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Socialist Party of Malaysia

Malaysia: Democracy movement calls Bersih 4 mass protest for August 29-30

PSM general secretary Sivarajan Arumugam (second from left) protests workers' conditions in Malaysia.

By Peter Boyle

August 6, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- The Malaysian democracy movement, BERSIH, has called its fourth major mobilisation — named Bersih 4 — for August 29-30, 2015, amid increasingly desperate and repressive attempts by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of PM Najib Razak to suppress investigations of his alleged involvement in a multi-billion corruption scandal embroiling the debt-ridden state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

A 36-hour, overnight protest is being planned in the capital Kuala Lumpur and simultaneous solidarity events are being organised in other Malaysian cities and all around the world. Previous BERSIH protests have drawn hundreds of thousands out into the streets since 2007 despite police repression.

'Your struggle is our struggle': Asia-Pacific left solidarity with the people of Greece and SYRIZA

July 3, 2015 -- Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and the SYRIZA-led government as they prepare for a referendum on July 5, 2015, on whether to accept the continuation of the program of neoliberal austerity or chart a new course free from the debilitating stranglehold of the “troika” — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission.

We support the call of SYRIZA for a "no vote" as the only option for the people of Greece, especially the working classes, to assert sovereign control over the country's economy and their own future.

We condemn the “troika” and their allied political institutions, for forcing their policies of neoliberal austerity, privatisation, deregulation and savage cutbacks dismantling the public sector. We, therefore, hold the “troika” responsible for the massive unemployment, increased poverty, greater social inequality and a severe economic depression now being experienced by Greece. The irony of it all is that the huge debts the “troika” is demanding for repayment did not go to Greece but were used to repay private sector creditors such as French and German banks. In other words, these are onerous and illegitimate debts.

Socialists: 'Stop pushing back refugee boats; ASEAN must solve Rohingya humanitarian crisis!'

May 16, 2015 -- Socialist Party of Malaysia, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Together with all concerned Malaysians, the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) would asserts that for the 8000 or so Rohingya [refugees] at our doorstep, pushing back the boats into the sea should never be considered an option. Instead they should be allowed onto Malaysian shores while negotiations take place at ASEAN level on how best to resolve this humanitarian crisis.

Though the sad and bitter truth is that the sea seems to be the only place willing to host them now, it would be completely inhuman to push back the boats and abandon 8000 lives to the vagaries of weather and sea. 

Malaysia and other ASEAN countries need to accept that they are dealing with 8000 lives, mostly victims of the barbarism of the genocidal Myanmar regime that has taken away their citizenship, and their right to life. Instead of criminalising the victims, ASEAN nations must resolve to find permanent solutions  to the situation. Turning them away or deporting them back to Myanmar are not only unacceptable, but such actions also do not address the crisis or prevent its recurrence.

Malaysia: Protest letters needed! May Day protesters arrested

Socialist Party of Malaysia secretary-general S. Arutchelvan was among those arrested at an anti-GST protest on May Day in Kuala Lumpar.

May 2, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Malaysian police have arrested Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan, formal president of Malaysian Bar Council Ambiga Sreenevasan and member of parliament for Seremban Anthony Loke at a May Day demonstration on May 1, 2015.

The arrests are part of the recent wave of crackdown on anti-GST (goods and services tax) and aim to further curtail dissent in the country.

Another 29 young people were arrested soon after the May Day rally. More people have been call to report themselves to the police otherwise will be subjected to arrest.

About 20,000 people took part in the May Day rally this year in the capital city Kuala Lumpur, with the theme to demand for the cancellation of the newly introduced GST. The protest was largely peaceful, but the police reacted with arrests after the rally and intended to punish the protesters by remanding them in lock-up.

Malaysia: Najib has 'jettisoned the liberalisation project', socialist MP Jeyakumar Devaraj says

PSM MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj.

By Peter Boyle

April 8, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the early hours of the morning on April 7, the Malaysian parliament reintroduced powers of indefinite detention without trial in the form of a new Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). Such powers, previously under the Internal Security Act and Emergency Ordinance — which were repealed in 2012 under popular pressure — have a notorious history of being used by British colonial and, after independence, Malaysian authorities to detain political dissidents.

