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Bersatu padu, mempertahankan reformasi demokrasi tulen, buangkan khayalan, menghalang pemulihan Mahathirism.

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Bersatu padu, mempertahankan reformasi demokrasi tulen, buangkan khayalan, menghalang pemulihan Mahathirism.

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人民之友恭祝各界2019新年进步、万事如意!在新的一年里,联合起来,坚持真正的民主改革! 丢掉幻想,阻止马哈迪主义复辟!

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2014年加影州议席补选诉求 / Tuntutan-tuntutan Pilihan Raya Kecil Kajang 2014

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人民之友18周年(2001—2019)纪念,举办一场邀请4名专人演讲的政治论坛和自由餐会,希望通过此论坛激发更多的民主党团领导、学者、各阶层人士,共同为我国民主改革运动做出更大的努力和贡献。

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林清祥《答问》遗稿片段

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新加坡“5•13学生运动” 有/没有马共领导的争论【之一】与【之二】

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马来西亚民主改革的新阶段 / The New Phase of Democratic Reform in Malaysia / Fasa Baru Reformasi Demokratik di Malaysia

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人民之友为庆祝15周年(2001—2016)纪念,在2016年9月上旬发表了最近5年(2011—2016)工作报告(华、巫、英3种语文),并在9月25日在新山举办一场主题为“认清斗争敌友,埋葬巫统霸权”的论坛。

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人民之友16周年纪念,针对即将来临的全国大选发表专题文章,供给我国民间组织和民主人士参考,并接受我国各族人民民主改革实践检验。

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人民之友根据2017年9月24日发表的《人民之友 对我国第14届大选意见书 》的内容与精神以及半年来国内和国外的政治形势,对5月9日投票提出具体意见,供全国选民参考。

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《人民之友》2019年国际劳动节发表对2007年兴权会游行示威的重要领袖乌达雅古玛(Uthayakumar)的专访(第一部分)。这次专访的主题是:兴权会的主要斗争对象乃是马来霸权统治集团。

Saturday, 29 December 2012

MAY 13, KAMPUNG MEDAN – NEVER AGAIN! 513事件、甘榜美丹事件 - 悲剧绝不允许重演!

MAY 13, KAMPUNG MEDAN – NEVER AGAIN!
By Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM adviser, 18 December 2012


The launch of “Violence against an Ethnic Minority in Malaysia: Kampung Medan 2001 by S. Nagarajan & K. Arumugam is a wake-up call for Malaysians to get wise to the Malaysian state’s attempts to portray racist/fascist pogroms against ethnic minorities in Malaysia as so-called “racial riots” that came about “naturally” because of social conditions and dissatisfaction. This is the first book written to put the record straight on the racial violence against ethnic Indian Malaysians at Kampung Medan in 2001. For this racial violence to happen more than thirty years after “May 13” is a scandal and an indictment of Malaysia’s modern day institutions which are still steeped in racism and racial discrimination.
My 2007 title, “May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969” challenged the official version that the violence (in which the victims were mainly ethnic Chinese) was the result of “riots” between “Malays” and “Chinese” who had been provoked by irresponsible opposition politicians. The official version of the Kampung Medan violence in 2001 was that the “riots” had been sparked by incidents which ignited “naturally” in a neglected urban ghetto.

The facts on May 13 point to an orchestrated pogrom in which a complicit state allowed the violence to drag on until July 1969, before the security forces demonstrated their full capacity to restore order. As documented in Nagarajan & Arumugam’s new book, the Kampung Medan violence, which started on March 8, 2001, was allowed to continue over a number of days in a relatively small enclave of Petaling Jaya – with the last tragic incident occurring on March 23.

This delay in taking action reveals a serious credibility problem surrounding our law enforcement and security forces. How is it that these forces failed in their duty to apprehend the thugs who unleashed the racial violence and also failed to investigate those who had organized the violence? Eye witness accounts show that in some of the racial attacks there, the police just stood by without stopping and apprehending the thugs. This was the same observation noted during the “May 13” pogrom, namely, the security forces did not play the professional role expected of them.

Just as in 1969, these incidents were not “racial clashes” between ordinary Malays and non-Malays. In this record of Kampung Medan, it is clear that the people within this community were of diverse ethnicity and that between them there was the sort of camaraderie evident in Kampung Baru in May 1969.

The culprits who were responsible for the violence were fascist thugs from outside these communities who had been brought there by “hidden hands”. It is the duty and responsibility of the police and security forces to apprehend the thugs and to unmask the hidden hands and reveal their agenda. After all, our Malaysian Police Force pride themselves on being one of the best in this part of the world, having been trained by the British colonial power to handle the Emergency during the fifties. Note the speed with which they execute ISA operations and their alacrity in breaking up civil demonstrations of thousands!

Racism against Ethnic Indians

The purposeful stereotyping of the Chinese and Indian Malaysians as the “immigrants who should know their place” as distinct from those defined as “bumiputeras” (“princes of the soil”) by the state and the Malay far-right is intended to justify “Malay dominance”. Thus the “May 13 Incident” has been frequently used as a deterrent to any challenge to the status quo, whether during a general election or simply a challenge to an unjust UMNO policy. In recent years, a pattern has emerged in which ethnic Indians, who are a minority community in this country (of less than 10% of the total population) finding themselves the majority in official statistics on deaths in police custody and victims of police shootings. These shocking facts reflect the racist portrayal of the marginalized Indian community in the state institutions. Through the years, we have also witnessed many cases of racial slurs against ethnic Indians in the mainstream media and school textbooks.

Even though biologically, there is no such basis for a category known as “race”, the social construction of race is ever present in this country. Racism and racialization came about during the period when the different communities were under the dominance of British colonialism. In the circumstances of that time, it suited the dominant group to legitimise dominance by a divide and rule strategy that viewed minorities as “non-indigenous” who required assimilation.

This legacy of racism, which has been further institutionalised since independence, is not only evident in school textbooks but also in media discourse and everyday conversation. My writings on press coverage of ethnic affairs since the Eighties (eg. “Media Watch: The Use and Abuse of the Malaysian Press”, SCAH 1990) have shown that ethnic minority groups tend to be reproduced in the Malay-language press in stereotypical, blatantly racist terms. Thus, minorities are associated with problems and conflict and then portrayed as a threat to the dominant Malay population. Topics tend to focus on “aliens”, “them versus us”, crime and cultural differences are interpreted negatively. The message is clear: “Immigrants must adapt or else…”, “Indians must behave…”Today, this blatant racism has become second-nature to the Malay-language press and media watching is no longer an art in Malaysia!

‘1Malaysia’ Forces UMNO to Outsource Racism to Far-Right

State complicity is evident not only in the negligent role of the security forces but also in its tolerance of the far-right and their racist taunts. Fascism has a knack for appearing in capitalist crises. At the time when the racial violence happened at Kampung Medan in 2001, the so-called “Malay Action Front” provocatively waved the keris and pledged to defend “Malay ethnic supremacy”. Such racist provocation and UMNO’s manipulation of Malay sentiments serve to ensure UMNO’s monopoly of political power and their ability to reap the fruits of Malay-centrism. In the process, such racist propaganda serves to divert the attention of the Malay poor from their real problems and the ruling elite responsible for them.

Since the 2008 political tsunami and UMNO’s attempts to win back Non-Malay support through such ploys as the “1Malaysia” slogan, it appears that UMNO Youth’s traditional role of racial breast-beating has been outsourced to the far-right groups. UMNO soon learnt that the spectacle of “Kerishamudin” playing the Malay warrior at the 2006 UMNO general assembly had cost them too many non-Malay votes in the 2008 general election.

The Umnoputras, in their pursuit of political and economic power, are not interested in solving the social problems that have resulted from the neo-liberal and discriminatory policies which they have put in place. The far-right is there to ensure that the Malay working class and middle class are wooed by the “Malay-centrist” ideology in an effort to prevent them from joining the growing movement against the present unjust system. As has happened in the history of capitalism, fascists only offer racism and violence as a solution to people’s desperation.

Outlaw Racism, Racial Discrimination & Hate Crimes

“Hate crimes” are criminal acts committed as intimidation, threats, property damage, assault, murder or such other criminal offence. The negative impact of hate crimes on the greater community cannot be emphasized enough. In order to nip this tendency in the bud, “Incitement to racial hatred” needs to be made a criminal offence. Under the British Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994 for example, publication of materials that incite racial hatred is an arrestable offence. These include deliberately provoking hatred against a racial group; distributing racist material to the public; making inflammatory public speeches; creating racist websites on the internet; inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or ethnic group, in order to spread racial discontent.

The UK Public Order Act 1986 defines racial hatred as “hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality or ethnic origins”. Section 21 of the Act makes “incitement to racial hatred” an offence to publish or distribute material which is threatening or abusive or insulting if intended to stir up racial hatred…” In Malaysia, the proposed Equality Act and Equality & Human Rights Commission (see below) should likewise specifically deal with hate crimes and incitement to racial hatred.

Never Too Late for Truth & Justice

Although this is more than ten years after the Kampung Medan incident, it is never too late for the truth to be spoken and justice to be despatched to the victims of organized racial violence. There is simply no cut-off point in the struggle for truth and justice. The British government is currently being forced to carry out a judicial review of the Batang Kali massacre that happened in 1948. When my book on “May 13” was published in 2007, I called for the formation of a Truth & Reconciliation Commission so that the nation can know the truth about the pogrom of 1969 when hundreds of ethnic Chinese Malaysians were killed. Forty three years have passed, and we still do not know the identity of the victims and the “hidden hands” who orchestrated that “May 13 Incident”.

But all these efforts will be in vain if the rest of the Malaysian society does not learn the lessons of this episode. We have to redress the human rights issues that have still not been resolved in this country and reform the institutions to ensure that “Kampung Medan” and “May 13” never ever happen again. Such steps include:
·         Forming and swiftly deploying a Special Multi-Ethnic Peace-Keeping Force to keep order if  such incidents occur in future;
·         Establishing, with urgency, a neutral Commission of Inquiry into any such incidents and charging the culprits responsible for murder.
·         Implementing the Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Committee;
·         Ensuring that recruitment into the police and armed forces and career advancement are based on merit;
·         Enacting an Equality Act to promote equality and non-discrimination irrespective of race, creed, religion, gender or disability with provision for an Equality & Human Rights Commission;
·         Institutionalising equality and human rights education at all decision-making levels, including state and non-state actors/ institutions;
·         Ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

No Platform for Racists & Fascists

Clearly, far right racial supremacists who rail about the dominance of their “race” would be reined in by an Equality & Human Rights Commission and dealt with under an Equality Act. Any government that has credibility must implement a policy of “Zero Tolerance for Racists” and “No Platform for Fascists”. Freedom of expression does not extend to the right to violence, incitement of racial or religious hatred. Indeed, it is the freedom of expression for the majority of humanity that fascists threaten. Fascism must not be allowed to infect the democratic space built by our fore fathers. The publication of this book is another positive contribution to the peoples’ history, the struggle against racism and fascism in Malaysia and a further advancement of the ever growing civil society movement in this country. 

Monday, 24 December 2012

马来人有特殊“权利”吗?

马来人有特殊“权利”吗?
柯嘉逊博士(马来西亚人民之声顾问)
2012年12月6日



人民之声-柯嘉逊
我们经常听到巫统必须“捍卫马来人的权利”的叫囂。这些叫囂来自捶胸咆哮的极端右派种族主义者,更多的是来自历届的巫统大会。巫统高层领袖们和主流媒体,甚至那些更了解情况的人,似乎沒有兴趣纠正这些人滥用“马来人权利”的词语。恰逢世界人权日即将到来,我们借此机会,好好弄清楚 “权利”和“优惠”两者之间的差异。

全国人民都享有权利。马来人、华人、印度人、原住民以及其他族群都享有同样的人权。我国《宪法》第二章的“基本自由”章节保障了这些权利。这些权利是不可被剥夺的,并独立于当今的政府。因此,这些权利不只是受到我国《联邦宪法》的保障,同时,也是联合国人权公约的重要组成部分。

那么,我国的马来人是否能根据《联邦宪法》第153条对“马来人”一词所作出的规定,而拥有特殊“权利”呢?

应区分“权利”和“优惠”

“权利”的定义是“拥有某事物的资格”。这和《宪法》所赋予的“优惠”(privilege)或“许可证”(licence)是有很大差异的。所有的马来西亚人都有权利拥有人身自由、平等权利、行动自由、言论自由、集会与结社自由、宗教信仰自由等其他权利。

但是,“优惠”不是权利。优惠是可以被撤销的,因为优惠是附带有条件的。一旦预期的结果已经实现了,就可以取消优惠,但是“权利”是不可剥夺的。

“马来人的特殊地位”

《马来西亚宪法》从来沒提到“马来人的权利”。《宪法》第153条只提到“马来人的特殊地位”。宪法纳入第153条的主要目的是,为了在刚争取到独立的时候,纠正或改善马来族群在经济领域、公共服务的弱势地位,以及解決他们的贫穷问题。(敦苏芬:“《马来西亚联邦宪法》简介”KL1972:245页)

第153条第(1)款阐明:
“最高元首有职责依据本条文的规定,保障马来人以及沙巴和砂拉越土著的特殊地位,以及其他族群的合法利益。”

第153条(2)款阐明:
最高元首必须确保“在公共服务的职位……、奖学金、助学金和其他类似的教育或培训优惠、或联邦政府所赐予的特殊设施、联邦法律下所需要的贸业或商业准证或执照等方面,保留元首认为合理比例(笔者强调)的份额,给马来人和婆罗洲土著(始自1963年)…… 。”

条文第(4)款还清楚阐明:
在行使《宪法》和联邦法律下的职责时,……元首不可剥夺任何人所拥有的公共服务职位,或继续享有奖学金、助学金和其他类似的教育或培训优惠,或任何人所享有的特殊设施。

“固打制”遭滥用

1969年所发生的“513”种族冲突事件,使巫统党內的新统治阶级,为我国造就了一个既成事实。巫统党內新统治阶级极力宣扬“土著主义”思想,以达致其民粹主义的计谋。同样的,马来西亚《联邦宪法》从未提到“土著”(bumiputera)这个字眼。(“bumiputera”在马来语中原意是“土地的王子”)

1971年初,国会通过修改《宪法》。在《宪法》第153条文下,增加了一项新条款【即:第(8A)款】:
“……如果提供马來西亚教育文凭,或同等程度以上教育的大学、学院、或其他教育机构管理当局,所能提供的任何学科学额,少过有资格申请入学者的数目时,最高元首有权力根据这条文,向有关当局发出必要指示,确保有关当局为马來人及沙巴与砂拉越土著,保留元首认为合理(笔者强调)比例的学额,而有关当局必须遵从这指示。”

这就是过去40多年来,我们长期所忍受的“固打制”。一直以来,固打制为我们制造了那么多的争议。严格来说,巫统所屡屡提及的1957年独立时的“社会契约”,肯定不包含第153条下的第(8A)款。

如果我们更加仔细地分析这一条款,它绝对不是允许公然肆无忌惮进行种族歧视的王牌。一个例子就是,它并沒完全授权如玛拉工艺大学那样的教育机构,进行种族歧视的收生情况。犹记得,在2004年的巫统会员大会上,时任高等教育部长沙菲沙烈如是宣称:

“我不会在这件事情上妥协……我们绝对不允许任何非土著进入(玛拉工艺大学)就读!”

如果任何受害者以玛拉工艺大学或其他玛拉教育机构的种族歧视的收生制度为由,把政府控上法庭,试想法官将如何诠释第153(8A)条款【即:“……向有关当局发出必要指示,确保有关当局为马來人及沙巴与砂拉越土著,保留元首认为合理比例的学额(笔者强调)……”】。玛拉工艺大学纯粹只招收土著的收生制度,是对“固打制”以及政府扶弱政策的嘲讽!

