Sunday, October 12, 2014

PRM: Kerajaan Selangor harus Tangani Punca Pencemaran Bekalan Air


PRM: Kerajaan Selangor harus Tangani Punca Pencemaran Bekalan Air  

Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) mendesak kerajaan negeri Selangor mengambil tindakan yang tegas dan berkesan untuk selama-lamanya menyelesaikan pencemaran bekalan air yang dari semasa ke semasa dilakukan oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab. Pencemaran  air menyebabkan pemutusan bekalan air kepada khalayak ramai . Akibatnya orang ramai, peniaga dan pihak industri mengalami  kesusahan dan kerugian ekonomi.

PRM bertanya, “Mengapakah punca air negeri Selangor seperti Sungai Selangor dan Sungai Langat berkali-kali dicemari sisa buangan industri macam minyak diesel dan cair ammonia, terpaksa bekalan air tiba-tiba diputus, menyebabkan kehidupan orang ramai terganggu,   selalu dihantui masalah tiba-tiba keputusan bekalan air, dan rakyat jelata,  pihak peniaga dan industri menghadapi kerugian pengeluaran yang besar?   ”

Walaupun tindakan diambil oleh kerajaan negeri Selangor untuk merampas tanah pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab  dan mereka dihadap ke mahkamah selepas pencemaran air berlaku, langkah dan tindakan seumpama itu tidak mencukupi untuk menangani masalah pencemaran air selama-lamanya. Kerajaan negeri Selangor harus mengkaji dan mengambil langkah untuk menangani punca asas pencemaran air ini.

 “PRM bercadang, kerajaan negeri Selangor  menubuhkan satu jawatankuasa khas untuk mengkaji  masalah pencemaran air secara menyeluruh, bagaimana kegiatan operator industri mencemarkan air? Adakah kilang lain berpotensi mencemarkan air pada masa hadapan? Bagaimana hendak merancang langkah dan pendekatan supaya menghalang kegiatan industri yang akan mencemarkan tadahan air  ? "

Dengan perbuatan demikian, pencemaran air sungai dapat dihentikan selama-lamanya demi kebajikan dan kemajuan masa depan negeri Selangor.”    

Koh Swe Yong
Naib Presiden, 
Parti Rakyat Malaysia

[No. Tal: 012-2766551]

Friday, October 10, 2014

The ‘black bull’ that was (Star - 4/10/2014)

Updated: Saturday October 4, 2014 MYT 8:47:17 PM

The ‘black bull’ that was

MY childhood memories of general elections in Malaysia are vague to say the least, and all I seem to recall are random images of party flags hanging everywhere across town.

However, this one incident has stayed fresh in my mind, and somewhat oddly so as there was nothing significant about it per se. 

I believe it was during the 1999 general election, and my father was driving the family through town when we stopped at a traffic light, where I spotted several flags depicting a black bull on a red background hanging under some street lamps.

I remember thinking that was one scary yet brave-looking bull, and thought people would probably vote for that party because it had a “cool” logo. What did you expect? I was 10, and had no interest whatsoever in the election process or its outcome. 

All I knew was that in the next general election five years later, that black bull, set against a red field, was gone and has rarely been seen since. 

As it turned out, the party the bull belonged to, Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) merged with Parti Keadilan Nasional to form Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). 

Founded in 1955 as a socialist party, the PRM of today - comprising members who chose not to be part of the merger with Keadilan in 2004 - faces an uphill battle to remain relevant in a democratic system that seems to favour coalitional and right wing politics.

Much of its struggle stems from a lack of financial resources, with the party having to rely on personal contributions from a shrinking member base, most of whom belong to the lower-income group. 

Just walk into the party’s headquarters located on the fourth floor of a shoplot in Petaling Jaya, and you’ll know what I mean.

The merger to form PKR also left many supporters wondering if the black bull was truly on its last legs.

There were, however, a handful of leaders who chose to remain behind as they were committed to keeping the leftist agenda alive, with Keadilan being perceived as too centrist.

“Most of our members joined the merger, while those who chose to stay behind were the old leaders, who had become disillusioned because they think the party sold them out,” said PRM’s current president Dr Rohanna Ariffin (pic), when I interviewed her recently.

It is a tricky situation that the party finds itself in, which is why it is now shifting its focus to the youth as part of a rebuilding exercise. 

With current membership only in the hundreds, PRM has launched the “Sekolah Rakyat” programme in a bid to educate the public, primarily the youth, on socialism and leftist policies.

“We feel the youth, especially the urban generation, have become disillusioned with both sides of the political divide. Our aim is to raise awareness on an alternative option for the people, show them that they have a third choice,” says Rohana. 

The party is already working to strengthen the socialist movement in the country by collaborating with Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and several other NGOs to form the “Left Coalition”.

However, it may be a tad optimistic to expect the Left Coalition to become a genuine political force to be reckoned with anytime soon.

For one, the coalition is still in its infancy and the degree of cooperation between the member parties have yet to be determined, although a collective agenda has already been drafted by Rohana and several others. 

The prospect does seem exciting. Some glaring shortcomings of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat in recent years have increased the need for a genuine “third force” to champion the people while serving as a balancing agent for its dominant political counterparts.

However, I have reservations as to whether socialism would be a workable model for Malaysia today, given that the majority of Malaysians subscribe to right wing views. It will be a monumental task for parties like PSM and PRM to convince the public to go the other way.

Rohana acknowledges the challenge ahead, especially in navigating negative perceptions that socialists are pro-communism, too liberal and anti-religion. 

“We are running against the tide of societal mindset. Even opposition parties like PAS think socialist parties are irreligious. This makes the need to educate the youth via the Internet and Sekolah Rakyat even more pressing,” she adds. 

Ten years ago, many had written off its ability to remain relevant, but PRM is still standing. My visit to the party’s headquarters gave me the feeling that the few progressive individuals left in the party, including Rohana, remain dedicated to rekindling the fighting spirit of its founding fathers. 

As the Malay proverb goes: Diam-diam ubi berisi. Given the time and support (more so financially) from its existing members, as well as its pro-active efforts to attract newer and younger faces, I reckon that the black bull I remember seeing lining the streets as a child could yet make a comeback to the political arena.

> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.   - Star, 4/10/2014, The ‘black bull’ that was