|"PRM Among First Political Parties to Reject ISA, Emergency Ordinance"|
PETALING JAYA, 11, NOVEMBER 2011: To say that Parti Rakyat Malaysia's (PRM) members consist of socialists who do not believe in God is totally untrue, said its president Dr Rohana Ariffin.
PRM celebrated its 56th anniversary since its formation in 11 November 1954, being one of the oldest political party in Malaysia, which had contributed to the nation's political growth including becoming the first political party to reject the ISA and Emergency Ordinance.
"Many leaders and members of PRM were detained for years in Kamunting, Taiping under the ISA (Internal Security Act)," said Rohana in a speech at the party's headquarters today.
Rohana said the rulers have been endlessly oppressing and breaking the spirit of PRM by portraying that PRM is joined by people who do not believe in God,".
"This is an image that they had damaged which is difficult to get rid of until today despite PSM (Parti Sosialis Malaysia) have been gaining lots of support... but I feel that the word 'socialist' has lost its stigma," said Rohana.
She refuted the accusations, saying that PRM's struggle has always been in tune with the demands of every religion that exists in the world which is to fight for justice and freedom for all.
Rohana said the purpose and ambition of PRM since it formation has always been to defend the rights, interests and the sovereignty of the people regardless of race, religion or class under a peaceful, united, prosperous and democratic government.
She added that even though the political environment has changed throughout the times, PRM would still remain with its multiracial way and fight for justice for every oppressed rakyat.
Besides that, Rohana said the party now would focus more on the youths by providing motivation, drive and training towards these group.
"Our aim is to give education to our young supporters and also the young members, and lots of our programs involve training," she said.
Rohana also announced the party's website which is www.partirakyat.com in which she hopes to reach out more to the people through the website as well as the party's Facebook page which was created two to three months ago.
The celebration was closed by a cake cutting ceremony by Rohana herself and poem recital by an 18-year-old youth named Seth entitled, 'Parti Rakyat Malaysia'.
Meanwhile, Rohana when met by Malaysian Digest said since after the court case the party had elected new leadership in order to mobilize.
She said in order to mobilize, it takes a lot of challenge for example to get people to accept the party as there are some political who refuse to admit that PRM exists, and some NGOs don't invite them.
"But within a year many have invited us like MCLM, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, Bersih.
"So we find that now our name is being known more in Malaysia and also we realized that if the central committee (JKP) works hard enough, we will be known once more as a party who really wants to fight for the common people," said Rohana.
Jayanath Appudurai from Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia said although it will take some time due to the re-grouping, but he feels that the party has the support of the rakyat and said that a non-ethnic party is the way to go for Malaysia as we are too overshadowed by all ethnicity and religion that people are being held back.
"Basically it is good but there's still a lot of hard work that needs to be done to recapture the old flames and passion," said Jayanath when asked about the future of PRM.
He also suggested that PRM documents its struggles since 1955 in a proper publication because a lot of people have forgotten about it and history books have failed to capture it, and this is the way how the ordinary would know the great people like Boestamam who struggled for a better Malaysia.
- mD - Malaysian Digest, 11/11/2011, "PRM Among First Political Parties to Reject ISA, Emergency Ordinance"