Malaysian King Who is in charge of Agong XVI Al-Sultan Abdullah Al-Mustafa Billah Shah together with Empress Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah visited the Yogyakarta Palace on Wednesday. The empress had shown her ability to make batik.

That was said by the King of Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, to reporters on the sidelines of the visit of the Malaysian King4d entourage to the Yogyakarta Palace.

“Yes, he can also make batik often turns out here, to Yogya,” said Sri Sultan HB X.

The batik product of the Malaysian King’s consort later, said Sri Sultan, would be sent directly to Malaysia after it was finished. Batik is also a souvenir of the Yogyakarta Palace.

“Earlier the empress only made batik, then when it was finished, I will send it to batik] later Malaysia,” Sri Sultan said.

Sri Sultan continued, the arrival of the King of Malaysia with the empress and their three children namely Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, Tengku Ilisha Ameera, and Tengku Ilyana Tengku Abdul were only for hospitality.

“Yes, it’s just a friendship. He used to come here in 1993. But he hasn’t [got the title] that is necessary,” he said. Sri Sultan said during the visit there was no specific discussion, only small talk.

In addition to being treated to traditional dances and food, the Raja Malaysia entourage was also shown a manuscript belonging to the Yogyakarta Palace. “Yes, only traditional food. Yes, because traditional just had a suitable tongue,” said Sri Sultan. The Malaysian king’s entourage arrived at the Yogyakarta Palace at 11:40 WIB. They were joined by four daughters of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X namely GKR Mangkubumi, GKR Bandara, GKR Maduretno, and GKR Condrokirono along with the son-in-law of the Purbodinignrat KPH Dalem and the Notonegoro KPH in Regol Kamandungan Lor.

After that, they were welcomed by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and Empress GKR Hemas in the Danapratapa Regol. The Malaysian king’s entourage was then entertained by the Sultan in Gedhong Jene to have a friendly meeting and continued by examining several collections, one of which was the keraton batik at Tratag Gedhong Prabayeksa.

In front of Gedhong Jene, Raja Malaysia with his wife and children posing for photos with Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X with his wife and child. They welcomed the media crew who had been waiting in front of the building.

Next, the group was treated to the Beksan Lawung Alus dance at Tratag Bangsal Kencana. This dance is a dashing son’s dance which tells about the spirit of practicing the palace warriors of the era of Sri Sultan HB I. At the end of the visit, the group was entertained at Bangsal Manis.

The Malaysian King’s entourage is scheduled to visit Kota Gede to see the silver handicraft industry, Borobudur Temple and watch the Ramayana ballet in the Prambanan Temple complex.

The day before the Malaysian King met with President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java. President Jokowi and Raja Malaysia planted a resin tree together.

After planting trees, President Jokowi then invited the King of Malaysia to visit the Bogor Botanical Gardens

STOP REPRESSION!

DEMOCRACY IN MYANMAR NOW!

Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) strongly condemn the violent repressions of Myanmar Junta against anti-government protesters which resulted in a rising number of casualties.  PSM is alarmed and concerned with news reports that Burmese soldiers have used a baton and tear gas against the Buddhist monks and civilian protesters at Shwedagon pagoda, the holiest Buddhist place in Rangoon and elsewhere. We also hear that hundreds of people have been arrested and taken away in trucks. The number of people killed varies from five to eight until now. Key leaders have been arrested and curfews have also been imposed. Yet, we continue to hear the heroic struggle of the people in marching on for change. We salute the brave people of Myanmar at this very juncture of history.

The military junta government which currently rules the country is illegitimate as it was installed after a bloody coup and suppression of people uprising in 1988. The junta government has continuously suppressed the working class, students and other ethnic minorities and severely curbed civil liberties.

The violent clampdown against the protesters is another evidence of the bloody rule of military and business oligarchy in Myanmar.

