Monday, 9 September 2013

“NGOs・Parliamentary Struggle・ Democracy and Human Rights” Forum - In commemoration of the 12th Anniversary of Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee (Updated on time and venue on 14 Sep)

"NGOs • Parliamentary Struggle
• Democracy and Human Rights" Forum

- In commemoration of the 12th Anniversary of Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee 
(Updated on time and venue on 14 Sep)


Since independence in 1957, people of all ethnic groups and all classes of society have been suffering from the UMNO-dominant Alliance/BN government’s racist hegemonic rule. The democracy and human rights that people should have enjoyed have been of deprived brazenly by the despotic ruling clique. After suffering for half a century, on 8 March 2008, a political storm broke out demanding reforms.

The result of “308” general election undoubtedly shows that the UMNO-dominant BN ruling clique was spurned by half of the voters and Pakatan Rakyat formed by the three main opposition political parties (i.e. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP), and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS)) successfully seized political power in 5 states (however, the Perak State was subsequently snatched back by BN because three Pakatan members defected), although BN retained its power in the federal government.

After the general election, the BN (federal) regime led by Najib, Chairperson of UMNO rolled out various political and socio-economic transformation programs with a view to prolonging its hegemonic rule that hinges on institutionalized racism, and continued to oppress and exploit the labouring masses ruthlessly. Over the past 4 years, the broad masses of the people are still suffering from the BN’s racist hegemonic rule, corruption and abuse of power, ever-rising cost of living, and marginalization in culture, education and religion of ethnic minorities. The ruling regime oppressed and exploited the laboring masses using the state apparatus, and prolonged its control over the state apparatus via dirty elections are all too obvious, and the eyes of the masses are discerning.

Over 60 NGOs nation-wide formed Bersih 2.0, a coalition demanding electoral reform and a clean and fair election. Being driven by the strong aspirations and demands from the broad masses, Bersih 2.0, called for a incredible 709 rally-cum-“walk for democracy” in 2011, and initiated and led another massive “428 sit-in protest” in 2012. The “428 sit-in protest” participated by 200 thousand people received even more acclaim as it was a joint action and joint effort by Bersih 2.0 and Himpunan Hijau. This set a shining example in the history of popular struggle in Malaysia. These two mass struggles are of great significance and far-reaching implications. These 2 rallies have educated people of all ethnic groups and all classes to understand the great impact of the broad masses in democracy and human rights struggle, and to realise the importance of NGOs in the social reform movement.

Perhaps due to the 2 successful examples mentioned above, when GE13 was looming, a number of NGOs such as those working on environmental issues, human rights, women’s rights, culture and education, orang asli, religious groups, disabled communities , oppressed groups etc. actively carried out activities related to the elections. For instance, jointly or separately put forward GE13 demands, organised Voter Education and Polling Agent/Counting Agent/Barung Agent (PACABA) trainings, urged voters returning home to vote etc. These activities received positive response and participation from the people of all walks of life. Many NGO leaders also actively campaigned for political parties during election period.

Wong Tack, Chairperson of Himpunan Hijau was considered the most outstanding figure amongst all NGO leaders who took part in GE13. He, in his capacity as the representative of NGO, contested Bentong parliamentary seat under the banner of DAP. He swore to bring the voice of the people calling for the closure of Lynas factory, and opposing environmental hazards to the parliament. At the beginning, this action inevitably drew suspicion and blame from some of the NGO leaders and democratic individuals. Some even urged him to resign from the Chair of Himpunan Hijau. However, he persisted with his idea and action, and of course he had his point. Eventually, he gained the understanding and acceptance of the masses and NGO leaders.

On the other hand, Waythamoorty, Chairperson of Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF MAKKAL SAKTHI), was the most disgusting NGO leader who was held in contempt. In order to seek a good position and personal interests, before GE13, he betrayed the position of HINDRAF that represents the interests of the marginalised poor Indian community. He broke his promises, stood against the people of all ethnicity and became subservient to Najib and UMNO’s bigwigs. People like Waythamoorty certainly will be contemned by the people of all ethnicity and NGOs. He will also leave a shameful record in the history of democratic and human rights movement.

GE13 held on 5 May this year marked the highest voter-turnout record in Malaysia history. However, the people’s common aspiration of “Dumping BN into the dustbin of history” still could not be materialised although more than half of the voters rejected BN’s camp. Therefore, we could easily understand why the populace were strongly dissatisfied and unable to accept the election result of this so-called “the dirtiest” election ever in Malaysia. After the election, some parties, groups and individuals who could not wait to change the government on 505 thought that the political awareness of the broad masses in our country had reached the level where they could force the ruling clique to have re-election via street demonstrations. But from the significant decrease of the participants of “black 505” rallies and with the ruling clique tightening their control over the state apparatus, the aspiration and idea on hoping to have a re-election via street demonstration, to deny the election results will be in vain.

In 2011, we held a forum entitled “NGOs are Always with The People” in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of our working committee, to discuss about the role and position of NGOs in Malaysia in current situation and in future. In 2013, we put forward the strategy and tactic of “Smashing UMNO hegemony, forming a democratic united front” for GE13.

This democratic united front should include not only the three parties in Pakatan Rakyat, i.e. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and Democratic Action Party (DAP) but also all parties, including Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM), Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Human Rights Party (HRP), etc., NGOs and individuals from all walks of life who are opposed to the UMNO-BN. We call upon all Malaysians to unite! Together we put an end to the UMNO hegemonic rule! We should welcome people from all walks of life, regardless race, class, party and religion, who oppose UMNO-BN’s corruption and their racist hegemonic rule to join the democratic united front, so that the struggle for democratic and human rights will be forged ahead relentlessly.

In commemoration of the 12th anniversary of Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee, we are holding a forum entitled “NGOs・Parliamentary struggle・Democracy and human rights” to explore the path NGOs should follow in becoming one with the people, and how to make use of all resources available to struggle against BN, and to promote democratic and human rights movement in our country. There will be a dinner immediately after the forum. We will be inviting a couple of well-known NGO leaders and political scholars, to provide paper with regards to the forum’s title, and to deliver their speech. They will also answer questions from the ground. We hope this forum will stimulate more leaders of democratic parties and groups, scholars, people from all walks of life to join forces in the endeavour of promoting democratic and human rights movement in our country.

This forum cum dinner will be held in Cathay Restaurant Kulai, Johor on 20 Oct 2013 at 2.30pm-6.30pm. We need your support [whether democratic parties, groups or individuals]. Your support is invaluable to us. We welcome all concerned citizens to be with us at this anniversary. For more information, feel free to contact Ms Cheng, h/p No. 016-7782707.

Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee
9 September 2013


You can also read the statement in Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin.


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通告 Notification

人民之友对下届大选意见书
英巫文译稿将在此陆续贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在上个月对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的意见书,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!。

这篇意见书的英文译稿,将在近期内在本部落格贴出。马来文译稿将在下个月内贴出。敬请关注!

我们希望,我们在意见书内所表达的对下届大选的立场和观点,能够准确而又广泛地传播到我国各民族、各阶层的人民群众中接受考验,并接受各党派在这次全国大选斗争和今后实践的检验。


The English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election will be published here consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!”

The English rendition of this statement will be published in our blog in the near future whereas the Malay rendition will be published next month (November). Please stay tuned!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the next General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicities and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.


Akan datang: Penerbitan penterjemahan pendapat Sahabat Rakyat mengenai pilihan raya ke-14 dalam Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! "

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut akan diterbitkan dalam blog kita dalam waktu terdekat manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu akan diterbitkan pada bulan hadapan.

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun masa depan.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)