IGP calls it an effort to promote communism, PSM says it is about an alternative to capitalism.
PETALING JAYA: Police intend to stop a public course on Marxism jointly organised by Parti Sosialis Malaysia next month but the party has rejected a police contention that it was promoting communist ideology.
The Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, announced the police action in an online posting, Star Online reported.
He was quoted as saying the organisers would be contacted, and he labelled the course as an effort to promote communism.
However, Parti Sosialis Malaysia committee member S. Arutchelvan described the police action as “once again an attack on democratic rights and freedom of expression”.
The party would cooperate with the police, if called, and pointed out that the party promoted democratic socialism, and that Marxism courses were taught in all major universities across the world.
The course, advertised as Kursus Kilat Marxisme (or Instant Marxism) was planned for March 20 at the Gerakbudaya bookshop in Petaling Jaya. It is jointly organised by PSM and Gabungan Kiri, the Malaysian leftist coalition.
The main topic of the course was a Marxist criticism of the capitalist system, and there would also be a discussion about the failure of “communist tyranny” such as the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, as well as those in North Korea and elsewhere.
Arutchelvan said the course was open to the public and the party was not holding a secret underground affair.
The publicity poster features a photograph of Karl Marx, whose book Das Kapital gave rise to communism as an economic theory in opposition to capitalism.
Arutchelvan said the course was intended to provide an introduction on Marxism and its present-day relevance, and to give an alternative to the ideology of capitalism, the report said.
He said the police objection, on the grounds of promoting communism, had previously occurred in 2011, at the height of preparations for the massive Bersih protest rally that year.
Six PSM members were detained for a month under the Emergency Ordinance but eventually released without charge after the party sued the police.