Socialist Party of Malaysia

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Socialist Party of Malaysia

Parti Sosialis Malaysia
மலேசிய சோசியலிஸ்ட் கட்சி
ChairmanMohd Nasir Hashim
Founded30 April 1998
Legalised19 August 2008
Headquarters140, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Youth wingPemuda PSM (Socialist Youth)
IdeologyDemocratic socialism
Political positionLeft-wing
Colours     Red, white
Dewan Negara:
0 / 70
Dewan Rakyat:
0 / 222
Dewan Undangan Negeri:
0 / 587
Party flag
Socialist Party of Malaysia Flag.svg

The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia), is a socialist political party in Malaysia and an offshoot of Parti Rakyat Malaysia, which originally upheld the same ideology. In its first ten years following its founding in 1998, the party was denied registration as a political party by the Federal Government of Malaysia. The original reason given was that PSM is a threat to national security. However, the Home Ministry gave them the green light in June 2008.

The party has no representatives in either Dewan Rakyat or any Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) after opting to strike out alone during the 14th General elections, in direct competition with Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan and Gagasan Sejahtera.


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The end of PSRM (1990)[edit]

The last socialist party to exist in Malaysia, Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia (PSRM), reverted their name to Parti Rakyat Malaysia in 1990 before merging with Parti Keadilan Rakyat in 2003.

Formation of PSM (1990–1998)[edit]

In 1991, several grassroots based organisations working with the urban and rural poor in Malaysia started to form an alliance. In 1994, they staged a massive demonstration at the heart of Kuala Lumpur surprising many people. The last major demonstration called by the working class in the capital city goes way back two decades ago.

In 1995, these grassroots organisation who already had their strong bases among the plantation workers, urban poor slums and industrial workers formed an alliance and together the idea to form a political party to represent the aspirations of the poor and the marginalised was mooted. The election results in 1995 hastened this process and after years of discussion and consolidations, it was finally agreed that a party with socialist ideology was imminent to liberate the masses from their current conditions.

With this in mind, the groups took more than two and the half years to draft the party's constitution, which was ready by the end of 1997. After further consultation with the masses, on 1 May 1998, the new party known as the Socialist Party of Malaysia was officially put for registration.

Legal status[edit]

The Federal Government has refused to recognise PSM since its formation. The ruling party has rejected the party's application to register as a political party citing that PSM is a threat to national Security. While PSM activities have been transparent and open confrontation, the ruling party seems uneasy to see a socialist party in its backyard.

The right to form a political party is a constitutional right and PSM became the first party in Malaysia's history to take the ruling party and the Home Minister to court for abusing their power. Although the Court of Appeal dismissed the national security argument on 16 August 2006, which the court felt was a bad reason, it upheld another reason to deny PSM the right to be registered. This was that the party did not comply with a seven state regulation. PSM has filed an appeal against the Court of Appeal decision to the Federal Court.

On 17 June 2008, the Home Ministry approved PSM's application as a political party, ending a 10-year dispute.[1][2]

1999 general election[edit]

In 1999, the party decided to contest in the year's general election. Since PSM was not registered, it had to contest under some other party's logo. In 1999, the candidates contested under a Democratic Action Party's (DAP) ticket. The main intention was to popularise the party. The party lost in its seat but managed to reduce the opponent's majority by 10,000 votes.

2004 general election[edit]

PSM candidates fielded for the 2004 general election.

In the 2004 general election, PSM had to contest on the logo of another party, Parti Keadilan Nasional (now known as Parti Keadilan Rakyat).

2008 general election[edit]

Three PSM members contested in the 2008 general election under the Keadilan ticket and one as an independent. Two of these candidates won PSM's first ever political seats. Candidate Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj won PSM's first ever federal parliamentary seat by defeating then president of Malaysian Indian Congress and long-serving Minister of Works Samy Vellu in Sungai Siput. PSM's president Nasir Hashim won the Kota Damansara seat in the Selangor state legislative assembly. Although S. Arutchelvan lost, PSM's election campaigning resulted in an increase in membership in Semenyih. The remaining member who contested Jelapang as an independent was M. Sarasvathy.[3]

2013 general election[edit]

The two PSM incumbents, Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj and Nasir Hashim, recontested their seats in the 2013 general election under Keadilan. Jeyakumar retained the PSM's parliamentary seat of Sungai Siput but Nasir, the PSM's president, lost the Kota Damansara state seat to a United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) candidate. Another two PSM members, S. Arutchelvan and M. Sarasvathy, also recontested the same seats but this time under the PSM ticket.

2018 general election[edit]

For the 2018 general election, PSM competed in their largest turnout (~2% of available Parliamentary + State seats); this consisted of five federal constituencies and 14 state constituencies. All PSM candidates for this general election competed under PSM name and logo, as opposed to the previous elections.[4] Unlike in previous elections, PSM president Nasim announced that he was not running in the 2018 election.

PSM did not succeed in winning any seats this election, including losing the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat it held since 2008.


PSM Central Committee[edit]

  • Chairman: Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim
  • Deputy Chairman: Sarasvathy Muthu
  • Secretary-General: Sivarajan Arumugam
  • Assistant Secretary-General: K. S. Bawani
  • Treasurer: Soh Sook Hua
  • Assistant Treasurer: T. Simon
  • Member: Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj
  • Member: S. Arutchelvan
  • Member: Khairul Nizam Abd Ghani
  • Member: Mohana Rani Rasiah
  • Member: Mohd Afandi Ahmad
  • Member: Wan Zamzahidi Wan Zahid
  • Member: Paneer Selvam Varathan
  • Member: Sivaranjani Manickam
  • Member: Choo Chon Kai
  • Member: Suresh Kumar
  • Member: Karthiges
  • Member: Kunasekaran
  • Member: Hajjah Nurhayu
  • PSM Youth Chief: Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul


According to their official website, PSM is only eight years old but has working experience with the masses that goes back more than fifteen years. Over the years, the party's three main front organisations had established more than a hundred sub-fronts. PSM strength lies in its work done with the masses especially the plantation workers, the urban poor, the Industrial workers and the peasants. The party also collaborates with the progressive student movement. PSM remain today perhaps the only party in Malaysia taking a class line and highlighting the plight of the poor from low wages, forceful eviction to retrenchment. The party has also made some inroads into organising union in the last two year and have working committees in around 50 factories throughout the country. While civil and political protest are carried out by the mainstream political parties, PSM continues to support and organise pickets, strike and demonstration among the working class.

Seven-Point Manifesto[edit]

PSM has a seven-point manifesto which lists the following policies:[5]

  1. Workers' rights will be safeguarded (e.g. minimum wage, automatic recognition of workers unions and 90-day maternal leave).
  2. The eradication of neo-liberal policies (e.g. halting privatisation of health care, education and other public necessities).
  3. Stopping the Free Trade Agreement with western imperial powers.
  4. Provide comfortable and humane housing for both rural and urban inhabitants.
  5. Stopping racial and religious politics to foster greater unity among the people.
  6. Eradication of corruption and abuse of power.
  7. Stopping the destruction of the environment.

Issues and recent news[edit]


On 1 April 2008, accompanied by Friends of Kota Damansara (FOKD) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), PSM's Nasir Hashim led the delegation in talks with Selangor's newly appointed State Exco for Environmental Affairs, Elizabeth Wong, to gazette the Kota Damansara forest.[6]

Healthcare, FTA and patent laws[edit]

PSM MP Kumar Devaraj spoke out in April 2008 against private hospitals, the Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and patents.[7]

Carrefour hypermarket protest[edit]

On 15 April 2008, 100 residents. led by PSM committee member and state representative Nasir Hashim, protested against the construction of a Carrefour hypermarket in Kota Damansara.[8]

Racism and class perspectives[edit]

In January 2008, Aliran Monthly published an analysis by PSM committee member Kumar Devaraj of the Hindraf rally. Devaraj wrote that class-based mobilisation should be used instead of ethnic-based mobilisation to rally the oppressed.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PSM allowed to register as political party" (fee required). Malaysiakini. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
  2. ^ "PSM allowed to register as political party". Official Socialist Party of Malaysia website. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  3. ^ Peter Boyle, Electoral break-through to test socialists, Green Left Weekly, 29 March 2008
  4. ^
  5. ^ Seven Part Manifesto, Official Socialist Party of Malaysia website. Retrieved 21 August 2010
  6. ^ A. Sivarajan, Stop the destruction, gazette the Kota Damansara forest, Parti Sosialis Malaysia, 2 April 2008
  7. ^ R. Nadeswaran and T. Fernandez, Fighting for fair play, The Sun, 3 April 2008
  8. ^ Debbie Chan, Residents all out to stop hypermarket project, The Star, 15 April 2008
  9. ^ Jeyakumar Devaraj, Why the Hindraf approach is misguided, Aliran Monthly, 18 January 2008

External links[edit]