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人民之友恭祝各界2017新年进步、万事如意!

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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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“阿拉风波•宪法权利•宗教自由”论坛 / Forum "Krisis perkataan Allah • Hak berperlembagaan • Kebebasan beragama"

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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。

Sunday, 20 March 2016

从社会改革人士到独立斗士——甘纳巴迪【更新:视频】

从社会改革人士到独立斗士
——甘纳巴迪

沙米纳登(Saminathan Munisamy)
(malayaganapathy.com网站主编)

译者:陈添平、洪佩珊


【本文是沙米纳登(Saminathan Munisamy)应邀在2016年3月20日人民之友、柔佛州兴权会与马来西亚社会主义党奴沙再也支部在柔佛州士乃TJ Mart会议厅联合举办的“发扬甘纳巴迪与林清祥的献身精神”论坛上发表的专题论文全文的华文译稿。这篇译稿的文辞含义跟原文含义若有不符或有抵触之处,则以原文含义为准。】



为纪念甘纳巴迪(S.A Ganapathy)为马来亚劳工阶级所付出无私的服务,马来亚职工会顾问约翰·布雷热( John Brazier) 先生在其为马来亚中型职工会的研讨会上的主题演讲中,向甘纳巴迪致敬。言词中,也表达了对英国政府的不满:
 “我无法不提及因为触犯法令而被判处死刑的甘纳巴迪先生。虽然其政治理念有所偏差,但他真诚的为劳动者们服务,让我们久久无法忘却。感激他的服务与付出,我们对其那段黑暗低潮的日子表示同情。我们真心希望有关当局能正视他对贫穷和不知晓本身权益的劳动者们的付出,体会他所受到来自于这群受惠工友们的怜悯。”  [1]
世界劳工组织已针对泛马职工会联合总会主席甘纳巴迪和其续任者威拉圣南(P.Veerasenan)被暗杀一事向联合国提出抗议。该组织也向甘纳巴迪致敬:
  “除了对已故甘纳巴迪和威拉圣南表达敬意,世界劳工组织也正式通报联合国有关近期这起侵犯职工会自由,以及对他人性命及人权的攻击事件。此外,世界劳工组织也已向英国政府表达抗议。[2]
在美国,国际港口与仓库雇员联合会也对马来亚英殖民政府的所为提出最为强烈的批评。该组织主席哈里·布里奇斯(Harry R. Bridges) 先生针对甘纳巴迪遭处刑[3],向位于华盛顿的英国大使馆表达谴责:
 “这起判决称得上是大英帝国主义者的谋杀,也是濒死的帝国主义最后殊死一击。过去这些年,已有超过1万5千多名无辜的马来亚公民被英国当局拘禁,或除以私刑折磨至死,不是因为犯罪,只因他们参与工会组织,并表达要英国滚出马来亚,将她交还给真正拥有者的意愿。”
“英国政府的罪行让我们感到前所未有的震惊;因为上述部分罪行是以美国人民及工会会员生产的武器及资金供给来进行的!”
同一时间在印度,一份由英国人所持有的《加尔各答政治家》(Calcutta Statesman)报章承认这次处刑是极其严厉残酷的,并认为当局应当更睿智和从宽处理拥有枪械等武器的刑法。该报章也宣称,为了印度和英国的良好关系,马来亚英殖民当局应当为此不合时宜,不人道处理的事件负起全责。他们引发国际震荡,理应被白厅(白厅是英国伦敦市内的一条街。多个英国重要政府机关设在这里,因此人们用白厅作为英国行政部门的代称——编者注)除名。 [4]该份报纸也要求将涉案的马来亚官员开除。

印度每日邮报也报导了几位印度领袖的对此事件的看法。其中一人便是印度国民大会党的总秘书卡拉文卡塔饶先生(Kala Venkararao),他将此案与敏真谛红衣主教(Cardinal Mindszenty,匈牙利天主教红衣主教——编者注)[5]相提并论。

纳布尔社会主义党称 1949年的5月15日为"甘纳巴迪烈士日“(Saheed Ganapathy Day)。在他们向印度政府提呈的申诉中,该党秘书长苏雷斯(Suresh Gangga) 提及甘纳巴迪和威拉圣南遭到马来亚英殖民政府处刑和枪击一案显示,众多印度同胞的生命在外国人眼里是多么的不值一提[6]。

另外一位印度著名社会主义者及工会领袖阿育王梅塔(Asoka Metha) 称甘纳巴迪的处刑就如同在伦敦伪造的共和联邦链里的一颗吊坠一般[7]。

报章媒体大量报导有关甘纳巴迪遭到处决的新闻,却很少刊载关于其生平的文章。为了维持在马来亚的影响力,英国殖民者及资本家们,无所不用其极的将许多工会领袖污蔑为共产主义者。许多工会领袖的记录多年来从不对外公开,这么多年来造成了他们所支持的立场及价值观无法被大众所得知以及讨论。直到近几年文件被解密,我们才能够探讨甘纳巴迪[8]的人格及其思想意识的依据。

甘纳巴迪生平简介

甘纳巴迪出生于1917年,出生地为马德拉省淡米尔纳德邦[9]。1929年,辗转来到新加坡工作 [10]。他于1939年加入了马来亚共产党[11]。1943 至 1945年日治时期他在印度国民军(Indian National Army,INA)里担任教官[12]。独立后,他继续为马来亚共产党效力,筹办了普通工友联合会(General Labour Union)印裔部门,并在1945 年升任为秘书[13]。他在1946至1947年间活跃于扩展普通工友联合会的势力[14]。同时根据报道,他也曾担任马来亚共产党中央委员职[15]。

甘纳巴迪在1947年2月被推选为泛马职工会联合总会的主席[16]。该工会实际拥有约40万名会员,相当于当时60%的劳动力[17]。1947年3月25日至4月2日期间,甘纳巴迪代表马来亚参加在印度德里举行的亚裔关系研讨会[18]。1947年,在甘纳巴迪的领导组织下,新加坡职工会联合会(Singapore Federation of Trade Union,简称SFTU)举办了一场空前盛大的劳动节游行,总计5万人参与。次年新加坡职工会联合会宣布将号召10万名劳动者参与劳动节游行,然而时任新加坡政府下令禁止所有游行集会活动。时任泛马职工会联合总会秘书长Cheng Lu先生呼吁工人们放弃上街游行庆祝活动,“因为政府恫言将以军队来镇压参与游行者”。[19]如果当时这场游行获批准,将会是这国家有史以来最大型的劳动节街头游行活动。

1948年6月紧急法令颁布后,甘纳巴迪从公众视野消失。他藏匿在雪兰莪万绕 一个橡胶园内(Waterfall Estate),并于1949年3月1日被逮捕[20]。他是被有关橡胶园的代经理西蒙斯(J.W.W Simons) 和一组特警所逮捕[21]。据说当时甘纳巴迪拒绝投降,挣扎期间他尝试从其腰带拔出左轮手枪。但最后被特警制服,并送往万绕警察总部[22]。

1949年3月15日,甘纳巴迪因非法拥有0.45口径的左轮手枪及6发子弹被判处死刑[23]。审讯期间,2名特警及万绕警察总部的警察出庭指证甘纳巴迪[24]。之后甘纳巴迪的上诉被带到终审法庭,但同年4月1日被驳回[25]。直到4月23日,雪兰莪州行政官证实了甘纳巴迪的刑罚[26]。

甘纳巴迪是共产党人吗?甘纳巴迪的导师——Gurudevan

尽管许多人针对甘纳巴迪在他的斗争中究竟拥护什么意识形态争论不休,T.N哈珀(TN Harper)在他的著作《大英帝国的终结与马来亚的形成》(The End of British Empire and the Making of Malaya)中说明甘纳巴迪是一个共产党人。前政治部官员阿末汗(Ahmad Khan)在接受新加坡国家档案局的访谈进一步加强了此说法[27]。另一位确认此说法的是印度国民军(Indian National Army , 简称INA)和马来亚民族解放军(Malayan National Liberation Army , 简称MNLA)前战士,V. Sudarman[28]。他在一项访谈中表示他深信甘纳巴迪的共产主义思想是源自一位名为Gurudevan[29]的谜一般的人物。

另一位负责逮捕及审讯Gurudevan的前政治部官员理查德(Richard  Corridon),在一项口述历史的访谈中声称[30],“Gurudevan”很可能不是一个人的真名。“Gurudevan”的意思是“神的导师”,这或许是在印度独立同盟和印度国民军中,对那些深入理解共产主义并向新加坡知名左翼人士(包括受英文教育者如约翰伊巴John Eber)宣传共产主义思想的人,都称为“Gurudevan”即“神的导师”。

阿末汗(Ahmad Khan,)[31]是一名受委协助理查德遏制共产主义运动在马来亚印裔族群中发展的前政治部官员,他认为,Gurudevan是“一个非常有才智的人” [32],也以伪装技巧著称。据说Gurudevan在马来亚共产党有着“资深的地位”,当他作为新加坡电话公司雇员联合会的一名小理事之时,他在一家电话公司的一个小房间里执行任务。阿末汗也揭露甘纳巴迪在二战前便已经是有名的杰出的印裔共产党领袖[33]。

关于甘纳巴迪在日军占领期间参与的共产主义活动,曾有报导指出甘纳巴迪在詹达拉博斯(Subhas Chandra Bose是一名印度国民军最高领袖——编者注)抵达新加坡前已遭日本宪兵逮捕和拷打。甘纳巴迪在1942年3月至4月间被扣留。在扣留期间,甘纳巴迪被日本宪兵用皮带拷打,逼他招认是共产党员[34]。

自我尊重运动和E.V.拉玛沙米(E.V Ramasamy) (Periyar)

由E.V拉玛沙米发起的“自我尊重运动”(后来通称为“达罗毗荼运动”)给马来亚和新加坡的印裔族群带来许多社会变革的作用。1929和1931年间,E.V拉玛沙米到访马来亚宣扬废除种姓制度受到许多在马来亚来自印度南部的印裔的支持。E.V拉玛沙米和B.R安贝德卡(B.R.Ambedkar) 的热烈追随者维拉帕迪安(S. Veerapandian)在一系列讲座[35]提及甘纳巴迪。甘纳巴迪非常敬仰E.V拉玛沙米及他在印度淡米尔纳德邦推动的改革。据维拉帕迪安的说法,1937年在淡米尔纳德邦发生反印地文抗议行动(anti-Hindi protest),甘纳巴迪委派了三位代表[36]从新加坡到印度参加该行动。甘纳巴迪在写给E.V拉玛沙米的一封信中说明他本身由于正忙于在马来亚推动废除种姓歧视运动而无法参与在印度的抗议行动。

有趣的是,达罗毗荼民族主义者首先是在新加坡“不可招惹者协会”(Ahampadiyar Sangam),一个要求提升低种姓地位的民间团体,而后是在成立于1930年代的淡米尔改革协会组织起来 [37]。据推测,由于甘纳巴迪属于Ahampadiyar种姓,他很可能与“不可招惹者协会”有着密切关系。1920代末起,一连串的新闻活动有效地传达了淡米尔改革的信息,如:创立于1929年的《前进》(Munnetram) , 1931年的《改革》(Sreethirutham) 及1935年的《淡米尔之声》(Tamil Murasu)。

除了广泛报道印度南部达罗毗荼运动,他们也宣传“不可招惹者协会”和淡米尔改革协会的改革理念,其中包括宣传种姓制度的邪恶、婆罗门教的统治、节制克己的需要、改善教育和医疗卫生、废除某些宗教仪规如过火炕仪式(Kavadi)、支持一夫一妻制及妇女解放[38]。上述思想改革活动,不仅塑造了甘纳巴迪的个性,也塑造了无数从南印度来到马来亚的青年的个性。鼓吹淡米尔改革的消息是经由《淡米尔之声》的传播而广泛流传的。《淡米尔之声》在1930年代[39]中期是《淡米尔尼申报》(Tamil Nesan)的主要竞争对手。

“自我尊重运动”(Self-Respect Movement)本身受到共产主义思想的深刻影响。一个名为Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar[40]的人,他是在淡米尔纳德邦工会斗争的先锋人物,他认为,淡米尔纳德邦的共产主义运动和“自我尊重运动”应该合作,携手把淡米尔工人从宗教和经济剥削的魔掌中拯救出来。 Singaravelu的意见发表在“自我尊重运动”的官方喉舌——Kudiyarasu。一名来自斯里兰卡的杰出的淡米尔学者Karthigesu Sivathamby,他深入研究了马德拉斯省的社会运动,提出Singaravelar与“自我尊重运动”相结合的意义如下: 
在这个时候,理性主义运动,通过与世界社会主义运动的结合,变得更加科学。这不是英格索尔式的不可知论理性主义。它变得越来越科学...¬¬推广社会主义,等等。这点由M. Singaravelu Chettiar和Periyar的即时结合表现出来。[41] 
由于大多数发表在Kudiyarasu的文章和观点不断地转载到新加坡的《每日淡米尔》报上,这可能塑造了甘纳巴迪对抗资产阶级的斗争观点。

社会改良主义者:马来亚的种姓歧视(1936至1938年)