The official justification for POTA was the alleged threat faced from "terrorists" influenced by the so-called “Islamic State” group in Iraq and Syria. Just as the law was being rushed through the parliament, the police announced that it had arrested 17 people accused of planning terrorist acts.

“The new law gives the authorities very wide powers and does not have sufficient checks and balances”, Malaysia's sole socialist MP and long-time campaigner against the ISA Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj (pictured) told Green Left Weekly in an exclusive interview.

Malaysia: Update: Anti-GST protesters released!

By Socialist Party of Malaysia/Parti Sosialis Malaysia(PSM)

UPDATE March 26, 2015 -- All the Malaysian anti-GST protesters who were detained on March 23 have now been released on RM3000 bail. They are to appear in court again on May 14. Thanks for all the protest letters!

* * *

March 24, 2015 -- PSM, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Police used excessive force in the recent crackdown on protesters against the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is scheduled to be implemented on 1 April 2015.

On March 23, 2015, the Coalition Against GST, which is led by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), the Oppressed People’s Network (JERIT) and a number of civil society groups, staged a sit-in protest at the Customs Office in Kelana Jaya, to demand answers to more than 100 questions raised by many Malaysians regarding the GST. The director of the Customs Office refused to answer these questions and the police reacted violently against the peaceful sit-in.

Eighty people were arrested during the police violence at the Customs Office. More than 50 protesters were later released but another 31 anti-GST protesters and those arrested for protesting against the clampdown are still being detained by the police. The police have even applied for a further remand of these 31 anti-GST protesters.

The 31 detainees are:

Malaysia: Socialist leader released on court orders after arrest for 'sedition'

By Peter Boyle

February 27, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On February 19, 15 policemen descended on the home of Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) general secretary S. Arutchelvan (Arul) in Kajang, a suburban satellite of the capital city Kuala Lumpur.

They detained him under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act for a statement he issued by the PSM on February 10 after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction on a sodomy charge.

Demonstrations for his release began immediately outside the police station where he was held and late in the evening on February 20 he was released on the orders of a magistrate. The PSM and others are campaigning for the repeal of the colonial-era Sedition Act and for the release of Anwar Ibrahim.

Arul gave Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal this interview via email on February 26.

* * *

What is your legal situation now? Are you charged with sedition or only still being investigated?

I am not charged yet. The police want two weeks to process the information on my mobile phone, modem and laptop -- which they confiscated -- before they decide. It will again be a political decision, I believe.

Malaysia: Solidarity statement -- 'Free Arul! Abolish the Sedition Act!'

Joint statement

To endorse please send email to: peterb@greenleft.org.au

February 21, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The undersigned organisations add our voices to those in Malaysia now calling for the immediate release of Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, PSM) secretary general S. Arutchelvan (Arul), who was arrested on the evening of February 19, 2015, on charges of "sedition".

These charges, and the arrest of Arul, are a travesty of justice and democracy.

We believe Arul has been arrested for his press statement on behalf of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia on Anwar Ibrahim’s "sodomy 2" guilty verdict. In this statement Arul criticised Malaysia's Federal Court judgement, saying the courts are not independent and are politically driven.

We call for the:

1. That the sedition charges be dropped and Arul be freed immediately.

2. The repeal of the Sedition Act , a notoriously anti-democratic law dating back to British colonial rule which has and continues to be used to suppress and intimidate dissent.

Malaysia: Demand the release of socialist leader arrested on sedition charges!

S. Arutchelvan.

[See also "Malaysia: Solidarity statement -- 'Free Arul! Abolish the Sedition Act!'"]

By Jeyakumar Deveraj

February 20, 2015 -- PSM, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At about 6 pm, February 19, 15 policemen from the Dang Wangi police station descended on the house of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia, PSM) secretary general S. Arutchelvan [Arul] in Kajang, and arrested him. According to the arresting officer, Arul was being arrested under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act, which reads: "Any person who prints, publishes ... or reproduces any seditious publication shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years."

(Updated Feb. 20) Asia-Pacific socialists condemn latest US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela

Protest on April 11, 2004, commemorates the April 11, 2002, coup attempt that almost succeeded in overthrowing Hugo Chavez.

[If your organisation would like to sign this statement please email int.psm@gmail.com.]

