Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Concrete Aspirations of All Ethnic Communities - "Malaysian Civil Society GE13 Demands" (Updated on 8 Mar)

The Concrete Aspirations of 
All Ethnic Communities —
"Malaysian Civil Society 
GE13 Demands"
(Updated photo and description on 8 Mar 2013, 10pm)

Statement issued by
Sahabat Rakyat Johore Working Committee
6 Mar 2013

Comic: Dump BN Into the Dustbin of History!     Comic By: Nythan

The following is a 5-point statement issued by Sahabat Rakyat Johore Working Committee on the release of the "Malaysian Civil Society GE13 Demands" ("20-point GE13 Demands") by the Malaysian NGOs on 6 Mar 2013:

1. Since its inception in 2001, Sahabat Rakyat Johore Working Committee, as a grassroots organization under the banner of SUARAM, has been actively striving for democracy and human rights in Johor for the past 12 years. Today, we have freed ourselves from the fetters and bondage of Western democracy and human rights organization. We will pursue the theoretical construction for the promotion and realization of genuine democracy and human rights policy in our country. We have on our own volition decided to participate in the promotion of the "20-point GE13 Demands". We will work together with like-minded fellow-countrymen for realizing the common goal of the "20-point GE13 Demands".

2. The "20-point GE13 Demands" represent the strong aspirations and concrete demands of all ethnic groups in the context of current political, economic, social and cultural conditions in Malaysia. This has been another "agenda for reforms" proposed by non-partisan civil society for the imminent crucial election, since the introduction of a working agenda of "Racial Eyesores on the Malaysian Landscape" in 2001. These demands are for fairness, justice, equality and democracy. It is hoped that such document will be endorsed by all democratic political parties and independent candidates.

3. The "20-point GE13 Demands" were drawn up by Dr. Kua Kia Soong in the second half of 2012. They were then deliberated upon and perfected by the NGOs based on democratic principles. The concrete demands cover far and wide the various aspects of life.

The document may be regarded as a "working programme" by civil society and democrats for the next 20 to 30 years. Civil society regards this as General Election Demands for the purpose of expressing the common desire of all ethnic communities to struggle and challenge the UMNO racist hegemonic domination. The release of "20-point GE13 Demands" also reflects the expectations and aspirations of all ethnic communities for democracy and just rule, which will be brought about by a regime change.

4. We are of the view that, at this critical moment of impending GE13, the populace must unite, regardless of colour, class, political party or religion. They should not entertain any illusion about BN and its component parties, and be prepared to dump BN into the dustbin of history!

Civil society represents the interests of the people from all walks of life. At this critical juncture when the people are rising up, calling for a change of regime, the misleading slogan of "transcending political parties, but not transcending politics" or "campaigning for the people only, but not for any political party" should be totally discarded. We should throw in our lot with the masses, struggling for "strengthening the opposition parties, moving towards a two-front system", giving expression to the saying that "water can float a boat, and it can also capsize it".

5. Sahabat Rakyat Johor Working Committee endorses the "20-point GE13 Demands". It has now become our working programme for democracy and human rights movement. We look upon this document as the continuation and further development of our 2001 working programme, namely, "Racial Eyesores on the Malaysian Landscape".

With a view to making some contributions towards the imminent GE13 election campaign, Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee Johor (formerly known as Friends of Suaram Working Committee Johor) together with Hindus' Rights Action Force Johor (Hindraf Johor) jointly released the "Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people" on 19 October last year, in accordance with the spirit of  "20-point GE13 Demands" in the light of concrete conditions of the State of Johore. The clarion call is "Unite! People of Johore, Realize 3 Pressing Demands; Smash UMNO Hegemony, Form a Democratic United Front". We shall join forces with all democratic political parties, organizations and the masses in this endeavour.

Sahabat Rakyat Johore Working Committee delegated Lee Chen Feng to attend a press conference of releasing the "Malaysian Civil Society GE13 Demands" in KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) today. During the open discussion session, he read out the full text of our "5-point Statement". He was interfered unexpectedly and stopped from continue reading when he came to the third point. He was forced to pull-back. In spite of this, the full text of the “5-point statement” was sent to media via email thereafter.


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