PSM press statement : Being loggerheads, let’s look beyond

Posted on December 18, 2012

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I got this in my inbox a little while ago

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I refer to the article written by B Nantha Kumar FMT dated 17 December 2012 titled  PSM, PKR at loggerheads in SgSiput. The article has prompted some questions being raised on us and I think it is our responsibility to address these concerns though Nandakumar’s article conveniently quotes no names, only nameless sources.

Let me put the issues in context. Let me touch on the larger issues.

1.         PSM will work with the opposition parties as well as all opposition forces particularly Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and PRM to topple Barisan Nasional (BN)  in the coming elections.

2.         We will support PR candidates in all seats except for the seats contested by PSM which is only 4 seats. We hope that PR will not force a three corner in these seats. We will continue to negotiate to avoid a three corner in all these seats. Negotiation is currently on-going.

3.         PR seat sharing formula is that they are sticking to status-qua that parties contest the same seats in the previous election and if there are changes, it would be an exchange. Last election PSM borrowed PKR logo but used its own manifesto and symbol to campaign. Based on this understanding, PSM is only asking for seats it stood in the last elections that is to maintain status-qua.

4.         This election since we are a registered party, it would only be wise and fair for us to use our own logo. It is totally unfair for PSM who has been denied the rights to form a political party for 10 years and then denied by the SPR (EC) to use its own logo, to find itself fighting with PR for a right to use its own logo.

5.         On the popularity of our fist logo. PSM has promoted its party symbol extensively since 1998 in these areas we are contesting and in joint program in these areas carries all the party flags. PSM will agree to use a  common PR logo if there is one and if there is none, it should be only fair for PSM to use its own logo. The fist is now a hit among the young people and many groups such as Himpun, ABU is also using the fist as a symbol of change and resistance.

6.         The question on joining PR or not is in the hands of PR leaders and not PSM per se. PR leaders have said that they will discuss this and get back to us. It is unfair for grassroots PR supporters to challenge PSM to join PR when the ball is in the PR leadership hands. PSM has also expressed that we will work hand in hand with PR to fight BN. At the same time on the question of joining PR, we have asked PR to discuss this and get back to us. We have yet to get a conclusive answer to this question. Perhaps this issue is still being discussed by the PR.

7.         We truly understand that the Malaysian people want a one to one fight with BN. It is because of this that the PSM has refrained from making immense demands. Our demand of one parliament seats out of 222 (0.4%) and 3 state seats out of 576 (0.5%) seems to be very modest and humble. I do not see how one can see PSM as a greedy party and being unreasonable.

8.         On the question that PSM will be rejected because of its leftist tendency. We reject this argument. Internationally the failure of capitalism is making the world move left. During the EO6 arrest of PSM leaders, the BN State and its machinery attempted to tarnish PSM image by calling it all kinds of labels like communist, foreign agents etc but the Malaysian public did not buy the story. The people (rakyat) came in huge numbers to secure the release of PSM leaders. The old communist bogey story is not selling. Today right wing parties are falling all over the world. They are being replaced by Social Democrats and Socialist parties.

9.         The Malaysia public has become matured and moving forward. Today PSM brand of politics have made PSM one of the most principled party in the country (the first party to declare asset every year since 1999 election), consistent and very grassroots’ base. PSM has successfully highlighted the plight of the people and was the main moving force in fighting against the privatization of public hospital, fighting for minimum wage laws for workers, campaign against the GST, decent homes for the poor and many other day to day issues. All this struggle was done on a multi racial platform based on class politics and not communal.

10.       When PSM finally got registered after last election, some commentators declared that PSM is planted by BN to split the opposition. These issues keep cropping out. For the record, though some PKR leaders and a few DAP leaders have jumped ship and became BN friendly. PSM leaders continue to stay principled, fight and struggle on.

11.       But we continue to face some political commentators who sit in front of their computers and interpret the world. We call upon them to move on and be real. Let’s address the real issues of the people. The fight to topple BN and the fight for change needs a democratic people’s movement. It is a larger battle involving many groups and peoples movement such as BERSIH, HIMPUN, JERIT, HINDRAF, ABU, UBA and others. These people desire change and may not belong to any political party. The agenda for change is not a monopoly of the PR alone, it involves many other people out there.

On the ground there are no real tussle or loggerheads for seats. People want to see change and PSM is committed to that agenda.  PSM will work for CHANGE !

Released by

S.Arutchelvan

Secretary General

(019-2537791)