Sunday, 4 September 2016

Work Report of Sahabat Rakyat (2011-2016) — Deepening 4 points of political understandings Through the practice over the past 5 years (Updated on 2 Oct: Correction on typos)

————— Work Report of Sahabat Rakyat (2011-2016) —————
Deepening 4 points of political understandings
Through the practice over the past 5 years
— in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of Sahabat Rakyat (2001-2016) —
Secretariat: Ang Pei Shan, Yong Siew Lee, Cheng Lee Whee

(Text below is translated from original version in the Chinese language published on 1 September 2016. In the case of any discrepancy between the English rendition and the original Chinese version, the Chinese version shall prevail.)


On 9 September 2011, Friends of SUARAM (FOS) Working Committee Johore released a work report entitled "Ten Storming Years of Sahabat Rakyat (2001-2011)" in commemoration with its 10th anniversary (hereinafter referred to as 10-Year Work Report). After going through another 5 years of practice, our working committee has decided to produce another work report. This also serves as a gift from Sahabat Rakyat in conjunction with its 15th anniversary. We welcome the inspection and criticism from the democratic parties and organisations and democrats in our country.

Followings are the 4 chapters in the last 5 years’ work report –
(1) From attaching to SUARAM till being independent to struggle continually;
(2) Opposing UMNO-BN hegemonic rule and striving for the equality of all ethnic groups are the main focus of our work;
(3) Deepening 4 points of political understandings on democratic reform struggle in our country through our practice over the past 5 years;
(4) Our aspirations towards the present phase of democratic reform movement in Malaysia.

1. From attaching to SUARAM till being independent to struggle continually

From 9 September 2001 till 31 December 2012, FOS Working Committee Johore was a branch office of SUARAM that struggled for human rights in Johore. SUARAM due to its own consideration, decided to stop posting Johore coordinator and shut down the Johore Bahru office from 1 January 2013 onwards. FOS Working Committee Johore, as a grassroots organisation working for human rights that had been active in Johore for 12 years, decided to continue its struggle. Since then, we have been working under the name of Sahabat Rakyat and do not restrict our work to Johore areas only. Our working committee is then known as Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee, below is the new logo of Sahabat Rakyat --


Although it has been tougher to operate independently without obtaining any allowance, there were brighter prospects for Sahabat Rakyat after extricating itself from the limitation of defined work scopes and the shackles of Western concepts of democracy and human rights. Since then we are able to further the effort on construction of ideological theory of genuine democracy and human rights, and further the struggle of the realisation of genuine democracy and human rights policy in our country independently and autonomously. From then (1 January 2013) onwards, Sahabat Rakyat has not employed any staff, all committee members are volunteers, expenses of every activity are either contributed by the participants voluntarily or sponsored by enthusiasts or supporters.

In September 2013, our working committee held an election, the committee cancelled the status of local contact person, all local contact person were renamed as working committee member, in the hope of enhancing the participation and arousing the enthusiasm of the committee members from all different areas. Since 2015, our working committee monthly meeting venue has been extended from Sahabat Rakyat office in Skudai, JB to the towns where we have committee members residing in. Secretariat has also been sending information to all committee members via email more frequently, in the hope that committee members could play a better role and put more effort in dissemination of information, exchanging ideas, summing up experience, ideological theory construction etc.

Our working committee, during its inception had declared "Declaration of Human Rights", "Malaysia's Charter of Rights" and "Racial eyesores on the Malaysian landscape" as our guiding documents. In March 2013, Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee agreed and endorsed the "Malaysian Civil Society 13GE Demands". We deem this as the follow-up and development document of "Racial eyesores on the Malaysian landscape" and treat it as one of the guiding documents from 2013 onwards. "Declaration of Human Rights" and "Malaysia's Charter of Rights” still remain as the guiding documents in our work on promoting democracy and human rights movement in Malaysia.

2. Opposing UMNO-BN hegemonic rule and striving for the equality of all ethnic groups are the main focus of our work

Followings were the 4 main political awareness/understandings that we had enhanced in the first 10 years of our practice (2001-2011): (1) The corrupted regime is the root cause of rampant abuse of power and violence by the police; (2) The oppression and discrimination of mother tongue education is political problem instead of “administrative deviation”; (3) Democracy and human rights movement is social reform movement which is also political reform movement; (4) The people must unite from the split to bury UMNO-BN hegemonic rule.

We drew this conclusion in “10-Year Work Report”: If any ruling party only serves the interests of a handful of its cronies, ignoring the life and death of the people; or if any opposition party after taking over the ruling power, moves towards the hegemonic authoritarian path that is against the people, the people must rise to oppose such regime and completely bury it in the end. At that time, NGOs must be with the people, become the best prop of the people of different ethnic groups, unite and overthrow the corrupted regime. Therefore, “NGOs is always with the people” has been the guideline of our work practice in the past 5 years (2011-2016).

In view of the abovementioned political understandings and work report, and also because Sahabat Rakyat has not employed any staff after detaching from SUARAM on 1 January 2013 and all members are volunteers who could only participate and deal with Sahabat Rakyat’s activities and affairs using spare time, Sahabat Rakyat no longer established “human rights support group” to deal with individual cases on human rights violation (mainly on abuse to death in custody) that expends massive manpower and material resources which ultimately just blaming the abuse of power by the police. Political ideology propaganda and education work related to opposing UMNO-BN hegemonic rule and striving for the equality of all ethnic groups have become the work focus of Sahabat Rakyat instead. Issues selected are mainly around those core issues which could raise the political awareness of the people more effectively which could then shake the foundation of UMNO-BN rule.

Our activities in the past 5 years can be categorised into the main areas below (please refer to the Appendix for details of the activities):

  1. Expressed the position on opposing UMNO-BN hegemonic rule and opposing state Islamisation policies;
  2. Put forward demands in the 13th General Election (GE) in 2013 and Kajang By-election in 2014;
  3. Expressed the position on mother tongue language education issues and showed solicitude on Dong Zong and Southern College University issues;
  4. Learned from the historical experience of left wing movement in Singapore and Malaya and explored the new direction of democratic reform movement.

3. Deepening 4 points of political understandings on democratic reform struggle in our country through our practice over the past 5 years

We have further deepened 4 points of political understandings on democratic reform struggle in our country through our practice over the past 5 years, mainly as follows:

i. “State Islamisation” policy is a pivotal ruling strategy and dividing means of UMNO hegemonic clique

In the “10-Year Work Report”, we pointed out that “Since independence, UMNO ruling clique inherited the mantle of the British colonialist, they not only continued the ‘divide and rule’ ruling means, but has also adopted Malay racial politics, implemented national oppression and assimilation polices. After May 13 incident in 1969, they even reinforced the discrimination and exploitation on the Chinese, Indians and other minority groups under the pretence of “Malay supremacy” (ketuanan Melayu), aggravating suffering of the oppressed groups. We wish to highlight that, since Mahathir took over as prime minister in 1981, he actively carried out State Islamisation policy on a grand scale, in official propaganda language, namely “Islamization of Government Machinery”. After Mahathir governed the country for 20 years, on 29 September 2001, 2 years before he retired, he announced at the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Annual National Delegates’ Conference that Malaysia is an Islamic state, this State Islamisation policy started by Mahathir is still being implemented vigorously till now.

Percentage of Malaysia ethnic community groups (%)
- Figures from table above are calculated using Malaysia population by ethnic groups statistics 1970 and 2010.

According to table above, Muslim population in Malaysia were 44% in 1970, and had increased to 55% in 2010, but still there were 45% of non-Muslims. Among non-Muslims, most of the Chinese population are Buddhists, most of the Indian population are Hindus, while most of the non-Malay indigenous population are Christians. There are also a lot of followers of folk beliefs in various ethnic groups that can hardly be calculated. After all, Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-religion country, Mahathir just disregarded the aspiration of non-Muslims who contribute to nearly half of the population and forcefully implemented state Islamisation policy.

State Islamisation has become even more intense in the past 5 years, causing the exploitation of non-Muslims’ rights for freedom of religion endowed by the Federal Constitution Malaysia to emerge, resulting our multi-racial multi-religion society be on the verge of dangerous border of being split completely. Some forceful proof include in October 2013, Court of Appeal overturned High Court ruling that Herald has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah”; on 2 January 2014, Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) raided the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seized 320 copies of Malay bibles and 10 copies of Iban bibles, furthermore two BSM officials were summoned to police station to assist in investigation and other cases. Hindraf’s  demand is even a typical real-life example.

At the end of 2011, Waytha Moorthy, a Hindu-dominated Indian community leader who was in exile, in his capacity as the leader of the Human Rights Foundation Malaysia submitted a report entitled “Institutional Racism and Religious freedom in Malaysia” to the US Foreign Affairs Committee, and Tom Lantos Human Rights Committee, reflecting the dilemma of the marginalised Indian community in Malaysia especially on the violation of religious freedom. This report pointed out that Article 153 in the Federal Constitution divides the citizens into 2 classes, namely “Malays” who enjoy “special privilege” and “non-Malays” who do not enjoy “privilege” (including Chinese, Indians, non-Malay indigenous and other ethnic groups). This article is the root cause of institutional racism in Malaysia. The Indian community and their leaders who are marginalised and in dilemma deeply feel that “no dignity without equality” and therefore put forward the just demand of “repealing Article 153 in the Federal Constitution”.

