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Malaysia

Malaysia: Free Jeyakumar Devaraj, activist doctor

Jeyakumar Devaraj, Sungai Siput MP, is currently detained without trial under the Emergency Ordinance, together with five other Socialist Party members, on suspicion of “causing civil unrest by any means”.

[Protest letters still are urgently needed to be sent to the Malaysian government, please visit http://www.parti-sosialis.org/en/en/articles/1585 for details of where they can be sent. See also "Malaysia: Protests demand release of democracy activists" and "Asia-Pacific socialists demand: 'Free all political prisoners! Democracy for the Malaysian people!'"]

By Khoo Boo Teik

Urgent appeal: Free the Malaysian socialist detainees!

Candlelight vigils (also see pics below) are being held outside the federal police HQ at Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur.

By Peter Boyle, national convenor Socialist Alliance (Australia)

Malaysia's pro-democracy Bersih 2.0: It’s 50k and a big success; Support in Australia

Statement by Bersih 2.0 organisers: Malaysians show great bravery, the struggle for clean and fair elections continues

July 9, 2011 -- Bersih 2.0 -- Bersih 2.0 is proud that in spite of all the obstacles and hindrances that we were forced to face, Malaysians of all walks of life overcame the oppressive acts of the police to come out peacefully and in incredibly large numbers to show their love for their country and for the principles of justice.

We are nonetheless horrified that several hundred people have been detained, many of them without any justification whatsoever. We particularly condemn the arrests of Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevesan and Maria Chin Abdullah, two members of the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee.

The only violence witnessed was perpetrated by the police, who unleashed immense amounts of tear gas and chemical laced water on innocent members of the public. Police also baton charged those who gathered, injuring many and some very seriously.

Dr Jeyakumar Deveraj, detained socialist MP: ‘Malaysian politics has become more dangerous’

Socialist MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj. Photo by Peter Boyle.

By Peter Boyle

July 9, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- Dr Jeyakumar Deveraj, a federal member of parliament in Malaysia, is one of 30 activists of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) detained without trial on June 25 as they travelled the country campaigning against the repressive and corrupt Barisan Nasional government headed by Najib Razak.

The detention of these socialists was designed to intimidate people from supporting a broad mass rally for free and fair elections that called for July 9 by civil society groups united in the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih, which means “clean”).

(Updated July 3) Malaysia: Socialists abused in custody; Philippine socialist detained; More arrests

Manila, July 1, 2011 – Members of Partido Lakas ng Masa held another picket in front of the Malaysian embassy today.  PLM protested the arrest and detention of 30 pro-democracy activisits in Malaysia, including Romy Castillo, deputy general-secretary of PLM, who was in Malaysia for an exchange visit program with the Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

July 1 -- The PSM is alarmed that its detained members are undergoing torture and inhumane interrogation from special Bukit Aman officers who have been brought specifically to extract information as most of those detained have preferred to use their rights under the law to speak to the court and not to the police.

Reliable sources from the police and those detained have confirmed that the police seem to be not making any headway in their investigation and hence they have brought in the thugs from Bukit Aman as a last minute bid to extract information.

PSM calls for the immediate release of all detainees and, if the need be, we call for them to be bailed or to be charged immediately. We call upon the police to stop all harassment, torture and inhumane treatment immediately.

(Updated July 3) Malaysia: Protests demand release of democracy activists


Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

July 1, 2011 -- Emergency protest outside Malaysian Airlines offices in Sydney to demand the release of 30 Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) detained since June 25 and accused of waging "war against the king"... the "evidence" a few political t-shirts in their posession! These arrests are part of a crackdown on oppositionists in the lead up to the July 9 Bersih 2.0 democracy march in Kuala Lumpur. Photos by Peter Boyle.

See "Malaysia: Government arrests socialists ahead of Bersih 2.0 pro-democracy rally" for the background to the arrests.

Malaysia: Government arrests socialists ahead of Bersih 2.0 pro-democracy rally

[Urgent appeal for protest letters to be sent to the Malaysian government, please visit http://www.parti-sosialis.org/en/en/articles/1585 for details of where they can be sent. See also "Malaysia: Protests demand release of democracy activists".]

June 27, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At least 31 members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, PSM) -- including member of parliament Dr Michael Jeyakumar -- have been detained by police. The Malaysian government is whipping up a massive red-scare campaign around the Bersih 2.0 rally planned for July 9 (see statement below), and is increasingly resorting to repression to try to prevent an expected huge attendance.

Philippines socialists call for negotiated settlement to Spratly Islands dispute

For more background to the Spratly Islands issue, see "China, Vietnam and the islands dispute: What is behind the rise of Chinese nationalism?"