“扶弱政策”的原则和目的

我国扶弱政策和其它国家(如美国)的扶弱政策相比之下,两者之间显然格格不入:

原则1:美国的扶弱政策旨在纠正自古以来在美国被边缘化的群体,如:黑人少数民族所面对的、非常显眼的歧视问题;相反地,马来西亚的扶弱政策则是由主导政治的大多数马来精英分子所制定的,受益群体则是整个马来族群,不论其个人财富多寡和地位高低。

原则2:任何群体所获得的特别待遇(如美国所实施的扶弱政策)应有具体的目标、配额和“日落”法律(即:定期废止法),而不像马来西亚新经济政策的“永无休止”,其终结仍遙遙无期。

原则3:美国的扶弱政策,基本上,不同于马来西亚所形容为“特殊权利”的扶弱政策。其实,美国的扶弱政策旨在进行政策调整,以纠正社会不平等的现象。并且,一旦达到目标,政策就有终结的时限。
原则4:马来西亚对“马来人”(作为主要目标的群体)所下的定义,是不精确的。根据这个定义,非马来族的任何穆斯林,都可宣称自己是扶弱政策的受益人,因而引起混淆。

原则5:在美国,扶弱政策所涵盖的范围,延伸到所有受歧视的群体,如:妇女、西班牙裔和其他少数群体。但是,在马来西亚,只有“土著”(“土地的王子”)才是扶弱政策的受益人;而最贫穷、最被边缘化的原住民群体,作为这片土地最早的居民,却被排挤在这项政策之外,不享有特殊优惠。

两种“扶弱政策”的对比

美国和马来西亚两种扶弱政策起源的巨大差异,是值得我们注意的。在美国,扶弱策是受压迫、被践踏的黑人在1960年代展开民权运动所取得的成果,而马来西亚的“马来人特别优惠”则源自“分而治之”的英殖民政策。英国人的统治策略是全面扶植马来封建精英,并将人民分化为相互对立的“土生马来人”与“中国和印度移民”。因此,在公务员聘用方面,马来人受到优先考虑。华人和印度人则被排除在政治舞台之外。直到紧急状态时期,才产生一个包容华裔和印裔资产阶级的政治方案。

英殖民政府在二战后,从马来联邦(1946年),经《马来亚联合邦协议》(1948)到《马来亚联合邦独立协议》(1957年)所面对的宪制危机,导致他们搞政治阴谋,把涉及“马来人特殊地位”的第153条文纳入《联邦宪法》。

跟美国的扶弱政策具有强烈对比,马来西亚的扶弱政策不仅涵盖高等教育,而且还包括马来保留地,以及在公共服务、执照、准证、奖学金、和补助金等方面的“固打”制。最明显的不平等现象是,有能力购买屋价超过100万令吉房屋的土著,居然在购屋时可从房屋市价中获取折扣。试问:美国的一名黑人是否也可以享有这种优惠?

1971年的新经济政策,造就了一个巫统新统治阶层。他们完全控制了马来西亚经济的最高领域。他们所控制的领域包括银行、种植业、石油和天然气、地产等。其中一些领域甚至被他们所垄断。在美国,你肯定找不到具有这种地位的黑人。

到了1990年,新经济政策显然已经达到了土著占有30%股权的目标。然而,巫统精英不断地继续利用这项政策,从中获取利益。这项政策的终结,似乎遙遙无期。这项种族歧视政策,除了给巫统精英带来好处以外,还可推行民粹主义,有助于巫统精英争取马来人选票;同时,把非马来公民描绘成不可以享有这些特别优惠的“外来移民”。

在马来西亚,已进行彻底阶级分化的马、华、印各族群社会里,实行这样的扶弱政策,显然是不合理的。我国原住民族群,还沒经历过跟其他族群相似规模的阶级分化。但是,他们却享受不到这类“特别优惠”!

以阶级或需要为根基的全新扶弱政策

1990年是新经济政策实施的最后期限。这个期限已过,我国早就应该实施一个达致社会公正、以阶级或需要为根基的扶弱政策。因此,如果马来人主要从事于农业领域,我们所实施的政策,应有利于贫困的马来农民阶级,而不是有利于富有的马来地主阶级。只有通过这样的非种族性政策,政府才可以向人民证明,它推崇社会公正、公平、民主, 并确实在实践“一个马来西亚”的承诺。

马来西亚的种族歧视政策,尤其是始自1971年的新经济政策,给社会带来了巨大的社会成本和严重后果。它已造成我国严重的种族两极化,以及代价昂贵的人才外流。

马来西亚华裔工人阶级大部分转到私人领域谋生,远离公共领域中种族歧视的恶劣环境。然而,许多印裔工人阶级则沒那么幸运。他们发现自己在马来西亚已被边缘化了,特别是在传统园丘经济消失之后。

2007年爆发的兴权会运动这个社会现象,就是社会问题即将爆发的一项警告和预兆。花在实施马来人特别优惠的成本也给马来族群内部,带来了更为不平等的现象。马来上层阶级分子在搜刮绝绝大部分的利益和机会。

因此,在这2012年人权日之际,马来西亚人应该明白“特别优惠”的暂时性特征,而必须争取回他们不可剥夺的权利。为了实现一个真正的“一个马来西亚”,大家不应再对特定族群的所谓“权利”(“rights”)感到混淆,进而致力于团结全民,通过以下途径,消除制度性种族主义:

- 纠正现行的经济和教育政策,一切特别优惠政策必须以需要、领域或阶级为根基,而不以种族为根基;原住民、被边缘化和贫困的群体应享有优先权;
- 实施根据绩效(而不是根据种族)招聘和录用民事服务和武装部队人员;
- 正式签署《消除种族歧视国际公约》(CERD)。

Sunday, 9 December 2012

各族人民紧密团结起来 开创民主人权的新时代

各族人民紧密团结起来
开创民主人权的新时代

柔佛州人民之友工委会12月9日声明


第二次世界大战后,世界各国为了防止未来再次发生带给全人类毁灭性灾难的大规模战争,于1948年12月10日在联合国大会上通过保障全人类生命和财产安全的30点《世界人权宣言》(简称《宣言》)。宣言不仅包含了民主宪法中公认的“公民权”和“政治权”(诸如:生命权、自由权、和人身安全权;不受无理逮捕、拘留或放逐权;享有由独立的和公正的法庭进行公平和公开的审讯权;享有思想、意识和宗教的自由,以及和平集会和结社的自由),而且包含“经济权”、“社会权”和“文化权”(诸如:工作权;教育权;社会安全权;参加社会文化生活权等等)。

《宣言》是世界人民在长期的苦难生活教育下发展起来,从各个方面保障了世界上每一个人作为人的基本权利和尊严,得到世界各国政府认同的法则。《宣言》迅速成为一面将国际上各种不同的人权运动团结起来的鲜明的旗帜。自1950开始,每年12月10日,定为“世界人权日”,许多国家和人民都会纪念这个日子。

《宣言》通过时,我国还不是一个独立的国家。在当时世界形势的影响下,作为马来亚宗主国的英国殖民政府也认同及签署这份文件,同时也向联合国秘书处保证马来亚将认可和采纳《宣言》里的各项原则。

在《宣言》发表了64年之后,也就是马来亚国家独立了55年之后,一个在国内被边缘化的族群的代表组织——兴都权益行动力量(兴权会)在12月7日发表了一篇题为“兴权会庆祝国际人权日” (HINDRAF TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY) 的声明。兴权会在声明中引述我国第一任首相东姑阿都拉曼于1957年9月12日写给英国最高专员 G.W Tory 的信件内容:“我很高兴确认,马来亚联合邦政府同意阁下的信内所提出的条款。这个答复将成为两国政府之间的协议”。

兴权会在其声明中引述了这个历史文件,无非想要说明一个历史事实:马来亚第一任首相东姑阿都拉曼与英国政府所订立的具有约束力的协议显示,(当时的)马来亚政府必须尊重和执行英国政府签署过的任何有效国际文件中所规定的国际义务和责任。(这些国际文件是在马来亚独立前英政府代表马来亚签署的)。自1957年8月31日起,这些国际义务和责任,则由马来亚政府承担。

自马来亚在1957年独立后以及在1963年组成马来西亚以来,在巫统主导的种族主义霸权统治下,处在被压迫地位的我国各族人民,尤其是被边缘化的少数民族,不仅无法享受平等的“公民权”和“政治权”,也无法享受平等的“经济权”、“社会权”和“文化权”,而且生活越来越困苦、民族压迫越来越深重、被压迫民族唯有奋起抗争,没有别的出路。

各族人民如今认识到,我国政府已经背弃了他们的诺言及其应该履行、提升和保障人权的国际义务。在长期、残酷的现实教育下,各民族各阶层人民已经觉醒,正大规模展开争取人权的斗争,也相应提出各种符合人权的诉求。其中主要有,在华社中具有影响力的一些华团代表所提出的《马来西亚20年行动方略》以及在印裔社会具有号召力的兴权会所提出的《18点诉求》,以及即将由国内各领域的非政府组织所提出的《民间组织(20点)大选诉求》,都是具有代表性的“人权诉求”。这些具有代表性的诉求集中概括起来,就形成了我国人民共同的“人权诉求”。

作为一个为人权而奋斗的草根组织,柔佛州人民之友工委会深刻理解,全国各民族各阶层人民在当前阶段所产生的要求生活改善与政治改革的强烈愿望;我们殷切期望,所有我国民主党团和民主人士,突破种族与宗教藩篱,紧密团结起来,开创一个民主人权的新时代;我们愿意与全国民主党团和民主人士共勉。

Saturday, 8 December 2012

HINDRAF TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 10.12.2012‏

HINDRAF TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 10.12.2012‏

Hindraf invites all Malaysians who cherish and belief in the true principals of Human rights to join us in this event which is celebrated worldwide. Details are as follows: 

Date   : 10.12.2012
Time   : 7.30 pm
Venue : Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur.


Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in France on 10th December 1948 directly resulting from the experience of the Second World War. It was resolved that the only way to avoid any such future conflict among mankind was to affirm the rights that every human are inherently entitled. Thus the formulation of the 30 Articles in the Declaration which guarantees every human being their inherent rights.

At the time of the adoption of the declaration by the United Nations Malaysia was not an independent country and the United kingdom Government undertook to ratify this declaration on behalf of the then Malaya and assured the UN Secretariat that these principals would be adopted in Malaya.

Malaya achieved independence on 31st August 1957. However nowhere in the Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957 which was passed by the UK Parliament these crucial principals and laws were adopted.

We at Hindraf strongly belief these fundamental principals were deliberately left out to protect the UK economic and defence interests and there was a strong collusion between UMNO leaders and the UK Government. Hindraf reiterates it has these evidence in its possession and hence the class action against the UK Government.

Vide a letter dated 12th September 1957 Tunku Abdul Rahman the first Malaysian Prime Minister entered into a binding agreement with the UK Government to respect and apply all International obligations and responsibilities of the Government of UK to Malaya which arose from any valid International instrument that UK was a party to (and that it signed on behalf of Malaya pre-independence) are, as from 31st August 1957 assumed by the Government of Malaya.

Tunku's reply to the then UK High Commissioner His Excellency Mr. G.W.Tory  is quoted herewith;

“I have pleasure in confirming that the Government of Federation of Malaya are in agreement with the provisions set out in Your Excellency's letter and this reply shall constitute an agreement between the two Governments”.

After 55 years of Independence it is clear that the Government of Malaysia has reneged on its promises and its International obligations and the standards of Human Rights in Malaysia has deteriorated. Its time Malaysians are reminded that we deserve our inherent rights as enshrined under the universal Declaration of Human rights.

It is timely this agreement is brought to the attention of all Malaysians and Hindraf on its part would distribute copies of this agreement letter at Dataran Merdeka on the 10th December 2012.  


P.Waytha Moorthy
Chair

Friday, 7 December 2012

"美国梦"变成了虚幻的神话! ——国际金融危机严重冲击了"美国梦"

"美国梦"变成了虚幻的神话!
——国际金融危机严重冲击了"美国梦"

作者:徐崇温(中国社会科学院马克思主义研究院研究员)
发布时间:2012111210:00
来源:求是理论网 >> 《红旗文稿》 >> 2012 >> 2012/21 >> 正文
美国梦
“美国梦”一词,1931年5月由詹姆斯•特拉斯洛•亚当斯在其所著《美国的史诗》中第一次提出,并在随后变得家喻户晓。虽然1931年正处在 1929-1933年世界经济危机及其引发的大萧条的关键时刻,但亚当斯在这部关于美国历史的著作中,还是怀着充沛的乐观进取精神写道:这本书的主题是 “让我们所有阶层的公民过上更好、更富裕和更幸福的生活的美国梦,这是我们迄今为止为世界的思想和福利作出的最伟大的贡献”。他还说,这种认为明天将会比今天更好的“梦想或希望,从一开始就已经存在了”。

一、“美国梦”的精神和物质支撑的构建

亚当斯所说的“明天将会比今天更好”的信念,至少可以追溯到1620年102名英国清教徒乘“五月花”号木帆船登上美洲新大陆的十年之后,温思罗普关于清教徒对“山巅之城”即“希望之乡”的寻找的布道文。以后,由于北美殖民地在英国议会中并没有议员代表,而英国议会为弥补英国在与法国的七年战争后造成的巨额亏空,在1763年以后向北美殖民地不断地征税和增税,被北美殖民地认为这是在剥夺他们作为英国臣民的权利而加以反对和反抗,矛盾积累和发展到一定程度之后,终于在1775年爆发北美殖民地反对英国统治者的独立战争,并在1776年取得了胜利。由此,揭开了美国人构建“美国梦”的精神和物质支撑的新的一页。

虽然把北美当作“希望之乡”的梦想早就存在,但具体的“美国梦”却是在其精神和物质支撑逐步构建起来的过程中,渐渐形成和发展而来的。这个构建过程,大体上来说,主要包含以下三个关键性环节:

第一个关键性环节,是1776年托马斯•杰弗逊执笔起草的《独立宣言》,把英国唯物主义哲学家洛克提出的天赋人权——自然权利论奉为美国的立国之本,把希望作为国家的中心思想。

《独立宣言》庄严地宣称:“我们认为下述真理是不言而喻的:所有人在被创造出来时就是平等的。造物主赋予他们若干不可剥夺的权利,其中包括生命、自由和对幸福的追求”,正是为了保障这些权利,人们才设立政府,而英皇乔治三世“不堪做一个自由民族的统治者”,英国在北美的殖民统治是一贯压制人民的专制政府;正是由于它侵犯了这些天赋人权——自然权利,各殖民地才在忍无可忍的屈辱下起来推翻它的统治,力求成为“地球上的国家之一,自然法和上帝法认为它们该享受独立和平等的国家”。

马克思曾经把《独立宣言》评价为全人类“第一个人权宣言”。《独立宣言》的特点在于:它在谴责英国的殖民统治时所依据的,并不是北美殖民地的一些具体的不满,而是一种不仅在美洲、同样也在欧洲赢得普遍支持的宽泛论据,因此就具有更为普遍的历史意义;与此同时,更重要的是,它在这么做的时候,又使原来由英国哲学家洛克所表述的人的不可剥夺的生命权、自由权、对幸福的追求权这种天赋人权——自然权利,从抽象的理论思维,上升到了现实的政治权利和原则的高度。应当说,这是支撑“美国梦”的第一个精神支柱。

但在另一方面,《独立宣言》又用有关权利和平等的抽象议论掩盖了现实生活中的种族矛盾、阶级矛盾:首先,在当时的北美殖民地生活着的,不仅有从英国和欧洲其他国家去的移民,而且有以此为生活栖息之地的土著的印第安人。但在欧洲移民到来,用血与火把他们征服之后,又把他们排除在《独立宣言》所说的 “被创造出来时就是平等的”“所有人”之外。据统计,在1492年,美洲的印第安人有120万,在被欧洲来的移民杀戮、驱赶、强迫迁移到所谓“保留地” 后,到1910年时仅剩22万,直到1924年,印第安人才获得美国公民的资格。

其次,北美殖民地的黑奴也被排除在《独立宣言》所说“被创造出来时就是平等的”“所有人”之外。在杰弗逊执笔起草《独立宣言》时,他的庄园里就有200多名奴隶。本来,在《独立宣言》的草稿里,杰弗逊曾列有一项谴责奴隶制“违反人性”的条款,但后来在奴隶主集团的压力下,这个条款被删去。在以后很长一段时期里,美国宪法在承认人权的同时,又确认存在于美国的有色人种奴隶制。直到1862年林肯签署《解放宣言》时,才把占美国人口3/5的黑奴解放出来,成为和白人一样享有自然权利的人,但种族歧视仍然在很长时间内继续保留着。1963年8月,马丁•路德•金在向参加全国“向华盛顿进军”的人群发表演讲时,还表示自己坚信没有种族界限的美国梦想是“深深植根在美国梦之中”的,呼吁让黑人获得正当的生活方式,不要以种族、而要以“品德的优劣”来作为评判人的标准。直到1970年的《民权法》,美国才废除了“文化测验”、“人头税”等对黑人选举权的限制。

此外,美国人民中一切被统治阶级视为异己的言行、人员和组织也都被排除在人权保护之外。

第二个关键性环节,是在1860年开始就任美国总统的林肯,不仅领导美国人民打败了企图分裂美国的南部奴隶主,赢得了南北战争的胜利,签署了《解放宣言》,把黑奴解放了出来,为美国的发展奠定了坚实的基础;而且签署了一系列法案推动“西进运动”,壮大了美国经济,塑造了美国的民族精神。

从1803年到1867年间,美国先后以极其低廉的价格从法国、英国、墨西哥和俄罗斯手里购买到路易斯安那、北达科他、阿拉斯加和阿留申群岛等大批土地,又从西班牙手中夺取了佛罗里达,使美国的版图由宣布独立时的400万平方公里扩大到930万平方公里,随后就掀起了向西迁移的移民运动,仅 1860年以后的40年内,美国西部的新垦地就达到2.52亿英亩。在这个过程中,林肯签署的几个法案发挥了重要作用。