We deemed this as a very important document, and therefore translated this English-written report into Chinese language and posted it on Sahabat Rakyat blog in early February 2012. On 18 March 2012, we together with Hindraf Johore and Persahabatan Semparuthi jointly organised forum on “Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the Equality of Ethnic communities”; on 4 May 2014, we and Lajnah Perpaduan Nasional (LPN) PAS Johore jointly organised forum on “Crisis on Allah wording• Constitutional rights • Freedom of religion” (Krisis perkataan Allah • Hak berperlembagaan • Kebebasan beragama). However, it was regrettable that regardless how Hindraf leaders and cadres had gone around canvasing for support, how Sahabat Rakyat and the democratic parties and organisations which represent the minorities in Sabah Sarawak had rendered the support, we still failed to draw the due concern and sympathy from the leaders of 3 component parties of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) who aimed to “Ubah” (change government). Sadly, this political coalition formed by Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP) announced disintegration after their failure in the 13th GE due to the conflicts in position towards Syariah laws. While the corrupted regime controlled by Najib is facing the crisis of collapse, 3 parties are moving towards separate ways to pursue their dreams. How can the people of different ethnic communities who long for “Ubah” not feel grief, indignation and disappointed?

In June this year, Abdul Rahman, a mufti in Pahang out of nowhere released some provocative remarks. He labelled DAP as "kafir harbi”, and said that “‘kafir harbi’ must be killed”. This astonishing provocative action has aroused great dissatisfaction and strong protest of non-Muslims especially those who have beliefs in non-Islamic religion. As such, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) initiated a statement entitled "All are citizens, no more 'kafir harbi' or 'kafir dhimmi'" endorsed by 44 NGOs to express the common position and insights.

The statement pointed out, (1) On any changes to the laws, especially those which affect the spirit and basic principles of the nation expressed or implied in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution, all citizens of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are entitled the right to express their opinion; (2) Negating others who hold different views in Islam or Islamisation, whether it is calling Muslims "kafir" or calling non-Muslims "kafir harbi" will only divide the Muslim community and the larger Malaysian society; (3) Statement that killing "kafir harbi" is acceptable will in fact open the door for violence and communal/regional conflicts; (4)Whoever intends to split the Malaysian people with religion and even to legitimise the killing of others who reject the implementation of the Hudud punishments by calling them "kafir harbi" is not fit to hold public offices. Their service should be terminated so that their poisonous thoughts do not spread and get mistaken as the nation's official policies.

The release of the abovementioned joint statement by 44 NGOs is commendable. We look forward NGOs to standing a more distinctive position on anti-state Islamisation matters. For instance, insist that our country Malaysia is a multi-racial multi-religious secular state instead of an Islamic state; insist that Federal Constitution is the highest law in Malaysia, it vests Islam with the official religion status in Malaysia, and vests the people of different ethnic communities with the rights to freedom of religion (“freedom of religion” means the freedom in choosing to believe or not to believe in any religion including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity or any other righteous beliefs).

We hope DAP leaders will continue the spirit of the late Karpal Singh, their former president in opposing state Islamisation, take a clear and firm position that is in line with the benefit and aspiration of the oppressed communities in Malaysia. We hope DAP leaders will lead the people from different ethnic groups especially those who are marginalised, to defend Malaysia’s existing secular state system till the end, in facing the challenge from UMNO racial hegemonic clique or racial religious extremists. Karpal Singh once said in general election 1990, “an Islamic state over my dead body”. Karpal Singh’s spirit of heroic struggle in safeguarding the rights of religious freedom of our peoples is highly respectable!

ii. The promotion of national unity and cooperation and promotion of democratic reform movement, relies on the wisdom and strength of the masses, instead of relying solely on the "authority" and "orders" of several "political leaders" or "political elites"

In 10-Year Work Report, we drew the conclusion that “NGOs should persist non-partisan stand and be with the people”. In that work report, we highly appraised/commended 709 peaceful rally cum “walk for democracy”(it had then turned into spontaneous demonstration of the masses due to unreasonable arrest and violent crackdown from the authority) initiated by The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) (Malay: Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil) led by Ambiga on 9 July 2011, which had demonstrated strong aspiration of the people demanding for the materialisation of the 8 electoral reform demands in the 13th GE. On 15 July 2011, we published an article entitled "BERSIH 2.0 - 709 Rally is of great significance and far-reaching implications" pointed out the following significance and implications of this struggle:
1. The people realise the unreasonable and deceptive nature of the “rules of the game” of parliamentary elections; 2. Daring to put up popular struggle is the answer to the UMNO’s racist blackmail; 3. 709 Bersih rally fostered greater awareness as well as unity and cooperation among all ethnic communities; 4. 709 Bersih rally shows NGOs the right direction to march forward.

On 28 April 2012, BERSIH 2.0 led by Ambiga had successfully launched another political struggle that was planned, organised, with objectives, with leadership, with spontaneous participation of the people from different ethnic groups, classes demanding for electoral reform and to ward off environmental hazards. On 20 May 2012, we released a lengthy statement entitled "428 Sit-in Protest - Its implications and positive significance" with regards to the political struggle. In the statement, we pointed out that: 1. 428 sit-in protest is a continuation and development of Bersih 2.0 rally; 2. 428 sit-in protest - an excellent co-ordination of forces of current social movement; 3. Non-partisan leadership plays a proactive role in uniting the people; 4. The people's power exposes the true colour of the government; 5. 428 sit-in protest has achieved a new height for democracy and human rights movement in Malaysia.

We are of the view that both 709 rally and 428 sit-in protest mobilized and led by BERSIH 2.0, especially the 428 sit-in protest, have caused democracy and human rights movement in Malaysia to reach a new height. This is clearly shown in the following aspects: (1) As many as 250,000 people participated in the 428 sit-in protest. The large number of participants and the unprecedented scale of the gathering are record breaking. It was also far better organised than any political gathering whether by the ruling party or opposition parties in our country; (2) Bersih's demand for a clean and fair election is justified, legitimate and appropriate. Its publicity campaign has raised the awareness of the masses. The people now understand the legality of wearing yellow T-shirts with BERSIH logo. They have shown their disdain for the “unlawful prohibition” on wearing Bersih yellow tees imposed by the government and the police. 428 sit-in protest has created a new situation, where the people achieved victory in a legal struggle over the “unlawful prohibition” imposed by the government and the police. (3)The BERSIH 2.0 committee adhered to the principle of struggling in a rational and advantageous manner and with restraint. The protesters were advised to end the protest after having achieved its purpose, so as to avoid chaos and destruction likely to be caused by the over-zealous crowd. 428 sit-in protest has created favourable conditions for organizing a campaign of a larger scale and of a higher level in time to come. It sets an excellent example for NGOs to maintain their independent and autonomous stand in the struggle.

Nevertheless, after 428, political movement of democratic reform in Malaysia not only stop moving forward, but also becomes retrogressive and even declining. We learn that this is mainly due to the following factors: (1)  Leaders of 3 component parties of PR and their political elites followers are complacent seeing the 428 landscape, and weaved the sweet dreams to “capture Putrajaya”. But after “ubah” (change of government) failed in 505 general election, PR formed by 3 component parties disintegrated due to the sharpening of contradictions of political interests represented by different parties, each party could also hardly perform due to the increasing intensification of internal factions;  (2) A number of key leaders and active cadres in NGOs also acknowledged that the golden time for “ubah” and “capture Putrajaya” has come and joined either one of the 3 PR component parties, to serve for the party politic that they have been longing for. This political situation would definitely cause many NGOs interfered or dominated by “partisanship” and thus losing their independence, autonomy and initiative; (3) The people of different ethnic communities witness that these political party leaders and political coalitions (Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan) who are preparing to form alternative government, acted deaf and dumb on the core demands of the people of different ethnic communities before general election, and fight against each other for power after election. From all different signs, the masses have started to lose confidence on the political party leaders of who are dominating the current democratic reform.

In early 2014, Anwar Ibrahim, as the main leader of PR and de facto leader of PKR, deliberately created the Kajang by-election to serve his own agenda. At that time, the remarks/sayings spread from PKR were “to stop full blown manipulation of racial and religious issues by the BN government” and “making Selangor as bastion of PR in its campaign for Putrajaya.” While the saying spread among the masses was “this by-election was created to get Anwar to replace Khalid Ibrahim as the Chief Minister of Selangor. However, on 7 March, Anwar who was ready to go unexpectedly convicted of sodomy and given a five-year prison sentence resulting him losing the qualification to contest in Kajang by-election. It is not surprising that the occurrence and the significance of this by-election drew the attention or questions/doubts of the people of the whole country and invited criticism and arguments from democrats and NGOs. Therefore, on 8 March, we, together with Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall (Youth Section), Youth Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) and 15 democrats, released a statement entitled "2014 Kajang By-election Demands" and put forward 4 demands towards PKR Kajang by-election candidate and PR: (1) Eliminate religious oppression, pursue equality for all ethnic groups; (2) clean and fair election; (3) Abolish New Economic Policy (NEP) and Bumiputera quota system; (4) Equal treatment to the mother-tongue language of different ethnic communities. We also expressed openly in the statement that "Anwar, as the candidate of Kajang by-election who is also preparing to capture Putrajaya to become Prime Minister and PR formed by 3 component parties led by Anwar, should change their attitude in deeming political leaders and political elites above everything demonstrated in the 13th GE, should sincerely give up ostentatious and ambiguous declaration, and seriously endorse the just demands put forward by NGOs (including our 4 demands mentioned above), to prove the sincerity of PR in reforming the existing system, and to regain the confidence of the people on PR.”