* * *

June 10, 2011 -- The Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines) condemns any actions that increase military tensions in the region and contribute to a regional military conflict, by countries that lay claim to the Spratly Islands. We are opposed to any sabre-rattling and stand for a negotiated, political settlement of the disputed claims to the area. Therefore we deplore China’s strong-arm tactics and bullying, which undermines efforts towards a peaceful, political settlement, of the disputed claims.

The Spratly Islands, less than four-square kilometres of land area spread over 425,000 square kilometres of sea and usually submerged, probably have strategic importance fuelling the numerous territorial disputes. The area holds significant reserves of oil and natural gas: reportedly some 17.7 billion tons of oil and natural gas reserves, larger than the 13 billion tons held by Kuwait, thus making it the fourth largest reserve bed in the world. In an energy hungry world, these reserves intensify the disputed claims over the area.

Malaysian and Australian socialists: `Refugees are not commodities! No outsourcing refugee obligations to Malaysia!'

Joint statement of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

May 18, 2011 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and the Socialist Alliance in Australia denounce the recent agreement made between the governments of Malaysia and Australia, whereby Australia will send 800 asylum seekers who have been detained by Australian authorities to Malaysia in exchange for 4000 refugees currently in Malaysia.

The arrangement for this “Malaysian solution” to asylum seekers attempting to arrive in Australia clearly shows that the Australian government is washing its hands of its responsibility to protect refugees and is “off-shoring” or “outsourcing” the violation of refugee rights to Malaysia, a country with no proper legal instruments to protect the rights of refugees. Both the governments of Malaysia and Australia have not taken the plight of refugees and asylum seekers seriously, and only treat them like trade-able commodities.

Malaysian socialists: No to Australia's outsourcing of the violation of refugee rights to Malaysia

May 12, 2011 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) denounces the recent agreement made between the governments of Malaysia and Australia, whereby Australia will send 800 asylum seekers who have been detained by Australian authorities to Malaysia in exchange for 4000 refugees currently in Malaysia.

The arrangement for this “Malaysian solution” to asylum seekers attempting to arrive in Australia clearly shows that the Australian government is washing its hands off its responsibility to protect refugees and is “off-shoring” or “outsourcing” the violation of refugees' rights to Malaysia, a country with no proper legal instruments to protect the rights of refugees.

Both the governments of Malaysia and Australia have not taken the plight of refugees and asylum seekers seriously, and only treat them like tradeable commodities.

May Day: Asia's socialists -- Intensify the struggle against poverty and neoliberalism

STOP PRESS: Socialist Party of Malaysia leaders, May Day marchers arrested

May 1, 2011 -- Malaysiakini -- PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan earlier tried to negotiate with the police near the Chow Kit monorail station before being taken away by police officers. Arutchelvan, one of the key members of the Labour Day organising committee, was supposed to have joined others in the march from Chow Kit to the Dataran Merdeka. In a a short press conference prior to his arrest, Arutchelvan told reporters that he considers the police obstruction to the peaceful march a "violation of basic rights". He also said that he had already informed the police prior to the march, and said such a notice is sufficient as opposed to a police permit.

* * *

Statement by the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Laboring Masses, Philippines)

Sobra na Kahirapan! Tama na ang Pagpapabaya ng Pamahalaan!

Enough of poverty! Enough of government inaction!

`Coolie revolts': exclusive excerpt from 'The Devil's Milk: A social history of rubber'

The Devil’s Milk: A social history of rubber
By John Tully
Monthly Review Press, 2011

March 13, 2011 -- With the kind permission of Monthly Review Press, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is honoured to be able to bring its readers an exclusive excerpt from Australian socialist John Tully's fascinating new book, The Devil’s Milk: A social history of rubber. The section below details how the peoples of the colonies exploited by the imperialist rubber barons fought back against their oppression. Links readers are urged to purchase a copy of this excellent new book. See also an interview with John Tully about his new book, "New book reveals the history of rubber: holocausts, environmental destruction and class struggle".

Malaysian socialists: `Stop brutal massacre in Libya NOW! Power to the people of the Arab world!


February 22, 2011 -- Solidarity rally in Sydney, Australia, with the Libyan people in their struggle for freedom and democracy. See article about this action here: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46782. Made with Slideshow Embed Tool.

Solidarity statement by the Socialist Party of Malaysia with the people's uprising in Libya and the rest of Arab world against authoritarian regimes

February 22, 2011 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns the brutal repression committed by Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime against its people who revolt against injustices and corruptions.

New book reveals the history of rubber: holocausts, environmental destruction and class struggle

The Devil’s Milk: A social history of rubber
By John Tully
Monthly Review Press, 2011

[Order the The Devil’s Milk from Monthly Review Press HERE. John Tully launched the book in Melbourne on February 17, at Readings Books, Carlton (309 Lygon St). He will also launch it in New York City on February 22, 7.30pm, at The Brecht Forum,  451 West Street.]

February 18, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This new book from Monthly Review Press – by Australian socialist John Tully -- documents the history of rubber and the role it has played in the development of capitalism.

Rubber is an essential industrial material, although underappreciated by most of us, even though we are surrounded by it. Since its industrial uses began to be fully appreciated in the 1800s, the quest for rubber has been, in Tully’s words, “a paradigm of imperialism”.

Malaysian solidarity with Egypt: PAS & PSM lead protest at Egyptian embassy

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

January 31, 2011 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia -- A last-minute mobilisation and continuous rain did not hinder about 70 protesters from assembling to call for Hosni Mubarak to step down as well as showing support to the brave people of Egypt. The protest and memorandum handing ceremony was led by Mohamad Sabu, from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS) central committee, and S. Arutchelvan, Socialist Party of Malaysia (Part Sosialis Malaysia, PSM) secretary general.

The group walked a short distance and was greeted by around 50 police personnel in riot gear blocking the front entrance of the embassy. There were no confrontation with the police, who also desperately tried to get a representative from the embassy to take the memorandum. Like in Egypt, the situation at the embassy was equally uncertain as no one wanted to take the responsibility to receive the memorandum.

Malezyjska farsa minimalna

Rani Rasiah

2010-12-05 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/lewica.pl -- 1 maja 1996 Jawatankuasa Sokongan Masyarakat Ladang (JSML), sojusz pracowników plantacji należący do Jeringan Rakyat Tertindas [Sieć Opresjonowanych (JERIT, akronim oznaczający ‘krzyk’), malezyjskie zrzeszenie grup obywatelskich], rozpoczął kampanię na rzecz wprowadzenia minimalnego miesięcznego wynagrodzenia dla robotników. Wzywał on do całkowitego zerwania z opartym na skrajnym wyzysku, kolonialnym systemem wynagrodzeń, w którym robotnikom wypłacano dniówki o wysokości zależnej od rynkowej ceny oleju, pogody i zbiorów - czynników całkowicie niezależnych od pracowników.

Poparcie opinii publicznej dla płacy minimalnej w wysokości 750 ringgitów wzrosło, kiedy w trakcie kampanii rzucono światło na skandaliczny kontrast pomiędzy zamożnymi, acz bezwzględnymi potentatami, a żyjącymi w biedzie i zacofaniu 300 tysiącami pracowników. Co więcej, ujawniono, że największym udziałowcem we wszystkich większych firmach plantacyjnych był rząd, pod przykrywką agencji w rodzaju Permodalan Nasional Berhad i Amanah Saham Nasional.

Malaysia: `No one is indispensable we often hear, but for the PSM ... Bala is indispensable'

G. Balasundram.

By Rani Rasiah, Socialist Party of Malaysia deputy secretary general

November 17, 2010 -- Comrade G. Balasundram was stabbed to death on November 16, 2010. He is really, truly no more, but the mind refuses to register this unacceptable reality. That’s because he was so alive, bubbling with life, loud, boisterous. So many of us have seen him, or had a meal with him or got a call or a witty sms from him just in the 24 hours before his sudden and tragic death.

Just a day earlier, he had turned up at the Ipoh High Court as co-counsel with Vengkat, his soul buddy, to appeal the conviction of four activists, including Segar of Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), who had gathered with hundreds of others to demand the relocation of a rubber factory that was polluting the Kuala Kuang New Village in Chemor.

Malaysia: The minimum wage farce

Palm oil plantation worker, Malaysia.

By Rani Rasiah

November 2, 2010 -- On 1 May 1996, Jawatankuasa Sokongan Masyarakat Ladang (JSML), the plantation workers' coalition of Jeringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT, the Oppressed People's Network), launched the campaign for a minimum monthly wage for estate workers. It called for a total revamp of the highly exploitative colonial wage system which assigned estate workers a daily wage that was subject to market price, weather conditions and crop yield, all factors beyond the control of the worker.

Public support for the RM750 monthly wage demand grew as the campaign shone the spotlight on the scandalous contrast between the affluent yet rapacious plantation capitalists and the then 300,000 estate workers who lived in poverty and backwardness. What was more, it was revealed that the largest shareholder in every major plantation company was the government itself, in the guise of agencies such as Permodalan Nasional Berhad and  Amanah Saham Nasional.

Malaysia: 'Draconian, oppressive' amendments to labour law


PSM secretary-general S. Arutchelvan addresses the October 1, press conference. Video journalist: Hisyam Salleh.

By Philip Ho

Kuala Lumpur, October 1 -- klik4Malaysia -- Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan called the proposed labour law review by the Malaysian government's Human Resources Ministry, which will be tabled in the coming parliament sitting, "draconian" as it practically destroys whatever remaining rights workers have left.

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