The recent waves of anti-junta protests arise from the decision of the government to increase the fuel of price between 300% to 500%. It definitely impacted the majority of Myanmar people who live in poverty. Despite threats from the government, people of Myanmar including Buddhist monks, have taken a courageous step to go to the streets and protest against the undemocratic junta government. The economic demands have rapidly spilled and have now become political demands calling for the military junta to restore democracy. The demonstration which started by the Buddhist monks’ has now become a huge movement with the support of the ordinary people with mobilization numbering more than 100,000.

 PSM also condemn the inability of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) government to deal with this issue. ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong merely stated that ASEAN hoped that “the situation remains peaceful”. ASEAN Governments have merely called on the Junta to handle the situation rather than condemning the atrocities committed by the military regime. Each of these Governments to is more worried about similar uprisings due to neoliberal policies back home.

PSM calls upon the government of Malaysia to break its diplomatic ties and economic cooperation with the Myanmar government until democracy has been restored in Myanmar. Malaysia should also close down its embassy in Myanmar immediately and send back the Myanmar ambassador back home.

PSM would also like to point out the hypocrisy of imperial power like the US and Britain in dealing with Myanmar. While people die and suffer violence daily in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the presence of US and British troops, The Bush and Brown administration is unashamedly talking about democracy in Myanmar.

PSM extends our solidarity to the brave people of Myanmar who are now struggling for a better future of their country. The current protest movement shows that the people of Myanmar are fed-up and have decided to challenge until the end. No power in the world is stronger than the united movement of the people.  PSM believes that only the peoples’ resistance from below can put an end to the dictatorship. We in Malaysia are inspired by the resistance put up by the common people and await the victory which would eventually have to come.

Long Live the Uprising!

Choo Chon Kai

International Bureau
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

BURMESE RED MARCH IN THE STREETS OF KUALA LUMPUR

Kuala Lumpur, 28 September 2007

This morning, more than three thousand Burmese protesters, most of them wearing red marched in the street of Kuala Lumpur. They walked from Ampang Park to the Burmese Embassy, 2 kilometers away. There they had a very organized peaceful demonstration facing the local Riot police who were guarding the Embassy. Then they proceeded to the Chinese Embassy and the Russian Embassy to hand over a memorandum.

The demonstration was a joint effort of nine Burmese Organizations here. Most of the protesters wore a headscarf, carried posters, and banners denouncing the military junta, calling for the killing to stop and demanding democracy. Many also carried symbols symbolizing Buddha and portraits of Aung Sang Suu Kyi.

Only a handful of Malaysians was among the crowd to give solidarity. PSM’s Secretary-General S.Arutchelvan in solidarity marched with the protesters to the three protest points. Among some of the organizations present were SUARAM, AI, and HAKAM. The protesters were very disciplined, very organized and had the entire program carried with such discipline and precision. The marshals kept the crowd in control. Many protesters took leave while in some places, the employer had to shut down the business today as almost all the workers were gone demonstrating. Most of those present today expressed anxiety about the situation back home.  The spirits were high throughout the program. The Malaysian police force who came in full force were amazed by the mobilization by the Burmese and maintained traffic control as well was very restrained.

It was a day when the diverse Burmese community came down with one message – Junta out! Democracy Now!

PRESS STATEMENT: 10 October 2007

TAKING US FOR A RIDE IN SPACE!

How would the space mission solve our problems?

Party Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is amused by the fanatical atmosphere and the publicity generated on the launch of the first Malaysian to space. It is yet another desperate move by the ruling party to beat up the drums on this space mission after the 50 years Merdeka celebration fizzled out and when people came back to reality. Now it is a space fantasy which is taking us on another ride of the Malaysian Boleh trip.

The reality is Malaysia exchanged palm oil for a space trip. In October 2003, the Malaysian Government signed an agreement with Russia where Russia will buy RM1.1 billion worth of palm oil and send a Malaysian into space as part of a multi-billion-ringgit deal for 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets.

Besides that Capitalism has taken science to yet another new dimension with the introduction of space tourism.  Space tourism is a new phenomenon of filthy rich individuals and private companies paying to go to space. The price for a flight brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft is now $30 million. Flights are fully booked until 2009. Among some of the people who have gone to space since Dennis Tito became the first “fee-paying” passenger in 2001 are South African computer millionaire Mark Shuttleworth and Gregory Olsen an owner of a company that produces specialist high-sensitivity cameras.

According to Alexei Krasnov, head of the Russian space agency’s manned programs said that four space tourists have paid about $20 million for the pleasure of spending a week on the orbital station and said that each tourist flight deal is discussed individually and is considered a commercial secret. The latest space tourist, Anousheh Ansari, 40, an Iranian-born American businesswoman, returned to Earth after paying around $20 million for about eight days in space. The Malaysian  Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (SMS) is the latest of the list of space tourists.

While the Malaysians are kept busy with news on roti canai in space and fasting in space which is seen as new breakthroughs in science, the truth is before this Malaysian, more than 400 people have traveled to space, not including many monkeys, chimpanzees,  mice, frogs, tortoise, fish, and dogs. Many of them have sacrificed or being sacrificed in many missions.

The question before us is how this mission is going to resolve our problems on planet earth.  PSM seeks answers on how can a space mission, worth billion of ringgit resolve the following problems faced by the nation :

1.                  Increasing Ethnic and racial disharmony

2.                  Increasing the income gap of the rich and poor

3.                  Increasing corruption at all levels

4.                  Suppression of democratic rights – free and fair election, rights to assembly, expression and association, free media and others.

5.                  Increasing suffering incurred by the people with the rising of basic goods, fuel prices, and controlled items.

6.                  The suffering incurred with the introduction of privatization and neo-liberal policies such as privatization of health care, water, and other basic amenities.

7.                  The suppression of workers through pro-employer bills while workers are denied a basic living wage.

8.                  The continues decline of the Judiciary

Millions of ringgit are spent and wasted to send one person to space while the money could have been put in good use to improve the livelihood of the common people. While the ruling party points us to the star and takes us for a ride in space, this mission is just an ego trip by a Government that has lost its purpose and sense on what needs to be done for the betterment of the people.

 Released by

S.Arutchelvan

Secretary-General.

111 report lodged today at Dang Wangi Police Station

police-reports

Kuala Lumpur, 11th October, 2007

This morning, JERIT’s  Factory and Unions Coalition lodged its One Hundred and One police report against the Human Resource Minister, Dato Fong Chan Onn who has manipulated and cheated the workers! The report was lodged at the Dang Wangi District police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur at 10.30 am. when a group of twenty members carried a banner and walked to the police station to submit the official complaint.

Dato Fong Chan Onn, the Human Resources Minister and his Deputy  Dato Abdul Rahman Bakar tabled several amendments to the Industrial Relations laws that protect worker’s rights. Even though the  Deputy Minister, in an earlier meeting with representatives of JERIT, assured that an amendment to enable the automatic recognition of trade unions is underway and was in the final stages in the cabinet, BUT  what was finally tabled in July 2007 was something else.

The amendments that were tabled and passed in  Parliament on the 27th of July , 2007 would further make it difficult for trade unions to gain recognition. Currently, many union leaders suffer victimization by their employers, despite being lawfully registered by the Trade Union Affairs Department. When a  union claims for recognition from the employer, the employer has to reply within 21 days from the date of the claim. Failing which, the union then proceeds to make a report to the Industrial Relations Department.

The proposed amendment further introduces bureaucracy with a new clause insisting the unions to make the report to the Industrial Relations Department within 14 days. Failing which the whole process of recognition would be null and void. Such bureaucratic regulations by the state grant the employer sufficient time to track down union officials to victimize, terrorize and subsequently terminate them.   This has been proven to be an effective tool by the bosses to carry out union-busting at the workplace.

Besides the added bureaucracy, several amendments to the Acts were also tabled that further erode worker’s rights. Payment of back wages to workers dismissed unlawfully has been capped at  24  months max., irrespective of how long the  Industrial case goes on. Such pro-employer amendments will encourage employers to hire and fire workers as they like since the Industrial Court hands will be tight by this 24 months back wages cap.

Other parts of the amendment also seek to curb claim of future earnings, for workers who have been terminated without just cause and excuse near retirement.

The Minister, a mouthpiece of the employers has been consistently pushing for neoliberal policies to further amend laws that protect worker’s rights. He claims that our Labour laws are too tight and would not be an inducement for foreign investment.

The police report campaign initiated by JERIT has received good support from workers all over the country. More than 100 over reports have been made by workers from, Perak, Penang, Johor, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and other states. Workers are fed up with  Fong Chan Onn. He has created and further deprived them of their rights. Fong too has been always against the demand for  Minimum Wage. With the rising cost of living, workers are having a hard time making ends meet.

The One Hundred and One police report was significantly completed by Comrade  V.Selvam, Central Committee member of  Parti Sosialis Malaysia who was accompanied by around 20 members of  JERIT and PSM. Selvam explained that the report against the Minister must be investigated by the Police Department Headquarters in Bukit Aman. The police officer who took a brief statement from Selvam, ASP Anand, later confirmed that reports would be referred to the headquarters.

“ With 100 over reports, will the Minister be arrested for cheating the workers ? “ asked  Comrade Koyilvani, a victim of union-busting by her employer. The Minister might not be arrested, but he will not certainly escape the wrath of the working  class.  JERIT has vowed to carry out a nationwide campaign against the Minister and his Deputy.

A demonstration is being planned when the Parliament Dewan Negara (Senators House) sits in December to read the amendments to the Industrial Relations and Trade Union Acts. With the general elections around the corner, JERIT plans to put up posters exposing, Fong Chan On and Abdul Rahman Bakar as enemies of the working class and running dogs for the bosses!

The workers now realize that the state will continue to steer towards neoliberalism, eroding worker’s rights and pushing them further into hardship. The struggle is beyond safeguarding workers’ rights, as it is a struggle against capitalism and globalization.

10TH. February 2008, PSM and its front Organisation will be proclaiming another victory celebration. This time with the plantation workers from Brookland’s Estate, Banting who have finally signed their Sales and Purchase Agreements to their low-cost terrace houses after a 13 year of struggle!

Date of the victory celebration is as below:

Date: 10th February 2008
Time: 10.30 am
Venue: Field, Brooklands Estate, Banting, Selangor.

Background

Since December 1995 the workers of Brooklands Estate have battled the corporate giant, Lion Group which owns the plantation, fighting for their rights to be given a house each at the plantation development project.

Lion Group which bought the plantation in 1992 had big plans to develop the land to reap huge profits. A giant steel Mill was strategically set up – MegaSteel and hence the oil mill workers were given eviction notices and asked to vacate their quarters.

The workers who have toiled the land for three generations with miserable wages stood
their ground and demanded their own house. In response, Lion Group cut off water and electricity supply to the workers’ quarters to intimidate them. Access roads were blocked. They lived in darkness and it takes nearly 8 km to reach the main road.

Then in 1996, in a show of true workers solidarity, more than 100 workers from the neighbouring plantation division joined the struggle. After many pickets, court battles, police reports, work stoppages, finally the corporate giant was brought to its knees.

In 1996 also, three activists A.Sivarajan, S.Arutchelvan and Ganesan was arrested for criminal trespass as they holding meetings with the workers in the estate. This prompted the estate workers to stage an immediate strike.

Under intense pressure, the Company and NUPW agreed that the workers are given low-cost flats in 1997 but the workers refused to accept this offer. The Company being adamant went on with the project to build the flats in 2001 but a total boycott from the workers finally resulted in the project being abandoned.

Finally then in 2006,  Lion Group agreed to provide low-cost terrace housing for the workers in the plantation land itself. Despite its financial strength and the support of the state, the Lion was tamed by the worker’s united struggle. The struggle and the victory of the Brooklands workers once again demonstrate the power of the working class in fighting and winning.  It put forward another class victory for the workers and will inspire further victories in other areas. This victory is definitely a victory of socialism over capitalism.

Thus, finally after a 13-year battle, workers signed their Sales & Purchase agreements to their new homes on the 15th January 2008. To celebrate this victory, we welcome comrades and friends to join the Brooklands Estate workers on this memorable day.

For more information please contact: Sivarajan – 016-6798005

The workers united will never be defeated!

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The people in Sungai Siput are very clear on which party has been doing grassroots work in the last 15 years, on who has been having active service centers. We also believe that the people are smart enough to distinguish which party does work actively and which party becomes active during general elections.

There is no doubt at all that the PSM candidates are the best and the most deserving people to stand in both Sungai Siput Parliament and the Jalong state seat in Sungai Siput.

In the last election, DAP refuses to recognize this point and three-cornered us in both the seats and the result is obvious. Three corners are not good for anyone and both the parties lost but PSM candidate using PKR tickets came second in both this contest in Parliament and Jalong state seat. DAP was further humiliated in Parliament seat when its candidate lost its deposits.

In the coming elections, PSM is once again making the same request, that DAP allows PSM – the best party to run in these seats. In this coming election also, PSM is almost certain of winning the Jalong state seat. DAP cannot pretend and must concede that in the last election, the DAP candidates came out third against PSM candidates and therefore it is only logical to give way this time.

Having said that, PSM has never been unreasonable. We would definitely agree to exchange seats with DAP in Sungai Siput Parliament if DAP is willing to field their top guns like Karpal Singh or Kulasegaran there. We believe both of them know very well that, it is a very difficult seat to win. Without any credible candidates put forward, then the best candidate would be someone from the PSM.

Very recently, DAP’s Kula has been throwing Uthayakumar’s and other Hindraf leaders’ names to stand against Samy Vellu. PSM welcome this and is willing to give in, in condition DAP also becomes magnanimous in giving way in other areas where PSM has tremendous support and has done grassroots work.

Currently, we are determined and have the capacity to field candidates in Buntong, Bercham and Jelapang state seats in which we are ready and willing to stand and win in exchange with the Sg. Siput Parliament seat. In all these areas, PSM has worked for more than 10 years. Our candidates are not people who are just brought in via express to stand in elections. They have done work in the area for at least 5 years – a precondition set by PSM to its candidates who want to stand in elections.

So it is important for parachute candidates to understand that politics in not work once in 4-5 years. If we want to beat the BN, let’s be serious and give and take. Let the best candidate and the most deserving party be filled and take on the BN.

PSM today opened its second Election Operation center in Bandar Rinching, Semenyih which would be the main operation room in gearing up for the general election. Its first Election Centre was launched last month at Ladang Sungai Rinching, near Kesuma Lakes.

PSM would be only contesting in two seats in Selangor under the PKR ticket if negotiations are finalized. Last year PSM stood in Subang Parliament and Bukit Lanjan State seat. This year, the party has decided to contest in only two state seats- Kota Damansara and Semenyih.

The seats will be contested by PSM’s National Chairperson Dr. Nasir Hashim and the Party’s Secretary-General S.Arutchelvan.

Dr. Nasir would be contesting in the Kota Damansara state seat to take on Mokhtar Dahalan – the squatter zero man. It will be a battle on the referendum on Urban settlers in Selangor.

Meanwhile, S.Arutchelvan will be making his debut into an election by contesting the Semenyih State seat. He has been organizing in the area and the surrounding area in the last eighteen years.

Besides these seats in Selangor, the party would also be fielding several candidates in Perak.