On 9 March this year, PKR announced the delegation of Wan Azizah to contest in Kajang by-election on behalf of his husband. It was disappointing that both Anwar and Wan Azizah as well as PR leaders just ignored all the demands raised by NGOs at that time. The fact has also ultimately proven that, Kajang move was purely an action that had wasted energy and money of the people resulted by the internal fractions in PKR. The outcome was that although Wan Azizah won the election, it was Azmin Ali instead of Wan Azizah who replaced Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor Chief Minister. To PKR leaders, this is the start of another more intense, more complicated power struggle. Let’s wait and see!

On 4 March this year, Maria Chin Abdullah who succeeded Ambiga as the Chairperson of BERSIH 2.0, in her “personal capacity”, endorsed the Citizens’ Declaration drafted and sent out by Mahathir. As the Chairperson of BERSIH 2.0, although Maria has the “freedom of expression” as an individual, the way she handled this was reproached condemned by more than half of the endorsing groups in BERSIH 2.0 and had aroused acrimonious response from the endorsing groups that “BERSIH will not commit any funds for the activities of the Citizens’ Declaration”, resulting BERSIH Steering Committee releasing a statement on 12 March that: (1) BERSIH as an organisation will not be involved with it nor will they use their fund for the activities of the Citizens’ Declaration; (2) BERSIH 2.0 respect the decision of Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson of BERSIH 2.0 to sign the Citizens’ Declaration in her personal capacity.

For organisation with authority such as BERSIH 2.0, this is an incident where individual leader made important decision on issues related to the interests/benefits of the people based on owns needs, abandoning the principles of holding democratic discussion and neglecting the aspirations of the popular masses. This is mainly reflected in the following two aspects:

1) In previous two general elections from 308 till 505, the results of opposition parties gaining majority votes show that it is the common aspiration of the people of different ethnic communities in our country in opposing and even to put an end to the UMNO-BN hegemonic rule. When Mahathir initiated the Citizens’ Declaration, he claimed that he only wanted Najib to step down rather than overthrowing the UMNO regime – over 22 years  of Mahathir’s rule,  he forcefully Islamised the state, allowing Malay bigwigs and ruling clique to plunder the wealth and resources, allowing UMNO regime rapidly moved from autocratic and overbearing towards corruption.  Mahathir is obviously the target of the people’s struggle against UMNO hegemony, who would have thought that Maria and some “political leaders” as well as “political elites” treat him (Mahathir) as the ally of the people’s struggle against UMNO hegemony.

2) Maria did not allow sufficient democratic discussion to be held within BERSIH 2.0 endorsing groups before making the decision on whether or not to accept and endorse Citizens’ Declaration. Only a handful of organisations (fewer than a quarter of the total number of BERSIH 2.0 endorsing NGOs) attended the corresponding meeting held in Kuala Lumpur, other endorsing NGOs who were absent were not given the chance to vote. As Maria did not get the support and recognition of the majority of the endorsing NGOs, she hurriedly and impatiently signed the Citizens’ Declaration in her personal capacity. She as the Chairperson of BERSIH 2.0, insists to stick with the wily Mahathir, how will not the democratic parties, organisations and individuals who do not have any illusion towards Mahathir and UMNO hegemonic clique feel worry about the future of democratic reform and our country?

iii. National unity that serves for genuine democratic reform is only achievable if the oppressed class in Malay ethnic community has awakened

In greeting the 13th GE of our nation, on 19 October 2012, Friends of Suaram working committee (we were then still part of Suaram JB) and Hindraf Johore jointly released "Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people" (hereinafter referred to as “Letter to the Johore people“) entitled "Unite! People of Johore, Realize 3 Pressing Demands; Smash UMNO Hegemony, Form a Democratic United Front! The 3 demands are: (1) Eliminate racial oppression and work towards equality for all ethnic groups; (2) Stop “Project M” (Mahathir’s Project) and eliminate source of corruption in law enforcement agencies; (3) The Johore people's interests must be protected from wanton land acquisition (“enclosure” operation) in the name of Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) project. The first demand is the core one, it mainly includes: Repeal the unequal provision in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, abolish NEP and bumiputera quota system, repeal s.17(1) of the Education Act 1996 and its related policies and respect and protect religious beliefs and customs of ethnic minorities.

We did sincerely put forward the abovementioned demands to the national leaders of the 3 component parties of PR (DAP, PKR and PAS) who came to Johore state to promote the election campaign and to some candidates of PR who were preparing to contest in the Parliamentary or state assembly seats. These are just demands focusing on reflecting the main aspiration of the oppressed groups in Malaysia, they are also sensible, reasonable and legitimate, however, we did not get any positive and direct response. The evasive and perfunctory attitude of those party leaders and the candidates of the election were hardly acceptable. There was an incident in particular that we can hardly forget, i.e. FOS volunteers distributed leaflets of the Letter to the Johore people at a public rally organised by PR at a public car park, the staff of the party unexpectedly tried to reprimand, expel us and even attempted to confiscate our leaflets.

Besides, there were also some kind officers of political party trying to give some explanations, some said “such demands are not suitable to be raised during the general election”, some straightforwardly said “such demands cannot be raised to Malay ethnic community” etc. Of course, anyone with normal ability of thinking will be able to know and understand: the ultimate goals of the constitutional parties and leaders of political parties who are active in our country at present phase are to stand in general elections to gain ruling power; the leaders of 3 PR component parties as well as their candidates and campaigners in Parliamentary and State Assembly election hence aim to win as many votes as possible and for “ubah” (changing government). Since Malay voters contribute to more than half of the overall votes (according to the ratio of the voters in the 13th GE by ethnic groups , Malay voters 53%, Chinese voters 30%, Indian voters 7%, bumiputera non-Malays 9%, other ethnic communities  1%), they were only aiming for and only for winning Malay votes (nothing more than that).

All 3 component parties of PR, in order to win Malay votes, avoided the just demands of other ethnic groups, they either did not utter a word or tactfully expressed ambiguous position on “Malay sovereignty”, “State Islamisation” and other core issues. They keep pleasing the Malay community under the pretence of “fostering national unity”, and mislead or force other ethnic communities who are discriminated and excluded to tolerate with agony. Nonetheless, majority of the Malays still voted UMNO-BN in the 13th GE as usual, the dream to “Ubah” (changing government) weaved by leaders of the 3 component parties of PR hence could not be materialised. This political coalition that was formed temporarily to materialise “Changing government, each taking what he needs“ has announced disintegration due to the irreconcilable fundamental contradictions and conflict of interests among 3 parties (mainly DAP and PAS) after the failure in the election, and the effectiveness of UMNO bigwigs in dividing and offering appeasement.

Chow Yu Hui, DAP’s rising star (he is the incumbent Chief Editor of Rocket News, official newspaper of DAP, and also DAP state assemblyman of Bilut, Pahang) has put forward the following opinions and ideas in response to PR’s disintegration situation mentioned above: (1) the opposition front can start afresh, turn crisis into opportunity, and establish a post-308 and 505 new politics of the state only by determination, striving upstream, drawing a clear line with PAS, focusing on strengthening Parti Amanah, paving a third path that is beyond the racial and religious politics in Malaysia and deeming Party Alternation as a means instead of the ultimate goal; (2) Pakatan Harapan can only get back on the right track, return to the position as a genuine opposition party, set things right, move towards a genuine enlightened moderate, secular pluralism path by “abandoning the practice of deeming changing government as the ultimate goal”, “putting ideology/idea above of votes, putting ideal above of self-interests” . Chow’s views are worth to be reviewed and treated seriously by the democratic parties, organisations and individuals of the present phase.

We do not understand the specific contents of Chow about “drawing a clear line with PAS, focusing on strengthening Parti Amanah, paving a third path that is beyond the racial and religious politics in Malaysia”, and we wish to know about the details. We also wish to share the political understanding that we learn from the practice of democratic reform struggle in our country from 308 to 505 as below:

1) Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-religious country that originated from states ruled by Malay rulers (Sultans), developed into Federation of Malaya and further expanded (include Sarawak and Sabah) to form “Federation of Malaysia”. From the history of the nation, before independence, our country was a British colony. Since 18th century, the British colonialist occupied Penang, Malacca and Singapore successively, and regarded these 3 areas as “Straits Settlements”. In order to plunder the resources, wealth and economic interests more effectively, the British colonialist further included all 9 Malay states in Malay peninsula under the jurisdiction of the colonial government. After second world war, due to the wave of anti-colonialisation struggle of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Britain was forced to end the colonial rule in Malay peninsula, Penang, Malacca and Singapore, but fostered a political regime which would inherit the mantle of the colonial rulers, prolong/continue its divide and rule national oppression policy, which is the Alliance formed by UMNO (domination), MCA and MIC (joined later) which came into power when “Federation of Malaya” announced independence in 1957, this is also the predecessor of BN regime today.

2) UMNO-dominated Alliance faced major losses in the 1969 general election, in which it only won 90 out of 144 Parliamentary seats. It had thus enlisted Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP) which was originally against the Malaysia plan, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia which was the then ruling party in Penang, People's Progressive Party which took control of Ipoh City Council and PAS which had ruled Kelantan for 10 years by then, and renamed the expanded “Alliance” to “National Front” (Barisan National, BN in short) in 1974.  Although UMNO in the Alliance government in the past and in the present BN government accommodate “political leaders” and “political elites” from some main ethnic based parties, the UMNO-dominated ruling clique just carries out blatant national oppression on the people of different ethnic groups (especially the broad working class people). Their tactics are to create suspicion, fight causing division between the people of different ethnic groups, they also make use of Malay ethnic community to oppress other minorities (including Chinese, Indian, Dayak, Dusun Kadazan and other ethnic groups) – these are the superficial phenomenon that the ruler uses to confuse the people.