一个是《太平洋铁路法案》,它要求两家铁路公司联合修建将美国的东部和西部、将太平洋和大西洋连接在一起,横贯东西,长达2800多公里的铁路,以修建铁路的方式加速推动西进拓荒运动。为此,政府决定在铁路的两侧把一条宽16公里(后改为32公里)的公共土地划归铁路公司所有,并对已建成的铁路,每英亩给予1.6—4.8万美元贷款的赞助办法。这一举措同时又促进了美国国内市场的统一。

另一个是《宅地法》。这个法案规定,凡是成年的美国公民只要没有持械反抗过美利坚合众国的,只需交纳10美元的登记费,就可获得一块160英亩的土地,耕种5年后还可成为土地的拥有者。这一法案直接把西进运动推向了高潮。据统计,在此后几十年里新开垦的土地相当于过去270年垦殖的土地面积,从而形成了美国的“小麦王国”、“棉花王国”和“畜牧王国”这样三大农业专业区,并使美国的人口、农业、工业中心全面西移,把美国由一个弱小的国家推上世界经济大国的宝座。马克思在评价美国的西进运动时曾说:“在英国需要数百年才能完成的那些变化,在美国只有几年就发生了”。

还有一个是《莫利尔法》。这一法案规定,通过政府赠地的办法去设置大学,使全国各地的许多人都能接受高等教育。

十分明显,林肯的这些举措,为“美国梦”的形成构建了众多的精神和物质支撑。

第三个关键性环节是罗斯福的“新政”,其为“美国梦”增添了新的含意和支撑,这就是对于政府要在促进个人幸福方面发挥作用的期待。

在罗斯福出任美国总统前的1929年,美国证券交易所发生了世界经济危机行将到来前夕的恐慌。10月29日,股市行情一天下跌了23.6%,人们在恐慌中的挤兑摧毁了7000多家银行,并在一年多时间里导致14万家企业倒闭、1700多万人失业,失业率高达28%。大萧条一方面使农产品难以出售,到处都是过剩和价格暴跌;另一方面则是饥民在大小城市里排成长队,等候免费面包和汤的发放。但时任美国总统胡佛却仍坚持自由主义信条,期望市场能自动调节国家经济生活,而拒绝援助失业人员,甚至还提高税率,结果使美国的GDP从1929年的1040亿美元下降到1932年的580亿美元,使美国生产财富的能力打了个对折。1932年3月,3000名失业工人在底特律的福特汽车工厂门前示威,警察向人群开枪,打死4人。

罗斯福就是在这种哀鸿遍野、国运危殆的氛围里就任美国第32届总统的。罗斯福提出的以改革、复兴、救济为核心的“新政”,加强了金融管制,开建了国家工程,通过了农业调整法、全国工业复兴法、全国劳工关系法,成立了工程开发总署、复兴总署,提出了言论、宗教、不虞匮乏、免受恐惧的四大自由。其中最有创新意义的当数“不虞匮乏的自由”,这意味着国家确认摆脱贫困是人的基本权利。罗斯福还第一次通过建立社会保障系统来干预经济。此前,美国没有老年人的保障计划,罗斯福引进了社会保障体系,给退休者提供基本的收入保障,这就从一个方面有效地消除了贫困。

罗斯福“新政”的影响一直延续到二战以后,美国在那以后经历了20多年的“黄金发展期”,再加上通过了《士兵安置法案》、住房贷款和抵押贷款利息的减免,州际铁路、公路的修建等,使得美国进入中产阶层行列的人数超过了以往任何时候;与此同时,美国在二战以后的头几十年里,贫富差距程度较小,但发展却比1980年以后快得多,直到20世纪60年代,美国的失业率还比较低,美国人的家庭收入普遍增加。这就极大地增强了“美国梦”中相信只要努力工作就会获得成功,相信明天会比今天更好的信念。

二、“美国梦”的具体内容

在这个过程中逐渐形成的“美国梦”,主要包含两个方面的内容:

一是关于自由、繁荣、稳定和个人发展进步的机遇方面的,所谓美国是一个机遇之乡:在这里,只要勤奋工作,加上一点点才华,就会顺着阶梯一级一级往上走。

在个人的发展机遇方面,和那些在种族、宗教等方面有严格等级和界限的地方相比,美国无疑为个人的发展提供了更多的机遇,但也不像它所标榜那样,真是实现了什么“人人生而平等”了。因为资产阶级执掌政权以后,在消灭等级之间的旧的差别和一切依靠专横而取得的特权的时候,只是用金钱的特权去取代封建主的一切个人特权和世袭特权。在这个方面,美国的资产阶级并不是例外。据有关方面的概率估计,在美国,中产阶层出身的人,顺着阶梯上升和下滑的,各占一半;低收入家庭出身的人,由贫到富的,极为罕见;出身贫寒者,可能一直如此。又有估计说,处于顶层那1/5的家庭出身的人,在成年以后属于中产阶层的,占 75%;处于收入水平底层那1/5的家庭出身的人,成年后取得中产阶层地位的,仅占35%。

新自由主义者往往把“美国梦”归结为纯粹个人的事情,这是与事实不符的,因为在实际上,恰恰是政府让个人的“美国梦”具有了实现的可能。 2012年7月2日,美国《时代》周刊发表乔恩•米查的《美国梦的历史》一文指出:在“关于美国粗犷的个人主义故事的平民版本中缺少了一个角色:政府。正是政府使得个人的崛起成为可能。美国人从来都不愿意承认,我们现在称之为公共部门的机构,一直是使私营部门取得成功的不可或缺的因素”。

二是关于在美国“明天会比今天更好,一代更比一代强”的憧憬。

罗斯福在1945年最后一次总统就职演说中,曾经引用其母校格罗顿学校校长恩迪科特•皮博迪的一段话说:“人生不会总是一帆风顺,有时候我们跃上高峰,而接下来一切会发生逆转,开始走下坡路,但是要记住一个重要事实,那就是文明的趋势是永远向前的,如果在数百年的高峰和低谷中间画一条线,那么,它总是保持向上的走势”。在尔后的几十年里,美国的国力和繁荣确实达到了史无前例的高度,美国人过上了亚当斯在1931年大萧条时憧憬的那种“更好、更富裕和更幸福”的生活。

人们常常把“美国梦”说成是美国“中产阶级”(即中产阶层)的梦想,这种梦想包含六个方面的内容:第一,有房;第二,有汽车;第三,接受过大学教育;第四,有退休保障;第五,有医疗保险;第六,有休闲时间。美国副总统拜登领导的“白宫中产阶级特别小组”也解释说:“中产阶级是由他们的追求、而不是由他们的收入来界定的。中产阶级拥有住房、一台车、子女上大学、健康和退休保障以及偶尔的家庭度假”。

大体说来,特别在二战以后,美国人就是怀着这样的“美国梦”一路走过来的。但是,2007—2008年开始,伴随着新自由主义的恶性发作而引爆次贷危机,并进而引发国际金融危机,美国人的这种梦再也做不下去了。现在,许多美国人觉得,不论自己多努力,也不会达到父辈的生活质量和幸福感。

三、次贷危机首先惊醒了“美国梦” 

2004年10月,美国前总统布什在一次为竞选连任而发表的演讲中,提出了他所谓的“所有权社会”论,即要每个美国家庭都有自己的房子,而政府不干涉人们实现自己的“美国梦”。他说:“每次一个美国家庭搬进他们自己的房子,美国就变得更强大一些”。他所说的这种家庭指的是传统的核心家庭:一对异性夫妇,有至少两个孩子,生活在一套带院子的独立住宅里,有一、两辆车,而且还有一个带有平板电视的多媒体房间。为了实现这一前景,布什推出了鼓励人们拥有房产的新政策,例如“零首付计划”。随后又出台了更多的五花八门的抵押贷款形式,其中包括24个月不用付月供的贷款,后来还出现了只要借款人的口头承诺而无需书面文件的贷款。再以后,围绕这些抵押贷款出现的各种金融创新产品,又经过包装和再包装,最终变得面目全非,没有人知道它们到底包含什么内容,或者它们到底值多少钱。在这种情况下,大量资本从生产领域流入流通领域,实体经济与虚拟经济严重分离,滋生出越来越多的泡沫经济,一旦金融泡沫破裂,这种“次级贷款”引发的危机就成为不可避免的。

