Free Trade Agreements (FTA) sounds like a good thing for Malaysia, by opening up our market to USA and increase export opportunities for Malaysia. But look closely at the clauses of FTA and certains clauses may stop you cold.
For one, FTA will extends US's legistration to our country. This means that what US decides to be illegal could be make illegal here too. Is this possible? With FTA, yes.
FTA is supposed to create jobs in Malaysia as promised in Australia, Singapore and Thailand. What would happen is, these big corporate Americans will come in, take over your jobs and your business, outsource it to cheap Indians and Chinese, and reap the profits. If you make laws to protect our local markets, US can ask for compensation. That's right, if you try protect yourself, you are screwed anyway.
FTA is anti-Open Source Software. Right now, we are major user of OSS. With FTA, OSS will be deemed illegal -- whether by patents infrignments or otherwise -- and we shall be made to pay for softwares that were crated to be free.
Right now, the Australian, Canada and Mexican are feeling the heat, you read about them here, here, here, here, and here.
The Malaysia-US FTA is to be signed before June 2007. Please do not let this happen. I will blog more about this later.