3) Although national oppression is manifested between different groups, however, national oppression is not about the whole (all people) of an oppressing nation oppressing another oppressed nation. In fact, it is the reactionary ruling class and the ruling clique who represents its will and interests in the oppressing nation, who carry out national oppression. It is the oppressed exploited class especially the broad working masses in the oppressed nation who really suffer from national oppression (the exploiting class in the oppressed nation, sometimes, to some extent will also suffer from national oppression, they will sometimes, in some issues demonstrate action of protest). In fact, the oppressed and exploited class especially the working masses in the oppressing nation, are also the target of oppression and exploitation in national oppression carried out by the reactionary ruling class and ruling clique.  All the while UMNO-BN ruling clique has been implementing various ethnic/national oppression and ethnic differentiation policies, basically using them against non-Malay ethnic groups (mainly Chinese, Indians, Sabahans, Sarawakians, and bumiputera non-Malays) that contribute to nearly half of the population in Malaysia. Working class and petty bourgeoisie in the Malay community are also victims of national oppression. However, they more or less benefited from NEP, bumiputera quota system, Malay sovereignty, thus become satisfied with the existing condition or unable to clearly recognise the direction of improving the living and social reform. Therefore, it is still a long journey to promote the awareness of the oppressed exploited class within the Malay community, and this requires the wisdom and strengths of the people to accomplish it.

iv. Learning from the historical experience of independence struggle. In the struggle against UMNO hegemony, we should differentiate between our enemies and our allies

After 1969, the New Economic Policy has not only brought up newly-emerging Malay capitalist class, it has also widened the gap between the rich the poor within the Malay community creating tensions within the community. Therefore Islam which stresses on equality has gradually become a force in Malay community to oppose inequality, and is valued highly by the ruling and the opposition parties. In 1982 while Mahathir was the prime minister, he recruited Anwar (joined UMNO in the same year), the then president of Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia), hoping for the integration of UMNO and Islam Renaissance movement to become a strong political force. Since then, the secular nature of UMNO has been moving towards the Islamisation path, the position of UMNO in the Islamic Renaissance movement has turned from passive to pro-active. In 1997, when financial crisis broke out in Asia, the then Prime Minister Mahathir and Deputy Prime Minister Anwar’s opinions on the strategy in dealing with disaster/catastrophe diverged greatly as they were representing different groups and different interests. The contradictions worsened in 1998, resulting the removal of Anwar as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister by Mahathir on 2 September 1998.

Anwar rapidly started a series of retaliation action after his dismissal, he held roadshows around the country to reveal various scandals of corruptions and abuse of power under Mahathir’s leadership. His counterattack had attracted the masses, especially the Malay community, and sparked off the REFORMASI movement. The REFORMASI movement had hastened the formation of Parti Keadilan National that is claimed to oppose Mahathir’s authoritarian rule and abuse of power, and struggle for fairness and justice (in later stage, this party  merged with Parti Rakyat Malaysia and renamed as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)). In other words, PKR is a product of the political struggle against Mahathir and UMNO hegemony led by Anwar after he was oppressed by Mahathir, the then Prime Minister due to the sharpening the contradictions between them both while Anwar was still the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of the UMNO-BN government. PKR is a Malay-community-based party joining hand with some other ethnic communities led by Anwar under the support of a group of ABIM leaders.

Many of the national-education-idea-dominated democrats who went through, when discussing about democratic movement in Malaysia, often draw a line between the Chinese-community-dominated national liberation and democratic revolution movement and the democratic reform movement in Malaysia. They always start from Anwar to “Reformasi” to PKR, but not mentioning struggle of anti-neo-colonialism rule, anti-feudal bureaucratic rule, struggle for the equal rights and democratic rights of all ethnic groups (such as anti-Emergency Act and anti-ISA (Internal Security Act), fight for Chinese and Tamil languages to become official language, fight for the survival and development of the Chinese and Tamil language education, fight for the independence of the nation, anti-Malaysia plan of neo-colonialism etc) led by Labour Party Malaya and other democratic parties and organisations before independence of Malaysia and for a certain period after independence, not mentioning the post-independence struggle of “Malaysia for Malaysians” and “safeguarding secular democratic system, against theocratic rule” by DAP, and also not mentioning the struggle of the Chinese community in safeguarding the survival and position of the Chinese language and the struggle of the poorest marginalised Indian community in protecting their dignity, the rights to live and freedom of religion etc. They seems to try giving people an impression that the Malays were the spearheads and main force of the state democratic reform, seems to make people believe that only “political leaders” with the “highest authority” and “political elites” with “leadership position” can “save Malaysia” – Why do such illogical phenomena keep happening and heavily disseminated by the mainstream media? Democrats who are concerned of the future of Malaysia would have to pay close attention and seriously think about.

Hence, in the past few year, we have put minor effort in (1) exploring the national liberation and democratic revolution movement of the people in Malaya (including Singapore) in anti-colonialisation rule (2) exploring the Indian community in Malaysia,from them being oppressed and enslaved before the independence of the state till awaken from the dilemma after the independence. We have also achieved slight positive outcomes, especially: In January and April 2013, Sahabat Rakyat blog sequentially published "Exploring The Problems Encountered by Singapore Left-wing Workers’Movement in 1960s" Part 1 and 2 (and published into booklets) by Chng Min Oh; in August 2014, we published "Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript" that has been “well kept” for nearly 20 years; in December 2014, we published the article (Part 1 and Part 2) of the interview by Sahabat Rakyat editorial with Lim Hock Koon, a key leader of May 13 incident, an incident in 1950s about the Chinese school students opposing conscription. In February 2015, Sahabat Rakyat blog published a working paper produced by our committee member Nyam Kee Han entitled "Hindraf Movement is a Product of Current Democratic Reform Movement of the Malaysia Indian Community" (in September of the same year, we published it into booklets and released the Tamil rendition of this work paper (two of the major parts) done by Ravi Sarma); early 2016, we published a monograph entitled "The Best Way to Commemorate Lim Chin Siong Is To Propagate His Ideology and Ideal" and the English rendition of "Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript" done by our secretariat; on 20 March 2016, we jointly organised “Tribute to Lim Chin Siong and SA Ganapathy’- Develop the selfless devotion spirit of these eminent leaders of the Malaya labour movement” forum with Hindraf Johore and PSM (Nusajaya). We hope our effort above will serve as some historical lessons, so that the current phase of democratic reform movement could avoid repeating the same mistakes.

We notice that the release of the so-called Citizens’ Declaration on 4 March this year has aroused a lot of confusions and debates among the democratic parties and organisations, democrats and the public since then. There are many indications that this Citizens’ Declaration which aims to “remove Najib to save the country” is initiated and coordinated by Mahathir and then endorsed by some leaders from the opposition parties and NGOs. Therefore, this document is undoubtedly an official denunciation from Mahathir by joining the force from the opposition parties to pressure Najib to step down immediately. Upon the expulsion of Mukhriz, Mahathir’s beloved son from UMNO and his removal as Chief Minister of Kedah; the expulsion of Muhyiddin Yassin, Mahathir’s partner from UMNO and his removal as Deputy Prime Minister, on 14 July, Mahathir confirmed that “he will be forming a new political party and this party will form a coalition with the opposition leaders who participate in Citizens’ Declaration movement to oust BN in the coming election. These signify that the major interest cliques within UMNO have broken up due to the sharpening of their contradictions. It is not surprising that some leaders of the opposition parties and NGOs, pin high hopes on Citizens’ Declaration and the new party initiated and coordinated by Mahathir after the failure of changing government on 505, as they are at a loss on how to force Najib to step down with their own strengths, given the situation where they are disintegrated internally due to sharpening of contradictions or split due to divergence in opinions.

Arutchelvan, a leader from another opposition party, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) who advocates “People’s power” criticised candidly the 3 reckless actions of the opposition parties at his facebook lately: (1) The hasty formation of Pakatan Harapan does not have common stand and position. They also have different allies in different states, PAS is an opposition in Penang but is part of the ruling coalition in Selangor; (2) Too hasty in announcing the support for Citizens’ Declaration initiated and led by Mahathir. This action has caused confusions among supporters of the opposition parties and NGOs resulting in split. Pakatan Harapan leaders were wishing that “Pakatan Rakyat” will divide UMNO, but things did not turn out the way they wished. In contrary, the opposition parties are split much quicker and more intensely; (3) Impulsively attended the press conference to support the announcement of the founding of the new party by Mahathir, giving others the impression that Mahathir has replaced Anwar as the new leader of opposition parties. The abovementioned criticism by Arutchelvan against leaders of the three component parties of Pakatan Harapan (PKR, DAP, Parti Amanah), to certain extent has reflected the current views and feelings of some democratic parties, organisations and democrats.

Even if more and more democratic parties and organisations or democrats  are against the Citizens’ Declaration movement initiated and coordinated by Mahathir, or openly criticise Mahathir in setting up new party to take part in the next general election, under the present political situation local and abroad, the Citizens’ Declaration movement so-called “aiming to remove Najib, instead of bringing UMNO hegemony down” and the emergence of a new party that is in line with it contesting in next election is inevitable, this is an objective reality that will not change with anyone’s subjective will. With the emergence of Citizens’ Declaration movement and Mahathir’s new political party, the coalition formed by three parties so called “Pakatan Harapan” may lead to a split due to the acceptance of enlistment by one of the component parties or individual party leader(s). This event in a near future is also an objective reality that will not change with anyone’s subjective will.

