Excessive Empowerment by the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022

Excessive Empowerment by the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, AUGUST 2 2022: On July 26 2022, the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) proposed a bill in parliament which is referred to as the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 with the aim of ending the consumption of tobacco products among Malaysians born on January 1 2007 and later. Although the vision is favourable from a medical and health perspective, the contents of the bill are problematic particularly in terms of enforcement.

Firstly, clause 17 stipulates that any person born on January 1 2007 onwards who is found guilty of smoking or possessing any tobacco product or substitute, or even just using any smoking device shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM500 (initially RM5000 but has been reduced according to a tweet by YB Khairy Jamaluddin). This means that a punitive method will be used to combat smoking addiction which is a health issue, not a crime, further stigmatising it among the community. On top of that, the deliberate decision of implementing a fine will lead to lower income people being disproportionately affected as it will further burden them financially. It is common knowledge that punishment is not a deterrent and a person who is fined has no actual incentive to cease their smoking; they will merely be more vigilant to avoid getting into trouble again with the authorities. Thus, the bill is clearly contradictory to its supposed end goal.

Besides that, clauses 26, 31, and 34 pose a great threat to the safety of the people as they unnecessarily empower authoritative bodies, enabling them to abuse their power and terrorise individuals as well as communities. This is largely due to the use of ambiguous language within the bill. There is no clear indication of what is considered as suspicious behaviour to justify giving power to the authorities to enter premises, stop, search as well as seize conveyance, and access recorded information including but not limited to computerised data. Passing the bill without revising these clauses will jeopardise the security and privacy of people, including those who are in proximity to a suspect. The passing of the ineffective IPCC bill should also be highlighted as there is currently no strong independent body to monitor the activities of the authorities, further accentuating the inevitable abuse of power that will come with the passing of this bill.

Moreover, clause 33 which empowers the authorities to enforce measures contained within clause 32 without a warrant is detrimental to the people. Regardless of whether or not the authorities do possess reason to forgo a delayed warrant in order to search and seize a premise (by force if necessary as provided in clause 32), this sets a precedent for them to do so anyway, being held accountable for it (if at all) only after it has been weaponized against a suspect. This is clearly an unnecessary amount of power to give to any authoritative body which harms the people, especially marginalised and lower income groups who are disproportionately targeted by them.

As mentioned, YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the Minister of Health, has uploaded a tweet on August 1 2022 at 6.15pm which states that some small amendments have been made to the bill including the reduction of the maximum fine, the addition of a community service option, the outlawing of body searches on those below 18 years old, and the removal of punishments for those who are caught possessing tobacco products. However, these changes are insufficient as the clauses that enable abuse of power still exist. The alterations on the other hand have not changed the efficacy of the bill as whether it is a fine of RM 500 or RM 5000, they are both huge amounts for lower income people, causing them to still be disproportionately affected. In addition, no one should be subjected to a body search for committing any offence related to this bill.

In summary, the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 proposed by the MOH should be thoroughly revised before even being considered to pass in parliament. It is full of dangerous provisions that expose the people to violations of their democratic and human rights. With this, Pemuda Sosialis demands for a bill that is designed with the best interest of the people in mind, centering methods of rehabilitation instead of punishment in order to resolve the issue of smoking in the nation. The MOH should also consider providing free nicotine patches and other safe alternatives to aid people in overcoming their smoking addiction if they truly care about the people’s health.

Titania

Ahli Jawatankuasa

Pemuda Sosialis

PSM publishes Socialist Perspectives 15 magazine

PSM publishes Socialist Perspectives 15 magazine

It is easier, as Frederic Jameson once remarked, to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. His words echo truly in Malaysia, where the axioms of liberal capitalism and “good governance” still hold us hostage. 

The specters of the Emergency, the global Red Scare, and sixty years of right-wing dictatorship haunt us still. Even the most progressive political voices are still only able to call for lukewarm social reforms, leaving the base economic structure unchallenged. It is almost impossible to imagine a genuine alternative for Malaysia, where the economy works for the people, and workers’ interests are represented and protected.  

