The International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS)-Malaysia expresses deep disappointment at the political maneuvering at the federal level that has resulted in the breakup of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition and the resignation of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. ILPS-Malaysia furthermore views the formation of either a backdoor or a ‘unity’ government as undemocratic and a betrayal of the people who voted for change along coalition lines in the 2018 elections.
We call on all Malaysian citizens to voice out their anger and disappointment at this abandonment of the mandate they had given to the government. The Pakatan Harapan must uphold their promises to the Rakyat who voted them to power. These include the 5 pillars, namely:
1) Reduce the high cost of living;
2) Institutional and political reforms, particularly curbing corruption at all levels;
3) Spur sustainable and equitable economic growth;
4) Return Sabah and Sarawak to the status accorded to the Malaysia Agreement 1963; and
5) Create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally.
With the recent political developments, we fear that the government is heading towards what we have feared and hoped against for the past two years—the exoneration of the crimes of former government officials, heightened political repression, and socio-economic policies that lead to greater inequality and even greater centralization of power under the office of the Prime Minister. This post already holds sweeping powers and levels of control over all aspects of government following decades of policy which have seen power increasingly centralized, away from regional centers and the people on the ground.
In this last week, the Borneo States, in particular, have watched an unfolding drama in which they have had little say and which ultimately would bring little change to their position. Therefore, we renew our calls for the duly elected PH government to get back to work and fulfill their manifesto promise of a process of devolution of powers to the Borneo States so that they can enjoy the right to self-determination within their own nation as originally intended under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
We demand that the government respect people’s rights and democracy, and promote tolerance, equality, and justice for all. The people will not hesitate to launch various forms of protests if the government persists in blatantly upholding the interests of a few self-serving politicians over that of the majority of its citizens.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) is an anti-imperialist and democratic formation. ILPS Malaysia is the Malaysian chapter of ILPS with three civil society organisations i.e. Tenaganita, MOPOT and PANAP as members. It promotes, supports and develops the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the peoples of the world against imperialism and all reaction. It has a broad mass character and not subordinate to any political party, government or religion and affords equality to all participating organizations.
Sarojeni Rengam, Executive Director, PANAP, Penang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Atama Katama, Vice Chair, MOPOT (Moningolig Pogun Tokou) Sabah (email@example.com)
Glorene A Das, Executive Director, Tenaganita Women’s Force, Selangor (firstname.lastname@example.org)