[Marxism] Jailed Malaysian socialist MP: 'Politics is getting dangerous

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 05:43:36 MDT 2011

Peter Boyle

Dr Jeyakumar Deveraj, a federal member of parliament in Malaysia, was one of
30 activists of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) detained without trial
on June 25.

The activists were arrested as they were travelling the country campaigning
against the repressive and corrupt Barisan Nasional government headed by PM
Najib Razak.

The arrests were an attempt to blame the socialists for planned
pro-democracy rally on July 9. It was a bid to intimidate people from
supporting the broad mass rally for free and fair elections that was called
by civil society groups united in the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections
(Bersih, which means "clean").

On July 9, organisers sad 50,000 people protested in Kuala Lumpar. Police
used tear gas and water cannons against protesters, and arrested about 1400

At first, the PSM members were accused of the ridiculous charge of "waging
war against the king" on the basis that some of them were alleged to have
t-shirts with the images of "communist leaders" on them.

PSM leader S. Arutchelvan wore a Che Guevara t-shirt (widely and legally
sold in markets) to his press release condemning the June 25 detentions to
underline how ridiculous these charges were.

When the seven-day detention of the PSM 30 was nearly up, six of these
activists, including Jeyakumar, were re-arrested and detained under an
emergency ordinance.

The government was forced to reveal its real target. The detentions were
justified by police claims that the PSM members had in possession and were
distributing leaflets for the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally (the first Bersih
rally, in 2007, drew thousands and was violently dispersed by police).

The authorities have declared the rally illegal.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) government claimed that the Bersih 2.0 rally had
to be banned because there could be clashes between pro-democracy protesters
and members of the right-wing, Malay chauvinist, Perkasa movement.

"Politics in Malaysia has become more dangerous," Jeyakumar told *Green Left
Weekly* in an interview conducted a couple of weeks before his detention.
full article: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48117

“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is humanity’s
original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made,
through disobedience and through rebellion.” — Oscar Wilde, Soul of Man
Under Socialism

“The free market is perfectly natural... do you think I am some kind of
dummy?” — Jarvis Cocker

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