That is precisely why Volume 15 of the Socialist Perspective magazine is an important read. This publication collects many of the thoughts and triumphs of the socialist movement in Malaysia, as seen through the writings of many of Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) leading members. From reflections on recent struggles to punchy commentaries on domestic & international affairs, and even touching memorials to late comrades. This volume is an important contribution to the formation of a truly Malaysian socialism, formulated from & suited to the material conditions that the rakyat and marhaen are facing. 

There is no better antidote to despair for Malaysians than to see the good works & praxis that already exist. Socialist Perspective is, as always, a good reminder to all its readers that our struggles continue, and that the fight for a better Malaysia is alive and well.

Socialist Perspectives 15 is available by post, as well as walk-in purchases at PSM’s Headquarters

For Walk-in purchases:
Ibu Pejabat Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
No. 140, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad,
Brickfield 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Google Maps : https://goo.gl/maps/op73ABnwhxXuiD83A

For other purchases, or buying in bulk, contact:
016-2290460 (Sook Hwa)

A New Deal for Malaysia – Socialists Launch Progressive Recovery Plan

A New Deal for Malaysia – Socialists Launch Progressive Recovery Plan

KEMPEN PEMULIHAN NASIONAL – PEKA NASIB KAMI! RAKYAT MINTA LIMA!

Press Statement
22nd May 2022

In the last 2 years, we have been fighting Covid-19 and the pandemic induced economic crisis that followed due to business shutdowns and movement control restrictions. As of November 2020, around 100,000 people have lost their jobs and many more in the informal sector would have lost their income. 

The pandemic has exposed the failures of Capitalism the world over and Malaysia has not been spared. Although business shutdowns and movement control orders were imposed across the board to all sectors of the population, but the impact on society varies along class lines. The poor were the most badly hit. Many lost their jobs as SMEs struggled to survive and self-employed micro businesses had to shut down their hard built businesses when cost outran their revenue. They were forced to look for alternate sources of income overnight.

Besides losing their source of livelihood, urban poor staying in 650 sq feet PPR public housing found it impossible to carry out social distancing and situations were exacerbated during isolation as their family members were required to be quarantined. 

The Malaysian government in its long standing conviction to the neoliberal path has been detracting from its responsibility of providing basic essential services for the rakyat and promoting privatisation of public services. After three decades of aggressive privatisation, we are left with a weakened public healthcare system, expensive education, workers with dismantled safeguards, an increase in precarious work, unaffordable housing and a widening disparity between the rich and poor. 

The pandemic shattered the already weak social security system, throwing poor households and even the M40 into sudden poverty. Some of the hard lessons the pandemic has taught us are; 

  1. The Pandemic and its induced economic crisis has hit the B40 the hardest. Despite the indiscriminate attack of the virus amongst the rich and poor, a household’s income and job security often determines if they can remain resilient throughout the pandemic. 
  1. Jobs that were thought to be secure just vanished overnight and many were left to fend for themselves, struggling desperately to put food on the table. Without a comprehensive social security system, many fell through the cracks.
  1. We were always told to believe that the private sector is the key driver for economic progress that provides jobs for the rakyat. However, when economic downturn strikes, the companies in the private sector falter, downsize their workforce and freeze new job openings. Many projects were put on hold and unemployment soared to 4.8% as at June, 2021(DOSM). The impact is larger as many have been forced from formal employment into underemployment and informal work. 
  1. Although policy makers always pushed for more privatisation of healthcare, health tourism and incentives for private medical care, it has been blatantly proven that it was the public healthcare system that provided care to the rakyat throughout the pandemic. Private healthcare was reluctant to take in Covid patients and moved extremely slowly to relieve the load off of government hospitals.
  1. Sectors of our working people who are often forgotten and marginalised by many are the ones who actually hold up the nation in times of crises. Those that provide essential services such as farmers, cleaners, garbage collectors, lorry drivers, delivery riders play a critical role to keep the supply and services going. We realise that it is not the fund managers, the speculators, the stock marketers and the bourgeois elite that stand out in these trying times.

