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Socialist Party of Malaysia
Celebrations following the release of the EO6. Ex-detainee Choo Chon Kai in centre. Photo by Alex Cheong.
October 8, 2013 -- From reports in the Malaysian press -- The Malaysia government has agreed to pay six Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, PSM) members RM200,000 (approx. US$63,000) following the settlement of the lawsuit filed for false imprisonment at the High Court.
The six were detained in a bus on June 25, 2011, on charges of treason and were released on July 2 when their remand period expired. They were re-arrested under the (now repealed) Emergency Ordinance (EO) and freed 27 days later on July 29.
The detentions resulted in an international solidarity campaign.The detainees became known as the EO6. The PSM credits this solidarity campaign for their comrades' release.
Prime Minister Najib Razak's government scrapped the Emergency Ordinance and other tough security laws in December 2011 following criticism that they were abused to silence dissent.
By S. Arutcheclvan, general-secretary, Socialist Party of Malaysia
October 3, 2013 -- Socialist Party of Malaysia/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The first Monday of every October is designated by the United Nations as World Habitat Day. The main purpose to celebrate this date is to reflect on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The UN has dedicated one day to highlight the plight of people fighting for shelter as it seems that the right to a home is one of the most fundamental human rights. With this, let me argue the case of kampong Hakka in Mantin, Negeri Sembilan.
When I first stepped into kampong Hakka a year ago, I was amazed that a Chinese new village complete with temple, community hall and school existed in this village and I was further shocked to learn that all the people living there have been declared illegals just because some rich company has bought their land.
When I looked at the structure of their homes and their lifestyle, I was convinced that these villagers have a history to talk about. They have lived here for many decades. Most of the villagers were elderly people as their children had left to more urban town centres. Their economic activity varies, with most of them being petty traders and self-employed.
Malaysia: Urgent protest needed -- Socialist leader and 11 other activists detained in anti-eviction struggle
Socialist Party of Malaysia's general secretary S. Arutchelvan being arrested.
October 1, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Please spread the news that the Socialist Party of Malaysia's general secretary S. Arutchelvan (Arul) and 11 other protesters have been detained. Please contact the Mantin Police Station to question the arrests and demand the release of those detained.
Call chief inspector Rashid on 0675812222 to demand their release. Please email solidarity messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call 12 orang termasuk Arul ditahan polis kerana pertahan pemaju roboh Kg. Hakka, Mantin.
* * *
On September 30, 2013, in their effort to stop developers from demolishing Kampung Hakka Mantin, five residents and seven activists were arrested by police. It is also reported that one resident was injured during the commotion. Among those picked up was Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan.
Around 90 residents and activists gathered at the village in Negri Sembilan, attempting to negotiate with the developer, police and court representative, who came to demolish the houses. The negotiation broke down at 11.20 am, and the authorities proceeded to detain those trying to stop the demolition.
Chin Peng holds up page one of The Straits Times newspaper of
By Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Socialist Party of Malaysia/Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
September 17, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is deeply saddened over the passing of Chin Peng, secretary-general of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). We would like to express our condolences to Chin Peng’s family and his comrades in the CPM.
Chin Peng was a determined, resourceful anti-colonial and anti-imperialist fighter who led the heroic struggle against the Japanese occupation and British colonisation of Malaya. He played a significant role in the national liberation struggle of Malaya and he definitely has his place in the history of the independence of our country.
[Below are statements from the left in Asia, from Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines.]
Statement by the Socialist Alliance (Australia)
August 28, 2013 -- Socialist Alliance -- The Socialist Alliance condemns the threatened US-led Western military assault on Syria. We call on the Australian government to reject this latest imperial aggression, to extract itself from its military alliance with the US and end its involvement in all aggressive multinational military operations.
The Socialist Alliance supports the Syrian people’s democratic uprising against the tyranny of the Bashar al-Assad regime but we reject the interventions of the US and its allies in Syria. The Syrian people should have the right to decide their own future.
The horrendous chemical weapons attack on civilians is being used as the justification for this latest intervention. The use of chemical weapons is a heinous war crime and whoever uses it should be brought to account.
