Socialist Party of Malaysia
The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM, Malay: Parti Sosialis Malaysia; Jawi: ڤرتي سوسياليس مليسيا; Chinese: 马来西亚社会主义党; pinyin: Mǎláixīyà shèhuì zhǔyì dǎng; Tamil: மலேசிய சோசியலிஸ்ட் கட்சி, romanized: Malēciya cōciyalisṭ kaṭci), is a socialist political party in Malaysia and an offshoot of Parti Rakyat Malaysia, which originally upheld the same ideology. In its first ten years following its founding in 1998, the party was denied registration as a political party by the Federal Government of Malaysia. The original reason given was that PSM is a threat to national security. However, the Home Ministry gave them the green light in June 2008.
|Malay name||Parti Sosialis Malaysia|
ڤرتي سوسياليس مليسيا
Mǎláixīyà shèhuì zhǔyì dǎng
|Tamil name||மலேசிய சோசியலிஸ்ட் கட்சி|
Malēciya cōciyalisṭ kaṭci
|Chairman||Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj|
|Founded||30 April 1998|
|Legalised||19 August 2008|
|Split from||Parti Rakyat Malaysia|
|Headquarters||140, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Youth wing||Pemuda Sosialis (Socialist Youth)|
0 / 70
0 / 222
|Dewan Undangan Negeri:|
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Socialist Party of Malaysia on Facebook
The party has no representatives in either Dewan Rakyat or any Dewan Undangan Negeri after opting to strike out alone during the 14th General elections, in direct competition with Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan and Gagasan Sejahtera.
The end of PSRM (1990)Edit
Formation of PSM (1990–1998)Edit
In 1991, several grassroots based organisations working with the urban and rural poor in Malaysia started to form an alliance. In 1994, they staged a massive Labor Day demonstration at the heart of Kuala Lumpur surprising many people. The last major demonstration called by the working class in the capital city was in the 1970s.
In 1995, these grassroots organisation who already had their strong support among the plantation workers, the urban poor, and industrial workers formed an alliance and the idea for a political party to represent the aspirations of the poor and the marginalised was mooted. The election results in 1995 hastened this process and after years of discussion and consolidations, it was finally agreed that a party with socialist ideology was imminent to liberate the masses from their current conditions.
With this in mind, the groups took more than two and the half years to draft the party's constitution, which was ready by the end of 1997. After further consultation with the masses, on 1 May 1998, the new party known as the Socialist Party of Malaysia was officially put for registration.
The Federal Government had refused to recognise PSM since the latter's formation. The government had rejected the party's application to register as a political party alleging that PSM was a threat to national security. However, because the right to form a political party is guaranteed in the constitution, the PSM took the government and the Home Minister to court for abusing their power. Although the Court of Appeal dismissed the national security argument on 16 August 2006, it upheld a separate reason to deny the registration of the PSM as a political party. PSM then filed an appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to the Federal Court of Malaysia. However, on 17 June 2008, the Home Ministry approved PSM's application as a political party just before Federal Court proceedings started, ending a 10-year dispute.
1999 general electionEdit
In 1999, the party decided to contest in the year's general election. Since PSM was not registered, it had to contest under some other party's logo. In 1999, the candidates contested under a Democratic Action Party's ticket. The main intention was to popularise the party. The party lost in its seat but managed to reduce the opponent's majority by 10,000 votes.
2004 general electionEdit
2008 general electionEdit
Three PSM members contested in the 2008 general election under the Keadilan ticket and one as an independent. Two of these candidates won PSM's first ever political seats. Candidate Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj won PSM's first ever federal parliamentary seat by defeating then president of Malaysian Indian Congress and long-serving Minister of Works Samy Vellu in Sungai Siput. PSM's president Mohd Nasir Hashim won the Kota Damansara seat in the Selangor state legislative assembly. Although S. Arutchelvan lost, PSM's election campaigning resulted in an increase in membership in Semenyih. The remaining member who contested Jelapang as an independent was M. Sarasvathy.
2013 general electionEdit
The two PSM incumbents, Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj and Nasir Hashim, recontested their seats in the 2013 general election under Keadilan. Jeyakumar retained the PSM's parliamentary seat of Sungai Siput but Nasir, the PSM's president, lost the Kota Damansara state seat to a United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) candidate. Another two PSM members, S. Arutchelvan and M. Sarasvathy, also recontested the same seats but this time under the PSM ticket.
