Free the political prisoners, democracy for the Malaysian people

July 8, 2011

Joint international solidarity statement

On June 19, a campaign titled Bersih 2.0 was called by the Malaysian people for free and fair elections as the 13th General Election is around the corner.

Bersih 2.0 also called for a gathering on July 9. On June 24, the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia) launched a Udahlah BN, Bersaralah (Enough BN, Retire Now) campaign.

The Socialist Party of Malaysia campaign aimed to expose the corruption of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government and also to drum up support for the Bersih 2.0 rally.

Since June 22, more than 100 individuals have been arrested because they have expressed their support for a mass rally on July 9, which was called by the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections.

As of now, 81 people have been arbitrarily arrested and detained by the police at various locations in the country before the Bersih 2.0 rally.

A further 15 people have been called or summoned by the police for their statement to be recorded in relation to the Bersih 2.0 rally.

The police harassment and intimidation has included arresting people for wearing Bersih 2.0 T-shirts, distributing Bersih 2.0 leaflets and for holding and carrying Bersih 2.0 T-shirts.

Police have taken 112 statements. Some people have been questioned more than once. Access to lawyers and medication has been denied during the detention period and women activists have faced sexual harassment.

On July 3, six Socialist Party of Malaysia members, including Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj (a member of parliament), were arrested again under the Emergency Ordinance, which allows for 60-day detention without trial. The detention can be renewed for up to two years at the discretion of the Home Minister.

The six were part of a group of 30 Socialist Party of Malaysia activists who were remanded on June 25 for allegedly “waging war against the King”.

We view these acts of the Malaysian government as the suppression of the democratic rights of the Malaysian people. This is part of an attempt to protect the elite power that has been in power for years in Malaysia.

We strongly condemn the Malaysian government for using harassment, arrest and intimidation as a method to try and silence opposition to the anti-democratic, anti-poor and anti-working class policies of the Malaysian government.

We demand:

1) That the government of Malaysia immediately and unconditionally release all the Socialist Party of Malaysia activists in detention.

2) That the government of Malaysia must stop all forms of repression and intimidation against the Malaysian people meant to stop them expressing their democratic rights.

3) We call on all the socialist and pro-democratic movements, in southeast Asia and around the world, to build and give solidarity to the Socialist Party of Malaysia and to the Malaysian people who are being repressed and arrested.

We also declare our fullest support for the ongoing campaign and the struggle of the Malaysian people for democracy.

Endorsed by: Socialist Alliance (Australia), Working People Association - Reorganisaton Committee (Indonesia), Resistance (Australia), Labour Party Pakistan, Party of Labouring Masses (Philippines), Socialist Aotearoa (NZ), Solidarity (Australia), Peoples Democratic Party (Indonesia), Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (Indonesia), All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions, Radical Socialists (India), All Together (South Korea), Nava Sama Samaja Party (Sri Lanka), Revolutionary Socialist Party (Australia), Australia Asia Worker Links, Vi Pham (Vietnam), Swedish Left Party, Partido ng Manggagawa (Philippine), Herlounge (Indonesia), Empower Foundation (Thailand), Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance (KASBI), Partido Obrero Revolucionario (Spain), Vipar Daomanee (Thailand), Socialist Alternative (Australia), Union de Militantes por el Socialismo (UMS, Argentina), Communist Party of Sweden (SKP), Turnleft Organization (Thailand), International Marxist Tendency, Socialist Worker NZ, Toronto New Democrats (Canada), Fightback (Canada).

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Malaysian picket in support of the PSM Six.


The Malaysian government has shown its real intentions , stay in power at all costs by using force to stop a peaceful demonstration which only wants electoral reform and a real democracy . This was not just an political opposition meeting , by people from all politicial parties and ordinary citizens . The government has shown that they use the word democracy in everything they say , but do not understand the meaning. I hope the international community will not condone the actions of the Malaysian government , especially considering what is happening in a lot of countries with authoritarian governments . SO NGO'S start making the Malaysian government uncomfortable

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