Taking over the baton from the colonialist, this coalition government led by UMNO set out to ensure that it will continue to remain in power...
Opposition movements and political parties that gained ground ...support from the people were quickly 'killed' and suppressed...and literally 'wiped-out' from history and the memory of its people. What happened to those opposition political parties? We have to struggle to find out what really happened... We know that many leaders were arrested and detained under Detention Without Trial Laws like the ISA and the Emergency Ordinance. We know that many Divisions and branches of the Opposition parties were 'shut down' by the government.
Of course, the government also makes it near impossible to set up political parties. It controls publications like newspapers/magazines and also the printers themselves. It is literally difficult to be able to have public rallies. There is almost no access to the media, i.e. the print media, television and radio. Hence, the Opposition parties were cut off from getting opposing/different views to the people...whilst the UMNO-led coalition utilized not only mass media but also education curriculum to paint not only their version of things...but to also black-out certain historical facts.
From Indepndence, even when it comes to seat, one should realize that the UMNO-led-coalition slowly lost the support of the people, and even when their strongest opposition, i.e. the Socialist Front, stayed away from the elections, the UMNO-led Alliance suffered its worse defeat in 1969. One wonders whether it would have been the end of governance of UMNO-led coalitions if the Socialist Front parties contested in 1969.
1955 General Election Alliance won 51 out of 52 seats contested (98%)'It must be noted that the then popular Labour Party boycotted the 1969 GE. The Labour Party of Malaya (LPM). With Parti Rakyat, the LPM formed a coalition, the Malayan People’s Socialist Front (SF), which was the second legal alliance to transcend communal differences. The SF’s 1959 policy statement, also named as Towards a New Malaya, laid out its position on the national language, art and literature, education, the Orang Asli, Malay reservation land, plantations and mines, fisheries, labour and social welfare, and defence and foreign policy.
1959 General Election Alliance won 74 out of 104 seats contested (71%)
1964 General Election Alliance won 89 out of 104 seats contested (86%)
1969 General Election Alliance won 74 out of 144 seats contested (51%)
In the 1960s, the ISA was widely and indiscriminately used to detain hundreds of LPM and SF leaders and members in Taiping, Batu Gajah and Muar. Repeated repression of this sort undermined the LPM and SF’s organizational effectiveness. The detentions of Ishak bin Hj. Mohammad, Abdul Aziz bin Ishak and Datuk Kampo Radjo on untried charges of setting up a government-in-exile during Konfrontasi with Indonesia were attempts to repress the Malay Left.
In 1965, key SF leaders, such as Chairman Hansul bin Abdul Hadi, Secretary-General Tajuddin Kahar and Assistant Secretary-General Tan Kai Hee were arrested to foil a demonstration called for 13 February, the SF’s Human Rights Day, to commemorate the second anniversary of Ahmad Boestamam’s internment. '-The Labour Party of Malaya, 1952–1972 (ALIRAN)
The Alliance boasted that it could easily win more than two thirds of the 144 seats in the Dewan Rakyat or about two thirds of the 104 Peninsular Malaysia seats, capture Kelantan, and retain control of all the other state legislatures.
But that confidence was shattered in the early hours of May 11, 1969 when the results of the May 10 elections were known.
The Alliance had won only 66 seats, down from the 89 it won in 1964. It also lost Penang, failed to capture Kelantan, and came close to losing Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Terengganu.
The Opposition was surprised, too. The DAP, which reconstituted itself from the People’s Action Party (PAP), won 13 seats when the Singapore-based party had only one in 1964. PAS got 12 seats, an increase of three; PPP won four, an increase of two; while the new party Gerakan won eight.
Even though the Alliance had not lost power – and Sabah and Sarawak had yet to decide – the Malays were alarmed.
They felt that the government they had dominated all this while was going to collapse.
During the Alliance meeting held to assess the results, a number of Malay representatives blamed the losses on the MCA which saw 20 of its 33 candidates defeated. Hurt and weak, the MCA announced on May 13 that it would not participate in the government at federal and state levels. - The Sun, 26/7/2009, The tragedy of May 13, 1969
|The Labour Party of Malaya, 1952–1972|
|Friday, 20 February 2009 19:08|
The rise and demise of the Labour Party of Malaya was an important experience of socialist politics in Malaysia. Mistakes were made and many leaders and members paid a heavy price for them. Even so, their courage, commitment and sacrifices before and after independence cannot be denied a proper historical appreciation, observes Tan Kim Hong in tracing a brief history of the party.
The Labour Party of Malaya (LPM) was a multi-ethnic socialist party of the 1950s and 1960s. Its political origins lay in the ‘New Trade Unionism’ of the Cold War period. Before Merdeka, the anti-communist International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), with the support of the colonial government, encouraged the formation of a non-militant trade union movement and moderate Labour Parties located in different regions of the country. Yet, the LPM grew into a mass radical political party whose rise and fall were crucially shaped by circumstances often beyond its control.
The first regional Labour Parties shared some characteristics of organisation and ideology. Their leaders were English-educated leaders of the Malayan Trades Union Congress. Their members were largely Indian and Malay members of public service unions. The parties were modelled on the British Labour Party, having democratic socialism and multi-culturalism as guiding principles.
LPM Manifesto for 1955 Federal Elections