2018 general electionEdit
For the 2018 general election, PSM competed in their largest turnout (~2% of available Parliamentary + State seats); this consisted of five federal constituencies and 14 state constituencies. All PSM candidates for this general election competed under PSM name and logo, as opposed to the previous elections. Unlike in previous elections, the then chairman Nasir Hashim announced that he was not running in the 2018 election.
PSM did not succeed in winning any seats this election and lost the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat it held since 2008.
PSM Central CommitteeEdit
According to their official website, PSM is only eight years old but has working experience with the masses that goes back more than fifteen years. Over the years, the party's three main front organisations had established more than a hundred sub-fronts. PSM strength lies in its work done with the masses especially the plantation workers, the urban poor, the Industrial workers and the peasants. The party also collaborates with the progressive student movement. PSM remain today perhaps the only party in Malaysia taking a class line and highlighting the plight of the poor from low wages, forceful eviction to retrenchment. The party has also made some inroads into organising union in the last two year and have working committees in around 50 factories throughout the country. While civil and political protest are carried out by the mainstream political parties, PSM continues to support and organise pickets, strike and demonstration among the working class.
PSM has a seven-point manifesto which lists the following policies:
- Workers' rights will be safeguarded (e.g. minimum wage, automatic recognition of workers unions and 90-day maternal leave).
- The eradication of neo-liberal policies (e.g. halting privatisation of health care, education and other public necessities).
- Stopping the Free Trade Agreement with western imperial powers.
- Provide comfortable and humane housing for both rural and urban inhabitants.
- Stopping racial and religious politics to foster greater unity among the people.
- Eradication of corruption and abuse of power.
- Stopping the destruction of the environment.
Issues and recent newsEdit
On 1 April 2008, accompanied by Friends of Kota Damansara and Malaysian Nature Society, PSM's Nasir Hashim led the delegation in talks with Selangor's newly appointed State Exco for Environmental Affairs, Elizabeth Wong, to gazette the Kota Damansara forest.
Healthcare, FTA and patent lawsEdit
Carrefour hypermarket protestEdit
Racism and class perspectivesEdit
In January 2008, Aliran Monthly published an analysis by PSM committee member Michael Jeyakumar of the Hindraf rally. Devaraj wrote that class-based mobilisation should be used instead of ethnic-based mobilisation to rally the oppressed.
Allegations of insult against the QueenEdit
On 13 September 2019, Socialist Party of Malaysia Youth chief Khalid Ismath was detained for allegedly insulting Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah via a post on Twitter. According to Amnesty International, which also issued a statement on the arrest, Khalid was detained under the Sedition Act 1948. Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Huzir Mohamed said the arrest was in response to a report lodged against Khalid over a social media post relating to the Queen.
General election resultsEdit
|Election||Total seats won||Total votes||Voting Percentage||Outcome of election||Election leader|
0 / 193
|; No representation in Parliament||Mohd Nasir Hashim|
0 / 219
|; No representation in Parliament||Mohd Nasir Hashim|
1 / 222
|16,458|| 1 seat; Opposition coalition
|Mohd Nasir Hashim|
1 / 222
|21,593|| ; Opposition coalition
|Mohd Nasir Hashim|
0 / 222
|3,782||0.03%||1 seat; No representation in Parliament||Mohd Nasir Hashim|
- "PSM allowed to register as political party" (fee required). Malaysiakini. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
- "PSM allowed to register as political party". Official Socialist Party of Malaysia website. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
- Peter Boyle, Electoral break-through to test socialists, Green Left Weekly, 29 March 2008
- Seven Part Manifesto, Official Socialist Party of Malaysia website. Retrieved 21 August 2010
- A. Sivarajan, Stop the destruction, gazette the Kota Damansara forest, Parti Sosialis Malaysia, 2 April 2008
- R. Nadeswaran and T. Fernandez, Fighting for fair play, The Sun, 3 April 2008
- Debbie Chan, Residents all out to stop hypermarket project, The Star, 15 April 2008
- Jeyakumar Devaraj, Why the Hindraf approach is misguided, Aliran Monthly, 18 January 2008
- PSM activist arrested for tweet on Queen, New Straits Times, 14 September 2019