Thursday, 27 August 2009



Najib Razak became the Prime Minister of Malaysia in April this year. Since then, he has been using two approaches to strengthen his party UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) and the government of the BN (Barisan Nasional or National Front), in which it plays the major role, since they came out of the last General Election considerably weakened. The first is to demonstrate some reforms and to promise some economic 'goodies' by using populist rhetoric to regain the support of the voters. The second is to continuously undermine and discredit the opposition PR (Pakatan Rakyat - People's Coalition) by using allegations of corruption, money politics and other things through the state apparatus such as the police, the courts and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

BN's two-faced behaviour

With a weaker government after the unprecedented losses in the last General Election, Najib and the BN government are under pressure to make some adjustments in government policies in order to increase his credibility of running the government. This is also to counter the economic agenda of Anwar Ibrahim and the PR that is supposedly for "equal distribution of wealth", by implementing further liberalisation of the economy.

But the question is how far Najib can go in his "reform" which is also linked to how soon Malaysia could recover from the uncertainties in the current global economy. In an export-oriented economy, the external conditions will be the driving factor in Malaysia's economic outlook, with risks stemming from the duration of the global recession, financial markets and commodity prices.

For the first five months of the year, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) totaled only RM4.2 billion compared to RM46 billion last year, as foreign companies cut back on capital and other types of investment. In order to be competitive, Najib has no other way than to liberalise financial services. He has also ended some regulations binding companies to 30 percent Malay ownership, partly dismantling a 40 year-old policy introduced by his father, Razak Hussein, the second prime minister of independent Malaysia. These measures are intended to give greater flexibilities for the multinational capitalists to exploit the resources and labour in this country; but for FDI to come in, it still depends on the demands and economic performance of countries such as the US, Japan and China and those in the European Union.

Nevertheless, Najib's economic "reforms" have not yet dismantled the government patronage system and the protectionist measures that exist to safeguard the national capitalists and GLCs (government linked companies). The patronage practices, such as handing out government contracts to UMNO cronies, go ahead unhindered; because of this there is not much defiance from UMNO members against Najib's moves. "UMNO has to follow through on the government's economic liberalisation policy but it still needs to keep its Malay base loyal," said Ibrahim Suffian, director of Merdeka Center, an independent pollster. As well as creating a class of Malay capitalists, government contracts are the lifeblood for more than 30,000 contractors, most of whom are grassroots UMNO officials, whose support is widely sought after by party leaders. Therefore, the Malay capitalists, as well as the GLCs, are still protected under these arrangements of economic liberalisation.

Undoubtedly, behind the scenes, the BN is still practicing "divide and rule" racial politics to uphold the patronage system while cynically propagating the "one Malaysia" concept, articulating that every Malaysian, regardless of race, is equal. Now, Najib's slogan - "One Malaysia, People First, Performance Now" - has become the mantra that is propagated through every branch of the public media to every government function. This rhetoric is mainly designed to recapture the non-Malays' support.

On completing his 100 days in office, Najib has also introduced populist measures to regain support by promising that his administration "will give priority to fighting crime, fighting corruption, improving education, upgrading low-income households, upgrading rural basic infrastructure and upgrading urban public transport to ensure everyone benefits". Such promises are not new and were also made during Abdullah Badawi's tenure and it led to his political demise by the failure to "walk the talk".

Other promises of Najib, like introducing laws with real power to reform the judiciary and the police, have not been met and corruption and mismanagement of funds are still prevalent. Meanwhile issues such as the PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone) RM12 billion Scandal- in which the port development project was awarded without any competitive bid to well-connected political cronies of the UMNO and MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association), the two biggest components of the BN - up to the BN power grab in Perak state, are still unresolved. All these show that Najib's government is not much different from past administrations - abundant with rhetoric, bankrupt in implementation.

Najib's 'One Malaysia' concept will be more political rhetoric and will not succeed to "distribute the wealth equally regardless of race" as long as there is exploitation and prejudice executed by this pro-capitalist government. The working class and the poor are continually suffering under this profit-oriented system as their needs and rights are being marginalised.

Although, since the last General Election, the PR has won all by-elections in West Malaysia, it has not yet been truly tested in the BN strongholds of states like Johor, Melaka, Pahang and in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). So, whether the PR is capable of winning the next General Election, is still uncertain as this still depends on factors such as: the economic conditions, the performance of Najib and the BN government in fulfilling some of their promises in the next one or two years and whether PR can solidly build its coalition as an alternative to the BN.