有人说,居住在新加坡的高种姓南方印度人不断控诉,高种姓者与低种姓者不应平等对待,因为若是平等对待就违反了“种姓论”(Varnasharama Shastra)。因此,那些通常成为市政工人的低种姓印度人常遭遇歧视,尤其是在咖啡店,他们只被允许用铁罐喝咖啡,并只可以坐在地上而不是长凳上。甘纳巴迪几乎花了两年时间来消除这种歧视性做法,在新加坡的印度人之中带来社会改革。

印裔劳动者、印度国民军和马来亚共产党(马共)

在日治时期,马来亚共产党(CPM是马来亚的最强大的政治力量。它领导马来亚人民抗日军(Malayan People’s Anti Japanese Army , 简称MPAJA)及其民运组织马来亚人民抗日联盟(Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Union, 简称MPAJU)。估计有25位或更多与马共或与其相关的工会组织或者是“反帝大同盟”(Anti-Imperial League)有联系的印度人加入了马来亚人民抗日军[42]。虽然在马来亚的印度人普遍上是支持印度国民军(INA)的[43],许多印裔园丘工人仍然支持马来亚人民抗日军对抗日本军的方针。马来亚印度人中央协会(Central Indian Association of Malaya, 简称CIAM)和印度独立联盟(Indian Independence League ,简称IIL)在马来亚与残暴的日本军队合作是众所周知的事实。该联盟通常由各地方受英语教育的“书记”组成的集团所领导。在日军占领前,“书记集团”直接控制和管教印裔工人[44]。在欧裔经理离开后,本地印裔劳工对“黑肤色欧洲人”(即作为资方爪牙的印裔书记集团——编者注)压抑已久的不满终于爆发。而日治时期确立的亚裔管理权威以及这些亚裔职员勾结日本人招聘泰缅“死亡铁路” 劳工等事情,更加剧了事态的严重性。对许多工人而言,印度独立联盟根本没有保护人民免受日军暴行的伤害。而对年轻一代在马来亚出生的劳动者而言,印度独立联盟和印度国民军的理念并不实际。相反地,旨在赶走欧洲和日本殖民者的马来亚人民抗日军所发动的,针对日本军和他的本地爪牙们(包括那些亚裔种植园职员)的攻击,发挥了罗宾汉劫富济贫式的作用,成功吸引到印裔劳工。在市区,马来亚人民抗日军则与那些联合印裔劳工争取提高生活条件的华裔劳工有联系。在印裔劳工的眼里,印度独立联盟更像是帮助日军围捕印度人的鹰犬,而马来亚人民抗日军则鼓舞他们争取更多的米饭和更高的工资。

马来亚人民抗日军很早就开始在印度国民军里发挥影响力。 知名共产党人甘纳巴迪加入印度国民军成为一名指挥官。他们很快就把原已倾向社会主义思想的同情者们聚集在一起,并与抗日运动合作。当时来自北印度的兵士和本地的淡米尔志愿者之间的关系日益紧张[45]。本地的志愿者并不获指派参与解放印度的光荣宣传运动,反而被派往协助日本帝国主义者抵抗盟军的进攻。许多深陷这种困境的淡米尔人觉得解放马来亚这个选项更具吸引力,因此选择离开印度国民军转而加入马来亚人民抗日军。印度国民军的本地新兵和马来亚人民抗日军之间的联系不断加强,而詹达拉博斯(印度国民军领袖)企图恢复凝聚力和共同目的的努力却成效甚微。由于受到詹达拉博斯筹款活动的影响,本地印裔社群再也没有多余的能力为本社群里那些家徒四壁、食不果腹的贫困者提供紧急救济了。詹达拉博斯带来的民族主义热情也因此未能获得印裔社群的正面响应就这样烟消云散了。

在战争末期,当得知日军投降后,甘纳巴迪给他在新山美芝里(Majidee)印度国民军营地的同志苏达曼(V.Sudarman)写了一封信,通知他离开营地。他担心英国殖民者重返马来亚时他们的安全受到威胁。

针对印度国民军内歧视现象的反抗

根据苏达曼(V.Sudarman),本地招聘的淡米尔志愿者普遍遭到北印度士兵的压迫。加入成为低级军官或新兵的本地印裔在印度国民军遭到歧视[46]。在甘纳巴迪身为指挥官的印度国民军培训营,发生了抗议行动[47](苏达曼称之为“Chapati抗议行动”[48])。甘纳巴迪指示本地淡米尔志愿者不要吃每天送上的印度面饼”Chapati”,而是在晚餐时将面饼高高挂起,象征对军队官员拒绝配饭给本地志愿者的抗议[49]。为此,甘纳巴迪和他的同志们被送往军事法庭接受审判。詹达拉博斯在审讯结束前介入,甘纳巴迪才得以逃过进一步的惩罚,甚至是解除军职[50]。苏达曼还获悉,甘纳巴迪在审讯过程中也面对试图在印度国民军成员之间传播共产主义思想的指控[51]。

甘纳巴迪和林清祥之间的共同愿望

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林清祥和甘纳巴迪为工人阶级利益的斗争和愿景有许多共同点。比如,林清祥认为应该提供免费教育及财务援助给各个社区的学校[52];甘纳巴迪也宣扬教育对工人阶级的重要。在英殖民政府实施紧急状态之前,新加坡职工会联合会(SFTU)[53],在新加坡经营超过40间学校,为1700学生提供免费教育[54]。这些学校通常坐落在没有政府学校或其他类型学校的地方 [55]。甘纳巴迪像林清祥一样,不断保持对知识的渴望。他作为马共主办的宣传工具《工人报》(Munnani)的主编,经常在工人课题上发表他的意见。

争取在泛马职工会联合总会(PMFTU)旗帜下的统一和争取最低工资的斗争
由于缺乏甘纳巴迪在工会活动的材料,想要更好地了解甘纳巴迪,就只能通过回顾在他领导时期的泛马职工会联合总会(Pan-Malayan Federation of Trade Unions,简称PMFTU)所曾扮演的角色和采取的主张了。甘纳巴迪于1947年2月7日[56]在吉隆坡举行的一次大会上当选为泛马职工会联合总会主席。该大会通过了22项决议,其中包括提供基本工资。林清祥曾经推动强调制定最低薪酬、每周工作40小时的《劳工宪章》[57],1947年的那场大会同样通过了每周工作44小时的决议,也选出了47名中央管理委员和13名替代成员(即后补委员——编者注)来研究最低工资的制定。

像林清祥要求工人团结一致争取自己的合法权利一样,甘纳巴迪在1947年强调必须解决族群和种族间的分歧,并承诺为工人阶级推动统一工会组织的工作。为了提升工会领导人在职工会运动方面的知识和经验,泛马职工会联合总会要求属下工会领导者必须协助所有族群工人组织各行各业的工会,并积极参与解决工会的纠纷。

争取民主宪法的斗争即是为争取温饱的斗争

认识到只有政治决心才能够将工人阶级从痛苦中解放出来,泛马职工会联合总会融入到泛马行动委员会(All-Malayan Council of Joint Action,简称AMCJA)与人民力量中心(Pusat Tenaga Ra`ayat,简称PUTERA)所组成的联合阵线,开展争取一个民主宪法的宣传活动。1947年10月15日,甘纳巴迪在怡保发表了一篇常被历史学家引述的讲话。在对泛马职工会联合总会执行部人员的讲话中,他指出:一部民主的宪法对提升工人生活水平,是最重要的、不可少的工具[58]。了解到广大群众目不识丁而且仍然处在为基本生活需求上苦苦挣扎的阶段,甘纳巴迪选择将人们的基本需求同政治理念联系起来。他这么说:
 “只有对国家立法施加影响力,才得以确保国家经济和财富改善和提高而使各行业有条件支付更高工资,才能确保我们享有更好的公共服务,才能确保国家的收入与资源的公平分配。”  [59]
有趣的是,在激发工人阶级和人民群众响应PUTERA-AMCJA 发动的1947年的大罢业行动上[60],他不断发表“争取民主宪法的斗争即是为争取温饱的斗争”的谈话,把人们的温饱和政治理念相联系起来。

除了基本需求,甘纳巴迪还谈到通货膨胀,平衡经济和保障公民权利。

针对有关当局钳制公民自由,他谴责当局使用社团法令、逐户募捐法令、规定群众大会十天以前必须通知警方条例、限制擅自闯入园丘条例以及驱逐出境法令。

甘纳巴迪也谴责政府已经颁布承认工会权利又实施园丘业主强加给工会和工人的限制擅自闯入园丘条例。限制擅入园丘的条例是剥夺工人的正当权利,损害工人作为人的尊严,将工人贬低成奴隶以及形同对工人阶级的侮辱[61]。撤除这些限制将为马来亚的民主发展奠定稳固的基石。

甘纳巴迪也抨击园丘业者使用“极不先进” [62]的种植方法,他批评马来亚政府懈怠于“采取步骤制定平衡经济发展计划以巩固马来亚的经济基础” [63]。
 “若马来亚有了平衡的经济、公民自由得到保障以及有了民主宪法让人民意志对立法施加影响,提升工人生活水平和减轻工人生活痛苦,将会容易得多。[64] 
在推动阶级斗争方面,他抨击禁止公务员加入非公务员工会的工会法令。甘纳巴迪认为,工人属于单一阶级。工人之间没有根本利益、民族特性或其他方面的障碍的。工人必须团结,对任何国家健全的民主发展,都是至关重要的。[65]

关于工人薪资课题,他向有关当局做出警告,制定最低薪金制,以确保劳动群众的基本生计、维持体能以及维护马来亚的法律和秩序,是至关重要的。
 “正当实际工资被压榨到令人挂虑的低水平、工人阶级觉悟到自身的权利之际,制定最低薪金制对促进国家快速复苏是至关重要的。我极力强调,制定最低薪金制是必需的,因为它对维护马来亚的法律和秩序是至关重要的。”
此外,甘纳巴迪具有“人民领袖”的气质,他完全能够理解和体会工人的艰辛生活。认识到每个族群有本身的传统饮食,他甚至提到应该将各族群的饮食因素考虑在制定工人最低薪金制内。
 “工人的饮食开支不是按照维持他生命所需的最低热量,而是按照确保他健壮所需传统饮食的最低热量来计算。
甘纳巴迪将不公平的工资和剧增的犯罪案联系起来。他指出,马来亚政府必须为犯罪率的上升负责,这是由于劳动人民的工资被抑制所致。
“尊敬的总督通过马来亚广播电台发表讲话指出, ‘犯罪案无论处于严重或者轻微的程度,一般上都和就业有一定的关系。 ’但是他进一步说马来亚有充分的就业。那么除了工资不足,没有其他经济原因导致犯罪案增加。我不知道为什么总督没有为他的观点做出逻辑性的结论。”
在会议上,甘纳巴迪促使泛马职工会联合总会将全心全力支持由PUTERA-AMCJA在全马来亚推动的拒绝宪法修正建议的宣传活动。[66]
“一部民主的宪法对于提升工人生活水平的斗争而言是最重要的。“只有对国家立法施加影响力,才得以确保国家经济和财富改善和提高而使各行业有条件支付更高工资,才能确保我们享有更好的公共服务,才能确保国家的收入与资源的公平分配。” 没有能够反映人民意志的民主宪法,这些愿望无法得到实现。所以说,争取民主宪法的斗争就是为争取温饱的斗争。”
尽管有人提出争论说, 甘纳巴迪的做法和观点只是围绕在职工会运动,甘纳巴迪没有争取国家独立的政治志向[67],但是,他鼓吹以工人权益为基础的民主原则的努力和贡献对一个民族国家的形成是至关重要的。他参与推动PUTERA-AMCJA建立一个独立民主国家的运动显示甘纳巴迪积极支持民族解放运动。

泛马职工会联合总会的终结

当政府与资本家在1947年底发现所有制止泛马职工会联合总会发展的其他措施都无法奏效时,他们开始使用立法手段。通过1940年工会法令,工会注册局施压各个工会与泛马职工会联合总会划清界限。除了已有钳制工会的条款如阻止工会经费用于政治用途及拒绝20%捐献给职工会联合会,1948年5月也通过工会法令的修钉以引进更多限制性的条款。事实证明,工人群众主张和维护本身的权利是非常成功的。因此,约翰·布雷热有计划地渗透到组织良好并能实现本身需求的独立工会中去。利用法令条例控制工会,是政府当局破坏工会组织的重要手段。

尽管泛马职工会联合总会早于1946年11月就主动寻求官方的认可,也没有任何迹象显示政府将取缔泛马职工会联合总会及其联盟。由于新加坡政府于1946年8月已经登记新加坡职工会联合会并豁免其受工会法令的制约,因此泛马职工会联合总会也希望它可以注册成功。此外,当时约翰·布雷热也使得泛马职工会联合总会相信类似安排是可行的。但在1948年7月, 95个工会被工会注册局除名,泛马职工会联合总会的会员人数则从1948年4月的154,434人下降到同年9月的75,564人。[68]政府花上了20个月以上来答复泛马职工会联合总会的注册申请,并在1948年6月12日正式通知泛马职工会联合总会驳回它的注册申请。随后,在1948年6月13日,马来亚最大的和最有影响力的工人组织——泛马职工会联合总会正式被取缔。工会领袖和干部被逮捕,并从工会里彻底地剔除。到1949年,工会会员的注册人数下降到41,305或1947年大约五分之一的水平。1949年9月,总数超过800个印度人因涉嫌协助共产党人而被关押。[69]

