Kuala Lumpur, 10 September 2008
This morning, Parti Sosialis Malaysia's National Chairperson Dr. Nasir
Hashim officially announced PSM's registration and proudly held a
certificate from the Registrar of Society dated 19 August 2008. The
certificate is given to Parti Sosialis Malaysia (New) giving an
impression that it is a new party, which is being registered when the
whole world knows about the discrimination and unconstitutional attitude
of the ruling party in denying PSM a registration for the last ten
Also present along with Party leaders were, Mohd. Sabu, the Vice
President of PAS, and two of PSM lawyers, Counsel Tommy Thomas and Ragu
Kesavan. Besides that around 200 people attended and witnessed the
historical press conference. Among them were grassroots community
leaders, NGO and political activist and the media.
Dr. Nasir thanked the many people, the lawyers who did the case for
free, the founding members and many others who stood the ground with the
party in the last ten years. Many friends locally as well as
Internationally campaigned for PSM to be registered.
He said that we never let the registration hamper our spirit but now
with the registration, we will move on.
PSM Secretary General, S.Arutchelvan listed the party's achievement and
said that PSM is an extension of the great and gallant struggle of the
left over the years from the Socialist Front to the Peoples party to the
MCP. He said that PSM would continue to be relevant as long as
Mohd. Sabu who Arul introduced as the socialist in PAS said that he
hoped that PSM joins the Pakatan Rakyat but said that if Pakatan merely
replaces Barisan Nasional and and adopts pro-capitalist policies and not
bring about change, then it is better for PSM to fight PR. Tommy Thomas,
PSM's lead counsel said that the courts have disappointed us but it is
peoples verdict on 8 march which allowed BN to make some reforms
including giving PSM a registration.
The Internationale was then sung to end the program but yet to begin a
new chapter in the socialist struggle in Malaysia.
During the press conference, the media asked the following questions and
answers given by Comrade Nasir Hashim and S.Arutchelvan.
On Pakatan Rakyat:
PSM said that the party would continue to work with Pakatan Rakyat on a
minimum program. PSM endorses the PAKATAN call to end the NEP to a
policy which will benefit all irrespective of race, abolish the ISA and
supports the many pro people and workers initiative like the Minimum
wage act etc. On the other hand, the party would oppose any
pro-capitalist, neo-liberal and any racist policies.
If the party is invited to PAKATAN, then we would look at the PAKATAN's
program and decide in the party's Congress to join or decline.
On PSM's MPs and State Assemblyman
PSM stood in the 1999 election using the DAP logo and in year 2004 and
2008 election, the party used the PKR logo. The understanding is clear
that PSM is using these logos because its own registration is denied.
PSM used its own manifesto and propaganda materials during the
elections. There is mutual respect among the parties.
PSM would be writing to the Speakers at the Parliament as well as the
Selangor State Assembly asking them, that in wake of the party's
registration, our two MPs and ADUN must be referred as members of PSM.
Meanwhile we will also ask the speakers not to change their current
sitting position, as we are comfortable in opposing Barisan Nasional and
On Anwar's September 16:
The entire election system is farce. BN has previously used undemocratic
means to undermine democracy in Sabah and Kelantan. Today they are
seeking justice when similar possible crossover is taking place against
PSM has no knowledge nor is it part of this initiative. If the people
are against the crossover they will go to the streets. Currently it
seems that the people and the civil society is reluctant to come to UMNO
and BN's rescue because the Government themselves are corrupt and not
popular. If BN is a popular party, we are sure the masses will come and
protest any form of take-over, which is seen as undemocratic. Let us
wait and see.
On PSM's immediate plans:
We would be holding a victory celebration on the 17 October and plan to
go on a nationwide road show to promote the party. The party also plans
two big campaigns. One is on the current fuel, food and economic crisis
while the second campaign would focus on the local council elections.
Until local election was banned 40 years ago, the left and Socialist
were the main parties winning elections at the council level.
Would [PSM MP] Dr. Kumar support PAKATAN in Parliament:
As a block, we stand with the opposition in opposing the BN. But if
there are policies or laws, which goes against the interest of workers
at large and goes against socialist principles, we will oppose it. PSM's
MP and State Assemblyman would not follow any Pakatan decision blindly.
How about PAKATAN policies, which goes against PSM interest?
We would work and look for common grounds to advance the struggle.
Meanwhile we will not abandon basic socialistic principles, which the
On PSM current membership:
Technically we cannot have members. Currently we have party office in
seven states, we have state representatives in all states except Sarawak
and Terengganu. Our support base on people committees is around 10,000.
* * *
From Malaysiakini, online independent news service (subscription only)
Sep 10, 08 4:15pm
PSM, which is now an officially recognised political party, will
continue to cooperate with the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat on a
'minimal programme' basis.
On the same note, it's secretary-general S Arutchelvan had reporters and
party members in stitches when he declared: "We will never join BN
(Barisan Nasional), we can guarantee you that."
He said if PSM is invited to join Pakatan Rakyat, the matter will have
to be discussed by its congress before any decision can be made.
Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, he also stressed that
the socialist party, which claims to have some 10,000 members, will
remain as opposition.
After a decade long struggle to obtain official recognition as a
legitimate outfit, PSM received the green light from the Registrar of
Societies (ROS) in a letter dated Aug 19.
Given PSM's new status, one question expected to be addressed is the
status of its elected representatives: Kota Damansara state
assemblyperson Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim and Sungai Siput member of
parliament Dr Michael D Jeyakumar.
'Continue to fight for justice'
Commenting on this, Arutchelvan said both the representatives will
remain independent in their views and continue to raise issues that are
inline with the party's beliefs in their respective avenues.
"They will continue to fight for justice and for the people, a belief
that defines PSM. Just because we contested under the PKR flag does not
mean we have to carry their views," he said.
"We already sent letters to the Speakers from both the Parliament and
the state assembly to have their party's name changed to PSM now that we
have the official status," he added.
In the March 8 polls, both Jeyakumar and Nasir had to stand under the
PKR flag as election laws state that only parties recognised by the ROS
The change of name will not affect the opposition numbers in Parliament
and the Selangor state assembly since PSM made it clear that it would
remain as opposition.
Currently the opposition, comprising PKR, DAP, PAS and PSM, have 81
seats as opposed to BN's 140 in Parliament. In the state assembly, the
opposition controls 36 state seats while BN has 20.
Differences in opinion
During PSM's recent congress in Port Dickson, one of the resolutions
proposed by members was not to join the Pakatan coalition due to
Speaking on this, Arutchelvan said PSM and other Pakatan parties have
always had differences in opinion on economic matters, in particular the
issue of free trade.
PSM has always been against the free trade market ideology advocated by
certain quarters within the ranks of other Pakatan parties.
"We believe that the free market ideology is here to crush and enslave
workers. We have different perspectives (from other Pakatan parties) on
policies of economics," said Arutchelvan.
However, he also noted that PSM recognises the existence of certain
'progressive elements' that share similar views with the socialist party
in other Pakatan parties and will continue to cooperate with these