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Malaysia: 'Thailand's dictator is NOT welcome! Democracy NOW for Thailand!'

Joint statement by the Socialist Party of Malaysia and others (see below)

Links international journal of Socialist Renewal

December 1, 2014 -- We, the undersigned organisations, condemn the Najib-led Malaysian government for receiving the official visit of military coup leader from Thailand, Prayuth Chan-ocha. The reception for Prayuth is an act that recognises and lends legitimacy to the illegal government in Thailand that grabbed power through a military coup and the suppression of democracy since May this year.

Prayuth Chan-ocha came into power last May, when he staged a military coup against a democratically elected government. Martial law was declared, activists and dissidents were arrested and harassed by the coup apparatus, an undemocratic interim constitution was introduced, and Prayuth appointed himself as the prime minister of Thailand without popular approval through democratic elections. Freedom of expression has been suppressed by the repressive National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) led by Prayuth.

The current coup has nothing to do with enhancing democracy and social justice in Thailand. Instead it only tightened the grip of dictatorial rule and has attempted to crush any democratic institution that exists. The coup is set to protect the interests of a section of the Thai ruling class who want to reduce the democratic space in order to consolidate their power. The military junta in Thailand has no interest in bringing about free and fair elections to solve the political crisis, and certainly will not protect freedom of expression, which it sees as a threat to its rule.

The Thai military has been notorious for ruthless crackdowns on democratic movements. The current military-installed government led by Prayuth is desperately seeking recognition and support from the international community to justify its ruthless dictatorship in Thailand. Accepting and receiving the visit of Prayuth means that the government of Malaysia is blindly expressing support for a military dictatorship and rubbing salt into the wounds of the people and democracy in Thailand.

We call upon the Malaysian government to stop recognising the administration of Prayuth before the following condition is fulfilled:

Immediate repeal of martial law in Thailand;

Stop the crackdown and arrest of political dissidents in Thailand and free all the political prisoners;

Restoration of the election process to let the people of Thailand choose their future government democratically;

Malaysia will be holding the chair of ASEAN next year, and there is a need for the government of Malaysia to take the lead to get other governments of ASEAN together to condemn and assert pressure to bring back democracy in Thailand.

We also extend our solidarity with the pro-democracy movement in Thailand to fight against the military dictatorship and for the restoration of democracy in Thailand.

Signed

1. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

2. Malaysia Support Group for Democracy in Thailand

3. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

4. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)

5. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor

6. Committee for Asian Women (CAW)

7. Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA)

8. KOMAS

9. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)

10. Selangor and KL Hokkien Association Youth Section

11. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan KL (PRIHATIN)

12. Jihad for Justice

13. National Interlok Action Team (NIAT)

14. School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly, Treading Humbly

15. Political Studies for Change (KPRU)

15. Pax Romana ICMICA

16. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters- HRDP in Burma

17. Free Trade Union, Sri Lanka

18.Globalisation Monitor, Hong Kong

Members of parliament

1. Chua Tian Chang, MP Batu

2. Charles Santiago, MP Klang

3. Jeyakumar Devaraj, MP Sungai Siput

4. Chang Lih Kang, ADUN Teja

For enquiries, please contact Chon Kai 019-5669518 or e-mail: int.psm@gmail.com

Protest against 'illegal' Thai premier's visit

A group of local NGOs staged a protest against the arrival of Thailand coup leader turned prime minister general Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The 50 protesters who turned up at the Thai embassy were upset with the Malaysian government and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for officially welcoming the "illegal" premier.

"Dictator not welcome. Go back Prayuth", shouted the angry crowd at the embassy premises in Jalan Ampang where the protest took place. They also held placards that read "return democracy", "no coup" and "dictator not welcome".

Parti Sosialis Malaysia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas, Komas and 14 other NGOs were involved in the protest.

They demanded Thailand to immediately repeal its martial law, end its crackdown and arrests of political dissidents and release its political prisoners.

They also called for Thailand to restore its electoral process.

'Don't recognise Prayuth'

"Before these conditions are fulfilled, we called upon the Malaysian government to stop recognising Prayuth's administration", demanded the group in a memorandum they submitted to the Thai embassy.

"We demand that the general shall not be treated as a guest in Malaysia", added Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor president Irene Xavier.

She said it is a shame that Asean countries have endorsed Prayuth, who has gone against the principles of democracy, she said.

Meanwhile opposition party PKR Batu MP Tian Chua, who was also present, said "It's important that Malaysia, which will become the chairman of Asean next year, takes the lead to condemn and pressure Thailand to restore its democratic process.'

Receiving the group was the embassy's minister-counsellor Annop Soonjan (left), who thanked their visit and promised to convey their message to Prayuth later in the evening.

On May 22, Prayuth took control of the country after removing elected prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, following six months of massive protests and a court decision against the latter's premiership.

28 people have been killed and over 700 injured in the Thai protests preceding Prayuth's coup and three months later, the army chief was endorsed by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as the new premier.

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