Nonetheless, democratic parties and organisations as well as democrats of the whole country should learn from the historical experience of independence struggle (Malaya including Singapore), especially the lesson in 1950s where Lee Kuan Yew infiltrated into the just arisen anti-colonial movement in Singapore to deceive the support of the people and showed his true color in repressing the people after coming into power in Singapore. We must be vigilant against Lee Kuan Yew-liked character infiltrating into the rank of anti-UMNO hegemonic rule struggle to deceive the support of the people of different ethnic communities, and show their true colors in oppressing people’s struggle against hegemony after seizing the political power.

Do we still remember before the general election in 1999, under the pressure of circumstances where the borad masses tended to change their mind, Mahathir, the then UMNO-BN President through Lim Liong Sik, accepted the SuQiu (Election demands of Malaysian Chinese Organisations) put forward by thousands of Chinese organisations represented by Dong Jiao Zong to ensure victory in the election. After BN gained victory in the election, in 2000, Mahathir and the UMNO hegemonic ruling clique led by him showed their true colours, they tarnished the reputation of Dong Jiao Zong, followed by creating threat of racism, thereby forcing SuQiu committee represented by Dong Jiao Zong to set aside 7 of the core demands in the SuQiu which have most centralised the aspiration of the oppressed ethnic communities in Malaysia. This historical lesson experienced by the Chinese organisations throughout the country 16 years ago is suffice to serve as a lesson learned to all democratic parties, organisations, democrats and even the people of all ethnic communities.

Earlier on, A. Kadir Jasin, spokesman of Mahathir's camp revealed that "the new party that Mahathir is forming is a bumiputera-based party", “The new party pledges to give full recognition to multiracialism and political reform while minimising potential conflict with the existing opposition political parties”, "the ultimate goal was to defeat Barisan Nasional through one-to-one electoral contests in the 14th general election." On 9 August, Muhyiddin Yassin who has been expelled from UMNO submitted the application to Registrar of Societies to register a new political party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM). We are of the view that, Mahathir has to do 3 things below before democratic parties and organisations and the people consider whether to vote for PPBM:

1. Admits openly that he took the liberty of announcing “Malaysia is an Islamic state” was a wrong decision that has violated the Federal Constitution, and apologises sincerely to the people of all ethnic groups in Malaysia.
2. Admits openly that his attempt to ruin Anwar’s political future back in those years was a wrong decision and action, and apologises to Anwar’s families and all the people in Malaysia.
3. Announces publicly that his political party will only contest in parliamentary and state assembly seats in UMNO strongholds to align with opposition parties coalition’s strategy in fighting UMNO-BN one to one (definitely will not contest in the parliamentary and state assembly seats that opposition parties have seized or expecting victory).

People of all ethnic communities will learn from the practice of each struggle against UMNO hegemonic rule to distinguish between the enemies and the allies of our struggle.

(Note: 6 paragraphs above had been released on 13 August in Sahabat Rakyat media statement entitled “Mahathir to do 3 things before the people consider whether to vote for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia”)

4. Our aspirations towards the present phase of democratic reform movement in Malaysia

People of different ethnic groups in our country should not forget, UMNO ruling clique has been representing Malay feudal ruling class and bureaucrat-capitalist class to implement hegemonic rule on the people since the independence of our country. Among all 6 prime ministers, Mahathir was in power for the longest period (1982-2003) and had the most ‘accomplishments’. During his rule, he blatantly carried out “State Islamisation” policies and took the liberty of announcing “Malaysia is an Islamic state” 2 years before he retired which had completely destroyed/ruined the Federal Constitution spirit that the broad masses abide by all the while, it was Mahathir who brought UMNO regime onto the path of unscrupulous, domineering, greedy and corrupted, resulting those in power to wantonly getting their own way. To the broad masses, Mahathir and Najib are “jackals of the same lair” who are the supreme representatives of UMNO hegemonic ruling clique in different period of time, will anyone not agree with it?

Some of the democratic parties, organisations and individuals in our country are happy with Mahathir’s initiative to form a new political party. Some even pin high hopes on Mahathir to force Najib to step down, naively believe that they can make use of Mahathir’s political force/influence to overthrow UMNO ruling clique, and attain the goal of “Ubah (changing government) ”earliest possible. Those people have neglected the important factors below:

1) Under the 22 years of Mahathir’s rule, relying on the economic development of Western capitalism, he had propped up strong cronies and emerging Malay bourgeoisie, after Mahathir stepped down, Western capitalism has begun to decline, especially after Najib came into power, the rising of China has forced our economic development to change course, resulting the emergence of conflict of interests between 2 main cliques in UMNO, namely Mahathir’s cronies who have vested interests and Najib’s cronies who are waiting for the chance to flex their muscles; Mahathir’s original wishful thinking was: force Najib to step down internally (in UMNO)using his power/authority in UMNO and the forces of his cronies.  Unexpectedly Najib has a better strategy, on one hand Najib used external force to get himself out of the political and economic dilemma, on the other hand he decisively forced Mahathir to quit UMNO and expelled Mukhriz and Muhyiddin from UMNO and removed them from their official position, to deter Mahathir’s cronies from acting rashly, thereby firming/strengthening his control over UMNO. Mahathir had no choice but to form a new political party to deal with it.

2) The economic policies that Mahathir had long imposed has not only sharpened the contradictions between the non-Malay communities and working class of the poMalay community who are being oppressed and the oppressing Malay community (in fact they are Malay feudal elites and Malay bureaucratic capitalist class), it has also caused the polarisation between the rich and the poor within Malay community. The polarisation between the rich and the poor within Malay community, to be more specific, means that the Malay bureaucratic and capitalist class who make up a small portion of the overall population are getting richer, whereas Malay working class who are the majority of the population are getting poorer, causing polarisation phenomenon. The new party founded by Mahathir will only fight for the interests of himself, his family, his cronies and above all the Malay capitalist class that he propped up, it is impossible that the party will serve the interests of other individuals, other families, other cronies and not to mention other ethnic communities and other classes (especially Malay working class).

3) Today Mahathir is someone who has stepped down, he has lost his authority and glory as a prime minister and the supreme leader of UMNO, he has lost his role and political influence on the people of all ethnic communities especially Malays that he used to enjoy back in those days. Today Mahathir at most can be deemed as the representative of the Malay bourgeoisie that he propped up and his cronies within this class who are still loyal to him. The hegemonic role that Mahathir has been implemented on the broad masses (including the Malay working class living in rural and urban areas) has put him and his cliques on the opposite side of the broad masses of all ethnic communities (including the Malay community), this has determined that Mahathir and the party that he founded are unable to gain the support of the majority of the Malay masses. The only thing that he can do is to play money politics like Najib, offering enlistment and amnesty – this is the main challenge of the present democratic reform movement in Malaysia.

Our aspirations towards the present phase of democratic reform movement in Malaysia are: The oppressed people of the whole nation do not be deceived, democratic parties and organisations shall refuse appeasement, lets proceed with the struggle of anti-state Islamisation and burying UMNO hegemonic rule till victory is won!

We wish to share with the democratic parties and organisations and democrats in our country the following quote from Lim Teck Ghee, a well-known sociologist –

For non-Muslims and non-Malays, these new developments, and the racialism and extremism seeping into the Islamic consciousness of the Malay community, are no laughing matter.
What it means is that they cannot expect PAS, Umno, or perhaps even Parti Amanah Negara, the latest of the Muslim parties and progressive Islamic NGOs and conscientious scholars to draw attention to and fight the battle for equal rights within an increasingly Islamic Malaysian nation.
They have only themselves to rely on and should not, as in the boiling frog anecdote, wait too late to respond to the rising heat from this present incarnation of Islamic and racist resurgence in the country. [Please refer to "Rise of Malaysia’s ‘racist’ strain of Islam" by Lim Teck Ghee, ]



[ Appendix ] Sahabat Rakyat Main Activities from years 2011—2016 
Date A brief description of the main content of the activities
17-Nov-11
Johor Bersih 2.0 Liaison Committee was formed

Took the initiative to convene a meeting of non-governmental groups, political parties and individuals striving for democracy and human rights to form Johor Bersih 2.0 Liaison Committee and devised a plan to launch the campaign of “Implement 8 demands for electoral reform before GE-13” in the State of Johore.

The “Johor Bersih 2.0 Liaison Committee” comprised the following members:
1. Sahabat Rakyat
2. Persahabatan Semparuthi Johor
3. IKRAM Johor
4. Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM) Johor
5. LLG Cultural Development Centre (Johor Bahru Committee)
* Johor Bersih 2.0 - represented by Fang Pei Fen

Venue: Sahabat Rakyat liaison office
03-Dec-11
Launching of publicity campaign and workshop of “Implement 8 demands before GE-13”

Johor Bersih 2.0 Liaison Committee held the launch of the “Implement the 8 demands before GE-13” campagin and announced the plan of the campaign that will be carried out in the urban and rural areas in the State of Johore. Bersih 2.0 had sent congratulation letter particularly.

Organiser: Johor Bersih 2.0 Liaison Committee
Venue: 11@Century Hotel, Johor Bahru.

