The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) (UPDATED with Chinese Translation)

Earlier this month, Tan Sri Sanusi Junid came to my house for dinner and we talked about the MCLM that is going to be legalised at the end of this month. Sanusi said that Tun Dr Mahathir actually has the same idea and that the latter did speak to the former about it.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

PPP: Be selective in accepting non-political bodies into Barisan

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wants the Barisan Nasional to be selective in admitting non-political bodies into the coalition when its constitution is amended.

Its president Datuk M. Kayveas said that this was to ensure no racial and problematic organisations were admitted into Barisan.

“I am totally against racial politics,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Kayveas said this when asked to comment on the plan to amend the Barisan’s constitution to admit friendly individuals, non-governmental organisations and political parties as members.

It was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Barisan chairman, earlier this year. — Bernama, 25 October 2010


Back in 2004, I attended the inaugural meeting of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Society (MCLS) at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. Some even paid RM250 to sign up as a member of this new society that promised exciting days ahead of us. And it would have been exciting because the people involved were those from the legal fraternity, professionals, activists from the civil society movements, and new Bloggers like me (Malaysia Today had just been born then).

That was six years ago and after six years nothing further has happened. This is because the MCLS is still awaiting the approval of its registration. Considering that some have been waiting ten years or more for the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to approve the registration of their political party or society/association I suppose this six-year wait is not surprising at all.

Since then much has happened in the Malaysian political scene. The opposition has formed a new coalition called Pakatan Rakyat after the breakup of the first coalition, Barisan Alternatif, that was launched in 1999. The opposition made a remarkable recovery in the 2008 general election after the disaster of 2004. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has bailed out and has handed the reins of power to his successor, Najib Tun Razak. And so on and so forth.

The MCLS, however, is still waiting to be born while the world around it has moved on. And it appears like the MCLS will never see the light of day unless I take matters into my own hands. And take matters into my own hands I must.

This Saturday, 30th October 2010, I am going to legalise the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM). And so that I do not create any confusion or be accused of ‘hijacking’ the MCLS, I am going to call it ‘Movement’ instead of ‘Society’.

Thus the launching of the MCLM this Saturday to take over from the MCLS that was shot down even as it was still taxiing on the runaway and before it could take off.

Earlier this month, Tan Sri Sanusi Junid came to my house for dinner and we talked about the MCLM that is going to be legalised at the end of this month. Sanusi said that Tun Dr Mahathir actually has the same idea and that the latter did speak to the former about it.

This is purely coincidental, of course, and we are not taking this initiative to beat Dr Mahathir to the starting line (I told Sanusi first about the MCLM before he mentioned the part about Dr Mahathir’s idea). However, if Dr Mahathir does have the same idea then he should not raise any objections to our initiative to launch the MCLM.

The objective of the MCLM, amongst others, is to promote and propagate The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration ( to all political parties contesting the coming general election.

Another objective of the MCLM is to ‘offer’ non-political party candidates from the amongst the Malaysian professionals/lawyers and the civil society movements to ALL the political parties contesting the general election that may either be short of candidates or are not able to find ‘quality’ candidates to field in the elections.

This, incidentally, is also Dr Mahathir’s objective, said Sanusi. So this is even more reason why Dr Mahathir should not block our effort since what we are attempting is something he too is talking about.

One thing these political parties must understand is that the MCLM candidates are not going to be ‘party stooges’ and neither will they seek positions in any political party. Their loyalty will be to the voters, the rakyat, and not to the political party that they represented in the elections. This will be our term and condition and if this is not acceptable to these political parties then they are free to reject our offer of candidates.

It is not the intention of the MCLM to become another political party or to participate in three-corner fights with Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. It is to complement both coalitions in addressing a most important issue concerning Malaysian politics — and that is to see the emergence of ‘politik baru’ or ‘new politics’. It is also to see the realisation of a two-party system — which means we have to ensure that both coalitions are equally strong (or equally weak, as the case may be) and ‘better-balanced’ than they are now.

I have also spoken to various leaders from Gerakan, PKR, PAS and DAP about this and the first impression appears to be that the idea is being well-received — of course as long as these politicians do not see the MCLM as a competitor because politicians are suspicious of competition.

It is actually too premature for me to tell you more because we shall only be legalised by this weekend. However, since Kayveas has somehow already got wind of it (because Sanusi may have informed Dr Mahathir about our discussion this month who in turn informed Kayveas), and since Kayveas has pre-empted my move with his statement about the matter, I thought I would give Malaysia Today’s readers a heads up or early warning of what’s to come.

Anyway, don’t react just yet until all the details about the MCLM are revealed. We hope the MCLM will become a new and exciting milestone in Malaysian politics and that it would be able to satisfy what many are lamenting about and what appears to be lacking in Malaysian politics.

That’s all for now but stay tuned and I shall tell you more as we go along. I hope that many of you who talk about doing something but do not know what you can do will participate in the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement and help push Malaysia towards seeing that change that we clamour for.


Translated into Chinese at: