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Malaysia

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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.

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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.

Malaysia: Bringing power to the people (+video)

By Stephanie Sta Maria

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia, August 6, 2010 -- Free Malaysia Today -- Kota Damansara assemblyman and Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) chairman Nasir Hashim is a realist. But he is also fond of quoting Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara to “be realistic and do the impossible”.

And Nasir is doing the impossible: he is spearheading an ambitious project to eradicate urban poverty in a small community in the vicinity of Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.

The project has a bold vision. It will empower the poor not only by developing their skill sets but also by encouraging a mindset shift from that of victim to victor. The project also aims to have various parties – federal and Selangor governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations and local communities – working hand-in-hand to achieve this vision. It is a radical concept and one that could be seen as remarkably idealistic.

Malaysia: Barricades greet anti-ISA vigils, 36 arrested

By Lee Way Loon and Hazlan Zakaria

August 1, 2010 -- Malaysiakini -- Riot police barred activists from holding candlelight vigils to commemorate the Internal Security Act's 50th anniversary in eight places around the country.

At Dataran MBPJ, Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya, Selangor -- which saw the earliest vigil begin at 8pm -- members of the police Light Strike Force (LSF) began dispersing the 300-strong crowd just as the latter began singing while marching from the mall, through the adjacent car park and towards the field across the main road.

As they approached the field, they were confronted by a wall of LSF shields wielded by about 30 riot police, backed by another 50 uniformed police.

Malaysia: PSM congress debates relationship with opposition Pakatan Rakyat

June 9, 2010 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia's 12th Congress was held in Kuala Lumpur on June 5-6, 2010. Three hundred delegates from nine states, and allied organisationd and grassroots committees, attended. The congress was officiated by the PSM’s national chairperson Comrade Nasir Hashim. Three papers were presented on the environmental crisis facing the world, leadership transition in PSM and the Malaysian governments economic policies. Resolutions (see below) were debated on the second day touching on idelogical questions, local government elections and the PSM's relationship with the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

PSM's 12th Congress resolutions

Malaysia: Najib's flirtation with imperialist US and his support for plot against Iran

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, PSM)

April 19, 2010 -- The bilateral meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama served nothing but the submission of the Malaysian government to the imperialist US as its new foot soldiers of “war on terror” in South-East Asia.

Prime Minister Najib recently attended the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, which achieved very little in promoting disarmament, but created conditions for stepping up sanctions against Iran, a country in the oil-rich region that has refused to subordinate itself to US Imperialism. It has become clear that Obama's foreign policy is far from breaking with the aggressive expansionist approach under the Bush administration, but is more in line with the imperialist goal of achieving military domination of the world.

Malaysia: Solidarity protest with Thai people's movement for democracy

Protest outside th Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Dr Nasir Hashim (left) and S. Arutchelvan (right).

April 14, 2010 -- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Today, a delegation of 30 people led by the Socialist Party Malaysia (PSM) staged a protest at the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Those present included Dr. Nasir Hashim (chairperson of the PSM and Selangor state assemblyperson for Kota Damansara ), Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj (central committe member of PSM and federal member of parliament for Sungai Siput), and S. Arutchelvan (secretary-general of the PSM). There were also representatives of Suaram, a leading human rights organisation in Malaysia, as well as a representative from the Student Federation of Thailand.

According to Arutchelvan, the purpose of this action is to voice concern over the situation in Thailand as well as to condemn the brutal crackdown on Red Shirt protesters on April 10. Dr Jeyakumar said the Red Shirts' demand for a fresh election is a fair demand and the Thai government should recognise the democratic rights of the people to protest and to choose their government. Choo Chon Kai, PSM international coordinator, then read PSM's demands in the memorandum.

Malaysia's Socialist Party: `People's power politics in practice'

PSM member of the national parliament, Dr. Jeyakumar (far right), its national chairperson and Selangor state assemblyperson, Dr. Nasir Hashim (second from right) , and the party’s three municipal councillors publicly declare their assets.

By Peter Boyle

March 24, 2010 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is extraordinary in many ways and on March 18 its member of the national parliament, Dr Jeyakumar, its national chairperson and Selangor state assemblyperson, Dr. Nasir Hashim, and the party’s three municipal councillors became the only politicians in Malaysia to publicly declare their assets. The declaration of assets and presentation of annual performance reports has become a routine for the party since 2008 when the PSM had its first electoral victories.

The PSM's political representatives are also obliged to give 40% of their income to the party but have been doing more than that. “This is people's power politics in practice. We come in poor and we go out poor”, explained Dr Nasir.

In addition, the PSM's representatives stick by the following principles:

Malaysian socialists lead protests against full-paying patient scheme

March 1, 2010 -- Malaysiakini -- The Malaysian government’s full-paying patient (FPP) scheme has again come under fire from the Coalition Against Health Service Privatisation, which held simultaneous pickets outside four public hospitals nationwide.

NONEIn the Klang Valley, short pickets by small groups were held at the Serdang and Sungai Buloh hospitals.

A similar protest took place outside the Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah Alor Setar, Kedah, and Hospital Sultan Ismail, Pandan, Johor.

At the Sungai Buloh hospital, Kota Damansara assemblyperson Dr Mohd Nasir Hasim, from the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM, Parti Sosialis Malaysia), led about a dozen people in denouncing the scheme which the government had initiated in 2007.

According to Nasir, the FPP scheme pilot project in Hospital Selayang has proven detrimental to both doctors and patients.

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