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The police tried everything – arrests, intimidation, and the media. They failed to dampen the Jerit cycling team’s spirit. Each day was a struggle, but on the final day, it was Jerit that recorded a resounding victory. Defying the odds, their cyclists reached Parliament to achieve a remarkable victory, recalls Aruthchelvan.

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In the Jerit “Cycle for Change” campaign, Rani Rasiah describes how a group of young Malaysians stunningly overcame the odds to highlight the concerns of the working class and marginalised groups. Among the cyclists’ demands were calls for the abolition of oppressive laws and for better protection of workers including a minimum wage.

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am cover 28:10Who could have imagined the election results of March 2008! Khoo Boo Teik looks back at a long year and reminds us that we must continually turn to our community of dissent. It is only in this community that we can find the unifying hope for meaningful social and political change.

Last year, we bade farewell to three leading figures in the community of dissent in this region – the country’s leading public intellectual Rustam Sani, the legendary Singapore opposition leader J B Jeyaretnam, and the former Labour Party of Malaya leader Dr M K Rajakumar, who passed away on 22 November 2008.

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The Jerit cyclists have succeeded in their campaign to highlight the demands of marginalised workers and communities after an amazing cycling journey from the north and the south of the peninsula, but not before overcoming obstacles along the way. They submitted their memorandum to representatives from the ruling coalition and the opposition in Parliament today.

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Aliran is appalled at the determined effort of the police to stop a peaceful campaign mounted by Jerit to raise awareness of issues such as food shortages, environmental problems, draconian laws and the financial crisis. In a unique way, Jerit is highlighting these very important issues affecting the great majority of our citizens by getting two teams of cyclists to “Ride for Change”.

 

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