However, the Merdeka Center's poll in July showed that Najib's approval rating is 65 percent, a jump up from 42 percent just before he became the country's sixth prime minister under a cloud of allegations of corruption and murder. The improvement in the approval rating is mainly because the failure of PR to come out with concrete measures to counter Najib's rhetoric as well as to put forward a clear alternative to challenge the profit-oriented system and raise and safeguard the basic living standards of the ordinary people.

Discrediting PR

Undoubtedly, since Najib came into power, he and the BN have viciously planned to undermine the PR and its leaders by using every possible avenue, including the state apparatus such as the police, courts, laws and other things. The government bringing a second case against the PR leader, Anwar Ibrahim, for sodomy is one example that shows that the Najib government is going all out to discredit Anwar and to suppress his involvement in politics. This is mainly aimed at splitting the PR coalition partners who have bonded together because of the leadership of Anwar.

There are also attempts by the BN government to destabilise PR-controlled state governments by luring some PR state assemblymen towards them. Najib, who has succeeded with this tactic in the state of Perak is now trying to do the same in other PR states like Kedah and Selangor.

The death of Teoh Beng Hock, a 30-year old political aide to a Selangor State Executive Committee member, when he was under investigation by the MACC, has infuriated many and undermined the credibility of MACC and the BN government. The continued persecution of PR politicians shows the vicious attempts of BN to undermine the PR. Contrarily, many UMNO and BN politicians who are blatantly corrupt and abuse power have not been investigated or charged by MACC.

Democratic Rights

This shows that Malaysian politics is not on an even "playing field", with the ruling parties always having the upper hand over the opposition parties. The BN has been in power more than 50 years and its autocratic rule has been favourable to the desire of national and international capitalists to maximize their profits. In that process, democratic rights and the fundamental needs of ordinary people have been diluted and suppressed. Consequently, most of the time ordinary people have to fight to defend their rights and fulfill their basic needs.

The PR opposition is against the undemocratic actions of the BN government, but consistently supports free market capitalism.

The exploitative nature of the capitalist system encourages governments to use unjust measures to fulfill the needs of the profit system. The state is just a tool for capitalists to fulfill their desire to maximize their profits. Therefore the struggle for democratic rights must be carried out together with the struggle against capitalism.

PR inconsistency

The People's Alliance (PR) with its rhetoric about 'People Power' has no perspective of strengthening the real majority - the working class, youth, students, poor farmers and others - but merely crying foul against the undemocratic persecution of the government against them. At the same time, the social and economic issues that have angered ordinary people, and which were highlighted during the March 2008 election, are continually being ignored.

Anwar Ibrahim and other PR leaders will say, "We will prove that we can be better at governing when we take over at federal level". Basically they are promoting a two party system to safeguard capitalism as in the US (Democrats and Republicans) and in the UK (Labour and Conservative).

This shows that there are no clear alternatives for the working class and youth. The BN and PR clearly support the free market system of capitalism with just minor differences between them with the latter arguing for more transparency and getting rid of corruption in the government. Nevertheless, the PR state governments, most of the time, end up working towards fulfilling the desires of the profit-mongers - developers and investors - rather than fighting to satisfy the needs of the working and poor people.

The recent issue relating to Buah Pala village in Penang, which is under the rule of a PR state government, is one such case. Lim Guan Eng, the PR chief minister of Penang, has shown himself incapable of safeguarding the ancestral homes of the villagers from demolition threats by a developer, resulting from the treacherous policies pursued by the previous BN state government. In this dispute Lim is only able to show that he is good as a mediator between the people and the developer, but the negotiation is ultimately more favorable to the developer who is going to reap billions of ringgits profit. Lim and the PR government demonstrate that they have no political will to challenge the developer and the fraud incurred in order to safeguard this centuries-old cultural and historical heritage in favour of the ordinary people.

Contrarily, in relation to a similar issue in Bukit Cina in the 1980s, when Lim was in opposition to the BN Melaka state government, he fought for the rights of the residents until succeeding in saving Bukit Cina from being demolished by BN. At the 'Save Bukit Cina' 20th Anniversary Dinner in 2004, Lim said, "It shows the importance of preserving our important cultural and historical heritage over [the interests of] development projects for the sake of private gain. Both the BN and the MCA saw only ringgit signs when they proposed leveling the oldest Chinese cemetery in Malaysia to build houses, small shops and shopping complexes."