结语

即使在过去几年中这个国家的工会斗争轨迹发生了许多戏剧性的转折,工人阶级的核心问题,包括工资,医疗援助和社会保障问题依然不变,即继续由雇主所操纵。移民劳工大举涌入马来西亚,占据不熟练、低工资和有危险性的工作岗位,这种现象揭示了资本主义在我国经济里确实根深蒂固。马来西亚是如此热衷于迎接新自由主义政策并成为侵蚀性贸易协定如跨太平洋伙伴协议(TPPA)和区域全面经济伙伴关系(RCEP)的参与者。因此,为确保劳动者不再因为资本家的利益而被操纵,提高劳动阶级的觉悟是非常紧要的。

目不识丁或教育程度低,和缺乏财务上影响力的个人,必须像甘纳巴迪和林清祥一样,依靠十足的决心和辛勤的工作,才能发挥影响力和领导强大的工会组织如泛马职工会联合总会。甘纳巴迪和林清祥对于劳动阶级的社会福利和的经济发展的不断思索,都反映在他们的行动、言语和他们遗留下来的斗争精神。这两位伟人实现工人团结的愿望尚未成为现实。
一旦个人对个人的剥削终结,民族对民族的剥削就会随之终结。一旦民族内部的阶级对立消失,民族之间的敌对关系就会随之消失——卡尔·马克思 语录

原文注释:
  1. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 417. Brazier’s statement was released by the Public Relation Office, Singapore Press Release MY 49/2, May 1st 1949, and immediately called for an explanation by Singapore Government from Brazier. 
  2. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 9th May 1949 - UN to Discuss Ganapathy’s Case: WFTU Protest to Peace Body against Assassination in Malaya
  3. Telegram dated 22nd June 1949
  4. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 9th May 1949 - UN to Discuss Ganapathy’s Case: WFTU Protest to Peace Body against Assassination in Malaya
  5. Ibid, On 26 December 1948, Cardinal Mindszenty was arrested and accused of treason, conspiracy, and other offences against the new People's Republic of Hungary. While he was imprisoned by the communist government, Mindszenty was repeatedly hit with rubber truncheons and subjected to other forms of torture until he agreed to confess. Cardinal Mindszenty's forced confession included orchestrating the theft of the Crown of Saint Stephen for the sole purpose of crowning Crown Prince Otto von Hapsburg as King of Hungary, scheming to overthrow the Party and reestablish Capitalism, planning a third World War and assuming supreme political power himself
  6. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 9th May 1949- UN to Discuss Ganapathy’s Case: WFTU Protest to Peace Body against Assassination in Malaya
  7. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 7th May 1949 - It is Cold Blooded Murder Of A Working Class Labourer
  8. Out of five files on S.A Ganapathy, one file CO 537/4769 Case of Mr. S A Ganapathy is still withheld by Foreign and Commonwealth Department, UK. Details of release files for public:  DO 142/405 Death sentences in Malaya on Mr. S A Ganapathy and Mr. Sambasivan, PREM 8/967 High Commissioner for India sought reprieves for Ganapathy and Samba Sivam who were found to be carrying arms and ammunition in Malaya, CO 537/4770 Case of Mr. S A Ganapathy and CO 717/179/1 Mr. S A Ganapathy: Public reactions.
  9. Telegram No.510 from High Commissioner of Malaya to the Secretary of State of Colonies dated 2nd May 1949
  10. Ibid.,
  11. Ibid.,
  12. Ibid.,
  13. Ibid.,
  14. Ibid.,
  15. Ibid.,
  16. The Singapore Free Press – 8th February 1947, Labour Want 44-hr Week
  17. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960)
  18. The Singapore Press – 12th March 1947
  19. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 330. See also The Straits Times – 29th April 1948. 
  20. The Malay Mail 4th May 1949 – “Former Trade Unions President Hanged”
  21. Ibid.,
  22. Ibid.,
  23. The Straits Times 2nd April 1949 – Lawyer K.C Chia appearing for Ganapathy said that he had gone through the records and could find nothing to urge on behalf of the appellant.
  24. The Malay Mail  4th May 1949 – “Former Trade Unions President Hanged”
  25. Ibid.,
  26. Ibid.,
  27. Ahmad Khan – Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 7 – National Achieve Singapore
  28. V. Sutharman authored his autobiography – A Tamil Revolutionary in the Independent Struggle in Asia (1989, in Tamil) 
  29. According to Sutharman (interview 2012), Gurudevan also headed the Intelligence Bureau of Indian Section in Malayan Communist Party would have many influences over Ganapathy. Gurudevan was arrested by R.Corrindon on a plantation estate in Negeri Sembilan in December 1949. In a telegram (17th December 1949), which Gurney wrote to Secretary of State of Colonies with reference made on the arrest of Gurudevan as the number one Indian Communist in the country 
  30. Richard Corridon - Oral History Accession Number 000044, Reel/Disc 4 - National Achieve Singapore 
  31. Ahmad Khan – Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 7 – National Achieve Singapore. Khan was working as Japanese Police claimed that he saved Ganapathy from being tortured and killed by Japanese Kempeitai - Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 6 – National Achieve Singapore.
  32. Ibid.,
  33. Ahmad Khan, Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 6 – National Achieve Singapore. Khan who worked for Japanese Police claimed that he saved Ganapathy from being tortured and killed by Japanese Kempeitai.
  34. The Straits Times – 9th May 1946 – Allegations against Police Officer
  35. Prof. Suba Veerapandian – ‘Ulaga Viduthalai Porigalin Varisayil Malaya  Ganapathy” (International Freedom Fighters - Malaya Ganapathy)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w64l3K2kuH8 (Nov. 2011, in Tamil) 
  36. Ibid., Three representatives identified as Letchuman, Nadarajan and Samy. After spending one and half years in prison due to their involvement in Anti-Hindi Protest they returned to Malaya.
  37. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press). See also Rajeswary Ambalavanar, Tamil Journalism and the Indian Community in Malaya, 1920-1941
  38. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press) p78
  39. Ibid.,
  40. Singaravelu founded the first trade union in India, the Madras Labor Union. On 1 May 1923 he organized the first ever celebration of May Day in the country. Singaravelar was a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement, initially under the leadership of Gandhi, but later, joining the budding communist movement. In 1925, he became one of the founding fathers of the Communist Party of India. 
  41. Frontline, Chennai (Oct.-Nov 2002) - De-ideologisation of politics is the tragedy of Tamil Nadu Interview with Karthigesu Sivathamby by R. Vijaya Sankar 
  42. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press) p 100. See also major R.J Issac – Indian Daily Mail dated 7th April 1955 
  43. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press)
  44. Ibid.,
  45. Ibid., (interview with K.Gurupatham and C.V Kuppusamy,1972)
  46. Interview with author (2012)
  47. Chapati is an unleavened flatbread from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
  48. Interview with author (2012). The incident took place in INA camp at Rasah, Seremban where Sudarman recruited as volunteer. 
  49. Ibid.,
  50. Ibid.,
  51. Ibid.,
  52. PAP election manifesto 1955, where Lim Chin Siong contested and won Bukit Timah constituency. 
  53. An affiliation of PMFTU
  54. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 356. Once the unions were disbanded and the officials were arrested, detained and deported, these schools ceased their function.
  55. Ibid
  56. The Singapore Free Press – 8th February 1947, Labour Want 44-hr Week. Along with Ganapathy, Lam Swee and Abdullah C.D were elected as Vice Presidents, Cheng Lu as General Secretary, B. Ahmad and Krishna Murthy as Assistant Secretaries, Yap Meow Siew as Treasurer and R. Ramasamy, Chen Chong,  P.Veerasenan, Sze Tong, Fuang Soon Lai and Bahar as committee members. See Appendix B
  57. PAP election manifesto 1955, where Lim Chin Siong contested and won Bukit Timah constituency
  58. The Malayan Tribune – 16th Oct.1947, Politics Is A Struggle For Food, Clothing Argues President of PMFTU 
  59. Ibid.,
  60. Despite the success of the All Malaya Hartal, the government granted no concessions and differences began to emerge between PUTERA-AMCJA. A second Hartal was planned for 1 February 1948 but was aborted when financial support and was reduced to isolated strikes by the PMFTU
  61. Ibid.,
  62. Ibid.,
  63. Ibid.,
  64. Ibid.,
  65. The Malayan Tribune – 16th Oct.1947
  66. The Malayan Tribune – 16th Oct.1947
  67. Indian Deputy Minister for External Affairs Dr Keskar during his visit to Malaya in 1949 regarded unrest in Malayan could not be described a struggle for liberation. Keskar regarded that Ganapathy and Veerasenan as “nothing else but bandits, having no political objective.” 
  68. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 355
  69. U.Mahajani, The Role of Indian Minorities in Burma and Malaya (Bombay:Vora, 1960) p.203


The Significance of Inheriting and Persisting in Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle [Updates: Video]

The Significance of Inheriting and Persisting 
in Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle

Chen Jian (C C Chin)
Independent Researcher on Singapore and Malaysian Leftwing History





[Editor’s note] Below is the full text written by Chen Jian (C C Chin, an independent researcher on Singapore and Malaysian Left-wing History, specially for "Tribute to S. A. Ganapathy and Lim Chin Siong: Develop the selfless devotion spirit of these eminent leaders of the Malaya labour movement" forum co-organised by Sahabat Rakyat, Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) Johor and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) Nusajaya held on 20 March 2016 at TJ Mart, Senai.



Introduction

Today we are here to commemorate two most distinctive predecessors, and pay our tribute to the great trade unionist and politician Comrade S.A. Ganapathy and Lim Chin Siong! 

As Mr. Saminathan Munisamy is most expert and shall provide his full comment and appraisal for Comrade Ganapathy, for the benefit of Mandarin speakers, I shall give a brief introduction to Comrade Ganapathy's noble history of devotion for the struggle of justice.

Comrade Ganapathy was born in India in 1917, when the parent passed away, he migrated to Singapore and stayed with the uncle. He was deeply influenced by the Self-Respect Movement of India as well as from the Indian Communist Party. Subsequently, he joined the Malayan Communist Party. During Japanese occupation period, he was instructor for the Indian National Army but maintain close contact with the MCP and MPAJA. Most unfortunately, he was arrested by Kempitai and was tortured, and almost be executed should the Japanese not surrender at the time. He was elected as the president of the 400,000 members Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions (PMFTU) in February 7th 1947. He led the PMFTU in support to the Pan Malayan Council of Joint Action (PMCJA) for anti British Malayan Union Scheme as well as the Hartal. He had in numerous occasion led the Indian workers fighting against exploitation and suppression carried out strikes against the British Planters.  Upon June 20th 1948 the MCP uprising, he went underground. He was captured at Rawang on 1st March 1949, all pleas failed and he was sentenced to death by hanging, his glorious sacrifice mourned by the million and the Indian Government filed a serious protest against the British Government. Today, we pay tribute to him and we forever remember him.

The current significance in re-affirming
Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle

On 20th anniversary of Comrade Lim Chin Siong's departure, It is most significant we pay our tribute to him and I fully agree to the organizer's theme, the best way to commemorate Comrade Lim Chin Siong is to propagate his ideology and idea. I pen herewith a few points which considered to be most significant for your comment: 

1. Time lapsed, social conditions changed drastically, it's good time for us to put in order and sum up the leftwing history of struggle. The objective is to develop a common view over the origin of the leftwing history and the interpretation and seeking for the true reason of  certain major important events,  in order to consolidate the consensus in summing up the history of struggle, derive and learn from it the useful experiences and lessons, sorting out and safe-keep the heritage of struggle. Most urgently, in particular, is to sum up, preserve, inherit and persist in the political wisdom of Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle.

2. In view of the current segregation and division in the position and stance of the Leftwing, there are various divergent interpretation in the history. We therefore must develop a rational explanation, especially in establishing a common stand in regard to the relationship between the leftwing and the MCP. One must abandon the ill-twisting of history for current interest, equally important, one must get rid of the idea and shall not fall into the so-called official concept in interpreting what is legal so to insist in denying of true historical facts. We must learn and practise Comrade Lim Chin Siong's clear political idea and tactics as well as his wisdom of magnanimity as that were the best lessons merits our highest attention.    

3. We must inherit the spirit of Comrade Lim Chin Siong's selfless devotion, upholding the principle regardless whatever adverse historical conditions that may be, his rely on the mass, trusting the mass, organize the mass, mobilize the mass, lead the mass and launch the liberation and democratic struggle in the most favourable, justifiable and articulate conditions. In the long period of time in his struggle, Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle had been developed into a well defined line of mass struggle. The era of Comrade Lim Chin Siong and the time that followed were the vital period of the anti-colonial history, Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle had proven to be the most effective in the active and positive leadership that had achieved great result. Therefore, in establishing Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle is the nucleus task in summing up the political heritage of Comrade Lim Chin Siong.

4. Today, we are in the period of one party dominating as well as racial politics rampancy. Singapore and Malaysian people are struggling for freedom, democracy, justice, human and civil right, Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle still has its profound significance and effect of the time, in particular, in the area of organizing the mass, mobilizing the mass and launching the mass struggle, persist in Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle is the only approach and the proper course to the current constitutional struggle.

