If the BN wins yet again, it is going to demolish the morale of the people who had very strongly called for change in 2008, warns S Arutchelvan. It is time to work together to ensure change.
It is time to consolidate and focus our efforts in 2011 to end 53 years of BN’s rule which is marred with repression, corruption and authoritarianism. (Note, before the May 13, 1969 emergency, the BN was called the Alliance).
If a general election is called in 2011, it will be the best time to oust the tyrant. Today, perhaps for the first time in our history, there seems to be a real chance to change the ruling party at the Federal Level. Pakatan Rakyat, in spite of all its shortcomings, has proven to be the best force to overthrow the BN in the next general election. PR has committed itself to a welfare state and has pledged to abolish all draconian anti-democratic laws. PSM welcomes this though we believe that a welfare state cannot be built on the basis of neo-liberal policies and putting the private sector in the drivers’ seat.
Nevertheless, to allow for a process of change, we must be realistic as well as consolidate all forces to ensure change does indeed take place. In view of this, the PSM is organising a roundtable discussion with PR leaders, other opposition parties and civil society movements on 16 February 2011 to consolidate the rakyat’s demands, to strengthen the movement for change and to focus our efforts on overthrowing the BN in the next election.
This coming election is going to be fundamental. It is not merely a question of election seats, which seems to be the cause of the many splits we see among the ranks of opposition party members. If the BN wins yet again, it is going to demolish the morale of the people who had very strongly called for change in 2008. If the BN wins, it will open the floodgates for further repression and corruption. We will see GST, privatisation of hospitals and education, subsidy cuts and draconian labour laws haunting the poor. A BN victory is going to be disastrous for the people. Because of this, we really have to get our act together.
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The BN is not going to go out with hands down. They will use all means to stay in power. They will use and abuse all laws and apparatus at their disposals. Today, there is a lot of talk of the ‘third force’. The mainstream media continue to dictate the bias news of the day. The Federal Government is openly manouevring in the states controlled by the PR. Money is thrown to win consent.
Our only defence is going to be the will of the people. It is therefore critical that we focus our attention on building the movement to oust the BN from now on and on building a multi-racial defence force to defend the gains of 2008 and to move towards capturing power in 2011 or beyond.
PSM is committed to work with all progressive forces to oust the BN. It will be our battle-cry for the year. Besides that, PSM will also be paying much attention to the issues of ecology and climate change. If we want to save the world, we have to change the capitalist system which governs the world.
2011 may be a historically significant year for our nation. It may decide our future. The real history of the world is not made by kings and gods. It is made by the common people. Let’s strive for it.
S Arutchelvan is secretary general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM)