Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waging war? The charge simply doesn’t stick!


Aliran Executive Committee
28 June 2011

The way the PSM members were arrested and accused reminds us of the proverb, “Give a dog a bad name and hang him.”

That’s what the police have done. They resurrected the communist bogey and concocted the myth of waging war against the king and hoped that these ludicrous accusations will stick. Unfortunately, the accusations are far-fetched and come across as scandalous and out-right lies.

The PSM is a grass-roots party dedicated to socialism and to the peaceful attainment of goals that would bring benefits to the marginalized and helpless members of the Malaysian community. Their concern for the welfare of the Orang Asli, their struggle for the urban poor, their solidarity with the homeless, their unwavering support for the evicted, their demand for decent basic wages for the largely exploited labour class, all this speaks eloquently to justify their existence in the political area.

They have never been opportunistic and did not abandon the constituency that did not support the party. They struggled on, in spite of their electoral losses and remained faithful to their chosen constituency. It is this perseverance that paid off for Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj who ultimately defeated Dato Seri Samy Vellu and captured the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency in 2008.

Never at any point did PSM ever root for the Communist Party. The PSM’s ways are based on peaceful attainment of their objectives whereas the Communist Party is associated with armed struggle. The way of violence is anathema for the PSM.

This is why it is very difficult for Malaysians to believe the unfair accusation that the PSM is trying to resurrect the communist party.

What is equally mind-boggling is the charge that PSM is waging war against the king. The members of PSM are patriotic Malaysians who are loyal to king and country. They have never borne any arms at any point in their 10-year struggle to get recognition as a legitimate, registered political party. They fought a legal battle persistently to gain recognition and exist as a legitimate registered political party.

They are not a clandestine organisation. They have never operated a military camp or provided arms training to anyone. They have always operated in the open without fear or favour.

Not one member of PSM was ever arrested for carrying arms. In fact, those in the top leadership are people of integrity who are known to have made tremendous sacrifices for a cause that they believe in passionately.

The PSM Member of Parliament, Jeyakumar, is an example of a mild-mannered, soft spoken MP who uses sober, well-reasoned arguments to put across his concerns without sounding offensive.

He is no rabble-rouser and is instead one of the most principled politicians around. A respiratory physician by training and practice, he was once awarded a gold medal by the Malaysian Medical Association for outstanding community service.

How then could this party “wage war against the king”? It is unthinkable! It is an outrageous accusation, and the detention of the PSM members is totally unjustified.

Just look at the motley 30 PSM members who have been detained – the majority of whom are women. Do they honestly look as if they are capable of waging war against the king? Is it fair even to suggest this? Where are their weapons? Is it respecting the truth and honouring justice when such an outlandish accusation is levelled against these innocent people?
Thinking Malaysians are appalled at the unjustified accusations and they are rightly disturbed and disappointed with the action taken against them.

Aliran joins these concerned Malaysians in calling upon the Prime Minister to release these 30 detainees immediately and drop all charges against them. This act will win him international respect and justify our place on the Human Rights Council. This act will convince all and sundry that we as a nation are governed by the rule of law.

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