Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) or The Socialist Party of Malaysia is a socialist political party in Malaysia. PSM fights for social equality and distribution of wealth based on one’s contribution to society, and for the economic interest of society is served as a whole.
On July 2nd 2011, six members of PSM were detained without trial under the Emergency Ordinance 1969 (EO). Among the activists who were detained without trial are Dr. Jeyakumar, the MP of Sungai Siput; M. Saraswathy, PSM Deputy President; Central Committee members Choo Chon Kai and M. Sugumaran, Central Committee members; R. Saratbabu, PSM Youth Chief and A. Letchumanan, Sungai Siput branch secretary. Collectively they are known as “PSM 6″.
It was alleged that PSM was a danger to the public as it was planning to revive communism and topple the government by starting a revolution. The man in question Dr. Michael Jeyakumar, the Sungei Siput MP was also accused of plotting to overthrow the King. While he was detained, his health deteriorated and was kept in isolation.?For many nights, PSM held candlelight vigils to protest against the absurd detention of PSM 6.
The nightly affair started with family members, opposition supporters, PSM members and friends gathering in front of the Bukit Aman police headquarters. The candlelight vigils have been held at various places including Dataran Merdeka, Bar Council and Brickfields Police Station.?Without fail, the crowd present at every night ardently cried:
Bebas! Bebas! Bebas tahanan!
Hidup hidup! Hidup Rakyat!
Mansuh mansuh! Mansuh EO!
Mansuh mansuh! Mansuh ISA!
On 26th July 2011, I attended the Candlelight Vigil which was held at Dataran Merdeka.
Anne Ooi, Malaysia’s very own “Lady of Liberty”, was also present to encourage participants to continue to rally for the release of the six activists.
Various leaders presented their solidarity speeches in support of releasing the PSM6.
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, Chairperson of Bersih 2.0 delivered a speech in solidarity with the PSM6.
Tian Chua, MP of Batu also delivered a speech to encourage the crowd to keep up the spirit.
All in all, it was a worthwhile experience. Eventually on 29th July 2011, the six PSM members were released unconditionally, after 28 days in detention.
LB: This is an edited version of the article which first appeared here.