那么,出现次贷危机时的情景到底是怎么样的呢?在次贷危机发作时的2008年,据一家房地产研究所的报告显示,全美至少有750万户房主背负 “负资产”,即由于他们房屋的当前市场价低于其住房贷款总额,因而即使卖掉房屋,房主还必须垫付更多的钱才能还清贷款,这一类背负负资产的人占到美国拥有房屋者总数的18%,另有210万购房者处于背负“负资产”边缘,其房屋市价仅比贷款高出不到5%;而据美国有线电视新闻网(CNN)的估计,全美可能有多达1200万户房主背负“负资产”。

这里,以美国俄亥俄州的克利夫兰为例,来展示次贷危机给美国带来的危害。克利夫兰是美国俄亥俄州最大的城市,在1851年通铁路以后,成为五大湖区和大西洋沿岸间的货物转运中心。克利夫兰以钢铁工业为首要产业,又在此基础上建立庞大的制造业,使它在美国工业史上辉煌了100多年,到上世纪中叶,其经济实力跻身于美国城市的前五位。克利夫兰有1/3的面积被公园绿地覆盖,素有“森林之城”的美誉,并与匹兹堡一起被列为美国“最佳居住城市”。在华尔街的金融机构放松风险控制、慷慨借贷时,克利夫兰成了“次贷之都”。在次贷危机爆发之前,金融机构和购房市民都认定克利夫兰的房地产价值、价格将与时俱增,但危机一来,房价却一落千丈,而房产税赋、贷款利息却并未减少,在危机深重之时,连四五百美元一栋的房屋也无人问津。于是,一些无力偿还房贷和房产税的房奴,便选择了“断供”,举家弃屋、逃之夭夭。2010年2月16日《克利夫兰老实人报》的社论披露,该市的空房已逾一万多套,这意味着全市已有1/8 的家庭弃屋而去。这些弃屋出走的居民,状况好一点的在亲友家借宿,大部分或栖身于桥洞巷角,或在郊外支个帐篷度日。于是,在克利夫兰街头,失业者、无家可归者四处游荡;教堂或慈善机构的门口,贫穷的人们排队等候领取免费食物;寻找就业机会和求助的市民挤满了政府的援助办公室。而在另一方面,因房主弃屋逃亡而空置的房屋,又成了消耗市政资源的巨大包袱。如该市有一座两层楼的住宅,因其市值不到应交税赋的1/3而被弃置,但由于长期空着无人看管,以致发生管道煤气泄露爆炸,还伤及邻居。

然而,次贷危机还只是惊醒了“美国梦”,由次贷危机引发的国际金融危机则在更大的范围内和更深的程度上,严重地冲击了“美国梦”。

四、经济低迷、失业率高企,中产阶层在痛苦中挣扎,许多人的“美国梦”成了噩梦

次贷危机引发的国际金融危机,使美国经济先是陷入衰退,在走出衰退以后又长期处于低迷状态,从根子上抽掉了“美国梦”的物质基础。

据世界银行的数据,美国经济的年增长率,在1950年以后的半个世纪里,一直在3.3%以上,如1950—1959年间和1970—1979年间,美国经济的年均增长率都是3.7%,1980—1989年间为3.5%,1990—1999年间为3.3%,1960—1969年间曾达到5%。但在进入21世纪以后,美国经济的年均增长率开始下降到2%左右,而在次贷危机爆发以后,美国经济的年均增长率在2008年为0.0%,2009年为 -2.6%。走出衰退以后,美国经济的年均增长率一直处在2%左右的低迷状态。

与低迷的经济增长率相伴随的,是高企的失业率。美国的失业人员在1945年才275万,国际金融危机爆发以后,美国的失业率在2009年一开始就攀升到7.2%的高峰,随后又逐月攀升到8.1%、9.5%……直到2009年9月攀升到10.1%,以后又长期徘徊于8%—9%中间,2011年的失业人员超过了1500万,经过奥巴马政府“再工业化”、“制造业回归”等增加就业岗位的超常努力后,在2012年9月,美国的失业率才回落到7.8%。

在经济低迷、失业率高企的情况下,美国家庭的收入2010年比1999—2001年减少7.1%;贫困人口直线上升,以四口之家年收入不低于 22025美元为准,2008年美国的贫困人口为3980万;2009年攀升到4360万,占美国人口总数的14.3%;2010年更攀升到4620万,占美国人口总数的15.1%。据美国农业部的数据,在2011年,美国有1800万个家庭吃不饱饭;领食品券的人,在2009年1月为3200万,到 2011年6月跃升为4670万。特别是生活在贫困中的18岁以下儿童,在2007年是1330万,2008年上升到1410万,现在更上升到儿童总数的 1/5。另一个受到伤害的弱势群体是老年人,早在2008年10月,美国预算局就估计,国际金融危机已经使美国的退休金账户缩水2万多亿美元,使养老金缺口达1000亿美元,从而迫使许多已经退休的老年人不得不再出去工作,以维持生活。

然而,从整个群体来说,受国际金融危机冲击最重的,当数美国的中产阶层。中产阶层曾经推动了美国经济的蓬勃发展,他们使美国人相信这里是遍布平等与机遇的沃土,他们也是“美国梦”的主体。关于美国中产阶层的生活,有一段典型的描绘:住在郊区,有一幢分期付款的带两间至四间卧室的房子,两三个孩子,一只狗,两部汽车。丈夫每天辛勤工作,妻子在家带孩子做家务,拿薪水后马上开出15张以上的支票付账(房、车、水、电、煤气、电话、有线电视、分期付款的大件商品、5件信用卡的账单、孩子牙医的账单、医疗和人寿保险,等等)。平时看电视脱口秀,周末借两盘录像带,边看边喝可口可乐、吃爆米花,每年圣诞节扎圣诞树,妻子和丈夫都在发胖。但是,在国际金融危机爆发以后,他们的生活水平开始下降,机遇也越来越少,美国中产阶层的规模和财富发生了双缩水。皮尤研究中心2012年8月22日公布的研究报告称,在2011年,美国的中产阶层占成年人总数的51%,而在1971年则为61%。其年均收入10年间下降了5%,从7.2956万美元降至6.9487万美元;而其资产则减少了28%,从12.5982万美元减至9.315万美元。在40年前,中产阶层占有全国财富的62%,今天则仅占有45%。在报告所调查的1287名成年人中,85%的人认为现在比10年前更难维持自己的生活水平。美国萧条的现状吞噬了经济扩张的空间,馅饼没有变大反而在萎缩,生存竞争又愈益剧烈,这就使许多中产阶层感觉到好像被困在一个房间里,四面墙在压过来,没有门窗,没有出口, “美国梦”渐渐变成了美国噩梦。

五、史无前例的贫富差距,使“美国梦”虚幻成神话

国际金融危机造成的史无前例的贫富差距,使美国梦变得虚幻起来,成为神话。从21世纪开始,美国的两极分化就在加速,在2002—2007年间,65%的国民收入落入到最上层的纳税人的腰包里,平民的年均收入则减少了10%以上。而在爆发了国际金融危机后的今天,贫富差距更达到了史无前例的程度。现在,占美国人口1%的富人,其占有的财富,超过了占美国人口50%的1.5亿人所占有财富的总和,而在20世纪70年代,它在美国GDP中所占份额还只是9%,2007年也还只占23.5%;与此相比,今天美国人的中等收入低于15年前的水平,全职男性劳动者的中等收入,甚至低于40年前的水平。据美国企业研究2011年度报告,平均来看,大企业CEO的年收入为1020万美元,比普通职工高出325倍。高盛集团董事会主席兼CEO更获得5400万美元的薪酬,其另5名高管则获得了总计2.42亿美元的薪酬。2011年美国的“占领华尔街”运动正是从抗议这种1%对99%的极端不平等的贫富差距中萌发的。

在20世纪初期,美国也曾存在过这种“财富集中在最上层的塔尖上”的情况。当时,约翰•洛克菲勒、安德鲁•卡内基和摩根等工业巨头控制着整个美国,作家马克•吐温用“镀金时代”来称呼那一时期,意思是说:那时只有表面上的金光灿灿,下面却掩盖着大规模失业、贫困和被撕裂的社会。而今天,美国又进入了一个由对冲基金经理和金融巨头等超级富豪掌控的新的“镀金时代”,人们担忧这将给美国的发展带来严重的后果。诺贝尔经济学奖金获得者约瑟夫•斯蒂格利茨在2012年6月26日的英国《金融时报》网站上发表《美国不再是机遇之地》一文,强调指出:“我们曾经被认为是机遇之地。而今天,与欧洲或其他任何有数据可查的发达工业化国家相比,美国儿童的人生机遇更多地取决于其父母的收入水平。美国曾经不辞辛苦地创造美国的机遇之梦。然而,今天,这个梦成为了一个神话”。其原因就在于新自由主义造成了使贫富差距空前扩大的经济不平等,而国际金融危机则使得这个在廉价信贷、房地产价格上涨和过度消费的年代里被掩盖起来的问题暴露无遗。