These hard lessons need to be understood and acted upon so that we don’t make the same mistakes again. These experiences have taught us that we cannot return to business as usual and instead to take efforts to revamp our economic and development model seriously in order to make ourselves more resilient to future crises.

The political and corporate elite who were the least affected economically and socially by the pandemic will not be jolted to offer a progressive alternative for Malaysia. The neoliberal, corporate driven economic model has been accepted by both political coalitions. It was merely a change of guards with minimal attempt for structural change.

PSM believes that the task of ensuring that the basic needs are met for the rakyat is the responsibility of government. The government cannot stop at only extending easy credit to the banks and giving cash incentives for businesses to preserve and/or create jobs. We believe that given the marked loss in aggregate demand, these stimuli will not solve the problem as elaborated above. 

Trickle down approach fails to solve core structural problems in our policies.  Have the political elite failed to realise that they must step in and supply basic needs and services when the market fails to do so?

In these times of crises, people without income will be marginalised if we rely on market based approaches. The market fails when human need is not backed up by purchasing power. There is a real risk that a significant number of Malaysian families will not be able to provide basic needs – food, shelter and health care for themselves! And that is not acceptable!

As the paradigm shifts towards a progressive people centred action plan, PSM is putting forward a new deal for Malaysia. This new way forward attempts to take Malaysia on a path to dismantle the adverse effects of neoliberalism by enhancing our social security and rebuilding our basic support pillars for the rakyat’s well-being. Our new deal proposals are aptly themed “KEMPEN PEMULIHAN NASIONAL – PEKA NASIB KAMI! RAKYAT MINTA LIMA!

The action plan propounds 5 PILLARS as follows; 

  1. Empowering Social Security 
  2. Job Guarantee Scheme 
  3. Housing as a human right 
  4. Reinforcing Public Healthcare 
  5. Immediate Action to tackle Climate Crisis. 

The ideas being put forward by each pillar are briefly stated as follows; 

  1. Empowering Social Security for working people
  1. Introduce a Modified Universal Basic Income 
  2. End outsourcing of government services and absorb contract workers as permanent government staff
  3. Amend Labour and Social Security Acts to provide protection for ‘gig’ workers and precarious employment 
  4. Reform PERKESO’s Employment Insurance Scheme
  5. Monthly pensions for those above 65 years old
  1. Job Guarantee Scheme For Youth
  1. Green jobs
  2. Increase job opportunities in farming and food production
  3. Constructing more and equipping healthcare facilities better
  4. Jobs in conservation activities, reforestation and restoration of heritage sites
  5. Increase research opportunities in medical and pharmacological fields
  6. Increase social welfare workers to provide direct assistance to the needy
  7. Ground officers to monitor implementation of government programs
  8. Childcare work 
  9. Socialisation of housework 
  10. Reduce working hours
  11. Compel Government Linked Companies to fund and initiate such job guarantee schemes 
  12. Introduce a law against anti-discrimination in employment.
  1. Housing as a human right
  1. Build more rental PPR units for the B20
  2. Decouple public housing from the market
  3. Stop forced evictions of urban pioneers. Offer land to occupiers, not to third parties
  4. Establish a Non-profit trust fund to build houses for the B40 
  5. Maintenance of low cost housing apartments to be taken over by local councils
  1. Strengthen Public Healthcare System
  1. Rope in General Practitioners to assist in treating patients with chronic diseases to relieve the burden of Government Hospitals
  2. Use levy collected from migrant workers to pay for their healthcare cost
  3. Government should bear the cost of implants and surgical accessories at Hospitals 
  4. Ministry of Health budget needs to be increased
  5. Quality and affordable healthcare is social wage for the rakyat
  1. Immediate Action to tackle Climate Crisis
  1. Work towards 100% renewable energy
  2. Address pollution from Petroleum Industries
  3. Increase public transport infrastructure and ridership
  4. Moratorium on logging and mining in primary reserve forests

The proposals outlined in the document “KEMPEN PEMULIHAN NASIONAL – PEKA NASIB KAMI! RAKYAT MINTA LIMA! requires political will driven by clear class perspective and an anti-neoliberal stance to push for concrete changes. Malaysia’s recovery and progress requires a serious paradigm shift; decoupling itself from neoliberal policies that have clearly failed to safeguard the interest of the  rakyat in times of crisis.

The campaign will be launched concurrently on 22nd May, 2022 in Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.  

Subsequently we will embark on a national campaign tour, to promote the 5 key demands and why Malaysia needs to immediately proceed on an economic path away from the neoliberal model. 

The events planned in the coming weeks are as follows 

  • Campaign convoy to key cities.   
  • Engaging with the rakyat on the 5 pillars.  
  • Gathering feedback on local issues and endorsement for the demands. 
  • Banners in key areas. 
  • Group discussions 
  • Solidarity visits to communities involved in struggles 
  • Participation sessions with local civil society organisations. 

Please look out for upcoming campaign information soon. 

You may read the full 5 Pillar proposals here:  

For more information, please contact:  

Sivarajan A,

pusat@partisosialis.org

Stop the military aggression against the Kurds

Stop the military aggression against the Kurds

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the increasingly authoritarian Turkish president who hypocritically pretended to be a “peacemaker” in the Ukraine war has ordered the latest round of cross-border attacks which took effect on 17th April 2022, targeting areas controlled by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq).

RELEASE DETAINED PSM ACTIVISTS WHO DEFENDED CHEPOR IMPIAN PERAK FARM LANDS NOW

RELEASE DETAINED PSM ACTIVISTS WHO DEFENDED CHEPOR IMPIAN PERAK FARM LANDS NOW

Police stand watch near an excavator attempting to enter the farmers’ land.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia is shocked at the blatant abuse of police power against Perak farmers in the recent weeks. Today morning, 13th April, 2022 Perak Police came in full force to assist a developer to carry out excavation works on farm lands cultivated by farmers for more than 40 years in Chepor Impian, (Daerah Kinta) Perak.

PSM Sg Siput Chairperson Agastim Mariasosai

Today’s encroachment into the land was done without any court order! Yet the police assisted this illegal land encroachment by arresting two PSM comrades whom questioned the developer and police. The PSM Sg Siput Chairperson Agastim Mariasosai and PSM Youth member Kesavan Parvathy were arrested at about 12pm today and are being detained at the Ibupejabat Polis Daerah Ipoh now.

Before this the farmers with the assistance of PSM have made several police reports highlighting the previous encroachments on 4th and 5th April, 2022 but no action was taken.

This is absolutely in contradiction to Perak police chief, Datuk Mior Faridalathrash Wahid statement last Monday, 11th April, 2022 that police deny assisting State agency to encroach on the Kanthan land. The incidents this morning at Chepor Impian proves otherwise, as police arrested PSM activists that defended the land and stood in protection of the excavator as it carried out farm land clearing works.

PSM Youth member Kesavan Parvathy

Just last week, another farmer from Kanthan was arrested for defending his farm land and questioning the Perak State Development Authority (Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak) of disrespecting the courts. The court clearly gave instructions to the PKNP lawyers that no state agency or its agents should enter the Kanthan farming land until the matter is heard in court.

PSM condemns this blatant highhanded action by the Perak police, without doubt in cohorts with the developer and Perak State agencies to evict the farmers.

PSM demands that the police release immediately PSM members Agastim and Kesavan and refrain from assisting developers and state agencies to carry out illegal eviction of farmers lands and abide by the process of law in the courts.

A Sivarajan
Secretary General, Parti Sosialis Malaysia
2.20pm 13th April, 2022

MINIMUM WAGE : NOW NOT LATER – For ALL and NO Loophole

MINIMUM WAGE : NOW NOT LATER – For ALL and NO Loophole

We are alarmed with the FMM lobby and the compromise by some Ministers. We call for minimum wage now for all with zero loopholes.

