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By Martin Vengadesan

May 1, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Malaysia Kini — Every year around the world, workers in most countries celebrate Labour Day on May 1, a notable exception being the US which celebrates it in September.

It has its roots in the International Workers Day celebrations called by socialists and unionists in the late 19th century and Malaysian workers are naturally part of this larger family.

This year’s Labour Day is part of a long extended break as it also falls near the religious holiday of Hari Raya Aidilfitri at the end of the Muslim fasting month. As such, celebrations can be expected to be relatively muted.

For one man, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) deputy chairperson S Arulchelvan, it is nonetheless a day he will always celebrate – indeed, he has not missed a celebration for nearly 30 years.

S. Arutchelvan interviewed by Peter Boyle

April 18, 2008 -- There have been dramatic developments in Malaysia since the ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional – BN) government had its majority in parliament reduced sharply in general elections on March 8. Opposition parties, which won five out of 13 state governments, formed a new People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) on April 1. Police disrupted a large opposition rally on April 14 to mark the end of the government’s five year ban on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim participating in politics. Anwar claimed at the rally he now has enough defections from government MPs to form a federal government but will not make the move until he increases his majority. At this stage, the People's Alliance comprises the Justice Party (Parti Keadilan – PKR), the Islamic Party (PAS) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP).