What We Stand For
We’re glad you’re interested in finding out more about us. This page lists all our basic political positions.
MPOZ members fall back on progressive politics when analysing and responding to political events in Malaysia. We go about our activities in MPOZ with the aim of winning young Malaysians to these positions.
If you agree with what you see here, we can’t wait to meet you and we’d love it if you would consider joining us.
Social Democracy | Workers’ Rights | Sexual Rights | Education & Children’s Rights | Anti-Racism | Freedom of Speech & Expression | Freedom of Worship | Environment
Objectives & Principles
- to establish a core of politically educated students within the Malaysian diaspora in Australia;
- to provide a comprehensive political and historical education to Malaysians that is free of government influence, when they come to Australia to study;
- to support and defend social movements that fight for all things progressive, these being economic justice, full rights for the oppressed, power of the people over their rulers and against all war and violence;
- to maintain a safe space for progressive political discourse among students overseas. We will counter and confront any attempts to absorb, silence or corrupt Malaysian Student Organisations for political gain;
- to provide political leadership to movements, to mobilise the rakyat to defend and expand its rights, independently of formal politics and parties.
Our political stance is rooted in these starting principles:
- Systematic inequality (social, economic or otherwise), is a fundamental evil. It is the basis of all major social ills and discriminations. It is the duty of the state to minimise inequality and suppress its causes.
- Oppression, prominent examples being sexism, racism and homophobia, is a structural problem. It does not come from human nature, but from rulers who seek to divide, exploit and conquer. Through solidarity across these made-up divisions, it is in the interests of the vast majority of people to challenge oppression in all its forms.
- The interests of the Malaysian rakyat are not fundamentally different from the interests of foreign peoples. We oppose all attempts at pitting the rakyat against non-citizens. Progressives stand against the mistreatment of migrants and refugees, and we will never support war.
- The final and only guarantee that democracy acts in the interests of its people is the people themselves. Democratic movements go beyond just elections. They are a means to democracy, not the end point. The people must actively and regularly practice their rights and exert pressure on their representatives to make their demands reality. We will support all principled mass opposition to unjust laws, up to and including the Constitution.
- The purpose of government is to maintain a basic standard of living for every person, citizen or not, within its borders. We believe that to carry out this duty, the government is responsible for the redistribution of wealth, from rich to poor, such that nobody is denied an opportunity because of money.
- We stand for progressive methods of wealth redistribution, including a strongly graduated income tax, corporate tax, capital flight controls and enforced minimum and maximum wages.
- We support the nationalisation of key industries and sectors that provide fundamental needs, including electricity, water, education, healthcare and transport infrastructure. We argue that public-private partnerships generate two-tier systems that provide sub-par service to maintain profits.
- We fight for the total abolition of poverty, for the sake of improved living standards, and also because of its positive effects on issues such as physical and mental health, crime rate, literacy and political participation.
- We acknowledge that social change is driven by movements outside Parliament. We support representatives that champion progressive causes, but we do not place blind faith in them. We understand that their chances of succeeding increase greatly when a movement stands behind them.
- The working class is the backbone of modern society. Their labour is the source of both the goods and services everybody depends on, and the profits that business owners and governments try to accumulate.
- The welfare of the rakyat cannot be assured unless the welfare of workers is assured. Workers should have access to a living wage as minimum, an 8-hour working day (including breaks), safe working conditions, and adequate benefits and leave.
- While workers are “free” to work whatever jobs they wish, in reality bosses hold immense power over their workers. We demand and defend the right for workers to unionise without restriction, and to collectively bargain for better pay and conditions. Unions are important in ensuring that a fair share of profits goes to the workers that produced them.
- Unions have traditionally also been involved in social causes, as they are the main way that the busy working class is able to learn about and act on politics. We defend unions going beyond bread-and-butter matters and into progressive social causes. We hold union officials accountable to this tradition and we reject any sexist, racist or homophobic tendencies they have.
- We fight for workplaces free from sexual harassment and discrimination, and we support mechanisms that improve protections for women workers and minorities. We oppose discrimination in employment by sexuality, race or language.
- We support calls for increased representation of women and LGBT people in positions of leadership, and we go further to say that these advances must be matched by policy that helps poor women and LGBT people as well.
- We fight for equal pay between women and men, and an expansion of the childcare system that will free working women from some of the burdens of parenthood. We support expanded maternity leave and paternity leave.
- We are absolutely for full and equal rights for women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queer people, transgender people, intersex people and others. The achievement of more rights for any of these groups strengthens the standing of all people.
- The state has no right to interfere in matters of gender identity. Gender identity is not a threat to our “morals”.
- We support all forms of consensual relationships, family structures and civil partnerships, including same-sex marriage.
- We insist on the right of women to family planning and access to contraceptives.
Education & Children’s Rights
- We fight to protect the rights of all children, including children born out of wedlock, stateless children and adopted children of same-sex couples.
- Make quality education accessible and free to all children, from preschool to university level.
- Education should be a public good, and we oppose any effort to turn education into a profit-making industry.
- Schools should institute inclusive sex education that discusses sexual health, gender identity, consent and healthy relationships.
- MPOZ is categorically opposed to all racial or religious supremacist ideologies, and any laws and organisations based on them. They cannot be the founding basis of a functioning society.
- Bumiputera economic policies are a tool to propagate racism amongst Malaysians, and bind working and poor Malays to supporting the Malay elite. It isolates them from uniting with non-Malays to collectively improve their conditions.
- We fight for equality between all races, in the eyes of the law, but also in social standing, economic position and access to the political space. We demand needs-based rather than race-based affirmative action. We take all opportunities to wedge the mass of Malay people away from racist ideas and towards this position.
- We are against any demonisation of immigrants and refugees. They work hard to keep our country running and do no harm to us in coming here. Often they are forced here by circumstances in their home countries beyond their control. All the rights we fight for, we demand for them as well.
- The various indigenous tribes of Malaysia are the true native peoples. Our country was built on the theft of their land and forests, and the exclusion of their people. We demand that our natives be given sovereignty over their land, any assistance to their communities they ask for be given to them, and that a treaty be negotiated for reparations to be paid.
- We acknowledge that Sabah and Sarawak have been neglected by the Peninsular government, and have been isolated in terms of economic access and sociopolitical development. We reject the government’s obvious attempts at deliberately holding back development in East Malaysia.
Freedom of Speech & Expression
- We are absolutely for the maximum right to freedom of speech, expression and assembly. The purpose of these freedoms is to enable the oppressed to speak up against the powerful. We reject selective and hypocritical use of “freedom of speech” to defend hate speech.
- We reject any laws or institutions whose function is to silence the rakyat. Accordingly, we are against all anti-protest laws, media control laws and surveillance laws. We support the deployment of mass civil disobedience against these laws.
- We reject any attempt by authorities to intimidate, harass, threaten, vilify, shut down or arbitrarily arrest or charge, any activist or media organisation.
- We reject government interference in all check-and-balance mechanisms, including the courts, the election commission and auditing departments.
- In particular, we reject the Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universti (AUKU). The express purpose of this law is to prevent students, who are often an outspoken and politically active layer of society, from organising on campuses. We oppose any gag orders placed on universities. We demand that political and academic freedom of expression on campuses be reinstalled.
- Similarly, we reject all attempts by any government to manipulate or control the political activities of students overseas, including those on government scholarships.
Freedom of Worship
- We defend the freedom of belief, worship and peaceful practice for all religions, including Jews and Shia Muslims, as well as the right to have no religion at all.
- We oppose the association of the state with organised religion. Separation of religion and state protects religion from being abused for political gain. In Malaysia, this is visible through the enforcement of certain interpretations of Islam as instruments of moral panic, and as a shield behind which Malay supremacists hide.
- We therefore support the notion of a secular state with total freedom of worship, and the abolition or separation of all government-linked religious institutions.
- We reject any attempt to force religion, or religious precepts, on the unwilling. Religious decisions are a personal matter. We are against unilateral conversions of children, and we support retention of one’s religion in marriage. Nobody has the right to force a woman to wear or not wear hijab.
- The environment should be safeguarded for the public good of future generations. We demand stronger protections for and expansion of Malaysia’s nature reserves and protected areas.
- Our country’s logging and palm oil industries cannot be allowed to expand any further into virgin forests. They must switch to sustainable production methods. Smallholders should receive aid from the government where necessary.
- We reject any attempt by corporations to use the natural environment as a dumping ground while they profit off our natural resources. Large-scale polluters like LYNAS should be made to clean up their operations or be banned.
- We support mass public investment in renewable energy, and a transition away from fossil fuels, including our petroleum industry. Renewable energy sources like dams that also have large environmental impacts should only be cleared after consultation with affected communities and indigenous people.
- We support mass public investment in public transport, especially in rural areas, preferably powered by renewables. Public transport should be affordable (or free) and accessible so as to be the first choice for the majority of Malaysians.
- The transition towards a green economy must not leave poor and working Malaysians behind. It must be accompanied by retraining for workers currently working in polluting industries.
- Those who have benefitted the most from environmental destruction are also those most able to cope with climate change. Green projects should be funded by progressive taxation, not market incentives.