  1. The minimum wage legislation was first introduced in Malaysia because of the failure and the abuse of the market system in determining wages. If Malaysia allowed for market forces to determine wages; if we did not allow for cheap migrant labour to come into the market, then the wages would have been automatically high. it is also the MEF, who have been constantly lobbying the Government to get more foreign workers as it goes hand in hand into their cheap labour policies. Because of this manipulation of the market forces, the Employers should not complain when minimum wages are increased time to time.
  2. The date told by the Prime Minister 1 May 2022 should be date of implementation and there should be no further delay. Simply because the actual date of implementation should have been either January 2021 or February 2022 because the last increase of minimum wage January 2019 for RM 1100 and February 2020 was only for 57 township. So historically because of the delay of implementation of minimum wage , workers have lost a total of 28 months of backdated wages. Who is going to compensate them.
    January 2013 – RM 900
    (all companies given 12 months – 12 months delay)
    (18 months)
    July 2016 – RM 1000
    (6 months)
    January 2019 – RM 1100
    February 2020 – RM 1200
    (4 months)
    May 2022 – RM 1500
  3. The Minimum wage of RM 1500 is not a massive hike
    • MTUC, Cuepacs have been demanding for RM 1800
    • Both the Coalition BN and PH have already promised RM 1500 within a term
    • Bank Negara Estimate for Living wage in KL in 2016. Now would be higher is Single adult RM 2,700, for a couple RM 4500 and a family of 2 children RM 6,500.
    • Using the Government formula – Technical Committee on wage which take into account poverty line, CPI, production growth and Unemployment, then Minimum wage in Malaysia should be RM 2017.
    • In the region, Malaysia workers purchasing power with the minimum wage is the
      lowest in ASEAN because workers in Malaysia only get 12.62% (10.45% in 2018)
      of purchasing power compared to per capita income.
  4. Another alarming fact is that Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar announced that the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be exempted from applying the RM1,500 minimum wage rate from May 1. This was told in Dewan Rakyat. Who is Noh Omar to make such an exemption? The powers to do so is only in the hands of the Human Resource Minister who has previously given such exemption based on case to case situation. We hope proper assessment is made because we are in an opinion based on previous minimum wage hike, it didn’t impact on the SME even though FMM use the same arguments
  5. PSM calls for implementation and the Government should help out companies who are unable to meet the minimum wage. The strategy should have been to tax the very rich individual and companies and cross subsidize the SMEs who needs help. In our scenario today, MEF will oppose all sorts of tax like wealth tax, capital gain tax etc including setting a ceiling for high wages and at the same time their only strategy is to ensure and suppress wages and ensure workers of the lowest paid are kept low. So increasing minimum wage below is not really the issue but readjusting wages and income from above is the solution.
    There are many ways to Government can help these few companies are facing hardship. The Government must able to redeploy and retrain. We propose to increase tax and assist companies after only assessment is made using the below method. The Government can Increase corporate tax gradually 1% per year till reach 30%, 1 to 5% wealth tax of any wealth exceeding RM 10million for example.
  6. There should be act to control the ceiling price of wages. Malaysia GINI coefficient is the second highest in South East Asia. Even our GLCs CEO some of them easily earn more than 100k a month
  7. Recently the Government’s reckless move in allowing several rounds of EPF withdrawals via i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra schemes have resulted in a total withdrawal of RM101 billion through 7.4 million members. This according to EPF has resulted in 6.1 million members having less than RM10,000 in their savings and 79% of them having less than RM1,000 left consequently. By increasing the minimum wage RM 300 perhaps in just a small way for the Government to assist these works to built up their savings through EPF 

S. Arutchelvan
PSM Deputy Chairperson

PRN Johor 2022 – Perlunya Parti yang Melawan Arus

PRN Johor 2022 – Perlunya Parti yang Melawan Arus

Sejak keputusan PRN Johor pada hari Sabtu, 12hb.Mac , 2022 yang lalu, pelbagai analisis muncul terutamanya dari penganalisis politik dan juga dari ahli politik. Kebanyakkannya merungut mengenai kesilapan ‘pembangkang’. Apakah sepatutnya mereka buat, apakah salah tafsiran ahli politik, apakah strategi yang harus dipakaim dan sebagainya. Ada mengatakan kemenangan BN adalah disebabkan oleh penurunan peratus keluar mengundi. Kesemuanya berkisar sekeliling apakah baik untuk ‘parti politik’ ini dan itu.

