28 June 2011

Urgent appeal: crackdown on Malaysian socialists

The following appeal first appeared at parti-sosialis.org.
30 Activists from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) including two juvenile have been charged under the Section 122 of Penal Code (waging war against the Monarch and trying to revive the communist ideology) and are remanded for 7 days for practicing their freedom of expression. If they are charged on this section, then they will be denied bail.
The group were arrested on 25 June at Kepala Batas, Penang while they were distributing leaflets to inform the public in their campaign Udahlah-Bersaralah (It is Enough, Time to Retire) national awareness campaign that PSM recently conducted from 24 to 26 June 2011.
The news of PSM trying to revive communism was based on common t-shirts of left leaders found in the bus carrying the PSM activists. The news that PSM trying to revive communism was the major story in all the local mainstream media and it is meant to create fear on an imaginary enemy – a tactic used commonly in the past to crackdown on activist.

Among those arrested are PSM National Deputy Chairperson M.Saraswathy and PSM Member of Parliament Dr. Jeyakumar Devaraj. The following are the PSM activists arrested:
Seven detained at the Penang Police Headquaters
1. Dr, Jeyakumar – PSM’s sole Member of Parliament
2. Choo Chon Kai – PSM International Coordinator
3. Selvam (bus driver)
4. Letchumanan- PSM Sg. Siput Branch Secretary
5. M.Sarasvathy – PSM National Deputy Chairperson
6. Chong Moi
7. Soh Sook Hwa – PSM Central Committtee Member
Those remaining are being held at Kepala Batas detention centre
8. M.Sukumaran – PSM Central Committee Member
9. Kamaladevi
10. Indra
11. Saroja
12. Velayutham
13. Santhana
14. Ravindran - PSM Youth Secretary
15. Raveen Veerasenan
16. Thivya Kumar
17. Packialechumy
18. Jody
19. Wong Mei Yong
20. Nalaiyani
21. Deepa
22. Remy - Tanjung Malim Branch Chairperson
23. Saratbabu - PSM Youth Chairperson
24. Gana - Buntong Branch Chairperson
25. Sivoosamy - Bercham Branch Secretary
26. Shanmugam
27. Subramaniam
28. Arokiammangalam
29. Murugan
30. Tanushia
31. Kavitha
PSM condemns the charges by the government who is trying to implicate PSM as waging a war against the King and reviving the old Malayan Communist Party. This big blatant lie is used on the 30 PSM activists who were involved in the "It is Enough, Time to Retire” national awareness campaign by PSM held from 24-26 June 2011. The activists who were supposed to be released unconditionally have been remanded for 7 days under Penal Code Section 122: waging a war against the King.
The statement by the police and the accusation by the current government on the PSM activists is baseless, absurd and politically motivated. Thus PSM demands the government to stop all this nonsense, release the detainees and apologise to the PSM on its baseless accusation.
PSM feels it is rather hilarious that the government tries to connect PSM with Communists just by finding a few t-shirts that have communist leader images. This t-shirts are sold very openly and anyone can buy it without any problems. Moreover the government of Malaysia has political and diplomatic ties with the Communist Party of China, Cuba, Vietnam and many other countries.
Besides that, it must be pointed out that the, the Malaysian government has signed the peace agreement with the MCP in 1989 and also senior communist leaders like Rashid Maidin, Suriani dan Abdullah CD have had a royal audience with the DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah. Thus, bringing back the communist bogeyman in post cold war era is a desperate move by the UMNO –BN regime to continue to cling in power while instilling fear among the people and to justify the use of the draconian ISA.
PSM is a registered party who is doing legal (above ground) activities and is well known and a popular party. PSM has always acknowledged the contribution of the left parties in the struggle for independence such as PKMM, API, AWAS and the MCP (PKM). The recognition of these left parties by the PSM cannot be narrowly interpreted that the party is trying to revive the MCP.
The media controlled by UMNO-BN has highlighted this accusation to scare people away from the Bersih 2 rally scheduled for July 9th. PSM supports the BERSIH2 rally, even though the Enough…Retire BN Campaign has got nothing to do with Bersih 2 rally. However police are trying to make a connection between the both so that they can stop the Bersih 2 rally. 
PSM is aware that the action against the PSM is a systematically planned action by the police to create an imaginary enemy with the intention to create an “Emergency” environment where the government can justify the use of the ISA as well as do a massive crackdown to stop the Bersih 2 rally on 9 July which is gaining momentum and mass support by the people. 
The recent police action on PSM will not stop us from continuing our struggle and fight for the rights of the workers and people.
We seek solidarity locally and internationally. PSM is currently the sole socialist mass movement in the country and we will continue this great struggle.
Long Live Socialism! Long Live the PSM!
Released by,
National Secretary General
Parti Sosialis Malaysia 

What can you do?
Please write protest letters to the government and the police to express your strongest condemnation of the arrests and the crackdown on the PSM activists. Please also demand the Malaysian government to release all the Activists to continue and respect the freedom of expression as stated in Article 10 of Federal Constitution. Please demand the Government to stop the crackdown on PSM and the absurd allegations leveled against it.
[Letterhead of your organisation]
1. Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
Tel: 603-8888 8000
Fax: 603-8888 3444
E-Mail:  ppm@pmo.gov.my

Dear Sir,
Re: Release all those detained and stop on- going crackdown on Malaysian socialists
We are writing to you, to express our outrage and our strongest condemnation over your government's on-going crackdown and the arrest of the 30 PSM Activists.
We are appalled by your government and the police's latest actions and view this as an attempt by your government to intimidate Malaysian citizens from exercising their civil and political rights
We further demand that your government stops the assault on freedom of expression and release all the 30 PSM Activists immediately.
Yours sincerely,

Cc To:
1. Inspector-General of Police
Tan Sri Ismail Omar,
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia,
50560 Bukit Aman,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +603 2262 6015
Fax: +603 2272 5613
2. Tan Sri Hasmy Agam,
Malaysian Human Rights Commission,
Level 11, Menara TH Perdana,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 26125600
Fax: 03 26125620
3. Mr. Frank La Rue
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: +41 22 917 9006
Email:  freedex@ ohchr .org
4. Ms. Margaret Sekaggya,
Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights defenders,
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Email:  defenders@ohchr.org urgent-action@ohchr.org
5. Christine Chung,
Human Rights Officer,
Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights,
Asia Pacific Section, Asia Pacific and Middle East Branch,
Field Operation & Technical Cooperation,
OHCHR- Palais Wilson,
United Nationas Office at Geneva,
CH-1211 Geneva 10,
Tel: +41 (0) 229289673
Fax: +41 (0) 22928 9018
Email:  cchung@ohchr.org

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