Ramasamy: “PSM should be included in Pakatan’s electoral front”
PENANG deputy chief minister II Prof P. Ramasamy said Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) should be included in the electoral cooperation with Pakatan Harapan.
The Perai assemblyperson noted that ideologically, PSM is not that different from Pakatan component parties such as DAP and to some extent, PKR.
“PSM has a history of working with the Opposition and its current president Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj served as MP for the Sungai Siput constituency in Perak from 2008 to 2018 on the PKR ticket,” he pointed out.
“I am not sure why PSM parted ways with Pakatan in GE14 in 2018. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that the party wanted its candidates to contest under its own banner.”
According to Ramasamy, PSM is “very much a class-based party with emphasis on the emancipation of class exploitation through education, awareness and agitation”.
DAP, meanwhile, seems very much focused on the nationality question, more specifically on whether citizens in the country are treated equally and fairly without being subordinated to ethnic and religious divisions, he added.
“DAP might not be focused much on the class question as it believes that racial and religious discrimination must be addressed first,” Ramasamy elaborated.
“The class issue is secondary in DAP’s overall concept of society although this has not prevented DAP party leaders from taking up labour and trade union issues. The late V. David, for example, was a famous trade unionist and labour leader in DAP.”
Ramasamy further pointed out that PSM seldom addresses the nationality issue in the country, adding that “there is a fear that the party might be unnecessarily dragged into the racial and ethnic debate” and that “[PSM] steers clear by focusing on the betterment of the exploited class in the country”.
“PSM has fought tirelessly in championing the rights of workers and better housing for plantation workers, among others,” he acknowledged.
“Essentially, both parties – despite the differences in emphasis and the personality of leaders – want a society that is egalitarian, fair and just for all Malaysians irrespective of their background.”
On PKR, Ramasamy noted that while the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led party might not have the same ideology as PSM and DAP that are rooted in socialism or democratic socialism, the party is “concerned about the issues affecting the poorer segments of the society” and “do not fail to raise issues poverty, the impact of inflation on the poor and widespread nature of corruption”.
“PKR is a multi-racial party that wants a better society for all Malaysians. It is not an elitist party like UMNO or Bersatu but a party that has an egalitarian notion of a society that is free from corruption and abuse of power,” he said.
“I don’t think that there are fundamental differences between the three political parties. Specific differences notwithstanding, all three parties share the common vision of society where the inequality between classes are reduced, the racial and ethnic discrimination are eliminated and the corruption and abuse of political power are reduced.”
Ramasamy noted that these traits are in opposition to those political parties and power.
“This is precisely why PSM should be included in the electoral cooperation with Pakatan. While PSM does not have a mass following, it is a principled party that might enhance the image of the Opposition in denying votes to Barisan Nasional.” – Sept 27, 2022