Tetapi saya kurang membaca apajua komentar yang melihat apakah sebenarnya baik untuk rakyat berbanding dengan apakah baik untuk parti politik.

Selama 3 hingga 4 minggu saya berada di Johor untuk menyiapkan jentera Parti Sosialis Malaysia untuk bertanding di kerusi N49 Kota Iskandar Johor, saya mendengar pelbagai komen dari rakyat setempat. Diantara yang biasa didengar ialah “piliharaya ini membazir masa sahaja”, “ semua parti sama sahaja lah”, “lepas undi semua hilang tak tunaikan janji pada rakyat”, “takut Covid, tak keluar mengundi” dan komen-komen lain yang memaparkan ketidalpuashatian rakyat terhadap parti-parti politik sedia ada, dan juga keperluan mengadakan PRN sekarang.

Ada juga yang mengatakan bahawa mereka “confuse (keliru) kerana banyak sangat parti, pembangkang kerana perpecahan”. Saya juga melihat langsung tidak wujud apa-apa suasana pilihanraya dikalangan rakyat. Tidak ada laungan “ini kali lah” ataupun motivasi untuk turun mengundi dengan harapan memperbaiki nasib rakyat biasa.

Justeru itu disinilah kita harus berfikir secara mendalam. Kenapa rakyat merasakan bahawa kehidupan mereka dan kesusahan mereka tidak akan berubah melalui PRN Johor kali ini? Adakah mereka sudah capai ke kesimpulan bahawa, manajua parti yang menang ianya 2×5, 5×2 sahaja? Atau adakah rakyat mendahulukan kestabilan selepas ketidaktentuan politik sejak Langkah Sheraton pada awal tahun 2020 lagi? Rakyat sanggup mengkorbankan aspirasi perubahan sebenar, demi kestabilan politik walaupun ianya datang dari blok yang pernah dicampakkan oleh rakyat sendiri pada tahun 2018.

PRN Johor dan PRN sebelumnya di Melaka dan Sarawak, harus memberikan peluang kepada rakyat untuk merenung kembali sebenarnya apakah peranan parti politik dalam menentukan masa depan mereka.

Jika dilihat parti-parti yang memperjuangkan hak Bumiputera dari UMNO dan serpihannya seperti BERSATU dan Pejuang, rakyat kini jelas memahami bahawa kesemuanya hanya ‘menjual’ retorik hak Melayu untuk menumpukan kekayaan kepada golongan elit Melayu dan bukannya majoriti rakyat Melayu. Begitu juga parti-parti lain yang mengunakan retorik kaum sebagai agenda mereka.

Jika dilihat pada pembangkang (yang pernah menjadi Kerajaan selama 22 bulan) juga gagal membawa perubahan jelas dalam kehidupan rakyat, terutamanya isu-isu asas. Walaupun mereka hanya dalam pemerintahan selama 22 bulan tetapi mereka berkuasa di Pulau Pinang dan Selangor selama 14 tahun. Apa pula nasib rakyat dikedua-dua Negeri itu?

Perubahan sebenar dalam kehidupan harian hanya akan tercapai jika kita membawa kuasa politik yang berani melawan arus. Melawan arus maksudnya, politik yang memahami hegemoni ekonomi dan politik yang mengkongkong kita. Suatu tatacara sistem ekonomi yang merampas hasil titik peluh rakyat untuk mengkayakan segelintir elit bisnes dan politik. Ianya berlaku dalam pelbagai cara, bermula dari polisi gaji murah kepada pekerja demi membolehkan Ketua Eksekutif (CEO) menerima gaji ratusan ribuan ringgit setiap bulan. Monopoli bisnes yang menekan peniaga kecil. Perniagaan Kecil dan Sederhana (PKS) yang terpaksa mengurangkan kos kerana dituntut oleh pembeli multinasional.