事情十分明显,出现贫富差距不断扩大的经济不平等的症结是政府的政策。斯蒂格利茨在上面所引那篇文章中指出:“市场由游戏规则左右。我们的政治制度制定了牺牲其他人群的利益而让富人受益的规则。金融管理条例使掠夺性的借贷和肆意妄为的信用卡业务畅通无阻,这些做法使金钱从底层流向顶层。全球化的规则——全球化使资本自由流动,但劳动者却不能自由流动——强化了一种早已存在严重倾斜的讨价还价条件:企业会扬言撤离某国,除非劳动者作出重大让步”;“法律规定对投机者采取的税率可以是对自食其力的劳动者或改变社会的创新者所征税率的一半。这样的法律体现了我们的某种价值观,但是它们也扭曲了我们的经济,唆使年轻人进入非生产性的领域”。斯蒂格利茨指出:“在政界一心想着削减公共教育和其他提升低层和中层人群际遇的计划,同时要为顶层收入人群减税的情况下”,还将导致一个更加分裂、增长放慢、政治和经济动荡的社会。

DO MALAYS HAVE SPECIAL “RIGHTS”?

DO MALAYS HAVE SPECIAL “RIGHTS”?
By Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 6 December 2012



人民之声-柯嘉逊
We hear this often enough from breast-beating far-right racists but more so at UMNO general assemblies, namely, the call for UMNO to “safeguard Malay RIGHTS”. The top UMNO leaders and the mainstream press and even those who should know better do not seem to be interested in correcting them on their loose usage of “Malay rights”. As Human Rights Day approaches, we will do well to be clear about the difference between RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES.

All peoples have rights – Malays, Chinese, Indians, indigenous peoples and all other ethnic communities are entitled to the same human rights. These rights are enshrined in Part II of the Constitution under “Fundamental Liberties”. They are inalienable, independent of the government-of-the-day. Thus, apart from the fact that they are guaranteed in our Federal Constitution, they are also part and parcel of the United Nations Human Rights instruments.

Now, do Malays in this country have any special RIGHTS on account of the fact they are “Malay” as stipulated under Article 153 of the Constitution?

Rights and Privileges

A RIGHT is defined as an entitlement, very different from a privilege or a licence granted by the Constitution. All Malaysians are entitled to liberty of the person; equality; freedom of movement; freedom of speech, assembly and association; freedom of religion, and other rights.

PRIVILEGES, on the other hand, are not rights. They can be revoked because they are conditional. Once the intended results have been met, privileges can be taken away but rights cannot be taken away.

“Special Position of the Malays”

Nowhere in Malaysia’s constitution will you find any reference to “Malay rights”. Article 153 mentions “the special position of the Malays”. The main purpose for including Article 153 in the Constitution was to rectify the perceived weakness of the Malay community in the economic field, the public service and the problem of Malay poverty at the time of Independence. (Tun Mohamed Suffian bin Hashim, “An Introduction to the Constitution of Malaysia”, KL 1972:245)

The first clause of Article 153 states:
“It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.”

The second clause of Article 153 stipulates that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall ensure the reservation for Malays and since 1963, for natives of Borneo “of such proportion as he may deem reasonable (my emphasis) of positions in the public service…and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and…any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law…”

Clause 4 expressly states that: “In exercising his functions under this Constitution and federal law…the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not deprive any person of any public office held by him or of the continuance of any scholarship, exhibition or other educational or training privileges or special facilities enjoyed by him.”

The Abused “Quota System”

As a result of the racial violence of May 13, 1969, the country was presented with a fait accompli by the new ruling class in UMNO who were keen to propagate their “bumiputraist” ideology as a populist ploy. Again, you will not see any mention of “bumiputera” (the “princes of the soil”) in the Malaysian constitution.

Thus, in early 1971 the Constitution (Amendment) Act was passed adding a new clause (No. 8A) to Article 153:
“…where in any university, college and other educational institution providing education after Malaysian Certificate of Education or its equivalent, the number of places offered by the authority responsible for the management of the university, college or such educational institution to candidates for any course or study is less than the number of candidates qualified for such places, it shall be lawful for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by virtue of this Article to give such directions to the authority as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such places for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable (my emphasis); and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.”

This is the “quota system” we have lived with for the last forty years or so and which has created so much controversy for that length of time. Strictly speaking, if we were to go by UMNO’s oft-repeated “social contract” at Independence in 1957, that “social contract” certainly does not include Clause 8A of Article 153.

And if we scrutinize this clause more closely, we will see that it is definitely not a carte blanche for the blatant racial discrimination as is the case of enrolment at institutions such as UiTM. At the 2004 UMNO general assembly, you may recall then Higher Education Minister Shafie Salleh declaring:
"I will not compromise on this matter…there will not be a single non-bumiputera allowed to enroll!”

So, if any aggrieved party took the government to court for its enrolment policy at UiTM or any other MARA institutions, how do you think any judge would interpret clause 8A of Article 153, ie. “…to give such directions to the authority as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such places (my emphasis) for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable…”

The 100 per cent bumiputera enrolment policy at UiTM makes a mockery of the quota system and the justification of any affirmative action in any country!

Principles and Purpose of “affirmative” action
Compared to the affirmative action policies elsewhere, for example the United States, we find some glaring inconsistencies in this country:

Principle 1: Affirmative action in the US was implemented to rectify the glaring discrimination experienced by historically marginalized groups such as the black minority in the US; In contrast, affirmative action in Malaysia is driven by the politically dominant and majority Malay elite and directed at the Malay community as a whole, as the beneficiary group, regardless of wealth and position.        

Principle 2: Any preferential treatment for any group should be followed by specific goals, quotas and sunset clauses as is the case in the US rather than the “Never Ending Policy” of the NEP in Malaysia;

Principle 3: Affirmative action policies in the US are fundamentally not “special rights” as they are portrayed in Malaysia but rather, policy adjustments to rectify social inequality with a time limitation once the objectives have been reached;
 
Principle 4: The definition of the main target group in Malaysia, namely, “the Malays” is imprecise and allows confusion when any Muslim who is not ethnically Malay can claim to be a beneficiary;

Principle 5: In the US, affirmative action is extended into all discriminated groups, for example, women, Hispanics and other minority groups; whereas in Malaysia, only the “bumiputeras” (the “princes of the soil”) are included, while the poorest and most marginalized group, arguably the original people of this land, the Orang Asli, have been excluded from this policy.

Contrasts in affirmative actions

The contrasting origin of affirmative action in the US and Malaysia is worth noting. While in the US, it came about as a result of the civil rights movement in the 1960s by the downtrodden blacks, Malaysia’s “special privileges of the Malays” had its origin in colonial policy of divide-and-rule. The British strategy propped up the Malay feudal elite and divided the people into the “native Malays” versus the “Chinese and Indian immigrants”.  Thus, Malays were given priority in civil service employment and the Chinese and Indians were also excluded from the political arena until an accommodation with the Chinese and Indian capitalist class was found during the Emergency.

The political machinations by the British colonial power during the post-war constitutional crisis from the Malayan Union (1946) through the Federation of Malaya Agreement (1948) to the Independence Agreement (1957) led to the inclusion of Article 153 in the federal constitution pertaining to “the special position of the Malays.”

In strong contrast to the US, affirmative action in Malaysia covers not only higher education but also land reservation, quotas in public service, licences, permits, scholarships and grants. The most glaring inequity is seen when bumiputeras can buy houses costing more than a million ringgit and still claim a discount from the market rate. Can a black in the US do the same?

The New Economic Policy of 1971 has led to a carte blanche for the ruling Umnoputras to control the commanding heights of the Malaysian economy, including banks, plantations, oil & gas, properties and other sectors. Furthermore, several of these bumiputera-controlled sectors are monopolies. You certainly do not find such a situation with the blacks in the US.

The NEP’s 30 per cent bumiputera equity share target by 1990 had clearly been reached but there seems to be no end to a policy that allows the UMNO elite to continue reaping the benefits of the policy. Besides being onto a good thing, such a discriminatory policy has populist appeal to win over the Malay vote by portraying non-Malay citizens as “immigrants” who cannot enjoy these privileges”.

