investors have expressed protest on the transparency in Malaysian tendering processes and the presence of little procurement opportunities.

In response, Rafidah said businesses were free to bid for tenders issued internationally.

“They can argue till the cows come home because we have our own internal policies, which is based on a socio-economic development premise,” Aziz said.

The two nations had just completed a second round of talks and Rafidah said progress had been “very good.” Officials are now studying sectors and areas to include in the agreement.

Washington is pushing for a deal before June next year, but Rafidah said Malaysia would not be forced into a schedule.

“We’ll take our pace. It’s the U.S. who has got a deadline. If they have got a deadline, that’s their problem,” Aziz adds.

The third round of talks will be held in Malaysia in September.

Source: All Headline News

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