Background of How Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle was Formed

It was in the 1950s and 60s when Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle was formed, it was during the height of the anti-colonial struggle of the people of Malaya (including Singapore)  that had achieved the vital result. Comrade Lim Chin Siong and his team of trade unions leadership was the nucleus force of the leftwing. Due mainly his able leadership that had pushed the leftwing anti-colonial campaign to the highest peak, and subsequently gained the victory to victory.

1. The British Colonial Government declared emergency in Malaya on 20th June 1948, arrested more than 3000 anti-colonial leftwing activists of all races (including more than 1000 Malay leftwing activists) , the Malayan Communist Party and its peripheral organizations, the Malay National Party and the leftwing trade unions, peasant organizations, the youth and women organizations, cultural organizations were banned. Some left inclined societies as well as the only open leftwing political party -- Malayan Democratic Union (MDU) was dissolved voluntarily. Thus, the over-whelming anti-colonial movement during the Peace Period after the WWII went into depression.

2. Beginning September 1948, the MCP in pursuit of and persist in its revolutionary strategies, besides enlarging the scale of the Malayan People's Anti-British Army (MABPA) and reorganized its formation, the Anti-British Army renamed the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the Malayan National Liberation League (MNLL) was formed and bearing the state's name for encompassing and organizing the general masses into the national democratic liberation campaign, building up and launching the clandestine activities throughout the Malay Peninsula. In Singapore, the MCP had formed a clandestine peripheral organization named the Singapore People's Anti-British League (SPABL). Its developed and nurtured a vast number of leftwing activists, and became the key body of the anti-British national liberation and democratic campaign in Singapore. At the height of it, the membership went up to more than 3000, they filled up the various line of struggle namely the front of student movement, the workers movement, the peasant movement, the youth and women movement, and in the front of literary and arts circles and last but not least the political front. they were the movers of the leftwing movement, they were powerful and dynamic, greatly shaking the foundation of the colonial rule.

3. Enter the era of the 1950s and 1960s, the colonies around the world were vigorously engaged in anti-colonial national liberation and democratic movement, and so the trade unionism. The Singapore ABL members joint force with the trade unionists and democratic activists took the advantage of the colonial limited democracy and applied for the registration of legal workers', peasants', student and women's, organizations, literary and arts societies as well as political parties. During the period, under the leadership of the various line of struggle, a few most important organizations were form and several striking events took place as follow:

--- In April 1954, the leading trade union -- the Singapore Factory and Shop Workers' Union (SFSWU) was formed.
--- On May 13th 1954, the Chinese student's struggle against the British National Service Ordinance.
--- In November 1954, the forming of the People's Action Party (PAP), an united front organization between the leftwing and the Fabian Lee Kuan Yew's clique.
--- On 12th May 1955, the Hock Lee Bus Strike anti-exploitation and anti-suppression riot occurred.
--- In October 1955, the Singapore Chinese Middle School Student Union (SCMSSU) was officially formed.
--- In August 1957, PAP Central Executive Committee election signified the split in PAP between the left and the Fabian clique.
--- In September, 1957, the dissolution of the ABL and the MCP clandestine newspaper Freedom News ceased publication.
--- On 21 December, 1957, PAP participated the City Council Election, won 13 seats and ruled.
--- In April 1958, the MCP representative starting to meet Lee Kuan Yew a couple of time.
--- In May 1959, fully supported by the MCP and the leftwing, PAP won the legislative general election by majority.
--- In May 1961, the entire united front broke down, the left and the Lee's clique split. the Singapore Association of Trade Unions (SATU) formed, a genuine socialist political party,  the Barisan Sosialist (BS) Established. The anti-Malaysia Plan campaign led by Comrade Lin Chin Siong taking its momentum.

For all organizations and struggles mentioned above, Comrade Lim Chin Siong gave full scope to the leadership and achieved great effect. He was universally acknowledged as the leader for the left. He led the masses in carrying out the anti-suppression, anti-exploitation struggle and fighting for the basic human right for the workers and peasants as well as for the improvement of basic livelihood of the common people. A major effort was concentrated to the constitutional struggle for anti- Malaysia plan so to achieve the true merger for independence. In the open front, Comrade Lim Chin Siong was distinctive in leading the workers' movement and his enormous capacity and ability was important in achieving the goals and reaching the meritorious gains. Under his able leadership, SFSWU membership rose from a couple of dozen to more than 30,000 with a short span of one year, at the same time, a huge workers bloc encompassed 37 trade unions was achieved. In the rural areas, the rural residents and farmers were united under the Singapore Farmers' Association and in the later stage, they were grouping under the Singapore Country People's Association and the Singapore Rural Residents' Association.  In the united front, jointly established the PAP together with the Fabian clique. Simultaneously, the united front strategy also had achieved at the Workers' Party (WP) as well as the Partai Rakyat Singapore (PRS). It was the golden era of the leftwing movement in Singapore. Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle was formed and established during these struggles, it became vividly the guideline, the strategy and line of struggle for the open and legal constitutional struggle.

Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle Basic thread of thought

1. Comrade Lim Chin Siong led the constitutional struggle, he knew without any doubt that Singapore is an small isle lack of vast jungle areas as natural defence as well as rural people's material support, it is not possible to embark any form of armed struggle in such commercial and industrial and petty farmers' geographical environment. However, there were political resources applicable and the ample strength of the workers, farmers as well as urban and rural residents to support, logically the solution to the struggle was to follow the constitutional, open and legal political means to achieve the objective for the anti-colonial independent struggle mass movement. In his famous speech " The Task of Current Constitutional Struggle" made on 4th August 1961, he clearly concluded that " the current constitutional struggle is an anti-colonial struggle"  and " constitutional struggle is the focused manifestation of the current political struggle",  he further declared " the political future development of  Singapore.......... would be realized and won over by the path of constitutional struggle", He again stated that " regain the unification of Singapore and Federation of Malaya is the future of Singapore political development", "we shall fight for greater freedom and democracy, strive to free ourselves from colonial rule, gradually create the favourable condition for the nation unification so to regain a unified nation" and " what we shall do is to abide the mean of constitutional struggle to achieve our goal".

In 19th September 1962, on the organ of Barisan Sosialis, published a lengthy speech of Comrade Lim Chin Siong on the occasion of encouraging the party workers. It was the crucial moment of anti-Malaysia plan when political situation was tense. In the analysis, he indicated that there were three important principles that must be adhered to, that were " Firstly, should the conditions of constitutional struggle still exist, we must persist on constitutional struggle in peace; secondly, strengthening the solidarity of all races, and thirdly, on the foundation of the workers and farmers' united the majority of the people".

2. Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle was originated and established on the basis of mass line. This is in fact, the most precious political heritage of Comrade Lim Chin Siong, it is the most important component that we should carefully sum up and inherit today. Since the day of Comrade Lim Chin Siong joined force in the leftwing movement, he had been in numerous occasion, publishing his writings on the workers' and farmers' publications, as well as the political parties' news organs and other publications including those internal booklets and referencing materials. he elaborated the importance of the mass line, demonstrating the principles and the method how to organize and unite, to propagate and to mobilize. These were valuable training and self learning materials, they meant to nurture and develop the members and cadres concerned. We need to collect, edit and republish Comrade Lim Chin Siong's writings as today's training document and literature for the mass line cadres and workers

3. Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle was the essence of his thought and strategies developed and summed up from the practice of his action in the workers' movement. the line of workers' movement was candid and vivid, from SFSWU to Singapore General Employees' Union (SGEU) to Singapore Commercial House and Factory Employees' Union (SCHFEU), the line was carried out persistently. On the political line, whether when he was in PAP or later in Barisan Sosialis, his principle and strategy on constitutional struggle was clear and persisted in. In pursuit of Comrade Lim Chin Siong's theoretical narrative and experiences of struggle, in collaboration of today situation and needs, we may simply sum up his idea as our action guidelines:

1. Under the limitation of historical condition, should the constitutional conditions still exist, we should persist in the peaceful constitutional struggle principle and path for striving for the freedom, democracy Justice, human and civil right, continue to carry out the national liberation and democratic movement.

2. Targeting the entire people, unite the workers, farmers, petty bourgeoisie, liberal bourgeoisie, majority of the people in carrying out the movement of all people's national civil right struggle.

3. Persist in the mass line of struggle, rely on the mass, trust the mass, organize the mass, mobilize the mass, lead the mass in carrying out the most favourable, justifiable and articulate national liberation and democratic movement in Malaysia and Singapore.

The Struggle between Lin Chin Siong's Line
and the Line of Left Opportunism and adventurism

Comrade Lim Chin Siong always persist in the line of constitutional struggle, and never deviated away from its principle, he was adamant and steadfast in carrying out the national liberation and democratic movement and the achievement is outstanding. He was seen as the monument for the national independent struggle and the hero of the national liberation and democratic movement, he was signified as the brilliant red flag in the sky.

He was detained three times, during which he was not able to lead the struggle personally in the front line, however, there were other comrades followed his line and carried on his tasks. During these crucial periods, there were certain abrupt turns of event in the leftwing movement. Adding fuel to the fire, there was the Chinese Cultural Revolution bad influence, and most decisive factor was Lee Siew Choh's radical line and the interference of the MCP endorsement to Lee Siew Choh's line of left opportunism and adventurism. during which there occurred a blur situation and the leftwing national liberation and democratic movement leadership ended in loss of direction, and the movement was in a stage of retrogression and disintegration. In a result, there were leftists voluntarily retreated and opted out of the stream. In summing up, this was the period when the main line of struggle was the split and struggle of Lee Siew Choh's line of opportunism and adventurism and Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle.

Lee Siew Choh was a fanatical egocentric petty bourgeoisie. When key leaders of Barisan Sosialis were put behind bars, being the chairman, he was eager in establishing his power and control in the party and built up his authority as the leader of the leftwing movement. He was continuously chanting out radical slogans and carried out extreme action plans in beguiling the masses and cadres alike, for the purpose in establishing his prestige. These overly left- inclined slogans and actions alike deviated from and absolutely contrary to Lim Chin Siong Line of Struggle, and thus, this factionalized line struggle persist for a couple of years. The most representative struggle was that between Lee Siew Choh's Line of Opportunism and Adventurism versus SCHFEU represented by Tan Sin (Chen Xin) who persisted in Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle.

It began from the debate of the slogan of "to register on principle" and "boycott the registration" when Malaysia government embarked the national service ordinance. It then followed by the slogan debate of "Withdraw from Malaysia" and "Crush Malaysia" when both Malaysian and Singapore government were in serious conflict. Eventually, Singapore was kicked out from Malaysia on 9th August 1965, Tan Sin (Chen Xin) issued a statement welcoming Singapore independence as "phony". Lee's slogans and the associated actions reviewed that he totally misjudged the situation, disregarded the strength contrast between enemy and ourselves, deviated away from the constitutional struggle principle and condition, simply chanted out overly left slogans and carried out extreme actions, thus misled the direction of the movement.  

1. Most unfortunately, the MCP clandestine unit in Indonesia bearing the same line of adventurism, and on three occasion endorsed Lee Siew Choh's line was the correct line, thus it seriously demoralized the will and hampered the actions of the comrades whom persisted in Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle, resulted in the leftwing movement landed into a mess.

2. The slogan debate in response to the Malaysian National Service Ordinance led to the severe conflict and split of the left, resulted in Lee Siew Choh and 8 of his followers resigned from the party in May 1964. Subsequently, The MCP clandestine unit ordered the opponents to apologise to Lee and requested them to return to the party to lead the leftwing movement. On 9th March 1965, Lee Siew Choh and the eight followers triumphantly returned as the victors. A series of purging and seizure of power in various front lines occurred thereafter, including the dismissal of several important branch leaders and cadres whom had led or joined force with the Barisan Sosialis 12 branches partition in disagreement with Lee Siew Choh's extremist line. They were all branded as "anti-party" or "against the people". It all happened on 18th October 1965 when 12 branches of the Barisan Sosialis submitted a partition to the party central and demand to convene a forum for discussion on internal democracy and the serious issues on boycotting the election as well as resignation of BS members of parliament from the parliament. In April 1966, Lee Siew Choh issued a series of statements and writings attacking the leftwing trade unions' leaders. At the same time, through his agent or representatives in the trade unions, conducted systematically seizure of leadership of the trade unions. In May 1966, with dishonesty and switching the ballot boxes, seized the control of the SCHFEU leadership. Subsequently, on 30th July, expelled Tan Sin (Chen Xin) and four other from the party, on 20th August, expelled Tan Sin and the four from SCHFEU. This notorious and ruthless act of dissension severely hurt the left's drive in struggle, greatly undermined the strength of the left.

3. The seriousness came about due mainly the endorsement of the MCP clandestine unit. Lee Siew Choh announced in December 1965 that Barisan Sosialis to withdraw from the parliament, and to embark mass struggle on streets. This action seriously violated Lim chin Siong's Line, destructed all political gains through years of struggle, abandoned the mass line bitterly built by the left, and blindly embarked a line of extremism  that would not rely on as well as would not engaged the masses. Being a constitutional political party, its depended upon the electorates confidence and trust, to perform supervision and speak on behalf of voters, to criticise or to impeach the ruling authority for their ruthless ruling and regardless the livelihood of the people.  
Withdrawal from the Parliament meant that this particular political party abandoned its path to constitutional struggle and would only depend upon the street mass struggle for sustaining its political life. This was the extreme behaviour of Lee Siew Choh's adventurist policy and finally it led the Barisan Sosialis into the cul-de-sac, in 1972, Barisan Sosialis lost the heart and mind of the people as well as many faithful followers and vanished from the political scene of Singapore.

Today we shall re-examine and review the struggle during that particular period of time in historic prospect. Comrade Lim Chin Siong had provided the most accurate judgement of the political situation at the time and formulated the proper strategies and instruction for the struggle. Due to the fact that Comrade Lim Chin Siong was segregated from the battle front line, the commanding power fell into the hand of the left opportunist and adventurist, the struggle was then deviated away from the set objectives and lost the direction, finally led to a total failure, this was a lesson to be learnt, the bitter failure experience should be a warning to us.
                                                                                                                   
The Current Situation of the National liberation and Democratic Movement and
Establishing Lim Chin Siong’s Line of Struggle Brooks No Delay

Since the 1990s, the national liberation and democratic movement has entered a new era. The atmosphere of races politics in Malaysia has disappointed all political parties that intended to be multi-races parties gradually turned into parties of mono race. This is sad but was the real fact of Malaysian politics. In reality, due to the rampant oligarchy, institutionalized corruption, cronyism, all Malaysian share the same fate. All plantation estates Indian workers, the vast number of Malay farmers, fishermen, urban poor suffered an extended exploitation and suppression. The Chinese and urban Indian are not only being marginalized at various level of politics and economic, but also facing the problems of basic survival and development. The  accumulated anger eventually forced all races of all strata to unite into a decisive show of force. By mean of a one man one vote system, a tsunami show down were realized during the 2008 and 2013 elections, it helped the birth and the establishment of a two parties system.

On the one side, we notice that the political situation developed and forced all suffered races come together, created such powerful effect that shakes the ruling elites. But on the other side, we are sad that the racial politics still imposes shocking influence, this of course is the detrimental effect of the racial politics still in the working. In foreseeable future, racial politics may still sustain, in particular the dominancy of the Malay chauvinism in the main stream politics will still post as the obstacle to the surpass-racial politics.

From the objective and optimistic point of view, we shall not under estimate the Malaysian civil right movement, it originated right after the “Operation Lalang” when members of the democratic activists saw the urgent need to be protected. It was born with effect of the struggle against the ISD, the raising political consciousness and conscience of the people and daring to fight help in the creation. We dare say, if there would be a civil body that would surpass racial and surpass political party, it would be the human right and civil right organizations. Therefore, these human and civil right organizations must bear the responsibility for the struggle and to organize and to mobilize the masses to strive for the freedom, democracy, justice, human and civil right in Singapore and Malaysia.  

In  facing ever more complex political situation, one must be more tactful in its tactics and strategy, especially be alert and be vividly clear of the political situation, master the direction, be prepared of strategy and tactics, most importantly, one must initial a clear line of political struggle. We notice that till to-date, the civil right bodies didn’t formulate and establish a clear vision of a line of struggle, not to mention that the existence of a mass line.

We are here today paying tribute to two eminent leaders Comrade S.A. Ganapathy and Lim Chin Siong. We are to commemorate Comrade Lim Chin Siong 20th anniversary of his departure. We would like to sum up and signify their noble contribution to the workers and political movement and reaffirm the establishment of  Lim Chin Siong Line of Struggle, of which we inherit and to persist in, it is the best guidance and direction we pursue for the struggle of the national liberation and democratic movement of  Singapore and Malaysia.




Link of the video: https://youtu.be/CKVuuyU9Epc

继承与坚持林清祥路线的当前意义【更新:视频】

继承与坚持林清祥路线的当前意义

陈 剑(新马左翼运动历史独立研究员)

The Significance of Inheriting and Persisting in Lim Chin Siong's Line of Struggle




本文是陈剑应邀在2016年3月20日人民之友、柔佛州兴权会与马来西亚社会主义党奴沙再也支部在柔佛州士乃TJ Mart会议厅联合举办的“发扬甘纳巴迪与林清祥的献身精神”论坛上发表的专题论文全文。

陈氏也同时提供英文稿,另外贴出。




引言

我们今天在此纪念两位工运和政运前辈,向伟人的甘纳巴迪同志与林清祥同志致敬! 

我这里仅仅简要地介绍甘纳巴迪同志卓越的斗争历史,在座有甘纳巴迪的研究专家Saminathan Munisamy同志将对甘纳巴迪同志的献身精神做全面的诠释与评价。

甘纳巴迪同志于1917年出生于印度,1929年因父母双亡,移民新加坡投靠叔叔。他深受印度自尊运动以及印度共产党的影响,加入了马来亚共产党。日占期间,他加入印度国民军成为教官,但保持与马共及马来亚人民抗日军的密切联系。不幸,其共产党身份暴露而遭日军逮捕并受酷刑,因日军投降幸免于难。1947年2月7日,获选为会员达40万的泛马工联(PMFTU)主席,并率领泛马工联参加全马联合行动委员会(AMCJA)的反殖抗争行动与大罢市。他多次组织与领导印度园坵工人反剥削、反压迫的罢工行动,著名的如吉打州北大年河区(Sungei Petani) 都柏林(Dublin Estate)等园坵胶工大罢工。1948年6.20时转入地下。1949年3月1日不幸于万挠(Rawang)被捕,各方营救无力,5月4日英帝判其死刑问吊,壮烈牺牲,引发印度抗议。

重提林清祥路线的当前意义

林清祥同志逝世已届20周年,我们今天举行这个纪念会意义重大。这里提出几点相关意义与大家商榷:

1、时势变迁,社会变革条件已经产生重大变化,正是用心整理和总结左翼斗争历史的大好时机,目的在于对左翼运动的起源与其斗争历史过程中重大事件的诠释达致一个共识,做好历史总结,汲取经验教训,整理斗争遗产,特别是整理、保存、继承与推广林清祥同志所遗留的政治智慧遗产刻不容缓。

2、基于当前一些左翼的立场与态度的差异,对于当前各持己见的历史诠释,必须寻求一种合理的说明,特别是关乎马共与左翼关系问题的基本立场,必须摒除为当前利益而去扭曲历史、必须涤除以执政当局的所谓合法理念继续对历史史实进行否定。林清祥同志清晰的政治理念和包容的智慧是大家学习和实践的最佳借鉴。

3、继承林清祥同志博大无私、坚持原则、在历史条件恶劣的情况下依靠群众、信赖群众、组织群众、发动群众、领导群众,开展有利、有理、有节的斗争。林清祥同志在长期斗争中,已经形成旗帜鲜明的林清祥群众斗争路线。林清祥同志所处的时代是关键的反殖民统治及其后续的时代,在其时林清祥路线起着积极的领导作用和获得重大的成果,确立林清祥路线是整理林清祥同志政治遗产的核心任务。

4、在今天,新马人民尚处在一党独大以及种族主义政治横行霸道的时期,新马人民为争取自由、民主、正义、人权和民权,林清祥路线仍然具有深刻的时代现实意义和作用,特别在组织群众、发动群众、开展群众斗争方面,坚持林清祥路线是当前宪制斗争的不二法门。

林清祥路线产生与形成的背景

林清祥路线形成于上世纪五十、六十年代,正值新马人民反殖运动取得重大成果的高潮时期。林清祥同志及其领导的工会组织是整个左翼运动的中坚力量,由于其正确领导而使左翼反殖运动逐渐推向高峰,取得节节胜利。

1、新马于1948年6月20日英殖民政府颁布紧急法令、逮捕超过三千名马共与左翼各族反殖人士(包括上千名马来左翼人士)、封禁马来亚共产党及其外围组织、马来国民党、各族左翼工团、农会、青年与妇女组织、文化团体,一些左翼政党和社团如马来亚民主同盟,也纷纷自动解散,致使在二战后和平时期马共领导与左翼开展的轰轰烈烈的反殖运动一时陷入低潮。

2、自1948年9月起,马来亚共产党为坚持全面的斗争策略,除扩大马来亚抗英军的规模和编制外,并在全马各州成立抗英同盟,暨后,改以州的名义改建为马来亚民族解放同盟,扩大和组织广大群众参与抗英民族民主解放运动,大力开展群众地下工作。在新加坡,马共也成立了地下的外围组织星洲人民抗英同盟会(简称抗盟)。它培育和发展了众多左翼人士,逐渐成为左翼运动的主体,开展有利、有理、有节的反殖民族民主独立运动。抗英同盟盟员一度高达三千人以上,遍布各行各业,形成学运、工运、农运、妇运、文运、政运统战等多条战线,牢牢掌握和推动着新加坡的左翼运动,声势浩大,动摇英殖民统治根基。

3、进入上世纪五十及六十年代,世界各殖民地民族民主反殖独立运动十分蓬勃,职工运动风起云涌,借助殖民政权的民主措施,新加坡各条战线的抗盟成员联合反殖民主人士也纷纷依据殖民政策和律法,组建起公开合法的工、农组织以及学运、妇运、文运团体和政党。这个阶段在各条战线领袖和干部的领导下,产生了几项重大组织和斗争:1954年4月领导工运的星洲各业工厂商店职工联合会成立;1954年5月13日的抗兵役学运斗争;1954年11月左翼与李光耀为首的费边集团形成的统一战线新加坡人民行动党的成立;1955年5月12日福利反剥削、反压迫工潮;1955年10月全星中学联成立;1957年8月人民行动党中委会选举;1957年9月抗英同盟解散、自由报停刊;1957年12月21日人民行动党参与市议会选举,获得13个议席而执政;1958年4月后马共代表方壮璧与李光耀秘密多次会面;1959年5月新加坡立法议会大选,行动党大获全胜;1961年5月左翼与李光耀集团决裂、各条统一战线全面裂解、全国工团联合总会(SATU)成立、真正左翼政党社会主义阵线正式成立,接着,由林清祥同志为首的全星左翼开展轰轰烈烈的反大马的斗争。

林清祥同志在上述各组织和斗争中发挥了重要的组织和领导的作用,成为公认的左翼领袖,引领着群众开展反剥削、反压迫、争取工农基本人权、合理待遇、改善人民基本生活条件、争取新马真正合并和独立的轰轰烈烈的宪制斗争。林清祥同志在公开阵线上,特别在领导工人运动、统战工作和争取真正合并与独立的斗争上,发挥了非常重要的作用,取得辉煌的战绩。星洲各业工厂商店职工联合会在短短一年内,会员人数从数十人发展到三万多人,并同时建立和团结了37间各行各业工会,组成庞大的工运集团。在农运方面,让农民和乡村居民团结在农民协会及其后的乡村住民联合会、乡村人民联合会之下。统战方面,则与费边主义者共同组建起新加坡人民行动党。同时,也成功完成对新加坡工人党、新加坡人民党的统战工作。这期间,应该是新加坡左翼运动的黄金时期。林清祥路线便在这些斗争中逐渐形成和确立起来,成为指导公开合法宪制斗争清晰的策略和路线。

林清祥路线的基本脉络

1、林清祥同志领导着公开的宪制斗争,在新加坡这样一个小岛的工商和小农地理环境,他一早就清楚认识到新加坡缺乏广袤森林天然屏障和乡村人民物资供应的条件,不可能在此进行武装斗争。但在城市环境中,却有相当的政治资产可资利用,有广大的工农群众和城市与乡村居民可供支持,应该采取合法、合理的政治手段以完成既定的方针与目标,进行反殖独立群众运动。早在1961年8月4日,在其著名的《当前宪制斗争的任务》的讲演中,就曾清晰地做出总结时指出:“当前宪制斗争就是一种反殖斗争”、“宪制斗争也即是当前政治斗争的集中表现”、“新加坡的政治发展前途.........是通过宪制斗争的途径来实现、来争取的”。他又说:“恢复新马的统一,就是新加坡的政治前途”、“我们将在争取更大的民主、自由,争取摆脱殖民统治的斗争中,逐渐创造有利于恢复国家统一的条件,来达到恢复国家的统一”、“我们将要用和平宪制斗争的方式来实现这个目标”

1962 年 9 月 19 日《阵线报》上发表了他在党工慰劳会上的长篇讲演,这是在马来西亚计划提出后,面对严峻的局势发展,他又详细分析今后斗争方向做出重要指示。他进一步明确地提出三项必须坚持的斗争原则:“第一:只要和平宪制斗争的条件还存在,我们就必须坚持和平宪制的斗争;第二:加强搞好民族团结的工作;第三:在以工农阶级为基础上团结最大多数的人民”。

2、林清祥路线是依据群众路线所衍生和建立起来的。这正是林清祥同志最为可贵的政治遗产,是我们今天需要细心整理、总结和继承的重要组成部分。林清祥同志自参加左翼反殖运动以来,便不断在不同时刻、在众多工、农和政党刊物如人民行动党的行动报、社会主义阵线的阵线报上以及党讯和内部学习资料上,发表过许多论述群众路线和思想修养的文章,作为培育工、农组织工作者和党员干部的教材和定期学习的资料。林清祥同志的这些文章和论述有必要加以整理和辑录,作为今天群众工作者的学习和参考的文献。