Speakers:
1. Dr Wong Chin Huat, steering committee member of Bersih 2.0
2. Tuan Haji Sarif Mohyin, President of IKRAM Kluang
3. Santa A/P Perumal, coordinator of Persahabatan Semparuthi Johor
01-Jan-12
Small reform on Sahabat Rakyat Blog

Sahabat Rakyat blog went through a small reformation which include categorising the posts into 11 labels. It was a symbol of the deepening of our understanding on democracy and human rights movement in Malaysia, and the increasing aspirations and expectations towards the social and political reform movement in our country. 2 new sections were introduced, i.e. "Special reviews" and "Reader's contributions," hoping to make some efforts to encourage different voices in promoting democracy.
08-Feb-12
Translated and Published “Institutional Racism and Religious freedom in Malaysia” Report from Hindraf

Translated and published “Institutional Racism and Religious freedom in Malaysia”, a report which expressed the core demands of the Indian community. The report has listed numerous facts and various grounds that show that, after Independence, the Indian community remains in a state of being colonised and its members have been deprived of their basic rights.
18-Mar-12
Jointly organised Forum on “Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the Equality of Ethnic communities” cum the launching of Kua Kia Soong's New Book “Patriots and Pretenders - The Malayan Peoples’ Independence Struggle”

N. Ganesan, Hindraf National Advisor delivered a speech entitled “Institutionalised Racism” and Waytha Moorthy Hindraf Chairperson who has been exile in oversea also had presented a short paper with title “Time to correct historical wrongs. Time to dismantle Article 153” personally from United Kingdom, to be read by his another appointed representative at the forum.

Organised by:
1. Sahabat Rakyat
2. HINDRAF Johor
3. Persahabatan Semparuthi Johor

Venue: Auditorium Johor Tourism Information Centre (JOTIC)

Speakers:
1. Dr Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM - Malaysian Patriots and Pretenders
2. Dr. Azmi Sharom, Associate Professor of Law studies of Universiti Malaya - Article 153 Myth and Reality
3. N. Ganesan, National Adviser of Hindraf - Institutionalised Racism
4. Waytha Moorthy, Hindraf Chairperson - Time to correct historical wrongs. Time to dismantle Article 153. (Waytha Moorthy was in exile in oversea and he had appointed a representative to read out his paper.)
21-Mar-12
Published 3-point statement on “325 Save the Chinese education” campaign: Revitalise all ethnic communities’ mother tongue education – Have no illusions about the BN and the government!

Expressed our position towards the "325 Save the Chinese education" campaign initiated and organised by Dong Jong via our call to people of all ethnic groups and democratic political parties, organisations and individuals to "Revitalise all ethnic communities’ mother tongue education – Have no illusions about the BN and the government!".
25-Mar-12
Attended “325 Save the Chinese education” campaign

The organiser disallowed Sahabat Rakyat to hold up 2 banners inside the campaign venue with the slogan “Revitalise all ethnic communities’ mother tongue education – Have no illusions about the BN and the government!” in Chinese and Malay languages . Therefore SR committee members were forced to display the banner and distribute the leaflet outside the venue.

Organiser: Dong Zong
Venue: New Era College, Kajang, Selangor
Released "Song of the People" (in Chinese)

Music: Sia Huan Ping
Lyric: Chen Xue Wen / Chen Xin
28-Apr-12
Attended 428 rally and held up banners

Johor Bersih 2.0 Liaison Committee in responding to the call of 428 rally, had organised 2 buses from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur. Sahabat Rakyat prepared and displayed banners in Chinese and Malay languages that read “Dirty election produces corrupted bureaucracy, corrupted bureaucrats cause environmental hazards”, “People reject ‘dirty election + corrupted bureaucrats’” and “Get out, LYNAS! Get out, corrupted bureaucrats!” during rally.

Organiser: Bersih 2.0
Venue: Kuala Lumpur
06-May-12
‘Workers Working Together for A Secure Future’ International Labour Day Celebration in Johor

This event was jointly organised by 8 NGOs in Johor. On the actual day of the event, Majlis Perbandaran Johor Bahru sent a large number of officers to block the entries around the building, illegally obstructed attendees to join the event.

Organisers:
1. Persahabatan Semparuthi Johor
2. Hindraf Johor
3. IKRAM Johor
4. Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM) Johor
5. LLG Cultural Development Centre (Johor Bahru Committee)
6. Johor Chinese Schools Alumni Associations
7. Persatuan Bekas Penuntut Taiwan Johor Bahru
8. Sahabat Rakyat

Venue: Auditorium Johor Tourism Information Centre (JOTIC)
19-May-12
Released statement entitled "428 Sit-in Protest - Its implications and positive significance"

English and Malay renditions were released consecutively upon the release of the Chinese version. This statement had drawn warm responses from different parties. Sahabat Rakyat blog had also published the response article from S. Arutchelvan then Secretary-General of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and Dr. Kua Kia Soong Suaram Director.
23-Jul-12
Released statement entitled "Waytha Moorthy be allowed to return safely" before Waytha Moorthy's return to Malaysia on 1st Aug 2012.
29-Jul-12
Attended 729 Assembly and displayed banner and distributed statement on “The Chinese community wants pure Chinese school, not ‘mutated’ Chinese school”

Attended the "729 Assembly" organised by the Chinese community in Segamat demanding for setting up of a new Independent School in Segamat. Distributed our statement “The Chinese community wants pure Chinese school, not ‘mutated’ Chinese school” and displayed banner with the same title during the event.

Organiser: Dong Zong, Johor Chinese Schools Committees Associations
Venue: Padang Kampung Abdullah, Segamat, Johor.
01-Aug-12
Attended event organised by Hindraf Johor in welcoming Waytha Moorthy’s return to Malaysia cum forum and later on published “Victorious Return of HINDRAF Leader –Waytha Moorthy Struggle for the Rights and Dignity of the Oppressed Communities Continues - Photo-illustrations” on Sahabat Rakyat blog.

Organiser: Hndraf Johor
Venue: Hindu Temple at Puteri Wangsa, Johor Bahru
14-Aug-12
Translated and published joint statement entitled “Hindraf formalizes strategic partnership with Sabah, Sarawak activists” by Hindraf, Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia (BOPIM) and Constitution for Malaysia Movement
06-Sep-12
Released statement entitled “926 – Demand for resignation of Wee Ka Siong - A symbolic demand expressing the resentment of the Chinese community”

On 1 Sep 2012, Dong Zong led by Yap Sin Tian and Chow Siew Hon officially announced an action call to "Demand for resignation of Wee Ka Siong (then Deputy Minister of Education) and lodge a complain to the Prime Minister on the wrong-doings of Wee Ka Siong that spoilt the Chinese education". A group of members of council of Johor Chinese Schools Committees Associations led by Wang Toon Jui (黄循积) held a press conference in Johor Bahru to express that the demand by Dong Zong had too much focused on Wee Ka Siong which may be disadvantage to the Chinese education. Therefore, Sahabat Rakyat released the statement entitled “926 – Demand for resignation of Wee Ka Siong - A symbolic demand expressing the resentment of the Chinese community” for the reference of democratic parties, organisations and individuals who are concern about the survival and development of mother-tongue education of all ethnic groups in our country.
09-Sep-12
Attended "909 Safeguarding the Sovereignty of Chinese Primary School Management Committees" assembly

Sahabat Rakyat attended the “909 Safeguarding the Sovereignty of Chinese Primary School Management Committees” assembly held in Kluang Chong Hwa Chinese High School to express our position and the chinese community’s feeling of being oppressed regarding our mother tounge education by distrubuting our statement “926 Demand for resignation of Wee Ka Siong – A symbolic demand expressing the resentment of the Chinese community”. Since the organiser disallowed us to display the banner that read “MCA leadership sells out Chinese education! Wee Ka Siong should resign to make an apology!” inside the venue, we were forced to display the banner in front of the school entrance.

Organiser: Johor Chinese Schools Committees Associations
Venue: Kluang Chong Hwa Chinese High School, Kluang, Johor
26-Sep-12
Attended Dong Zong's "926 Save Chinese Education and Protest Movement"

We attended the “926 Save Chinese Education and Protest Movement” at Padang Merbok Kuala Lumpur in responding to the call of Dong Zong on 1 Sep. We distributed our statement entitled “926 Demand for resignation of Wee Ka Siong - a symbolic demand expressing the resentment of the Chinese community”, displayed the banners “MCA leadership sells out Chinese education! Wee Ka Siong should resign to make an apology!” and “KA SIONG, MCA & BN BELONG TO DUSTBINS OF HISTORY!”.
However, Dong Zong leadership was faint-hearted, and 926 campaign had petered out. The organiser suppressed and banned participants from displaying banners against Wee Ka Siong and MCA leadership.

Organiser: Dong Zong
Venue: Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur
29-Sep-12
Published "Dong Zong faint-hearted, 926 Campaign petered out - A feature article on "926 Save Chinese Education Campaign" (Picture Story)
19-Oct-12
Released "Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people: Unite! People of Johore, Realize 3 Pressing Demands; Smash UMNO Hegemony, Form a Democratic United Front!"

Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF MAKKAL SAKTHI) (Johor) and Sahabat Rakyat held a press conference, jointly released “Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people: Unite! People of Johore, Realize 3 Pressing Demands; Smash UMNO Hegemony, Form a Democratic United Front!” (in Chinese, Malay, English languages).

Demand (1): Eliminate racial oppression and work towards equality for all ethnic groups.
Demand (2): Stop “Project M” and eliminate source of corruption in law enforcement agencies.
Demand (3): The Johore people’s interests must be protected from wanton land acquisition (“enclosure” operation) in the name of Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) project.

Venue: Kelab Akhbar Cina Johor Selatan, Johor Bahru
28-Oct-12
Officially handed over "Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people" to leaders of 3 Pakatan Rakyat parties

Representatives from HINDRAF Johor and Sahabat Rakyat handed the "Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people" over to leaders from 3 Pakatan Rakyat parties at the dinner organised by DAP at Sutera Mall, Skudai. Leaders and candidates of all 3 component parties of PR, avoided the just demands raised, they either kept silence or tactfully expressed ambiguous position on “Malay sovereignty”, “State Islamisation” and other core issues.