Perampasan tanah dari petani, orang asli dan juga penduduk kampong untuk diberikan kepada korporat besar. Penindasan pekerja industry e-hailing, p-hailing , penghantar makanan dan barangan yang melihat pendapatan mereka semakin berkurang walaupun pesanan bertambah.

Hasil nelayan yang berkurang kerana pembangunan sisir pantai dan industry perngorekkan pasir yang berleluasa. Maka kos makanan bertambah kerana nelayan dan petani tempatan dipinggirkan dan rakyat beralih ke makanan impot.

Senarai isu-isu rakyat marhain iaitu majoriti pengundi dimana-mana kawasan mengundi amatlah panjang, tetapi siapa yang berani melawan arus hegemoni ekonomi dan politik ini untuk membawa perubahan sebenar?

Hampir kesemua parti-parti politik dan juga gabungan-gabungan politik samaada yang memerintah atau pernah memerintah ini nampaknya lebih ingin mengekalkan ‘status quo’ hegemoni ini kerana ianya jelas juga menguntungkan kerjaya politik mereka.

Maka, pengajaran dari PRN Johor dan pilihanraya sebelum ini ialah, rakyat harus meneliti pendirian dan pegangan parti-parti politik-politik ini. Retorik politik bersih, telus dan anti-rasuah itu penting, tetapi ianya tidak mencukupi untuk memecahkan hegemoni ekonomi yang menekan rakyat.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia, walaupun suatu kuasa yang kecil, berani membawa suatu naratif politik baru yang benar-benar mencabar hegemoni ekonomi kapitalis ini. Ini bukan suatu kenyataan kosong, kerana rekod sejarah perjuangan PSM sememangnya diakui ramai. Dari perjuangan menentang perampasan tanah orang kampong tradisi, peneroka Bandar, Orang Asli, pekerja estet sehinggalah perjuangan menentang pengumpulan kekayaan oleh korporat bisnes.

Maka, kita perlukan suatu peralihan, dari mengundi parti-parti yang menjual retorik ‘kaum’ kepada alternatif politik yang meletakkan perjuangan kelas masyarakat sebagai agenda utamanya. Sebab perjuangan kelas marhain akan memanfaatkan kesemua kaum, terutamanya kaum Melayu yang masih merupakan kaum yang mempunyai peratus pendapatan isi rumah dibawah RM2000 yang tertinggi.

Politik perjuangan kelas akan mengenalpasti pelakon-pelakon yang menaja dan mengekalkan hegemoni ekonomi ini dan melancarkan perjuangan terhadap mereka agar kekayaan masyarakat dikongsikan dengan lebih adil.

Kini sudah tiba masanya, kita beralih kepada memilih kuasa politik yang jelas dalam perjuangan kelas dan berani memecahkan hegemoni ekonomi yang menghambakan rakyat terbanyak. PRU15 akan memberikan rakyat satu lagi peluang untuk menolak parti-parti perkauman dan parti-parti yang mengelar diri mereka sebagai radikal dan reformis, tetapi sebenarnya amat kabur dalam pendirian mereka menentang hegemoni ekonomi kapitalis ini.

Cukup sudah rakyat diperbodohkan dengan parti-parti politik serpihan ini yang kononya berbeza dan akan menyelesaikan permasalahan rakyat. Pengalaman dan pengkhianatan politik mereka telah menjadikan rakyat lebih matang untuk memilih dengan lebih teliti sebuah parti dan kuasa politik yang berdasarkan perjuangan kelas yang sebenarnya.

Sivarajan A
Setiausaha Agung PSM
14/3/2022

#BreakTheBias and Inequality!

#BreakTheBias and Inequality!

08 March 2022 

This year’s International Women’s Day theme, “Break the Bias”, aims to bring awareness to the gender biases women face every day in all walks of life. Biases exist around us in terms of gender, colour, nationality, height, identity, physical disability, sexuality, and the list goes on. #BreaktheBias encourages us to rethink and call out gender bias when we see it happen, keeping us accountable for our thoughts and actions.