By the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia)
August 19, 2013 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) strongly condemns the bloody crackdown on protesters by the Egyptian army. We are deeply concerned over the current situation in Egypt where the revolution is hijacked by the military establishment.
The use of excessive force for the last few days has killed more than 800 people and wounded thousands. Political violence has spread across the country as retaliation to state repression, and innocent people have been victimised.
Morsi was removed in a military coup on July 3 after massive protests initiated by Tamarod, a movement that opposes Morsi and calls for an early election. The military coup was not aimed at deepening the revolutionary process but to contain the revolutionary waves. The current atrocities committed by the military is not just aimed at crushing the Muslim Brotherhood, but is also part of a plan to derail the Egyptian revolution and bring back Mubarak-era repressive rule.
Today, supporters of Muslim Brotherhood have become the target of the violent crackdown, but tomorrow any other forces that pose a threat to the military ruling elites will by also subject to brutal repression. The military and security forces in Egypt have been committing atrocities all the while with impunity, making them the fundamental threat to Egypt's struggle for bread, freedom, social justice and human dignity!
The PSM calls for:
Anti-TPPA protest outside Malaysia's parliament on July 16.
The statement below was released by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) on July 10, 2013.
* * *
The PSM is deeply concerned about the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) free trade agreement. The 18th round is to commence in Kota Kinabalu in east Malaysia from July 15 until July 25.
Since its first inception as the United States-Malaysia bilateral Free Trade Agreement in 2006, the PSM has consistently protested the decision of the Malaysian government to enter into such negotiations. It was very clear since then, that the FTA is part of the agenda of US corporations to expand and control trade in the region.
Having failed to impose their interests via the World Trade Organisation, US corporations quickly lobbied Congress to start bilateral agreements with the countries in Asia.
Threatened by the growing economies of China and India, the US and European Union are competing to control trade for their respective interests. It is another form of imperialism that will negate our national sovereignty.
Now, after the fast track to negotiate the FTA during the Bush administration expired in 2007, the TPPA is a renewed approach for the same goals. TPPA is FTA on steroids.
Popular PSM leader Arul at May 25 "Voice of the People 505" rally at Dataran Petaling Jaya. Photo by Keow Wee Loong.
By Peter Boyle, photos by Keow Wee Loong
May 31, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Mass rallies protesting the "robbery" of the May 5 Malaysian general election have continued for weeks despite government threats and the arrests of six prominent opposition activists on "sedition" charges. The fact that the corruptly entrenched Barisan Nasional coalition "won" 60% of the parliamentary seats with just 47% of the official vote and the many reports of blatant vote-buying and cheating, has created an ongoing legitimacy crisis.
Rumours of an impending internal party challenge to the leadership of PM Najib Razak in the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), the dominant party in BN, have added to this crisis.
Most wore black to mourn the BN's killing of democracy. Photo by Lee Yu Kyung.
By Peter Boyle, photos by Lee Yu Kyung
May 8, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- Up to 120,000 people packed and overflowed a large stadium in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur on May 8 to protest the fraudulent re-election of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government on May 5. The crowd defied a police threat to arrest all who attended the opposition-called rally. The police did not dare confront the huge crowd but since the rally have called in 28 rally speakers for questioning.
The crowd also had to brave BN threats to provoke ethnic clashes by branding the stronger opposition vote a "Chinese tsunami" – a slander against the multi-ethnic opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
The opposition plans to hold more rallies in other cities in the following days.
Kuala Lumpur, May 8, 2013. Tens of thousands of Malaysians protest government's electoral fraud.
By S. Arutchelvan, secretary general, Parti Sosialis Malaysia
May 8, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) calls for a united position to fight the result of the 13th general election [held on May 13 and "won" by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) led coalition].
The many irregularities during the election, the tainted electorol roll, the "indelible" ink [which washed off] scandal, vote buying and phamton voters calls for not only an investigation but a referundum and challenge to the result itself.
The bigger issue is not about an investigation but the legitimacy of the current government. The result of the election gave the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) a popular majority over BN [in terms of total votes cast]. We are being ruled by a government that does not have the support of more than half the voters.