One of the villagers in Kg. Buah Pala shouted angrily: "When Pakatan (PR) was not in the government it claimed that it was with the people, but when it is in the government it does nothing to safeguard the interests of ordinary people!". This issue demonstrates the inconsistent role of pro-capitalist parties and those parties who have succumbed to the rule of capitalism when they have come to power. In these circumstances, the ordinary people have no other way than to fight for their rights with their own forces.

Such inconsistent politics on the part of the Pakatan coalition partners could weaken the support base that they gained in the last General Election.

Recently, PAS (the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party) advocated banning the SIS (Sisters in Islam) - an NGO that is fighting for the rights of Muslim women against unjust laws and regulations. But, at the same time, it campaigns against the undemocratic law and policies of the BN government. Even some of its leaders are keen on collaborating with UMNO to strengthen Malay/Muslim political domination, although PAS is formally a member of the PR that is supposed to promote multi-racial politics.

PAS' slogan, "PAS for All", is intended to attract non-Muslim voters. But, at certain times, it stirs up issues that are sensitive to Muslims, using them against non-Muslims to maintain its Malay/Muslim base. Such acts create conflicts between PAS and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) who are based on the Chinese community. The internal squabbling between them undermines the credibility of the PR coalition.

This shows why it is crucial for socialists and trade unionists to maintain an independent working class position and to be critical of the populist rhetoric of both the PR and the BN in order to strengthen working class struggles and organisations against hypocritical pro-capitalist parties.

Working class alternative

The bickering between the ruling BN and the opposition PR is leading to personal attacks and this is increasingly frustrating the ordinary people - the working class and youth. They are more concerned with improving their fundamental conditions and rights, but neither the ruling BN nor the opposition PR is representing the needs of this class.

Recently, some leaders of a movement called HINDRAF (Hindu Right Action Force) launched new Indian party after declaring that the PR had failed to fight for the rights of the marginalised Indian people. There is some truth in their claims, but initiating another race-based party is not going to solve the social and economic issues of working class and poor Indians. Most of the issues highlighted by HINDRAF, such as Indians being alienated from mainstream development, are caused by the pro-capitalist policies and neo-liberal agenda of the BN government and the PR has failed to address these class issues. Some of the issues also affect the Malay and Chinese working class and youth. In short, the common "enemy" is the same for the whole working class and all youth, regardless of their race or religion. For this reason, an independent working class party to unite workers and youth, regardless of race and religion, is the only way forward.

Some on the Left and also trade union leaders are supporting the PR with the hope that when it comes into power, better conditions and rights can be won, as well as there being more democratic space. Some reforms could be won under pressure from below, but this is not guaranteed, since the new government would also be under the domination and pressure of capitalism.

However, growing numbers of youth and workers who have lost hope in the PR with its own pro-capitalist agenda are supporting the ideas of building a working class alternative. This should be armed with socialist ideas and perspectives in order to counter the limitations of capitalism. This is the only way to go towards building a just, democratic and equal society:- a socialist society to fulfill the needs of the majority - the working class and youth - regardless of race and religion.

Ravichandren, CWI Malaysia

Monday, 10 August 2009


SWINE 'FLU (Influenza A H1N1) is rapidly spreading. A vaccine to prevent infection is urgently needed but it will be next year before there are sufficient supplies to protect everyone in Britain. Eventually half the population may be infected.

Fortunately, for most people the infection is unpleasant but not serious. The number of people developing complications or dying does not seem to be higher than normal seasonal flu. But 'flu viruses are unpredictable because they can quickly change. It could become more serious as a result.

Flu pandemics - affecting much of the world - occur every few decades. Scientists have been warning of a new one for several years. The outbreak of bird flu in 2005 could have been the beginning, but that virus was not particularly infectious to humans.

The pharmaceutical industry has had plenty of time to get ready, so how prepared is it to meet the demand for billions of doses? Flu vaccines cannot be developed in advance, because of the way the virus changes. Neither can a production line simply be switched on, as the vaccines involve growing a modified form of the virus, which takes at least 12 weeks and may take months.