3、林清祥路线是林清祥同志从领导新加坡工运的实践经验中发展和总结出来的思想和行动策略。这条工运路线脉络分明,从星洲各业工厂商店职工联合会(简称“各业工联”)、到泛星各业职工联合会(简称“泛星工联”)、到新加坡厂商工友联合会(简称“厂商工联”),政运路线从人民行动党到社会主义阵线,所坚持的宪制斗争策略也十分明朗清晰。让我们依据林清祥同志的论述和斗争经验,简单总结林清祥路线的主要思想,结合当前的形势和需要,以作为今天的行动指南:
1、在历史条件所限、在和平宪制斗争条件还存在的情况下,坚持以和平宪制斗争的途径争取自由、民主、正义、人权与民权的斗争,持续开展新马的民族民主运动。
2、以全民为目标,联合工、农、小资产阶级、开明资产阶级、团结最大多数人民开展全民民权抗争运动。
3、坚持群众斗争路线,依靠群众、信赖群众、组织群众、发动群众,领导群众开展有利、有利、有节的新马民族民主运动。

林清祥路线与左倾冒进主义路线的斗争

林清祥同志始终坚持宪制路线的原则、立场坚定,开展轰轰烈烈的反殖民族民主独立斗争,成绩斐然,有目共睹,他树立了左翼反殖民族民主独立运动的丰碑,他是反殖民族民主独立运动的英雄,是一面耀眼的红旗。

由于清祥同志先后三次被关禁,未能亲自有效领导斗争,而是由执行其路线的同志负责,在往后几个重要阶段里,左翼运动出现众多转折,再加上中国文革的不良影响和李绍祖极左路线的产生与马共对其背书的干扰,间中也就产生一些模糊不清的状态,致使左翼民族民主运动陷入领导方向不清、造成运动的倒退和分裂、并致使许多左翼干部和群众从此退却、自动靠边站。总体而言,这时期的左翼运动主要是林清祥路线与李绍祖极左路线的两条相互冲突和斗争的主线。

李绍祖是一个狂热的小资产阶级,当社阵主要领导人林清祥同志等身陷囹圄,李绍祖作为党主席,急于树立自己的权威、掌控左翼运动的领导权,便一再以激进口号和行动鼓惑左翼干部和群众来建立自己的威信。这些口号与行动显然与林清祥路线相违背,造成此后长达数年的左翼运动两条路线的斗争,也即是以李绍祖为首的冒进主义路线与厂商工联陈辛等为代表的林清祥路线之争。

1、从马来西亚的征兵服役法令引发的“原则性登记”与“杯葛登记”的对抗性策略分歧,至“退出大马”与李绍祖提出的“粉粹大马”的口号论争;到新加坡于1965年8月9日被开除脱离大马造成的“独立”与“假独立”之论,清楚标示着李绍祖的左倾冒进主义思想与行动。李绍祖对当时的形势认识不清、不顾敌我力量对比悬殊、乖离宪制斗争条件和法则,一味提出过左的行动口号,误导运动方向。

2、不幸的是,处于印尼的马共地下领导也同样执行左倾冒进主义路线,而三次为李绍祖背书,肯定李绍祖的路线为正确的路线,严重打击了坚持林清祥路线左翼同志的斗争意志和行动,导致左翼运动陷入混乱的局面。

3、应对服役法令的论争导致左翼严重分裂,1964年5月李绍祖等8人退出社阵。马共地下勒令左翼向李绍祖道歉并请求李绍祖重回左翼继续领导左翼斗争。1965年3月9日,李绍祖等8人以胜利者姿态回党,接着采取一系列夺权与排斥坚持林清祥路线的各条战线前线的同志,包括篡夺樟宜/谈宾尼等12各支部的领导权和开出或排斥被扣上“反党”或“反人民”的支部干部与党员。12支部曾于1965年10月18日联署致社阵中央的诉求信,要求讨论党内民主问题、以及包括被个选举与议员辞职等重大问题。1966年资4月起,李绍祖开始发表一系列文章,攻击左派工团领导,并通过其在工团的代理人,开始篡夺工运领导权的举动,于1966年5月,以调换选票箱卑鄙手段,抢夺了厂商工联的领导权,接着,于7月30日开除厂商工联领导人陈辛等4人的社阵党籍,8月20日,并将陈辛等四人开除出厂商工联。李绍祖这一系列的恶劣与粗暴的分裂举措,严重挫伤了左翼的斗争锐气、分裂和削弱了左翼斗争力量。

4、最为严重的则是受到马共地下背书、李绍祖于1965年12月宣布退出国会,大搞议会外群众斗争。李绍祖这一举动,完全违背了林清祥路线,摧毁了历年来所争取到的政治成果,扬弃了左翼苦心经营的群众路线,走上一条既不依赖群众、也争取不到群众的盲目的极左道路。作为一个宪制政党,它的主要生命来自选民的信任和委托,在国会开展对政府进行监督、批评与抨击执政当局的残暴与不顾民生。退出国会则公开宣示这个政党放弃宪制斗争的一切途径,而仅仅依靠街头斗争以延续其政治生命。这是李绍祖冒进主义政策的极致表现,最终把社阵引领进政治死胡同,而于1972年,社阵终于失去民心和原来众多的支持者,而消失于新加坡政坛。

我们今天从历史的角度重新回顾和审视那个阶段的斗争,林清祥同志对当时时势的论断和做出的斗争策略和指示都是正确的。正因为林清祥同志被强制隔离了斗争前线,斗争主导权落入左倾冒进主义者手中,斗争因而乖离了既定路线而失去了方向,最终导致失败,这正是我们的前车之鉴,应该汲取的经验教训。

民族民主运动现状与确立林清祥路线刻不容缓

自1990年代以来,新马民族民主运动迈进了一个全新的时代。马来西亚种族政治氛围,使原来祈望以三大民族为根基的政党,都逐渐沦落为种族主义政党,这是马来西亚政治现实的悲哀。事实上,由于种族寡头政治、制度性贪腐、朋党主义等的猖獗运作,马来西亚各族人民遭遇同等命运,全马的园坵印度工人、广大的马来农民、渔民、城市贫民受到长期的压榨和剥削,而华人和城市印度人不仅在政治、经济和社会各层面上都被全面边缘化,也面对生存发展的困境,累积的怨愤使各民族、各阶级、各阶层终于联合起来,形成一股强大的反对力量,以选票宣泄了对执政当局的不满和反对,所以才有了2008年3.08的变天与2013年5.05的政治海啸的效应,确定了两线制的诞生。

一方面,我们看到政治情势的发展促使遭遇同样命运的各族人民走到了一块,发挥众志成城的作用。但另一方面,也让我们深感痛心,种族政治在当中还发挥着颇为惊人的影响,这主要是种族主义政党政治在发挥着作用所致。在可预见的将来,种族主义政治的影响还将持续,特别是马来沙文主义在主流政治的推波助澜下,将成为超种族主义政治的阻碍。

从客观与乐观的角度去审视,我们不能低估源自1987年《茅草行动》后民主人士建立的马来西亚民权运动,在全民政治觉醒和敢于抗争中所起的启蒙和催生的重要作用。如果说,今天真正具有超种族、超政党的马来西亚人民争取自由、民主和人权群众团体,非这些民间人权、民权机构莫属。因而在引领马来西亚各族群众斗争的任务上,这些民间机构必须担负起组织和发动群众为争取自由、民主、正义、人权和民权斗争的重任。

面对越来越复杂的政治情势,就必须越来越讲究斗争策略与技巧。特别重要的必须认清政治局面、厘清政治形势、掌握政治斗争方向、讲求策略与战略,更重要的必须有一条清晰的政治斗争路线。我们注意到,随着政治情势的不断发展和转移,各政党以及民权运动机构至今仍然没有发展出一条清晰的斗争路线,群众路线也不明朗。

今天我们纪念林清祥同志逝世20周年之际,总结与肯定林清祥同志对民族民主运动所做伟大贡献的同时,确立、继承和坚持林清祥路线,是对林清祥同志最好的纪念,也是作为新马人民争取自由、民主、正义、人权和民权保障的最佳指引和借鉴。

完稿于2016年3月13日


S.A Ganapathy: From Social Reformist to Independence Fighter [Updates: Video]

S.A Ganapathy
From Social Reformist to Independence Fighter

Saminathan Munisamy (founder and author of malayaganapathy.com website)



[Editor’s note] This article is full text written by Saminathan Munisamy, the founder and author of malayaganapathy.com website, specially for "Tribute to S. A. Ganapathy and Lim Chin Siong: Develop the selfless devotion spirit of these eminent leaders of the Malaya labour movement" forum co-organised by Sahabat Rakyat, Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) Johor and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) Nusajaya held on 20 March 2016 at TJ Mart, Senai. The following is the original full text, Chinese rendition will be published later.


In remembering S.A Ganapathy’s selfless service for the labour class in Malaya, the Adviser of Trade Union to Malaya, John Brazier, paid tribute to Ganapathy in a key note speech at a conference of moderate trade unions in Malaya. In his tribute, to the dismay of the British authority, Brazier said; 
"I cannot but mention a word about Mr. S.A Ganapathy who has been condemned to death for breaking the laws. Though Mr. Ganapathy has wrong political conviction, his sincere services to the workers for a long time cannot be forgotten. In appreciation of these service it is, but right to express our sympathy to him in his dark days. We hope that those responsible would recognize his service to the ignorant and poor workers and appreciate the amount of sympathy that has been kindled in the minds of those who have greatly benefitted by his service." [1] 

The World Federation of Trade Union has protested to the United Nations Organization against the assassination in Malaya of Mr. A. Ganapathy, Chairman of the Pan Malaya Federation of Trade Unions and Mr.P.Veerasenan, his successor. WFTU also paid tribute to S.A Ganapathy. 
“Paying tribute to the memory of Mr.Ganapathy and Veerasenan, the WFTU officially informs the United Nation of this fresh violation of trade union liberties and of these attacks on the life and rights of man. The WFTU energetically protests also to the British Government.” [2] 

In US, the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen Union protested in the strongest tone criticizing British government in Malaya. Condemning Ganapathy’s execution[3] to British Embassy in Washington, the President of the union, Harry R. Bridges stated: 
“The act can be called only British Imperialist murder and one of last desperate stabs of the dying imperialist system. More than 15,000 innocent Malayans have been jailed flogged tortured or killed by the British authority for the past year for no other crime but that of belonging to unions and advocating that British get out of their country and leave it to the people who truly own it”The crime of your government becomes all more shocking when we consider that in part it was carried out with weapon and money produced and furnished by the people and the trade union members of United States”

Meanwhile in India, the British owned newspaper Calcutta Statesman conceded the execution was draconian punishment and that death sentence for carrying arms should be tempered in particular by tact and leniency. The newspaper added that in the interest of Indo-British goodwill, Malayan authorities responsible for this ill-timed, unstateman-like handling of affair - which from the nature necessarily had international significance-, should be removed by Whitehall[4]. The newspaper wanted the responsible authorities in Malaya who mishandled this case to be removed.

The Indian Daily Mail also reported reactions from various Indian leaders. One of them was the General Secretary of Indian National Congress, Kala Venkatarao, who was the compared Ganapathy's prosecution with that of Cardinal Mindszenty[5].  

The Nagpur Socialist Party observed 15th May 1949 as "Saheed (Martyr) Ganapathy Day". In an appeal to Indian Government, Secretary of the party, Suresh Gangga commented that execution of Ganapathy and the shooting of P.Veerasenan by the Malaya authorities compelled realization that the life of an Indian was very cheap in the eyes of foreigners[6].

Another India’s prominent socialist and trade union leader, Asoka Metha regarded Ganapathy’s execution like a pendant in the Commonwealth chain recently forged in London[7].

So much have been reported on Ganapathy’s execution yet very little has been written about him. The British colonial masters and capitalists, in pursuing their ambition to continue their influence over Malaya, went out to extreme extents to paint many genuine trade unionists as reds. Many of the trade unionists’ records were kept from public hence for many years their personalities and the values that they stood for were not discussed in public domain. Only in recent years when the Public Office Records released some of the files on Ganapathy[8], we are able to look into Ganapathy’s personalities and derived the ideology of his struggles were based upon.

Brief History of Ganapathy

S.A Ganapathy was born in 1917 in Madras District Tamil Nadu[9]. In 1929, he came to Singapore and subsequently obtained employment[10]. He joined the Malayan Communist Party in 1939[11]. During Japanese occupation from 1943 to 1945 he was an instructor in the Indian National Army[12]. After the liberation, he resumed work for the Malayan Communist Party in organizing the Indian Section of the General Labour Union of which he was appointed Secretary in November, 1945[13]. During 1946 and 1947 he worked actively to extend the control of the General Labour Union[14]. He was reported to be a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Malayan Communist Party[15].   

Ganapathy was elected as President of Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions in February 1947[16]. The union believed to be controlling more than sixty percent of workforce in Malaya with 400,000 members[17]. From 25th March to 2nd April 1947, Ganapathy represented Malaya to Asian Relationship Conference in Delhi[18]. In 1947, under Ganapathy’s leadership, SFTU organized a massive May Day parade of 50,000 members. The following year when STFU pledged that 100,000 labourers shall be taking part in the May Day parade, Singapore government banned all procession and rallies. Cheng Lu, the General Secretary of PMFTU, appealed all labourers to abandon their plans for celebration “in view of Government’s threat to use military force to suppress them”[19]. If the rally would have been approved, this could have been the largest May Day parade in the history of labour movement in this country. 