Socialist Party of Malaysia's secretary-general S. Arutchelvan (“Arul”, third from left) is running for the Selangor state assembly seat.
By Peter Boyle
The PSM won two of these seats in the 2008 election: Jeyakumar Devaraj, or “Kumar” as he is better known, won the federal parliamentary seat of Sungai Siput from a high-profile former minister. PSM chairperson Nasir Hashim won the Selangor state assembly seat of Kota Damansara.
Also, the PSM is standing its secretary-general S. Arutchelvan (“Arul”) for the Selangor state assembly seat of Semenyih and its deputy chairperson M. Sarasvathy (“Saras”) for the Perak state assembly seat of Jelapang.
In the lead-up to the election, the PSM painstakingly sought to negotiate with other opposition parties to avoid a three-corner contest with the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in these seats.
April 9, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Malaysians soon go to the polls in state and federal elections, expected to be held on April 27. The ruling Front National, or Barisan Nasional (BN), coalition is dominated by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and has traditionally attracted votes from the 50% of the population of Malay descent. The coalition has controlled Malaysia's parliament since the country's independence from Britain in 1957.
However, many predict that in this election BN dominance will be shaken by gains by the Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim.
The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) is also standing in a number of state and federal seats, seeking to retain its two sitting MPs and increase its representation of the country's working classes and poor. The party's election manifesto is below. It can also be downloaded HERE.
For more on the PSM, click HERE.
[Below are statements issued by socialist and progressive organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. More will be posted as they come to hand.]
* * *
Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia)
March 6, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance in Australia expresses its deepest sympathies with the people and government of Venezuela on the death of Companero Hugo Chavez Frias on March 5. His passing is a huge loss for all peoples, across Latin America and the globe, struggling for a world free of inequality, exploitation and oppression.
It is testament to Hugo Chavez’s great leadership that, while mourning his death, we are also confident that the Bolivarian Revolution and the new movement for socialism of the 21st century that Chavez inspired will be continued by the mass of people, to whom he worked so hard to give power.
By the Socialist Party of Malaysia
January 23, 2012 -- Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is deeply concerned and disappointed over the verdict of Thai court today that sentenceed labour activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk to 10 years of imprisonment for charges under the Article 112 of the Criminal Code (the lèse-majesté law) and another year of imprisonment for a violation of printing act in 2009, totaling 11 years of jail terms.
The PSM is of the view that those charges and convictions of Somyot are politically motivated, with the aim to suppress the right to freedom of expression and activism of political dissidents who not adhere to the will of ruling elite in Thailand.
The prosecution and conviction of Somyot are regressive and push the country back to the Middle Ages. Such persecution against a political activist is devastating to the democratic process in Thailand.
Socialism 2012 ends with a rousing rendition of the "Internationale".
By Jeyakumar Devaraj
[The following paper was presented at the Socialist Party of Malaysia's Socialism 2012 conference in Kuala Lumpur, over the November 25-26, 2012, weekend. Jeyakumar is a member of parliament for the PSM.]
November 24, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialism has been painted as the antithesis of democracy – and millions of people the world over believe this untruth. Right-wing political propaganda states (among other things) that
- A society based on socialism is “unnatural”. It goes against human nature which is individualistic. That’s why socialist and communist countries developed into totalitarian states. People had to be compelled to act against their normal human instincts.
- A socialist program therefore will breed dictatorship and an authoritarian government with a repressive political police etc.
- Democracy and a system of checks and balances are only possible in the free market (capitalist) system. Socialism will lead to totalitarianism.
False beliefs such as these are among the main reasons why, despite the ongoing implosion of capitalism in Europe, the majority of the people are not yet decisively moving towards a socialist economic model.
Released by Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia)
November 21, 2012 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns Israel for its latest brutal assault on the Palestinian people.
Israel has once again intensified its aggression against the Palestinian people of Gaza, by launching airstrikes since November 14, 2012. Israel has amassed troops on the border and threatened a ground invasion on the Gaza Strip. More than 100 Palestinians including at least 23 children have been killed since the new massacre called “Operation Pillar of Defense” began.