Safety trials should be carried out, in case of side effects. But there needs to be factories ready to start production as soon as the development work has been done.

Around 300 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine are produced globally each year. If manufacturers were to switch to producing a single pandemic strain vaccine, they might triple the number of doses to around 900 million.

The World Health Organisation said up to 4.9 billion doses could be produced in 12 months. But if more than one shot per person is needed (two are likely) and production yields are lower than for seasonal flu vaccine, far fewer people would have access to protection.

US manufacturer, Baxter International, said on 23 July that it has taken orders from five countries, including Britain, Ireland and New Zealand, for a total of 80 million doses of vaccine and will not take any more. It will manufacture these in new factories in the Czech Republic and Austria.

Baxter could take $30-$40 million in revenue from these contracts, according to the Chicago Tribune. That's 50 cents a dose - about 30p. In the second quarter of this year, Baxter made $587 million profit - 8% up on last year. Dividend payments rose 13%.

Another company benefitting from the flu scare is GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Sales of the company's Relenza inhaler, an alternative to Tamiflu used by pregnant women among others, are expected to top £600 million. This figure could be boosted by up to £2 billion once deliveries of its vaccine begin in September.

"We are not trying to generate some crazy level of profit," said GSK chief executive Andrew Witty. "Equally our shareholders wouldn't want us to do it for anything other than a return."

GSK and other pharmaceutical companies won't build and maintain expensive factories that might not be needed for many years, just to be ready for a pandemic when it arrives. That's why the pressure to bring out a swine flu vaccine quickly threatens normal production of seasonal 'flu vaccines. The same production facilities may be needed.

The US government has just awarded a $35 million contract to Protein Sciences Corporation. This company is developing a new and quicker way to make vaccines, using insect cells in which to grow viruses, rather than the conventional hen's eggs. Only the day before the contract was made, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy!

Developing and producing vaccines should not be left to the whim of corporations run for profit. A publicly owned and democratically controlled pharmaceutical industry would put the necessary resources into pandemic preparation, even if these were not needed for many years.

It would also ensure that there was capacity to manufacture enough doses for everyone at risk, including those living in countries where most people have no adequate health services. The speed with which this virus spread from Mexico shows that an international plan to fight such infectious diseases is needed.

Since 9/11 the US has spent over $864 billion on war in Afghanistan and Iraq. It would probably cost under $10 billion to produce sufficient flu vaccine for the whole world. There is no doubt which expenditure would make us all safer.

Jon Dale, CWI


Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Deepening divisions in ruling regime

Events in the run-up to Ahmadinejad's formal swearing-in for a second term as Iranian president on 5 August have displayed again the deep splits within the ruling elite which the mass movement after the disputed 12 June election revealed. Significantly, this has been despite only limited street protests taking place recently.

While the ruling group may hope that a combination of increased repression and Ahmadinejad's confirmation as president will end the turmoil that has gripped that country since mid June, this is by no means assured.

The sudden start of two trials of Ahmadinejad's opponents is clearly an attempt to suppress opposition. But it is already clear that any thought that the fact that the protests against the official result of June's election are at a lower ebb will bring stability to Iran has proved unfounded. On the contrary, the events of recent weeks have actually more openly revealed the deepening divisions between the different groupings within the ruling elite.

Deepening divisions

Ahmadinejad's first choice of Mashaie as vice-president provoked deep turmoil. For nearly a week, Ahmadinejad hesitated before accepting the demand of Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, that Mashaie should not be vice-president. Eventually, Ahmadinejad was publicly forced to back down, although he then appointed Mashaie as his personal chief of staff. This may be one factor in the apparent awkwardness between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad at the Supreme Leader's endorsement ceremony.

The Mashaie issue provoked a clash in Ahmadinejad's outgoing cabinet which resulted in the sacking of the Intelligence Minister. The whole Mashaie incident serves as an illustration of the deep tensions even amongst the "winning group" of the ruling circles.

The rushed televised start of the main trial of around 100 opponents is clearly an attempt to intimidate the opponents prior to the inauguration. Just days before the trial opened, the government indicated that around 20 would be in the dock. Instead, it is a much larger affair with apparently no defence lawyers and no independent media access. Clearly it has the character of a "show trial" with state TV later broadcasting the confessions of two of the accused, one a former vice-president and the other a former deputy interior minister.

This trial has again revealed the profound divisions reaching right into the very top of Iranian society with former ministers amongst the accused and opposition leaders openly denouncing the trial and making accusations that torture had been used on the defendants. The family of Abtahi, the former vice-president who was shown on television "confessing", issued a statement stating that "we do not accept the confession".

Society in ferment

Every part of Iranian society is in ferment; even amongst the religious leaders there are open divisions with, for example, the Association of Scholars and Researchers of Qom Seminary casting doubts on the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad's new administration. At the same time, the dispute around Ahmadinejad's choice of Mashaie revealed divisions amongst the president's own supporters. There is open discussion about the difficulties Ahmadinejad may face in forming a new government.

The death in prison of Mohsen Rouholamini, an advisor to the conservative former Revolutionary Guard leader Rezai who was one of those standing against Ahmadinejad, showed that being the son of one of Iran's top scientists, and also a conservative, was no protection from the brutality of Ahmadinejad's crackdown.

But this situation is not simply a crisis at the top over the future for Iran both internally and internationally.

Fundamentally, this crisis is the result of the impact of the huge struggles of June. Despite the current relative lull in protests, Iran has been completely changed by the first steps of the youth and broader layers into mass activity. Far from the lava of revolt cooling and setting into stone, it is still bubbling and can explode once again.

For many in Iran, Ahmadinejad's government has no legitimacy and Ayatollah Khamenei's swift and complete backing for the official result of the June 12 election has made many Iranians question the Supreme Leader's own position.

The fact that there has been open criticism of the trial from many within the elite illustrates the fact that this crisis will not go away.

Amongst activists and others there will be debate on what is to be done. Many will look to what lessons can be drawn from the 1978/9 revolution, in particular how mass strikes and protests brought down the then Shah's once brutally efficient repressive apparatus. Amongst activists conclusions will be drawn that a similar struggle will be needed now to win democratic rights, economic and social demands.

But to be successful such a movement would also need to learn from how, tragically, the 1978/9 revolution did not ultimately achieve its popular aims of winning full democratic rights and establishing what was then seen as a "republic of the poor".

The underlying crisis in Iran is the result of a combination of political, economic and social issues. At the start of this year, before the real impact of world economic crisis struck, Iran was suffering an inflation rate of nearly 30%, 21% general youth unemployment and 25% unemployment amongst graduates.

The high rate of youth unemployment is a particularly sharp issue given the fact that 60% of Iran's nearly 73 million population are under 30 years old. This can only add to the grievances of the many youth who feel stifled and repressed by the system.

Against this background it is highly unlikely that Ahmadinejad will be able to enjoy a lasting stability. During his first term in office, Ahmadinejad was able to carry out some populist measures that undoubtedly won him support. But now the room for this will be limited in the new period of world economic crisis, particularly as trade, mainly oil, accounts for well over 50% of Iran's GDP. It is possible that Ahmadinejad may attempt to use foreign policy issues - Israeli or US threats against Iran - or take populist measures to gain support. Action could be taken against rival elements within the elite, but none of these measures will meet a situation where, for example, it is estimated that 1.6 million jobs need to be created annually just to provide jobs for young people looking to start work.

Independent movement of workers and youth needed

Because the fundamental roots of Iran's crisis lie within the capitalist system the question of building an independent movement of workers and youth is critical. A determined mass struggle can win free elections, democratic rights and other concessions. But limited only to this it would be a political revolution, welcome in making some gains, but leaving control of society in the hands of the capitalists and the elite even if some elements are purged. However, as was seen after 1979, without the establishment of a workers' and poor peasants' government that begins the socialist transformation of Iran, the country's economic and social crisis will not be resolved.

Providing an independent socialist alternative is also necessary to win over those who have been seduced to support Ahmadinejad through his populist polices and thinly veiled anti-corruption attacks on opponents like former president Rafsanjani.

A key propaganda card in Ahmadinejad's hand is the continuing threat of western imperialism towards the Iranian regime. It is no accident that in the latest mass trial accusations of being agents of foreign powers have been levelled. British imperialism has been signalled out both for historical reasons - its role in bringing the former Shah to power and in the 1953 overthrow of Mossadeq - and to leave some space open for possible future deals with Obama.

There is no doubt that US and British imperialism want to try to help establish an Iranian regime that is more friendly to them. They are seeking both to exploit illusions that may exist in the west and pose as supporters of "democracy". That is why the western media are giving publicity to the crisis in Iran. But Iranians fighting for democratic rights should have no illusions in the imperialist powers. Just look at Washington's support for the feudal autocracy in Saudi Arabia and Mubarak's authoritarian rule, and ballot-rigging, in Egypt.

Organise for socialist change

For socialists the immediate political demands in Iran focus now around the struggle for new elections for a revolutionary Constituent Assembly that can decide Iran's future and the formation of democratic bodies, like committees or councils, that can both organise the struggle and ensure that elections are genuine and free from rigging. At the same time socialists need to explain that capitalism cannot develop the country or permanently raise living standards and why a workers' and poor peasants' government that starts a socialist transformation is necessary.

The huge mass movement against the rigging of June's election has opened a new period in Iran. Ahmadinejad may enjoy his inauguration, but his second term will be far more stormy than his first. His position is weakened by the open divisions within the ruling elite, his authority is rejected by many Iranians and he fears a renewal of mass protests. These fears are justified; Iran's overwhelmingly young population will not tolerate the current situation indefinitely. The challenge is to build a movement that goes beyond protest and strives for socialist change.

Robert Bechert, CWI


Saturday, 1 August 2009


Semenjak perjuangan kelas bertapak dimuka bumi ini, 10000 tahun lalu, berbagai undang-undang atau pendekatan zalim telah dipergunakan oleh kelas pemerintah untuk mempertahankan kuasa pemerintahannya supaya tidak digugat oleh rakyat biasa. Di zaman perhambaan, tuan-tuan hamba dengan kejam mengongkong hamba-hamba supaya mereka mematuhi arahan tuan-tuan hamba. Manakala di era feudalisma, golongan pemerintah - raja, tuan-tuan tanah dan pemimpin-pemimpin gereja- menggunakan berbagai undang-undang dan fatwa untuk mengerah petani-petani miskin mengerjakan tanah-tanah yang sama sekali tidak dimiliki oleh golongan miskin ini.

Manakala sistem kapitalisma yang bermaharajalela semenjak 500 tahun yang lalu, dengan sewenang-wenangnya mengeksploitasi warga pekerja dan rakyat biasa untuk keuntungan maksima. Maka hak dan demokrasi golongan tertindas hanya akan diperolehi melalui perjuangan menentang golongan yang menindas. Perjuangan kelas ini akan berterusan sehingga adanya golongan tentindas dan golongan menindas.

ISA untuk mempertahankan kuasa

Akta atau undang-undang yang diperkenalkan oleh kelas pemerintah adalah semata-mata untuk memperkasakan kuasa dan mempertahankan keistimewaan yang dikecapi oleh mereka. ISA- Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri- adalah salah satu akta zalim yang bermatlamat untuk memperkukuhkan kuasa kapitalisma di Malaysia. Ketika darurat 1948 hingga 1960, British dengan sokongan pemodal-pemodal antarabangsa melancarkan penahanan tanpa bicara ke atas ahli-ahli Parti Komunis Malaya (PKM). PKM yang berlandaskan kepada idea-idea Maoisma dan Stalinisma, telah menggunakan taktik perang gerila untuk mendapatkan kemerdekaan daripada kerajaan British di Malaya. Ketika itu, British berjaya menggunakan Ordinan Darurat untuk melemahkan PKM. Manakala kelemahan dan kekeliruan dalam perspektif perjuangan PKM telah menyisihkan PKM daripada warga pekerja dan rakyat biasa dan ini seterusnya memperkukuhkan kuasa pemerintah.

Selepas merdeka pula, kerajaan Perikatan (dan seterusnya BN) telah mengikut pedoman yang ditunjukkan oleh British untuk mempertahankan kuasanya dengan melancarkan berbagai-bagai akta dan undang-undang, dan ISA adalah salah satunya. ISA yang telah dipertahankan oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional semenjak 1960 semata-mata untuk memperkukuhkan kuasa pemerintahannya. Semenjak itu akta 'Ikut Suka Hati' ini telah dipergunakan untuk menahan sesiapa sahaja yang dianggap menggugat kuasa pemerintahan BN. Ini termasuk pemimpin pekerja dan kesatuan sekerja, pemimpin parti pembangkang dan pelajar yang memperjuangkan hak demokrasi dan hak asasi kemanusian yang lain. Selain daripada ISA, akta-akta lain seperti Akta Kolej dan Universiti (AUKU), Akta Percetakan dan Penerbitan, Akta Rahsia Rasmi, Akta Hasutan, Akta Polis, Ordinan Darurat, Akta Buruh, Akta Kesatuan Sekerja dan lain-lain telah digunakan untuk melumpuhkan hak dan demokrasi tulen.

Undang-undang Kapitalisma

Golongan kapitalis nasional dan antarabangsa yang mengongkong sebahagian besar ekonomi Negara dan mengaut keuntungan maksima, sehingga kini amat selesa dengan peranan Kerajaan BN yang terus menerus mempertahankan Sistem Pasaran Bebas dan agenda-agenda Kapitalisma. Manakala warga pekerja dan rakyat biasa yang diancam oleh agenda-agenda Kapitalisma seperti neo-liberalisma pula, tidak dapat menikmati keperluan-keperluan asas mereka dengan sepenuhnya disebabkan kerakusan untuk memaksimakan keuntungan oleh golongan kapitalis.

Dengan perkataan lain, kerajaan BN hanyalah 'pak turut' golongan kapitalis tersebut. Segala undang-undang atau polisi-polisi yang dilancarkan oleh kerajaan BN adalah semata-mata untuk memenuhi kehendak golongan kapitalis tempatan atau antarabangsa. Justeru itu, kerajaan BN mempergunakan akta-akta kejam ini untuk memperkukuhkan kuasa mereka sekaligus mempertahankan agenda-agenda kapitalisma.

Walaubagaimanapun, pemodal-pemodal nasional dan antarabangsa hanya akan menyokong BN jika ianya dapat mempertahankan 'demokrasi kapitalisma' yang dicanang-canangkan selama ini. Ini seperti politik di Amerika, jika Parti Republican hilang sokongan rakyat, maka kelas kapitalis akan mendokong Parti Demokrat, dan jika parti Demokrat pula hilang sokongan rakyat, maka parti Republikan pula akan dimanja-manjakan. Asasnya kedua-dua parti Demokrat dan Republican adalah penyokong kuat Sistem Pasaran Bebas dan kapitalisma di Amerika.

Oleh itu, jika BN kehilangan sokongan majoriti rakyat, kemungkinan besar pemodal-pemodal nasional dan antarabangsa di Malaysia akan mengalihkan sokongan mereka kepada Pakatan jika ianya mendapat sokongan majoriti rakyat. Ini kerana Pakatan Rakyat juga adalah pendokong setia Sistem Pasaran Bebas Kapitalisma. Ini bermakna Pakatan juga terpaksa menjadi 'pak turut' baru kapitalisma di Malaysia jika ianya menjadi parti pemerintah. Ketika itu, hak dan demokrasi yang sedang dilaung-laungkan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin Pakatan akan terencat jika iannya menggugat agenda-agenda kapitalisma untuk mengaut keuntungan maksima.

Sosialisma untuk demokrasi tulen

Manakala golongan yang tertindas di bawah sistem kapitalisma ini terpaksa memperjuangkan untuk mempertahankan hak mereka yang semakin terhakis. Kemenangan-kemenangan hak dan demokrasi yang diperolehi oleh warga pekerja, anak muda dan rakyat biasa adalah melalui perjuangan kelas tertindas tersebut. Tetapi selagi ada sistem kapitalisma hak dan demokrasi yang telah dimenangi akan dicabuli oleh pemerintah apabila kapitalisma tergugat.

Maka perjuangan untuk demokrasi tulen dan pemansuhan akta zalim seperti ISA haruslah dilakukan bersama-sama dengan perjuangan terhadap sistem kapitalisma. Ini kerana, penindasan dan akta-kata kejam ini adalah seperti 'isi dan kuku' sistem kapitalisma. Alternatif kepada sistem kapitalisma adalah sistem sosialis yang berlandaskan demokrasi tulen dan sistem ekonomi terancang. Sistem sosialis menitikberatkan keperluan-keperluan majoriti warga pekerja, anak muda, pelajar dan golongan tertindas yang lain. Justeru itu, perjuangan kearah membentuk sistem sosialis di Malaysia dan serantau/sedunia adalah penting untuk membina kesejahteraan umat manusia dan alam persekitaran di Malaysia dan sejagat.