Venue: Open Car Park beside Sutera Mall, Skudai, Johor
21-Nov-12
Released a 5-point statement regarding the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report and the “1125 Peaceful Assembly” — “Resist UMNO-BN’s attempt at eliminating Chinese and Tamil mother tongue education; Call for Repeal of s.17(1) Education Act 1996”
09-Dec-12
Released statement entitled "People of all ethnic groups should be united to bring about a new era of democratic and human rights" in commemoration of World Human Rights day
01-Jan-13
FOS Working Committee was renamed Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee, with a new logo.

SUARAM due to its own consideration, decided to stop posting Johore coordinator and shut down the Johore Bahru office from 1 January 2013 onwards. FOS Working Committee Johore, as a grassroots organisation which works for human rights that has been active in Johore for 12 years, decided to continue its struggle. Since then, we have been working under the name of Sahabat Rakyat and do not restrict our work to Johore areas only. Our working committee is then known as Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee, with a new logo.
12-Jan-13
Published “Exploring The Problems Encountered by Singapore Left-wing Workers’ Movement in 1960s” Part 1 by Chng Min Oh

This is a feature article written by Chng Min Oh upon the invitation of the Editorial of the 50th anniversary of Operation Cold Store souvenir issue. Chng is a former trade unionist, who was detained on 3 August 1970 under the Internal Security Act and subsequently his citizenship being deprived due to his active involvement in left-wing workers movement in Singapore. He was detained without trial for 13 years and 4 days.
06-Mar-13
Endorsed and translated "REFORM MALAYSIA" Malaysian Civil Society 13GE 20 Demands
06-Mar-13
Released statement entitled "The Concrete Aspirations of All Ethnic Communities - "Malaysian Civil Society GE13 Demands"

Sahabat Rakyat delegated representative to attend a press conference of releasing the “Malaysian Civil Society 20-point GE13 Demands” in Kuala Lumpur, and distributed statement on the spot to show our support for the “20-point GE13 Demands”.
10-Mar-13
Showed our support to Hindraf supremo P. Waythamoorthy’s hunger strike and displayed bilingual banner with slogan “SAHABAT RAKYAT SUPPORTS HINDRAF’S STRUGGLE!”

Organiser: Hindraf
Venue: A Hindu temple in Rawang, Selangor
09-Apr-13
Released statement entitled "Hindraf should Welcome "Gelang Patah Declaration” to Gain More Comprehensive Support from 'Pakatan Rakyat'"

After DAP (Democratic Action Party) unveiled a 14-point plan, billed the ‘Gelang Patah Declaration', that is aimed at alleviating the socio-economic status of Indian Malaysians, Sahabat Rakyat released a statement "Hindraf should Welcome "Gelang Patah Declaration” to Gain More Comprehensive Support from 'Pakatan Rakyat'" (in Chinese and English languages) to carry out the spirit of "Smash UMNO Hegemony, Form a Democratic United Front!".
16-Apr-13
Launched a song entitled "BN Belongs to Dustbin of History!" (Chinese, Malay) specially composed for the upcoming 13th General Election
24-Apr-13
Published "Exploring The Problems Encountered by Singapore Left-wing Workers’Movement in 1960s" Part 2 by Chng Min Oh in commemoration of May 1 International Labour Day
24-Apr-13
Released statement entitled "Waytha Moorthy and Others Who Sell Out the Interests of Their Ethnic Community to Seek Power and Position Will Be Spurned by the People"

Sahabat Rakyat has released the statement “Waytha Moorthy and Others Who Sell Out the Interests of Their Ethnic Community to Seek Power and Position Will Be Spurned by the People” (Chinese, Malay, English), to severely criticize Hindraf’s leadership headed by Waytha Moorthy and N. Ganesan signed off a Memorandum of Understanding entitled “Hindraf-Barisan Nasional (BN) Five-Year Blueprint” (hereinafter referred as “MoU”) with BN ruling clique headed by Najib Razak on 18 Apr.
25-Aug-13
Attended debriefing session on "Opposing policies and measures in Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 that are detrimental to the survival and development of mother-tongue education"

Presidium members of Sahabat Rakyat, Chan Jock Lan and Choo Shinn Chei together with 4 working committee members attended the abovementioned debriefing session. During the sharing session opened to the ground, Choo represented Sahabat Rakyat to put forward a suggestion towards Chinese associations to act in unison to display banner “Firmly reject Education Blueprint 2013-2025” which had aroused enthusiastic response from the media and public who attended the session.

Initiator: Dong Zong; Organiser: The State of Johore Chinese School Managers & Teachers Association
Venue: Foon Yew High School Auditorium, Johor Bahru
20-Oct-13
Organised “NGOs Parliamentary Struggle Democracy and Human Rights” forum cum dinner in commemoration of the 12th Anniversary of Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee

Venue: Cathay Restaurant, Kulai, Johor

Speakers:
1. Wong Tack, Chair of Himpunan Hijau
2. Dr. Hew Kuan Yau, Political scientist - Liberty through Challenging Boundaries, Justice through Resisting
3. Low Sik Thong, leader of Chinese associations - NGOs should Make Use of Parliamentary Struggle, Form a United Front, Strive for Democracy and Human Rights!
4. Zaid Kamaruddin, delegate of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) - Civil Society Organisations and Change: A Collaborative Approach
09-Dec-13
Released statement "Tuntutan Hak Pendidikan Bahasa Ibunda yang Adil: Kerajaan Harus Tubuhkan Sekolah Menengah Bahasa Tamil” (in Chinese and Malay languages)
01-Jan-14
Started to use new logo, new email address, i.e. sahabatrakyat.my@gmail.com and new blog address, i.e. sahabatrakyatmy.blogspot.com
08-Mar-14
Released a joint statement entitled "2014 Kajang By-election Demands"

Sahabat Rakyat together with Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall (Youth Section), Youth Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) and 15 democrats, released a statement entitled “2014 Kajang By-election Demands” and put forward 4 demands towards PKR Kajang by-election candidate and Pakatan Rakyat on 8 March. Both Anwar and Wan Azizah as well as PR leaders just ignored all the demands raised by NGOs then.

Below are the 4 demands:
(1) Eliminate religious oppression, pursue equality for all ethnic groups;
(2) Clean and fair election;
(3) Abolish New Economic Policy (NEP) and Bumiputera quota system;
(4) Equal treatment to the mother-tongue language of different ethnic communities.

Endorsed by:
1. Sahabat Rakyat
2. Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall (Youth Section)
3. Youth Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
4. 15 democrats

Venue: Level 1 Meeting Hall, Prescott Hotel Kajang, Selangor
04-May-14
Jointly Organised Forum on "Krisis perkataan Allah • Hak berperlembagaan • Kebebasan beragama"

Organisers:
1. Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee
2. Lajnah Perpaduan Nasional (LPN) PAS Johor

Venue: Auditorium Johor Tourism Information Centre (JOTIC), Johor Bahru

Speakers:
1. Dr. Shad Saleem (Emeritus Professor) - The Kalimah Allah Issue – The Peninsular Malaysian Perspective
2. P. Waytha Moorthy (Chairman of HINDRAF) - The Ambiguity of Federal Constitution and Reluctance of Judiciary to Protect Religious Freedom of Minorities
3. Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan (President of STAR Party in Sabah) - Allah is for All - A Sabah Perspective
4. Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS)) - Kalimah Allah dan Hujahan
13-May-14
Invited to attend commemoration event of the 60th anniversary of May 13 incident in Singapore to commemorate the struggle of the Chinese school students opposing conscription implemented by the British colonialist

Organisers: 2 Human Rights NGOs in Singapore
1. Function 8
2. MARUAH

Venue: Tanjong Katong Complex, Singapore
02-Aug-14
Published "Fragments of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript" (Later changed to "Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript")

This posthumous manuscript was included as Appendix 2 in Lim Chin Joo’s book entitled “My Youth in Black and White” released in July 2014. On 8 Aug, Sahabat Rakyat received an email from a Singapore law firm entrusted by Lim Chin Joo, requested our blog to cease and desist the unlawful copying of the article Fragments of Lim Chin Siong’s Q&A Posthumous Manuscript and illustrations, and to provide written assurance within ten days that we will cease and desist from further infringement of its clients’ copyrighted works, otherwise it shall instruct its Malaysian associate to take necessary legal action against us. Sahabat Rakyat replied to Lim Chin Joo’s entrusted lawyer on 17 August, in the same time, published the email reply (in Chinese and English) entitled “Sahabat Rakyat explained the reason of publishing Fragments of Lim Chin Siong’s Q&A Posthumous Manuscript and sought Mr. Lim Chin Joo’s kind understanding” on our blog.
05-Sep-14
Organised important argument articles about "May 13 student movement in Singapore"

An argument about “Did Communist Party of Malaya (MCP) exercise leadership in the May 13 student movement in Singapore?” broke out in the 60th anniversary commemoration of the “May 13 student movement in Singapore”. Therefore, we have organised and published some important argument articles in our website in Chinese and English languages.
21-Sep-14
Again organised and published Part 2 arguments about “Did Communist Party of Malaya (MCP) exercise leadership in the May 13 student movement in Singapore?”
06-Dec-14
Published the interview with Lim Hock Koon, a key leader of May 13 incident

Interviewed Lim Hock Koon, a key leader who went through May 13 Incident in Singapore, ordered the interview contents and published it upon the consent of Lim Hock Koon. We also published the English rendition on 13 May 2015.