Gender bias refers to women being treated differently than men and her potential being suppressed in many aspects. Whether the bias is deliberate or subconscious, it prevents women from achieving their full potential by obstructing many chances and recognition due to them.

In 2020, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a study revealing that almost 90% of men and women show some bias against women, which creates a lot of barriers and obstacles for women. Consider the Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) which measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population. This GSNI raises concerns about the vast power gap between men and women in politics and the economy. 

Even today, in Malaysia even women Parliamentarians have to struggle extra hard to make their voices to be heard in the midst of all the sexist taunts in Parliament by their male counterparts. Can you imagine what is the fate of normal women in workplace and public domain in trying to get their voices heard or their issues highlighted?

Our society as a whole has proven to be biased, sexist, misogynistic, unequal, and insensitive. It reveals itself in our thought process, working norms, and interactions deeply rooted in traditional gender roles and norms and the underlying imbalance of power that shapes them. This creates a substantial disparity in how women and girls acquire opportunities to engage in public life compared to men and boys.

The Malaysian society perpetuates many ‘norms’ that marginalizes several factions of society, including the LGBTQI+ individuals. For women in Malaysia, especially women from the minority, marginalized and underrepresented groups, this year’s IWD theme is very meaningful as it focuses on equal representation, gender balance in the public decision-making process and the end to the bias. 

We all have our unconscious biases, which is a huge problem. It is time for us to realize it and encourage women to speak up against bias in the workplace, at home, in Parliament, and in every aspect of our lives. It’s time to be inspired and inspire others to break the bias. 

Regardless of gender, International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March is a moment for us to reflect on and celebrate the women’s struggle in Malaysia and globally. Together, we can take it further and make more progress supporting women’s rights. Equality is not only for imagination and dreams; it is a collective responsibility and Gender Equality is not a women issue but a human issue.

Happy International Women’s Day from Parti Sosialis Malaysia

Nalini Elumalai
Gender Bureau
Parti Sosialis Malaysia

PSM to compete in Kota Iskandar N49 in Johor State Elections

PSM to compete in Kota Iskandar N49 in Johor State Elections

Parti Sosialis Malaysia would like to announce that we will be competing in the Johor Elections 2022. Far from being a new contender in Johor politics, activists from PSM have been mobilising in Johor for more than 15 years and the first PSM Branch in Johor is the Nusa Jaya Branch (now known as Kota Iskandar). This branch was registered in the year 2010 and has served continuously to this day.

One of the strengths of PSM in Johor is that they have successfully organised many campaigns of marhaen issues. Including the Minimum Wage campaign, the Worker’s Insurance Scheme campaign, the campaign demanding Schools in Kota Iskandar, the Protest GST campaign, the struggle demanding Hospitals in Kangkar Pulai, Orang Asli struggle, the Affordable Housing campaign and many more activities in Johor.

In line with PSM principles to only compete in areas that we have served, PSM made the decision to compete in DUN N49 Kota Iskandar in this Johor Election 2022.

Although we are only competing for one seat, we feel that PSM bring a political narrative that is different than other parties that have announced their participation in the Johor Elections at this time. All political parties, whether those who are ruling or those who are opposing do not approach their fight from the point of view of ordinary citizens, the marhaen.

Thus, most of the policies, programs, and reform they bring are obscured by the desired of the capitalist class and corporate class. From the political funds that are accepted to the policies they bring while in power, they side with the class that has monetary power and elite political influence. This must be stopped. The people are tired with politics of the elite! PSM is ready to offer an alternative progressive politics that empowers people power!

The candidate that we are introducing is Arangkanal Rajoo also known as Ara, who is someone that works in film. He is the director of many social films that have won international awards. His socialist spirit brought him to serve with PSM for more than 2 years in DUN Kota Iskandar (NusaJaya).

Therefore, we ask for citizens in Kota Iskandar to support PSM if they truly desire progressive change and to put people first and empower them.

Ayuh! Undilah Ara SuARA Kota Iskandar #PSMBinaKuasaRakyat

Salam perjuangan

A. Sivarajan
Secretary-General
Parti Sosialis Malaysia