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.

The group managed to handed the memorandum to the first secretary of Royal Thai Embassy, Mr Montri Nathananan, who was observing the event. He nodded to the points expressed by the PSM's leadership and said that he will convey the memorandum to the Thai government. A few policemen also stood by for the entire event.

In the memorandum, the PSM called for:

  • The immediate resignation of the military-installed Ahbisit government and the holding of fresh democratic elections.

  • A halt to all forms of violent crackdown against Red Shirt protesters. Respect the right of the people to organize, to protest and to strike.

  • A halt to the suppression of democratic rights and clampdown on the media. 

  • The Thai government to not resort to a military coup. 

  • Bringing all Thai people together in an effort to solve political and socioeconomic problems, recognising that such efforts must stem from the power of the people.

The PSM reaffirmed its stand in supporting the mass movement of the Red Shirts in Thailand to struggle for democracy and social justice. The Red Shirt pro-democracy movement has grown into the largest democratic movement in the history of Thailand and it has shaken the power structure of the ruling elite especially the royalists.

The class struggle has been intensified yet the challenge ahead is tremendous. If the Thai pro-democracy movement can overthrow oligarchy rule through massive mobilisation from below and not through another military coup, it can be a great step forward for the Thai people to build a real democracy and social justice based on people's power.