This interview was published as 2 parts below:
Part 1 : Family, educational and political background of Lim Hock Koon
Part 2 : Discussion about the "May 13 Incident" between Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee members and Lim Hock Koon
01-Feb-15
Released “Sahabat Rakyat three-year work summary (2012-2014)” and the conclusion article “Extricating from the shackles of Western concepts of democracy, adhering to the struggle for equal rights” in Chinese language
04-Feb-15
Released statement entitled "3 points of opinions by Sahabat Rakyat on the crisis of split of Dong Zong leadership"

Key points of the statement:
(1) Yap Sin Tian and Chow Siew Hon must take the blame and step down immediately.
(2) The “reform” faction must apologise for the previous mistake made.
(3) Dong Zong president should fulfil at lease 2 prerequisites (must have demonstrated dedication spirit for the Chinese education and must have non-partisan background).
21-Feb-15
Published a working paper entitled “Hindraf Movement is a Product of Current Democratic Reform Movement of the Malaysia Indian Community” by Nyam Kee Han, Sahabat Rakyat Presidium member

Nyam Kee Han, Sahabat Rakyat Presidium member had specially written a working paper entitled “Hindraf Movement is a Product of Current Democratic Reform Movement of the Malaysia Indian Community” (in Chinese and Malay languages) in line with one of our work focuses in 2015, namely to continue promote inter-ethnic community work, oppose UMNO racial hegemony and strive for the equality of all ethnic groups.
12-Mar-15
Jointly organised forum on "In Commemorating United Nation's International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination: A Symposium to Eliminate Racism and Racial Discrimination"

Jointly organised “A Symposium to Eliminate Racism and Racial Discrimination” with Hindraf and other 8 NGOs. Nyam Kee Han, Presidium member of Sahabat Rakyat represented Sahabat Rakyat to deliver a speech in Malay language entitled “How should democratic parties and organisations in Malaysia look upon Hindraf’s movement”. Other speakers included Zaid Ibrahim, Dr Lim Teck Ghee, Lina Soo and Waytha Moorthy.

Organisers:
1. Hindraf
2. Suaram
3. United Borneo Front
4. Lim Lian Geok Cultural Foundation
5. BOPIM
6. Sahabat Rakyat
7. Civil Rights Committee -SCAH
8. Human Rights Foundaion Malaysia
9. Vivekananda Youth Movement

Venue: Lim Lian Geok Cultural Foundation Office, Kuala Lumpur.
23-Jun-15
Published statement “Face Hindraf and the Oppressed Community’s demands squarely, look forward to helpful policies for all ethnic groups to be carried out by Johor Sultan” by Nyam Kee Han, Presidium member of Sahabat Rakyat (in Chinese and Malay languages)
05-Sep-15
Published "The rising and trend of Hindraf movement" translated by Ravi Sarma

Published “The rising and trend of Hindraf movement” translated by Ravi Sarma, an Indian friend who is proficient in Chinese, English and Tamil languages who had spent plenty of his precious time and effort in translating the article. This Tamil rendition is the last two chapters of the working paper by Nyam Kee Han, Sahabat Rakyat Presidium member entitled “Hindraf Movement is a Product of Current Democratic Reform Movement of the Malaysia Indian Community”.
06-Sep-15
Organised "The New Phase of Democratic Reform in Malaysia" Forum cum luncheon in commemoration of Sahabat Rakyat’s 14th Anniversary
Venue: DeFortune Restaurant, Kulaijaya, Johor

Speakers:
1. Firdaus Husni - Federal Constitution: Preserve, Protect and Defend
2. P. Waytha Moorthy - Democratic Change is Meaningless without Commitment for True and Genuine Reforms
3. S. Arutchelvan - Mobilising for Change - What To Do First
4. Dzulkefly Ahmad - Strengthening Parliamentary Reforms: The Way Forward
5. Lina Soo - Malaysia 'Great Buttress of Freedom In Asia' - Truth or Fiction?

Sahabat Rakyat also invited Ravi Sarma to share the origin of the invitation from Sahabat Rakyat to translate “The rising and trend of Hindraf movement” into Tamil language and his thoughts on the translation work.

We had also invited Tan Tai Kim (陈大锦) to deliver a speech in his capacity as the President of Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia) Johor. Tan had accepted the invitation however he was not able to make it ultimately due to an urgent meeting in Selangor. Sahabat Rakyat had thus appointed a committee member to read out Tan’s speech entitled “The main task of the present phase of Dong Zong is to unite/integrate the rank of the Chinese education”.

Sahabat Rakyat presidium also delivered the speech entitled “Our prospects of the democratic reform in Malaysia” during the event.
14-Dec-15
Translated and published the statement by Hindraf entitled “Hindraf calls for review of the Federal Constitution on its vague and ‘mysteriously removed’ provisions” which was released on 10 Dec in conjunction with the International Human Rights Day.
25-Dec-15
Released the statement on "The Chinese community should seriously treat the accusations on Thock Kiah Wah by Ho Khai Leong"

Southern University College, a tertiary education university, located in Skudai, Johor broke out a crisis on “the president and deputy president series of related reports / articles”. We continue to follow up and publish a series of corresponding news/articles and released a statement entitled “The Chinese community should seriously treat the accusations on Thock Kiah Wah by Ho Khai Leong”.
05-Feb-16
Published the English rendition of “Part of Lim Chin Siong’s Q&A Posthumous Manuscript” and article entitled “The Best Way to Commemorate Lim Chin Siong Is To Propagate His Ideology and Ideal” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong’s departure
15-Mar-16
Published a feature article by Chng Min Oh (Singapore) entitled “Lim is a prominent leader of the constitutional struggle in Singapore and Malaya, the conclusion of struggle that he drew is the wealth of ideology he left for the people” (in Chinese) to commemorate the 20th of the departure of Lim Chin Siong.
20-Mar-16
Jointly organised “Tribute to S. A. Ganapathy and Lim Chin Siong: Develop the selfless devotion spirit of these eminent leaders of the Malaya labour movement” forum

Organisers:
1. Sahabat Rakyat
2. Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) Johor
3. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) Nusajaya

Venue: Meeting hall at TJ Mart, Kulai, Johor

Speakers:
1. Chen Jian@ C.C.Chin, historian - The significance of inheriting and persisting Lim Chin Siong’s struggle line today
2. Saminathan Munisamy, founder and author of malayaganapathy.com website - S.A. Ganapathy: From a Social Reformist to Independence Fighter
03-Jul-16
Endorsed and published joint statement by 44 NGOs entitled “All are citizens, no more ‘kafir harbi’ or ‘kafir dhimmi’”
13-Aug-16
Released the statement on " Mahathir to do 3 things before the people consider whether to vote for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia"

We are of the view that, Mahathir has to do 3 things below before the people consider whether to vote for PPBM:

(1) Admits openly that he took the liberty of announcing “Malaysia is an Islamic state” was a wrong decision that has violated the Federal Constitution, and apologises sincerely to the people of all ethnic groups in Malaysia.
(2) Admits openly that his attempt to ruin Anwar’s political future back in those years was a wrong decision and action, and apologises to Anwar’s families and all the people in Malaysia.
(3) Announces publicly that his political party will only contest in parliamentary and state assembly seats in UMNO strongholds to align with opposition parties coalition’s strategy in fighting UMNO BN one to one (definitely will not contest in the parliamentary and state assembly seats that opposition parties have seized or expecting victory).
01-Sep-16
Released work report of Sahabat Rakyat (2011-2016) entitled "Deepening 4 points of political understandings Through the practice over the past 5 years"
(1) From attaching to SUARAM till being independent to struggle continually;
(2) Main focus on opposing UMNO BN hegemonic rule and striving for the equality of all ethnic groups;
(3) Deepening 4 points of political understandings on democratic reform struggle in our country through our practice over the past 5 years;
(4) Our aspirations towards the present phase of democratic reform movement in Malaysia.

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通告 Notification

人民之友 对我国下届大选意见书
(华 巫 英)3种语文已先后贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在今年9月24日对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的“意见书”,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!

这篇意见书的英文译稿(标题是:Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!)已于10月22日张贴在本部落格。马来文译稿(标题是:Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!)也已接着在11月13日在此贴出。

此外,人民之友也将通过电子邮件、微信、WhatsApp等方式,尽可能向全国各民族、各阶层、各行业、各宗教的团体和个人,传送我们的这份“意见书”供参考。我们欢迎跟我们对下届大选的立场和见解一致的团体和个人,将这份“意见书”传送到更多的人手中去!

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


Pandangan Sahabat Rakyat terhadap PRU akan datang telah diterbitkan dalam tiga bahasa (Melayu, Cina dan Inggeris)

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! " (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)dalam Bahasa Cina pada 24hb September 2017.

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut yang bertajuk Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”! telah diterbitkan dalam blog kita pada 22hb Oktober 2017 manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu telah diterbitkan pada 13hb November 2017.

Selain daripada itu, Sahabat Rakyat juga akan menyebarkan kenyataan ini seluas mungkin kepada pertubuhan dan individu semua bangsa, strata, profesyen dan agama seluruh Negara melalui email, wechat, whatsApp dan pelbagai saluran lain. Kami amat mengalu-alukan pertubuhan dan individu yang berpendirian dan pandangan sama dengan kami untuk turut menyebarkan kenyataan ini kepada lebih ramai orang!

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


The Chinese, English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election have been published consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, on 24 September 2017, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!” (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)

The English rendition of this statement entitled "Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!" and the Malay rendition entitled "Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!" had been released on 22 October and 13 November respectively.

Apart from that, Sahabat Rakyat will also make every effort to disseminate this statement as widely as possible to organizations and individuals of all ethnic groups, religions and all walks of life throughout the country via email, WeChat, WhatsApp and other channels. We welcome organizations and individuals with the same position and views to spread this statement to more people!

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

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)