Ganapathy disappeared from public when Emergency was announced in June 1948 before he was caught when he was in hiding in rubber estate (Waterfall Estate, Rawang Selangor) on March 1st, 1949[20]. He was arrested by the acting manager of the estate, J.W.W Simons with a group of special constables[21]. It is said that Ganapathy refused to surrender and put up a struggle and tried to draw his revolver from his belt. But he was over powered and handed to OCPD of Rawang[22]. 

On 15th March 1949, Ganapathy was tried and sentenced to death by hanging for unlawful possession of a .45 revolver and carrying six rounds of ammunition[23]. In the trial, two of the special constables and the OCPD of Rawang gave evidence against Ganapathy[24]. Ganapathy’s case was further appealed in Supreme Court but was dismissed on the 1st April, 1949[25]. On April 23rd, The Selangor State Executive confirmed Ganapathy’s sentence[26].

Was Ganapathy A Communist? Gurudevan – Ganapathy’s Mentor

Even though many debated the kind of ideologies that Ganapathy would have embraced in his struggle, T.N Harper in his work, "The End of British Empire and the Making of Malaya" stated that S.A Ganapathy was a communist. This point further strengthened by claims made by a former Special Branch Officer Ahmad Khan in an interview with Singapore National Archive[27]. Another person who confirmed the same point was former member of Indian National Army (INA) and Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), V. Sudarman[28] in an interviewed who strongly believed that Ganapathy’s communist ideology would have come from enigmatic person called Gurudevan[29]. 

In an oral history interview[30], another former Special Branch officer, Richard Corridon who was responsible to capture and interrogated Gurudevan claimed even the name “Gurudevan” could not have been the person’s actual name. “Gurudevan” which means “Teacher of the Gods” would have been given to Gurudevan in Indian Independence League and INA in view of Gurudevan’s in-depth knowledge in communism and his role in teaching and propagating communist ideology to many known leftist in Singapore including of those English-educated like John Eber. 

Ahmad Khan[31], former Special Branch officer assigned to assist Corridon to curb communist movement among Indians in Malaya regarded Gurudevan as “a very intelligent man”[32] and known for his skills in disguising. Gurudevan also said to hold a “very senior rank” in CPM and ran his operation from a small room in a telephone company while being a small office-bearer with Telephone Company Employee Union in Singapore. Ahmad Khan also revealed that Ganapathy was known to be prominent Indian communist leader even before the Second World War[33].

Relating Ganapathy’s involvement in communist activities during Japanese occupation, it has been reported that Ganapathy was detained and tortured by Japanese Kempeitai prior to arrival of Bose to Singapore. Ganapathy was detained between March and April 1942. In the custody of Japanese Kempeitai, Ganapathy was beaten with leather straps to extract confession of being a communist[34]. 

Self-Respect Movement and E.V Ramasamy (Periyar)

Self -Respect Movement (later commonly known as Dravidian movement) which was started by E.V Ramasamy influenced and brought many social changes among Indians in Malaya and Singapore. E.V Ramasamy visits to Malaya in 1929 and 1931 to preach eradication of caste practices received many supports among South Indians in Malaya. According to S. Veerapandian, an ardent follower of E.V.Ramasamy and B.R.Ambedkar, in a serious of lectures[35] made a reference to Ganapathy who had great admiration for E.V Ramasamy and his reformation in Tamil Nadu. According to Veerapandian, during the anti-Hindi protest in Tamil Nadu in 1937, Ganapathy was said to have sent three representatives[36] from Singapore to participate in the protest. In a letter to E.V Ramasamy, Ganapathy stated that he was not able participate in the protest as he was occupied with movement to eradicate caste discrimination in Malaya.    

It is interesting to know that Dravidian nationalists were first organized in the Ahampadiyar Sangam (society) of Singapore, a depressed-caste uplift society, and then the Tamil Reform Society formed in the 1930s[37]. It is been speculated that Ganapathy could have been closely associated with Ahampadiyar Sangam as Ganapathy belonged to Ahampadiyar caste. The idea of Tamil reformation was given effective expression with a spate of journalistic activity, beginning at the end of the 1920s: Munnetram (Progress or Uplift) was begun in 1929, Sreethirutham (Reform) in 1931 and Tamil Murasu in 1935. Beside extensive reports of Dravidians movement in South India, they too propagate reformist ideology of Ahampadiyar Sangam and Tamil Reform Association which includes the evils of caste system, domination of Brahmanism, the need for temperance, improved education and health, the eradication of religious rituals such as fire-walk or kavadi, support monogamous Hindu marriage and emancipation of women[38]. All these exposures would have not only shaped Ganapathy’s personality but also many South Indian youths in Malaya. The popularity of Tamil reform message is attested by the wide circulation of the Tamil Murasu which came to the main rival of the Tamil Nesan in the mid-1930s[39]. 

The Self-Respect Movement itself was very much influenced by communist ideology. Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar[40], a pioneer in trade union struggles in Tamil Nadu, felt that Self Respect Movement and the communist movement in Tamil Nadu should work together to save Tamil labourer from the clutches of religion and economic exploitation. Singaravelu’s contribution published in Kudiyarasu, the official mouth-piece of Self-Respect Movement.  The significance of Singaravelar's association with the Self-Respect movement is brought out by Karthigesu Sivathamby, a prominent Tamil scholar from Sri Lanka who has closely studied the social movements in Madras province;
By this time the rationalist movement, through its association with the world socialist movement, was becoming more scientific. It was not merely rationalism in the Ingersolian sense. It was becoming more and more scientific... promotion of socialism, and so on. And this is seen in the immediate tie-up of M. Singaravelu Chettiar and Periyar [41]

As most of articles and views published in Kudiyarasu constantly re-published in Tamil daily in Singapore, this may have shaped Ganapathy’s perspective in his truggle against capitalist class. 

Social Reformist: Caste Discrimination in Malaya (1936 – 1938)

It is said that the higher caste South Indians living in Singapore remanded higher caste and lower caste not to be treated equally as this would have violate the “Varnasharama Shastra”. Thus, lower caste were who generally working as municipality workers were discriminated especially in coffee shops where they were only allowed to have their coffee in tinned cans and sit down on the floor and not benches. It nearly took two years for Ganapathy to eradicate this discriminative practice and bring about social reform among Indians in Singapore.       

Indian Labourers, Indian National Army and Malaya Communist Party. 

During the Japanese occupation, the most potent political force in Malaya was Malayan Communist Party (CPM) which let by Malayan People’s Anti Japanese Army (MPAJA) and its civilian support movement, the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Union (MPAJU). An estimated twenty-five or more Indians had been linked with CPM or related groups in trade unions or Anti-Imperial League joined MPAJA[42]. Many Indian estate workers supported MPAJA course against oppressive Japanese Army, even though in general Indians in Malaya were supportive of Indian National Army (INA)[43]. It is the known fact that Central Indian Association of Malaya (CIAM) and the Indian Independence League (IIL) collaborated with oppressive Japanese Army in Malaya. Usually the League led by local level English-educated “Keranis”, who has been most directly responsible for controlling and disciplining the labourers during pre-occupation[44]. The eruption among Indians of pent-up resentment against the “Black European” in the chaotic days after the departure of the European managers was intensified by the reassertion of Asian managerial authority during Japanese occupation, and by the Asian staff’s co-operation with the Japanese in the recruitment of labour for the Siam-Burma “Death” Railway. To many labourers, IIL offered no protection against Japanese atrocities. For the younger Malayan-born labourers, the ideology of IIL and INA did not seem to be realistic. In contrast, the MPAJA which aimed to over throw both European and Japanese, in its attacks on Japanese and local collaborators, including Asian estate staffs, exerted the Robin-Hood-like attraction to the Indian labourers. In urban area, MPAJA were linked with Chinese labourers who bargained in collaboration with their Indian counterparts for higher and better living conditions. In the views of Indian labourers, IIL seen as an arm working and attempted to round up Indians for Japanese and MPAJA encouraged them to demand for more rice and better pay. 

MPAJA began exerting their influence upon the INA in early stage. Ganapathy who was a known communist joined INA as an instructor. They soon gathered together sympathizers who were already interested in socialist ideas and to co-operate with Anti-Japanese movement. There was also considerable growing tension between North Indian regulars and local Tamil volunteers. [45]Instead of being sent on a glorious campaign for the liberation of India, local volunteers were allocated defensive positions in support of Japanese imperialism against Allied invasion. For many Tamils who cooped up in INA camps in frustration deserted their camps to join MPAJA as the alternative of liberating Malaya seen to be more attractive.  Connection between local recruits in INA and MPAJA grew despite Bose efforts to restore the cohesion and purpose with met with very little success. Squeezed dry by Bose’s fund collectors, the community was unable to raise significant for emergency welfare services for impoverished and starving sections of the Indians community.  Nationalistic enthusiasm brought by Bose faded away failing to raise positive response from the mass of the Indian population.               

At the end of the war, knowing that Japanese had surrendered, Ganapathy sent a letter through Sudarman to his comrades in INA camp at Majidee, Johor Bahru to desert the INA camp, being concerned about their safety upon the return of the British to Malaya.   

Revolt against Discrimination in Indian National Army (INA)

According to V.Sudarman, there have been a wide spread domination of North Indian regulars over locally recruited Tamil volunteers. The local Indians who joined as junior officers and recruits were discriminated in INA[46]. In the INA training camp where Ganapathy was appointed as an instructor, in an act of defiance (what Sudarman termed as “Chapati[47] Protest”) was staged[48]. Ganapathy instructed the local Tamil volunteers not to eat their regular servings of “Chapati” instead to hang the bread all around the dinner mess as a protest against INA officers who deliberately refused the local volunteers servings of rice[49]. Subsequently, Ganapathy and his comrades were court-martialed. Only with interference of Subhas Chandra Bose at the end of the trial saved Ganapathy from further punished and expulsion from INA[50]. Sudarman also informed that during the trial there were allegations that Ganapathy tried to propagate communist ideology among INA recruits[51]. 

Common Aspiration between Ganapathy and Lim Chin Siong

Free Education
If finding parallel similarities in both Lim Chin Siong and Ganapathy’s struggles and visions for the working class, many to be found. For example, Lim Chin Siong who believed in providing free education and financial assistance to schools of various communities[52], Ganapathy too propagated the importance of education to the working class. Singapore Federation of Trade Union[53] (SFTU) up to the time of Emergency ran and provided free education for over 40 schools with attendance of 1700 students in Singapore[54]. These schools usually situated where government or other type of schools were not available[55]. Like Lim Chin Siong, Ganapathy has been constantly thirsty for knowledge and shared his views on labour issue in Munnani, CPM sponsored communication tool with Ganapathy as the editor.    

Struggle for Unification under PMFTU and Minimum Wage
Due lack of records of Ganapathy’s involvement in unions, it is only possible to review roles and proposition taken by Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions (PMFTU) under his leadership in order to get a better understanding of Ganapathy . Ganapathy was elected as President of PMFTU on 7th February 1947[56] in a conference which was held in Kuala Lumpur. Among the 22 resolutions which were passed, provision of basic salary was one of the resolutions. As Lim Chin Siong aspired to enact a “Workers’ Charter’[57] that emphasized minimum wages and 40 working hours-a-week (to name a few), the 1947 conference has approved to call for 44 working hours –a-week and forty seven Central Managing Council members and 13 substitutes were elected to look into setting minimum wage. 

As Lim Chin Siong wanted workers to be united to fight for their legitimate rights, in 1947, Ganapathy emphasized that communal and racial differences need to be overcome and pledged to work for working class to promote unification of trade union organisations. In order to widen PMFTU leaders’ knowledge and experience in union movement, the leaders were told to assist all ethnic groups to organise trade union and to take part actively in union disputes. 

Fight for a Democratic Constitution is a Fight for Better Food and Clothing
Realizing that only political will would able to resolve the suffering of the working class, PMFTU forged alliance with PUTERA-AMCJA to campaign for a democratic constitution.  An often quoted speech of S.A Ganapathy by historians was made in Ipoh on the 15th October 1947. Addressing the Executive Bureau of PMFTU, Ganapathy pointed out that a democratic constitution was most vital to the promotion of the standard of living of the workers[58]. Understanding that large masses were illiterate and still in the stage of struggling for basic needs in life, Ganapathy choose to relate basic human needs to political ideology. He said;      
“If the economic and the finance of the country is to be improved so as to place industries in a position to pay higher wages, if we are to have better social services, if there is to be equitable distribution of income and resources, these can only be secured by influencing the legislation of the country” [59] .

It is interesting how Ganapathy related food and clothing to a political ideology as he repeatedly said “A fight for democratic constitution is a fight for better food and clothing” in galvanizing the working class mass to support for PUTERA-AMCJA’s Hartal 1947[60] .   

Apart from basic needs Ganapathy also touched on inflation, balanced economy and guaranteed civil rights. 

In speaking on curtailment in civil liberties, Ganapathy condemned the usage of Societies’ Ordinance, the House to House Collections Ordinance, which requirement of 10 days’ notice to the police for calling a mass meeting, trespassing restrictions in plantations and the Banishment Ordinance.

Ganapathy also condemned the trespassing restrictions imposed by planter while the government professing trade union rights. Trespassing restriction deprives the workers his right and dignity as a human being and reduces his status to that is a serf[61] and an insult to the working class.  By lifting these restrictions would lay stable foundations to the development of democracy in Malaya.