Israel escalated the assault on Gaza on the eve of its upcoming legislative election as its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to gain votes with Palestinian bodies.
The Zionist regime of Israel has attempted numerous times to destroy Hamas, the organisation that leads the struggle of the Palestinian people against oppression by Israel, since Hamas won the Palestinian election in January 2006. Such savage attempts include blockade of the Gaza Strip from 2007 until 2011, which turned Gaza into the largest concentration camp in the world imprisoning 1.5 million Palestinians living in dire conditions. The massacre by Israeli armed force in December 2008 to January 2009 killed more than 1400 people and wounded over 5300 people in a period of three weeks.
Celebrations following the release of the EO6. Ex-detainee Choo Chon Kai in centre. Photo by Alex Cheong.
By S.Arutchelvan, secretary general, Socialist Party of Malaysia
July 29, 2012 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) -- Today marks the first anniversary of the release of the PSM EO6 [Emergency Ordinance 6] who were robbed of their freedom on June 25, 2011, when they were detained with 26 others. On July 2, 2011, they were technically released but rearrested under the Emergency Ordinance. The six, M. Saraswathy, Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, Choo Chon Kai, Sarat Babu, M. Sukumaran and A . Letchumanan were detained for another 28 days in solitary confinement without the right to trial. Their release came about exactly one year ago, only after a massive local and international campaign which saw people from all walks of life standing together against injustice and tyranny.
As we commemorate their release one year ago, we would like to thank all those who stood in solidarity with justice, fairplay and democracy. Without the intervention of the many, their release would not have been possible.
Will Vietnam and its people continue to be inspired by the revolution previous generations sacrificed so much for or will they be overwhelmed by market forces?
By S. Arutchelvan, secretary general, Socialist Party of Malaysia
May 12, 2012 -- Parti Sosialist Malaysia -- It was a great and emotional experience to visit Vietnam for an eight-day study tour in April 2011 as part of a seven-member Parti Sosialist Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia) team. Vietnam has been the inspiration for many since the 1970s. Many activists in the world today were inspired by the great Vietnamese revolution, which ousted the victor of World War II – the United States of America. Many people in the West as well as in the Third World saw the Vietnamese victory against all odds as a new hope for humanity. Perhaps no nation in the current world has undergone such a struggle for liberation and freedom.
Many people in today’s world are inspired by Che Guevara but Che himself was inspired by Vietnam. In his great saying, Che said let's create two, three, many Vietnams. Che said in his "Message to the Tricontinental", which he wrote in Cuba in 1966 before leaving for Bolivia where he was ultimately killed:
By Peter Boyle
May 1, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- S. Arutchelvan, secretary general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), is a veteran of many demonstrations. But the Bersih 3.0 mobilisation, which he estimates was between 100,000 -150,000-strong, was the biggest he's been a part of yet in the country. “It was a huge success”, he told Green Left Weekly, “and it terrified the Barisan Nasional [BN] government.”
“The BN government sees Merdeka Square as its Tahrir Square. They do not want to see – and for the public and the world to see – images of it being occupied by democratic movement. It is their political survival. Since 2011 PM Najib [Razak] has been worrying about the Arab Spring spreading to Malaysia. He said his government would not let it happen. So on April 28, the riot police was used to prevent the people from getting to Merdeka Square at any cost.
Malaysia: Hundreds of thousands demand democratic elections at Bersih 3.0; police attack peaceful protest
Video by Green Left TV.
April 30, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Coalition of Free and Fair Elections (Bersih – meaning “clean” in Malay), the movement for free and fair elections in Malaysia, said that the April 28 rally was a great success, claiming that 300,000 Malaysians had joined the Bersih 3.0 rally in the capital Kuala Lumpur. Bersih called for a mass sit in on April 28 because it suspects that the country’s entrenched Barisan Nasional (BN) government is about to call a general election without addressing widespread electoral irregularities. Rallies were also held in around 85 cities around Malaysia and across the world (click HERE for reports).