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URGENT APPEAL: Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) leader arrested in police crackdown on BERSIH rally
By International Bureau, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM)
November 18, 2016 — Arutchelvan, Central Committee Member of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) was arrested this evening as part of police crackdown on the eve of BERSIH 5 rally.
By A.Sivarajan, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) Secretary General
October 27, 2016 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – A key international conference on Socialism will take place in Malaysia from November 25 to 27, featuring a host of international speakers and attracting global interest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
To endorse please send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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."
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.
Joint statement by the Socialist Party of Malaysia and others (see below)
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.
September 14, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Presented by Sonny Melencio, chairperson of the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM), to the assembly of the Union Presidents Against Contractualization, Century Park Hotel, Manila, September 10, 2014.
[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3910.]
Por Sonny Melencio
22-06-2014 -- Sinpermiso -- Cuando viaje desde Manila hasta Australia, me compré en el aeropuerto un libro de bolsillo para leer en el avión. Fue la novela de Dan Brown titulada Infierno. Cuando la edición de tapa dura de este libro llegó a las librerías, en las Filipinas la gente se volvió loca con una pequeña parte de la novela que se refería a Manila como la "puerta del infierno".
Después de leer el libro, pensé que lo que la novela dice sobre Manila es verdad. Es la ciudad más densamente poblada de la tierra, con enormes atascos de tráfico, una contaminación sofocante, casas hechas de metal corrugado y cartones, comunidades que apestan y un horrible comercio sexual y tráfico de mujeres, jóvenes y niños.
Me acordé de la novela de Dan Brown hoy porque, a pesar del infierno que es actualmente Manila, nuestro gobierno habla de un paraíso que se construirá en las Filipinas durante este "siglo de Asia".
El siglo de Asia
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.
Video from Green Left TV.
[The following talk was presented by Sonny Melencio, chairperson of Partido Lakas ng Masa-Philippines (Party of the Labouring Masses), during the Socialist Alliance 10th national conference in Sydney, Australia on June 7, 2014.]
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- When I was travelling from Manila, coming here to Australia, I bought a copy of a pocketbook that I could read in the plane. It was Dan Brown’s novel entitled Inferno. Actually, when the hardbound copy of this book first hit the bookshops, the Philippines went crazy about a small part of the novel which referred to Manila as the “gate of hell”.
After reading the book, it occurred to me that what the novel said about Manila was true. It was the most densely populated city on Earth, with huge traffic jams, suffocating pollution, houses made of corrugated metal and cardboards, communities reeking of stench, and horrifying sex trade and trafficking of women, girls and children.
I was reminded of Dan Brown’s novel today because, despite the inferno that is Manila now, our government is talking about a paradise that will be built in the Philippines during this "Asian Century".
The 'Asian Century"
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?
PSM secretary general S. Arutchelvan.
By Chen Shaua Fui, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
February 13, 2014 -- fz.com -- The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia, PSM), together with some other groups and individuals, is forming a body called Left Coalition to bring class politics to Malaysia..
PSM secretary general S. Arutchelvan said it is looking at forming the coalition with Parti Rakyat Malaysia, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia and other activists and individuals.
"We are trying to bring back class politics. We feel the younger generations are actually more receptive to more radical and progressive ideologies... The 1969 (May 13) racial riot and the Cold War have not corrupted their minds. They don’t have this fear of communism because they live in a different era. And when the government said communism is evil, there were a lot of counter arguments in the social media. We think it’s the time for the left to grow”, he told fz.com.
An astute observer of Malaysian politics, Arutchelvan felt that after 1969 and the implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP), Malaysian politics had moved from class politics based on left or right ideologies to racial and religious politics.
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.