Ganapathy also hit out on the not very modernized[62] planting methods practiced in plantation and criticized the inertness of Malayan Government to take steps to place Malayan economy on a sound basis by working out a plan of balancing economic development[63]
“If the economy of Malaya is balanced, if the civil liberties are guaranteed and if there is democratic constitution through which the will of the people could influence Legislation it would be much easier to promote the standard of living of the workers and alleviated his sufferings” [64]
In upholding the class struggle, Ganapathy hit out on Trade Union Ordinance that prohibits Government employees to join the non-government employees unions. Ganapathy said that workers belong to a single class with no radical, national or any other barriers. For the healthy democratic development of any country it is essential that the workers should be united[65]. 

In touching wage issue, Ganapathy warned the authority that it was vital to fix minimum wage to ensure rehabilitation of working class and preservation of law and order in Malaya  
“Today when real wages have shrunken to an alarmingly low level at a time when the working class is awakening in realize their rights the fixing of a minimum wage is now vital for the quick rehabilitation of the country. I stress most strongly the needs for fixing a minimum wage because it is vital for the preservation of law and order in Malaya”. 

Ganapathy also conscripted the qualities of  a “leader of the people” who empathic toward labourers’ hardship. Understanding that each ethnic group has its own traditional diet, Ganapathy went further into taking into consideration of ethnic dietary elements in fixing minimum wage for labours. 
“When the diet expenditure of the workers is calculated it should be done not on the minimum calories essential for his existence but on the minimum calories of his traditional diet that are necessary to keep him fit”.

Ganapathy made the connection between unfair wages and the rise in crime. He pointed out that the Malayan government was responsible for the rise in crime rates due to the suppressed wages of the labourers. 
‘His Excellency the Governor in his talk over Radio Malaya pointed out, “The state of crime whether serious crime or petty, is generally found to have some relation with employment.” But His Excellency went on to say there was full employment in Malaya. Then what is the economic cause for the rise in crime except the inadequate in wages. I wonder why His Excellency did not push his argument to its logical conclusion.’

In the meeting, Ganapathy ensured that PMFTU would give its whole-hearted support to the Malaya-wide campaign carried out by the Putera-AMCJA against the acceptance of Revised Constitutional Proposals[66]. 
“A democratic constitution is most vital to the struggle for the improvement of our standard of living. If the economic and financial situation of the country is to be so improved so as to place industries in a position to pay higher wages, if we are to have better social services, if there is to be equitable distribution of income these can only be secured by influencing legislation in the country. This cannot be done without a democratic constitution through which the will of the people can be expressed. Therefore the fight for a democratic constitution is a fight for better food and clothing.”  

Even though many would argue that Ganapathy did not have any political aspiration towards independence[67] as his approaches and views were only revolved around trade union movements, his efforts to agitate for workers’ right underpinned democratic principles which is vital to the forming of a nation. Ganapathy’s involvement in propelling PUTERA-AMCJA’s aspiration for an independent democratic nation revealed that Ganapathy actively supported freedom movement.     

The End of Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Union

Toward end of 1947, when all other measures to stop PMFTU advancement failed, the government and capitalist turned to legislation. Using the provision of the Trade Union Enactment 1940, the Registrar pressurized trade unions to align in line and away from PMFTU.  Further to the existing enactment that stopped union funds for political use and refused contribution of 20 percent to federation of trade union, more regulation were introduced when amendments to Trade Union Ordinance were passed in May 1948. The workers advocating for rights was proving to be very successful. Thus, John Brazier was sent into disenfranchise independent unions which were well organized and able to achieve their demands.  The laws regulating trade unions were caused union busting by the authorities. 

Even though PMFTU took very early initiative to seek official recognition in November 1946, the government did not give any indication that PMFTU and its alliance were about to be banned. Since the Government of Singapore had already registered SFTU in August 1946 and exempted it from Trade Union Ordinance, PMFTU hoped that it could be registered as well. Moreover, Brazier made PMFTU to believe that similar arrangement could have been made. But in July 1948, the Registrar of Trade Union struck off 95 unions and by end of September 1948 the membership of PMFTU had decreased from 154,434 (in April 1948) to 75,564[68]. It took more than 20 months for the government to reply on PMFTU’s application for registration. On the 12th June 1948 PMFTU was officially notified that its application for registration was rejected. Subsequently, on the 13th June 1948, PMFTU, the largest and powerful labour organization in Malaya was banned. Radical unionists were arrested and effectively eliminated from trade unions.  By 1949, the number of registered unionists was down to 41,305 or about one-fifth the level of 1947. By September 1949, a total of over 800 Indians had been detained for suspected assistance to communist[69].

Conclusion 

Even though the trajectory of trade union struggle in this country had taken many dramatic turns over the years, the core issues of the working class still remain the same. Wage issues, health care assistance and social security are some of the core issues which continue to be manipulated by employers. The influx of migrant labour to Malaysia to take up unskilled, low paid and harmful work reveals capitalism is truly entrenched in our economy. Malaysia is keen to embrace neoliberal policies in becoming party to corrosive trade agreements like the TPPA and RCEP. Thus, raising the awareness of the labouring class would be very critical to ensure that labourers are not manipulated for the benefit of the capitalists.

Being illiterate or with a little education and without financial influence, it would have taken sheer determinations and hard work for individuals like S.A Ganapathy and Lim Chin Siong influence and take over the leadership of powerful trade unions such as the PMFTU like PMFTU. Constant thoughts on the social welfare and economic development of labour class are reflected in their actions, words and legacy of struggle. The aspirations of these two legends to realize solidarity of workers is yet to become a reality.
"In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end" – Karl Marx

Foot Note:
  1. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 417. Brazier’s statement was released by the Public Relation Office, Singapore Press Release MY 49/2, May 1st 1949, and immediately called for an explanation by Singapore Government from Brazier. 
  2. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 9th May 1949 - UN to Discuss Ganapathy’s Case: WFTU Protest to Peace Body against Assassination in Malaya
  3. Telegram dated 22nd June 1949
  4. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 9th May 1949 - UN to Discuss Ganapathy’s Case: WFTU Protest to Peace Body against Assassination in Malaya
  5. Ibid, On 26 December 1948, Cardinal Mindszenty was arrested and accused of treason, conspiracy, and other offences against the new People's Republic of Hungary. While he was imprisoned by the communist government, Mindszenty was repeatedly hit with rubber truncheons and subjected to other forms of torture until he agreed to confess. Cardinal Mindszenty's forced confession included orchestrating the theft of the Crown of Saint Stephen for the sole purpose of crowning Crown Prince Otto von Hapsburg as King of Hungary, scheming to overthrow the Party and reestablish Capitalism, planning a third World War and assuming supreme political power himself
  6. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 9th May 1949- UN to Discuss Ganapathy’s Case: WFTU Protest to Peace Body against Assassination in Malaya
  7. Indian Daily Mail (Singapore) 7th May 1949 - It is Cold Blooded Murder Of A Working Class Labourer
  8. Out of five files on S.A Ganapathy, one file CO 537/4769 Case of Mr. S A Ganapathy is still withheld by Foreign and Commonwealth Department, UK. Details of release files for public:  DO 142/405 Death sentences in Malaya on Mr. S A Ganapathy and Mr. Sambasivan, PREM 8/967 High Commissioner for India sought reprieves for Ganapathy and Samba Sivam who were found to be carrying arms and ammunition in Malaya, CO 537/4770 Case of Mr. S A Ganapathy and CO 717/179/1 Mr. S A Ganapathy: Public reactions.
  9. Telegram No.510 from High Commissioner of Malaya to the Secretary of State of Colonies dated 2nd May 1949
  10. Ibid.,
  11. Ibid.,
  12. Ibid.,
  13. Ibid.,
  14. Ibid.,
  15. Ibid.,
  16. The Singapore Free Press – 8th February 1947, Labour Want 44-hr Week
  17. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960)
  18. The Singapore Press – 12th March 1947
  19. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 330. See also The Straits Times – 29th April 1948. 
  20. The Malay Mail 4th May 1949 – “Former Trade Unions President Hanged”
  21. Ibid.,
  22. Ibid.,
  23. The Straits Times 2nd April 1949 – Lawyer K.C Chia appearing for Ganapathy said that he had gone through the records and could find nothing to urge on behalf of the appellant.
  24. The Malay Mail  4th May 1949 – “Former Trade Unions President Hanged”
  25. Ibid.,
  26. Ibid.,
  27. Ahmad Khan – Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 7 – National Achieve Singapore
  28. V. Sutharman authored his autobiography – A Tamil Revolutionary in the Independent Struggle in Asia (1989, in Tamil) 
  29. According to Sutharman (interview 2012), Gurudevan also headed the Intelligence Bureau of Indian Section in Malayan Communist Party would have many influences over Ganapathy. Gurudevan was arrested by R.Corrindon on a plantation estate in Negeri Sembilan in December 1949. In a telegram (17th December 1949), which Gurney wrote to Secretary of State of Colonies with reference made on the arrest of Gurudevan as the number one Indian Communist in the country 
  30. Richard Corridon - Oral History Accession Number 000044, Reel/Disc 4 - National Achieve Singapore 
  31. Ahmad Khan – Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 7 – National Achieve Singapore. Khan was working as Japanese Police claimed that he saved Ganapathy from being tortured and killed by Japanese Kempeitai - Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 6 – National Achieve Singapore.
  32. Ibid.,
  33. Ahmad Khan, Oral History Accession Number 000150, Reel/Disc 6 – National Achieve Singapore. Khan who worked for Japanese Police claimed that he saved Ganapathy from being tortured and killed by Japanese Kempeitai.
  34. The Straits Times – 9th May 1946 – Allegations against Police Officer
  35. Prof. Suba Veerapandian – ‘Ulaga Viduthalai Porigalin Varisayil Malaya  Ganapathy” (International Freedom Fighters - Malaya Ganapathy)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w64l3K2kuH8 (Nov. 2011, in Tamil) 
  36. Ibid., Three representatives identified as Letchuman, Nadarajan and Samy. After spending one and half years in prison due to their involvement in Anti-Hindi Protest they returned to Malaya.
  37. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press). See also Rajeswary Ambalavanar, Tamil Journalism and the Indian Community in Malaya, 1920-1941
  38. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press) p78
  39. Ibid.,
  40. Singaravelu founded the first trade union in India, the Madras Labor Union. On 1 May 1923 he organized the first ever celebration of May Day in the country. Singaravelar was a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement, initially under the leadership of Gandhi, but later, joining the budding communist movement. In 1925, he became one of the founding fathers of the Communist Party of India. 
  41. Frontline, Chennai (Oct.-Nov 2002) - De-ideologisation of politics is the tragedy of Tamil Nadu Interview with Karthigesu Sivathamby by R. Vijaya Sankar 
  42. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press) p 100. See also major R.J Issac – Indian Daily Mail dated 7th April 1955 
  43. Stenson, Class, Race and Colonialism, 1980 (University of Queensland Press)
  44. Ibid.,
  45. Ibid., (interview with K.Gurupatham and C.V Kuppusamy,1972)
  46. Interview with author (2012)
  47. Chapati is an unleavened flatbread from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
  48. Interview with author (2012). The incident took place in INA camp at Rasah, Seremban where Sudarman recruited as volunteer. 
  49. Ibid.,
  50. Ibid.,
  51. Ibid.,
  52. PAP election manifesto 1955, where Lim Chin Siong contested and won Bukit Timah constituency. 
  53. An affiliation of PMFTU
  54. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 356. Once the unions were disbanded and the officials were arrested, detained and deported, these schools ceased their function.
  55. Ibid
  56. The Singapore Free Press – 8th February 1947, Labour Want 44-hr Week. Along with Ganapathy, Lam Swee and Abdullah C.D were elected as Vice Presidents, Cheng Lu as General Secretary, B. Ahmad and Krishna Murthy as Assistant Secretaries, Yap Meow Siew as Treasurer and R. Ramasamy, Chen Chong,  P.Veerasenan, Sze Tong, Fuang Soon Lai and Bahar as committee members. See Appendix B
  57. PAP election manifesto 1955, where Lim Chin Siong contested and won Bukit Timah constituency
  58. The Malayan Tribune – 16th Oct.1947, Politics Is A Struggle For Food, Clothing Argues President of PMFTU 
  59. Ibid.,
  60. Despite the success of the All Malaya Hartal, the government granted no concessions and differences began to emerge between PUTERA-AMCJA. A second Hartal was planned for 1 February 1948 but was aborted when financial support and was reduced to isolated strikes by the PMFTU
  61. Ibid.,
  62. Ibid.,
  63. Ibid.,
  64. Ibid.,
  65. The Malayan Tribune – 16th Oct.1947
  66. The Malayan Tribune – 16th Oct.1947
  67. Indian Deputy Minister for External Affairs Dr Keskar during his visit to Malaya in 1949 regarded unrest in Malayan could not be described a struggle for liberation. Keskar regarded that Ganapathy and Veerasenan as “nothing else but bandits, having no political objective.” 
  68. Charles Gamba, The origin of trade unionism in Malaya (Singapore 1960) p. 355
  69. U.Mahajani, The Role of Indian Minorities in Burma and Malaya (Bombay:Vora, 1960) p.203



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