February 17, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the recent coup attempt that sought to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela in order to reverse the achievements of the socialist Bolivarian process.

The failed coup attempt was crafted around a plan that involved creating an economic assault on the country, creating an international debate around a supposed humanitarian crisis, a political coup involving officials who would turn on the government, and finally a military coup that would lead to the installation of the transitional program. The coup plotters even planned to bomb Miraflores [presidential] Palace and the TeleSUR offices in Caracas, as well as conducting assassinations of both members of the opposition and the government, including President Maduro, during the ensuing chaos once the coup unfolded.

Malaysian socialists condemn bogus guilty verdict on Anwar Ibrahim

Supporters of Anwar Ibrahim rally outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, February 10, 2015.

By S. Arutchelvan, secretary general, PSM

February 10, 2015 -- Socialist Party of Malaysia, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia, PSM) is appalled at the disgraceful judgement by the highest court in the nation on [opposition leader] Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy II case. Any person following the trial in the Federal Court would have made a overwhelmingly foregone conclusion that Anwar is innocent and he should be free man today. This hope was dashed and now in shambles.

The judgement today further deepens our  convictions that the courts are not independent and are politically driven. The prime minister's department, which in normal circumstances responds late to any issues, has issued a statement very promptly and efficiently. Was this statement ready before the judgement? One would not need to be a genius to answer this.

The highest court has unanimously put to shame our criminal justice system and judiciary beyond repair. It is time people wake up that something is seriously wrong.

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.

Philippines: Successful Asian Socialism Conference; Bonifacio Day in Manila (video)

By Reihana Mohideen, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) international desk

December 2, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A very successful Asian Socialism Conference was held in the Philippines, November 28-29, followed by a rally on November 30. Around 350 delegates participated in the conference, well exceeding our target of 250 leaders who had registered prior to the conference. A contingent of around 3000 rallied and marched on November 30 to mark Bonficacio National Hero's Day.The conference was organised by the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM).

A strong feature of the conference was the participation of women leaders of the Philippine Socialist Feminist movement.The conference brought together the socialist feminists, revolutionary LGBT activists, with a strong contingent of socialist workers, intellectuals from the University of the Philippines, urban poor leaders and out-of-school youth, and students from high schools and campus.

Climate activism: 'It's not enough to criticise. Build movements that confront the crisis'

Gemma Weedall addresses Socialism 2014 in Malaysia.

By Gemma Weedall

[This is based on a presentation Socialist Alliance's Gemma Weedall gave to Socialism 2014, a conference organised by the Socialist Party of Malaysia. ]

November 20, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- Climate change is the biggest and most urgent threat facing humanity today. We are seeing global temperatures rise at an unprecedented rate, with 13 of the 14 warmest years on record having occurred in the past 14 years.

In fact, if you are under 37 years of age, you have never seen a year of below average temperature.

Last year in Australia, over 150 weather records were broken, including experiencing our hottest day, week, month and year on record. It is likely that these records will not be long-standing, with all signs indicating they will be broken again this coming summer.

There are predictions that at current rates of emissions increases, the Arctic will be ice free in summer as soon as four years from now, but in the best case scenario, in about 20 years.

This represents a dangerous tipping point that will take us into uncharted territory from which we may not be able to return.

亚太左翼团体联署声明 停止以色列在加沙的战争罪行!

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3954.]

2014年7月14日

过去一个星期来,以色列军队对加沙地带的攻击升级。以色列战机不断瞄准轰炸民房、平民聚居的地区及公共设施。以色列战机在无任何预警下摧毁多间仍有居民在里面的房屋,杀害并伤及很多巴勒斯坦平民。

以色列政府利用三名以色列少年被杀害的事件,煽动针对巴勒斯坦人及加沙哈马斯政府的种族主义憎恨情绪。这是在没有提出任何证据证明凶手的情况下作出 的举动,挑起了肆意暴力对待巴勒斯坦人的运动,并导致一名巴勒斯坦少年被酷刑折磨及活活烧死。现在以色列当局还对加沙的平民展开更加肆意妄为的复仇行动。 集体惩罚是违反国际人道法的行为。

以色列军队进行的残酷军事攻击,跟“自卫”没有关系,反而是向加沙进行着种族灭绝的侵略,并进一步血腥镇压一直以来遭犹太复国主义政权否决民族自决权的巴勒斯坦人。

联署本声明的团体主张:

(Updated July 26) Asia-Pacific socialists: 'Stop Israel's war crimes in Gaza!'