Clearly, affirmative action cannot be justified for communities that are thoroughly class differentiated, such as the Malays, Chinese and Indians in Malaysia. The Orang Asli are a community that has not undergone class differentiation on a scale similar to the other ethnic communities in Malaysia but they enjoy no such privilege!

A New Affirmative Action Based on Class or Need

In Malaysia, since the passing of the deadline for the NEP in 1990, it is high time for a new socially just affirmative action policy based on need or class or sector. Thus, if Malays are predominantly in the rural agricultural sector, we should create policies that benefit the poor Malay farmers and not  the rich Malay land-owning class. Only such a race-free policy can convince the people that the government is socially just, fair and democratic and walks the 1Malaysia talk.

The cost and consequences of the racially discriminatory policy in Malaysia have been immense, especially since the NEP in 1971. It has caused crippling polarization of Malaysian society and costly brain drain. While the working class Chinese in Malaysia have largely adapted to this discrimination in the public sector by trying to make a living in the private sector, many working class Indians in Malaysia have not been so fortunate and have found themselves marginalized especially with the destruction of the traditional plantation economy. The phenomenon of the Hindraf movement which erupted in 2007 is a warning of social problems waiting to explode. The cost of preferential treatment has also seen greater intra-community inequality, with the higher class members creaming off the benefits and opportunities.

Thus, on Human Rights Day 2012, Malaysians should try to reclaim their inalienable rights and understand the transient nature of privileges. For a truly “1Malaysia”, let there be no more obfuscation about “rights” of any particular ethnic community but a commitment to unite all Malaysians by eradicating institutional racism through:
- Corrective action in all economic and education policies based on need or sector or class and not on race with priority given to indigenous people, marginalised and poor communities;
- Implementing merit-based recruitment in civil & armed services;
- Ratifying the Convention on the Eradication of Racial Discrimination (CERD). 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

அம்னோவின் ஆதிக்கத்தைத் தகர்த்து, நிலையான ஜனநாயக முன்னணியை உருவாக்குவோம்! ஜொகூர் மாநில மக்களுக்கு அரசு சார்பற்ற இயக்கங்கள், வலியுறுத்தும் 3 கோரிக்கைகள

அம்னோவின் ஆதிக்கத்தைத் தகர்த்து,
நிலையான ஜனநாயக முன்னணியை உருவாக்குவோம்!
ஜொகூர் மாநில மக்களுக்கு அரசு சார்பற்ற இயக்கங்கள்
வலியுறுத்தும் 3 கோரிக்கைகள

Komik: Buangkan BN ke Tong Sampah Sejarah!Oleh: Ah Pei

通告 Notification


成立18周年纪念,9月21日举办论坛

我们决定举办“‘509改朝换代’马哈迪当政,民主改革运动前进抑或倒退?”论坛与自由餐会,作为我们今年(2019年)纪念人民之友成立18周年的活动内容。以下4名专人欣然接受作为论坛的主讲人:
  • 兴权会2.0领导乌达雅古玛 (P. Uthayakumar)
  • 人权律师西蒂卡欣 (Siti Kasim)
  • 自由撰稿人及评论人唐南发(Josh Hong)
  • 媒体工作者及评论人蓝志锋(Lum Chih Feng)
4名主讲人将针对论坛主题分别出具论文,发表讲话,并回答现场问题。我们会在论坛过后,将主讲人的专题文章和讲话视频,上载到人民之友部落格(sahabatrakyatmy.blogspot.com),供公众阅览。我们希望通过此论坛激发更多的民主党团领导、学者、各阶层人士,共同为我国民主改革运动做出更大的努力和贡献。

论坛举办日期:2019年9月21日(星期六),时间:下午2:00—5:30时分,地点:柔佛古来,新国泰餐馆。论坛结束后才进行简单的自由餐会,同时进行互相交流。我们欢迎关心我国政治发展的公众人士前来聆听论坛主讲人的演讲并参加自由餐会(入场免费,但请事先报名参加,以便准备食物。有意参加者请填上表格https://forms.gle/SWbjEaiwNikEUiKF6或联系以下负责人)。

9月9日张贴一篇具参考价值英译文章

我们已在今年9月9日(成立纪念日)这天,发表人民之友秘书处委派人员翻译的一篇新加坡前工会领袖庄明湖2013年所撰写的《廿世纪六十年代新加坡左派工运遭遇问题探索(续篇)》(原是华文版)的英文译稿,作为人民之友18周年纪念的一个献礼——提供一个新马人民反殖独立运动遭遇敌人从内部破坏的历史殷鉴,为在9月21日举行的论坛所探索的现实课题,增添一份具有启示意义的参考材料。

“人民之友”是一个着重促进我国民主人权运动的思想交流平台。人民之友工委会都是义务的自愿工作者,我们坚持独立自主的立场,我们采取自力更生、节约苦干的方针,为推动我国民主人权运动朝向正确方向发展而奋斗。我们欢迎“有心人”赞助我们的这项活动及其他工作,有意赞助者请联系:

(1)朱信杰 017-7721511
(2)钟立薇 012-7177187
(3)吴振宇 013-7778320


Forum to be held on 21 September in commemoration of 18th anniversary

We will be organising “Mahathir returns to power after regime change in the 14th General Election, A progression or regression of the democratic reform movement?” forum cum buffet in commemoration of our 18th Anniversary. The following 4 experts have accepted the invitation to become our panel speakers:
  • P. Uthayakumar – Leader of Hindraf 2.0
  • Siti Kasim – Human rights lawyer
  • Josh Hong - Freelance writer and commentator
  • Lum Chih Feng – Media worker and commentator
All 4 panel speakers will present papers, deliver speeches and answer questions on the theme of the forum. After the event, we will also be uploading the paper and video of the speeches of the panel speakers to Sahabat Rakyat blog(sahabatrakyatmy.blogspot.com)as reference material for the public. Through this forum, we hope to inspire more leaders of democratic parties, organisations, scholars and peoples of all walks of life to make more contribution to the democratic reform movement of our country.

Particulars of the event are as follows:
Date: 21 September 2019 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: Cathay Restaurant Kulai, Johor
Buffet will start upon the completion of the forum, concurrent with the sharing session
. We welcome all who are concerned with the political developments in Malaysia to attend this event and join the buffet meal. (Admission is free, but please register in advance so that we can make necessary arrangement for food. If you are interested, please fill in https://forms.gle/SWbjEaiwNikEUiKF6or contact person in charge below)

9 September - Published the English rendition of an article of value for reference

On 9 September this year (the actual day of our anniversary), we had published an English rendition of the "Probing into the sufferings of Singapore's left-wing labour movement in the 1960s (Part II)" originally written in Chinese by Chng Min Oh, a former trade union leader in Singapore on Sahabat Rakyat blog, as a gift of our anniversary. This English rendition was translated by personnel delegated by the Secretariat of Sahabat Rakyat. This article provides a historical lesson learned about the destruction bore from within of the anti-colonial independence movement of the people of Malaya and Singapore plotted by the enemy, and constitutes revelatory reference material to the realistic issues that this coming forum is probing into.

Sahabat Rakyat is an ideological exchange platform that focuses on promoting democratic human rights movement in our country. All committee members of Sahabat Rakyat are volunteers. We adhere to the stance of being independent and autonomous, we adopt the principle of being self-reliant, thrifty and hard work, and strive to promote the development of the democratic human rights movement toward the right direction.
We welcome those who are generous hearted to sponsor this event and other work that we carry out. For those who are interested to sponsor, please contact:

(1)Choo Shinn Chei 017-7721511
(2)Cheng Lee Whee 012-7177187
(3)Ngo Jian Yee 013-7778320


此外,现居新加坡的庄明湖已将他在《人民之友》发表的《20世纪60年代新加坡左派工运问题探索》(正篇)一文的英文译稿传送到编辑部,因原文中所述人物的姓名或者是党团工会组织的全称或简称,在译文中尚未解决或有待查证,需要一些时日来完成——人民之友工委都是自愿挤出时间来进行工作的,因而无法很快完成。经过一番努力,我们终于在9月30日刊出,为我们的17周年纪念增添光彩!

值得在此一提的是,庄文所述的20世纪60年代新加坡工运遭遇问题(除了遭受来自外部的镇压,还要遭遇来自内部的破坏)的见解,或许能为一些读者(特别是不谙华文和不懂新马历史的读者)思考马来西亚民主改革运动在当前阶段面临马哈迪主义复辟的问题,提供一个历史殷鉴,或者是一个新的启示。


Malaysia Time (GMT+8)