Mass rallies protesting the "robbery" of the May 5 Malaysian general election have continued for weeks despite government threats and the arrests of six prominent opposition activists on "sedition" charges. The fact that the corruptly entrenched Barisan Nasional coalition "won" 60% of the parliamentary seats with just 47% of the official vote and the many reports of blatant vote-buying and cheating, has created an ongoing legitimacy crisis.
With photos by Lee Yu Kyung in Kuala Lumpur Up to 120,000 people packed and overflowed a large stadium in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur on May 8 to protest the fraudulent re-election of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government on May 5. The crowd defied a police threat to arrest all who attended the opposition-called rally. The police did not dare confront the huge crowd but, since the rally, the police have called in 28 rally speakers for questioning.
The Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) is contesting four seats in the May 5 general elections, one federal parliamentary seat and three state assembly. The PSM won two of these seats in the 2008 election: Jeyakumar Devaraj, or “Kumar” as he is better known, won the federal parliamentary seat of Sungai Siput from a high profile former minister. PSM chairperson Nasir Hashim won the Selangor state assembly seat of Kota Damansara.
Ever since Malaysia was granted independence in 1957, the party that the British colonial rulers groomed and installed as their neo-colonial puppets, the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), has clung on to power by hook or by crook. At various points in history, UMNO (the central party in the governing Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition) have relied on colonial military might, ethnic pogroms, jailing dissidents, media control, gerrymandering, vote rigging, corruption and patronage to stay in power.
Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) expresses its deepest condolences to the people of Venezuela, Latin America and all who supported the Bolivarian Revolution, for the loss of our great Comrade Hugo Chavez. Comrade Chavez had gained the most votes in the history of Venezuela when he elected for the fourth consecutive presidential term. Unfortunately, now the unfinished revolutionary process has to go on without the physical present of comrade Chavez.
About 150,000 people converged on Merdeka Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, for an opposition-called People's Uprising rally (Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat) on January 12. This huge but peaceful mobilisation was an implicit warning to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government not to “steal” the coming general elections through the intimidation, corruption, electoral registration fraud and gerrymanders that have been used to hang on to power since formal independence from British colonial rule in 1957.
In the dead of night on November 22, 100 containers of concentrated rare earth ore mined in Western Australia began to be transported, under heavy police escort, through the port of Kuantan to a new refinery built by Australian company Lynas. This took place just two days after 19 local residents travelled to Sydney to protest at the company's annual general meeting and while another group of protesters were on a 300 kilometre protest march to Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur over the issue.
The High Court of Malaysia lifted a two-month suspension on November 8 of a temporary operating licence granted to the Australian company Lynas Corporation to operate a controversial rare earths refinery near the city of Kuantan in Malaysia. Angry residents and environmental activists now plan to bring their objection to Australia when Lynas holds its shareholders' annual general meeting at the luxury Sofitel Hotel in Sydney on November 20. Eighteen activists will travel to Sydney to take part in the protest and speak to concerned Australians, politicians and the media.
Press statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas September 6th, 2012 Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) is outraged that despite two impending judicial reviews at the Kuantan high court and an appeal case for judicial review in Putrajaya, the Malaysian government proceeded to issue the Temporary Operating Licence (TOL) to Lynas yesterday. Mr Tan Bun Teet speaking on behalf of SMSL and angry local residents in Kuantan:
The sleepy central Malaysian town of Raub was the focus of a 15,000-strong Himpunan Hijau (Green Gathering) national convergence of environmental activists on September 2. The immediate focus of the convergence was to support local community opposition to the use of cyanide in gold mining operations near the town by the Raub Australian Gold Mine. But activists also came from another major environmental campaign, against a toxic rare earths refinery in that has been built by Lynas, an Australian corporation, near the city of Kuantan.
Thousands of yellow-shirted supporters of Malaysia's Bersih movement for free and fair elections defied a police ban to gather around the theme "Janji Demokrasi" (Promised Democracy) on the eve of the 55th anniversary of the country's independence from British colonial rule. Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) activist Choo Chon Kai, who took these photos, told Green Left Weekly:
Jade Lee, a residents' rights and environmental activist, explains why there is powerful community opposition to the commencement of operation of a rare earth refinery in Malaysia by Lynas, an Australian company. See also: Stop Lynas campaigners challenge company's licence to operate
Resident group activists in Malaysia who have been campaigning to stop an Australian corporation, Lynas, from building a highly toxic rare earth refinery near Kuantan, Pahang, celebrated a little victory after Justice Mariana Yahya of the Kuantan High Court agreed on August 28 to hear their application for two judicial reviews.
Over the weekend of July 14-15, communities in 30 locations around Malaysia participated in a National Day of Stop Lynas action against a rare earth refinery project being built in Malaysia by the Australian company Lynas. Simultaneous solidarity actions took place in Australia - in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Roxby Downs (at the "Lizard's Revenge" anti-nuclear music festival in the outback arid zone of South Australia).