To add your group's name to the list of signatories please email PSM International Bureau.

Joint statement by Asia-Pacific left organisations

July 14, 2014 -- Socialist Alliance, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the past week, Israeli military forces have escalated their offensive on the Gaza Strip. Israeli warplanes have increasingly targeted houses, civilian-populated areas and civilian facilities in the Gaza strip. Israeli warplanes have destroyed a number of houses while their residents were inside, without any prior warnings, killing and wounding many Palestinian civilians.

The Israeli government has cynically exploited the killing of three Israeli youth and used this to whip up a racist hysteria against Palestinians and the Hamas government in Gaza. It has done this without producing any evidence about who was responsible for those killings. A campaign of indiscriminate violence against Palestinians has been incited and one Palestinian boy has been tortured and burnt to death. Now even more indiscriminate retribution has been inflicted on the civilian residents of Gaza. Collective punishment is a violation of international humanitarian law.

Socialist Party of Malaysia strides on: 16th national congress report

Click HERE for more on the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

June 17, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) ended its June 13-15, 2014, 16th national congress at Port Dickson on a high note, pledging to continue to play a dominant role in Malaysian politics as well as working towards a transition program to enable new leaders to take over and continue the task of building a strong party rooted in socialist ideology.

Yes, the atmosphere was already set. The red flag leading the way to the venue was greeted by left leaders like Samsiah Fakeh, Lim Chin Siong and Veerasenan. The PSM continues to remain relevant in a country that at one point had a very strong left presence. Today the PSM continues to shoulder this enormous task.

(Updated June 22) Asia-Pacific socialists: 'No US sanctions against Venezuela'

Venezuelan workers of the state-owned oil company PDVSA denounce US sanctions against their firm.

End United States’ interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela!

No sanctions against Venezuelan citizens!

June 17, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We, the undersigned parties and organisations in the Asia region, condemn the moves by the United States government to impose sanctions on Venezuelan citizens it deems to have “abused human rights”.

The US House of Representatives’ May 28m 2014, vote for such sanctions is a violation of the right of all nations to sovereignty and self-determination.

The bill is not motivated by a desire to end supposed human rights abuses in Venezuela. Rather, it seeks to support the openly stated aims of Venezuela's right-wing opposition to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. This is revealed by the bill's authorisation of millions of dollars of increased funding to opposition organisations in Venezuela – the same groups responsible for a wave of violence within Venezuela this year that has left at least 40 dead and hundreds injured.

(Updated May 28) Asia-Pacific socialists, progressive activists: 'No to another coup in Thailand!'

To add your group's name to this statement please email: int.psm@gmail.com, cc international@socialist-alliance.org

For more on Thailand, click HERE.

May 23, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal --We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the latest coup d’état staged by Thai military under the leadership of Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The current coup, which took place almost eight years after 2006 coup, will do nothing to enhance democracy and social justice in Thailand, instead it will only tighten the grip of dictatorial rule and attempt to crush any democratic institution that exist. The army has already started its crackdown on media and the internet, and has arrested people who oppose the coup.

The coup is set to protect the interests of the section of Thai ruling class who want to reduce the democratic space in order to consolidate its 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.

Behind Malaysia's biggest May Day rally since independence

S. Arutchelvan (Arul), secretary general the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

By Peter Boyle

May 14, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The 2014 May Day rally in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, was the biggest in the country since 1947 when the British colonial authorities violently repressed the labour movement, which had become one of the most strongly organised in Asia, having organised the majority of the workforce.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal spoke to S. Arutchelvan (Arul), secretary general the Socialist Party of Malaysia. He was also spokesperson for the May 1 Committee. Arul will be one of the international guest speaker in the People's Power in the “Asian Century” seminar to be held in conjunction with the 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance, in Sydney June 7-9, 2014.

For more details of the Socialist Alliance conference and to register see HERE.

For more on the Socialist Party of Malaysia, click HERE.

* * *

The May Day protest in Kuala Lumpur looked very big? What is your estimate of the size and was this the biggest ever May day?

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