Appeal for world-wide solidarity.
There is less than a week to go before the leaders of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) appear in court. For years they have been battling against a repressive regime which has not wanted to grant any legal recognition to their fighting socialist organisation.
The CWI has received the following appeal for support and solidarity, backed up with the details of the long road which has brought them to this point. We are asking for as many messages as possible to be sent off before the end of this week. (Please send copies to the CWI office: email@example.com)
We have also just learned of a vicious attack on activists of the PSM in Sungai Siput. For details of this and more about the PSM and its activities, visit the PSM website at: http://parti-sosialis.org
We are calling on all socialists for solidarity and support in our struggle for the right to exist as a party.
We are organising a huge gathering outside the court on 10 April. We are also getting a number of organisations to carry out a watching brief on our behalf.
The appeal below has addresses and e-mails to which you can send messages of protest and support.
You can also send them to us to post on our website and circulate as well as to read out during our gathering.
You need to send them before 7 April to give us enough time to print them out.
Please also send protest letters to the respective Malaysian embassies in your country.
S.Arutchelvan, Secretary General PSM
The Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s case is finally being heard in the Appeals Court, Putrajaya, on 10 April, 2006.
Ours is a party born from years of grass-root struggles in factories, plantations and urban settlements. It was formed as a mechanism for the poorer sections of society to fight for their rights. It continues to challenge the corruption, collusion and racism of those in power. As long as the suffering and exploitation of the people continues, so will the struggle.
The Malaysian constitution guarantees the right of every citizen to establish a society or party, and freedom to associate. However, on the 27 January 1999 and again on the 15 September 1999, applications by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) to become a registered society were turned down by the Registrar of Societies and by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Towards the end of 1999, the then Home Minister, who is the current Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, gave two reasons on why the PSM’s application was rejected. He said that the PSM did not fulfil the requirements and also that, based on feedback from the police, the party is a threat to National Security. The information he had about this could not be revealed in the interests of national security!
Much later, in 2003, the High Court also turned down our application. (See detailed ‘Time-line’ below) The PSM appealed and the date has been set for some time now for our case to be heard in the Appeals Court. We are calling for maximum local and international support.
Please express your dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the government and especially the Minister of Home Affairs and his ministry. Call on them to ratify the registration of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) on 10 April and to recognise the rights of citizens to associate, as enshrined in the constitution of Malaysia. The people of Malaysia should be allowed to decide the fate of the PSM’s future and have the right to join it, to participate in it and give their support, free from government interference and intimidation.
What you can do to help
Please urge the Malaysian government to respect the rights of the PSM to associate freely and call for an end to their persecution.
- Write to the newly appointed Minister of Home Affairs, Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohd Radzi Bin Sheikh Ahmad. Address: Ministry of Home Affairs, Level 12, Block D1, Parcel D, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send solidarity messages to be widely circulated to the media and to the people who will be gathered at the court on the 10 April to give their solidarity. Address: Parti Sosialis Malaysia, 47 Tingkat 3, jalan Dinar G, Seksyen U3, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Fax: ++ 603-87374772
Important dates and time line
- 30 April 1998. First application made for setting up party. After 5 years of discussion between grassroots groups and progressive individuals, the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) decides to make a formal application to the Registrar of Societies to set up a political party.
- 31 December 1998. Complaint about delay sent. Registrar has failed to register PSM within 6 months. After much correspondence, letters and inquiries, PSM submits complaint to the Director General of the Societies Registration Department questioning the delay.
- 21 January 1999. Another letter sent.
- 4 February 1999. PSM receives letter from the Societies Registration Department stating that the application has been rejected. No reasons given.
- 23 February 1999. PSM appeals to Home Ministry under Section 18 of the Societies Act, 1966. Further letters sent 7 April, 9 June, 14 July and 23 July 1999, asking for information on status of appeal.
- 5 August 1999. PSM makes complaint to the Public Complaints Bureau, under Prime Minister’s Department, over inefficiency of Home Ministry in processing PSM’s appeal.
- 23 September 1999. PSM receives letter signed by Chief Secretary of Home Ministry stating PSM’s appeal rejected and decision final. Again no reasons given.
- 26 October 1999. PSM makes history being first party to challenge Ministry’s decision in Kuala Lumpur High Court. First official response (see above).
- 21 March 2000. PSM wins first round when Justice Dato K.C.Vohrah allows leave on application. Then case postponed six times between 8 August, 2000 and 4 June 2002.
- 31 October 2002. PSM launches signature campaign to apply pressure for party registration.
- 13 November 2002. Case starts and goes on 26 and 27 November.
- 13 January 2003. PSM loses case in High Court. Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Said rejects PSM’s application with costs awarded against. He maintains national security is responsibility of executive government does not rest in courts of justice!
- 7 February 2003. PSM files appeal to Appeals Court.
- 28 January 2004. “Notice of urgency” filed.
- 27 July 2004. Another notice for urgent date filed.
- 26 March 2005. 36 organisations, including major Human Rights groups, grassroots Coalitions and the Malaysian Trade Union Congress, call for PSM to be registered. Memorandum submitted to Home Affairs Minister.
- 15 November 2005. Demonstration at Palace of Justice and memorandum submitted to Chief Justice. Ten days later, PSM lawyer gets date for “Case management”.
- 8 December 2005. Case Management
- 10 April 2006. Appeals Court finally to hear PSM’s case. Full support to be mobilised.