Aliran welcomes Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s assurance, “I agree to approve the registration of your political party.” It took him perhaps less than two minutes on the keyboard to give this assurance and remove an injustice and an unwarranted obstacle put in the way of Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s registration.
It took a 10-year relentless battle to realise this outcome for their uncompromising struggle. Parti Sosialis must be congratulated for their tenacity of purpose in staying the course in pursuing their ultimate goal.
But let us also remember that it was the present Prime Minister who was the then Home Minister who rejected their application in 1999 for no valid reasons. Unjustifiably, they were branded as a threat to national security without a shred of evidence. The Barisan Nasional had acted in bad faith then in denying a legitimate attempt to form a political party.
The High Court in 2003 ruled that the party had not met the ROS requirements to be a national party and upheld the government’s view that the party was a threat to national security. This verdict came as a serious blow to our right of association and made a mockery of our constitutional guarantees.
In view of the Lingam Tape episode, we must wonder whether it was an attempt to please the BN government and protect its political interests above the larger interest of democracy and justice.
Let’s not forget that when the BN had an overwhelming majority, it rode roughshod over its citizens, ignoring what was right and just. We must never ever give any political party that kind of majority ever again to lord over us in such a high-handed fashion.
18 June 2008