KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: The Socialism conference is back! Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) will be hosting our bi-ennial International conference which will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of December, 2023. This conference acts as an important platform to analyse international politics, imperialism, capitalism, youth struggles, climate change, gender, and much more from a socialist perspective.
PSM made a breakthrough in Malaysian politics at a period when any discussion of Socialism was considered taboo. There had been no other outlets publicly discussing left political ideas since the successful crackdown on left progressive organisations in the 1960s and 1970s.
The first Socialism International Conference was organised in 2005, bringing back the debate on socialism and left-wing politics into mainstream politics. Socialism Malaysia has piqued the attention of left-wing groups and individuals searching for political alternatives in Asia since its start in 2005.
This year’s conference will take place in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) and will begin from 8.30am till 6.30pm on the 2nd of December and 8.30am till 6pm on the 3rd of December.
The venue is accessible via public transportation via the Maharajalela Monorail and Pasar Seni MRT. A registration fee of RM30 will be imposed on participants which includes free lunch and conference material.
Amongst the key speakers who will share their ideas in Socialism 2023 are;
a) Prof. Prabhat Patnaik: is an eminent Marxist economist and political commentator from India. A staunch critic of neoliberal economic policies, he holds a PhD from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is an Emeritus Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, where he taught from 1974 to 2010. From June 2006 to May 2011, he served as vice-chairman of the Kerala State Planning Board. He has authored several books, including "Accumulation and Stability under Capitalism," "Time, Inflation, and Growth," "Macroeconomics," "Economics and Egalitarianism," and most recently, "The Value of Money."
Prof. Prabhat will be presenting his keynote address on The Transitional Program for Socialist Movements in the 21st Century.
b) Dr. Bridget Welsh: Dr. Bridget Welsh is an Honorary Research Associate with the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute Malaysia based in Kuala Lumpur. She specialises in Southeast Asian politics, with a focus on Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Dr.Bridget is a panel on the topic of Third Force in Malaysia.
c) Doni Moidady: is a member of working people party (Partai Rakyat Pekerja) Indonesia & He lead agrarian reform consortium in central celebest (Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria Sulawesi Tengah).
Doni is a panel in a topic “The lost generation of the 21st Century?”
d) Prof Venkatesh Athreya: Prof Venkatesh Athreya, a chemical engineer-turned-development economist, served as a Professor of Economics at Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu, for close to three decades. He coordinated mass literacy campaigns in the 1990s and has been involved in social mobilization campaigns for gender equality and against female infanticide and feticide. He was the lead author of "The Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India" (2008) and "The Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Urban India" (2010). He has written extensively on issues of agrarian change, literacy, gender, infanticide, food security, human development, and political economy.
Professor Venkatesh is a panel on the topic “De-Dollarization and Multipolarity: Is a New International Order viable and attenable?”
e) Angela Carr: Angela Carr, member of Socialist Alliance who works as a Social and Community Services worker, she is a committed trade unionist and is active as a delegate.
Comrade Angela will be speaking on the topic of “Towards a Feminist Socialist Alternative?”
f) Michael Pröbsting: is a socialist activist and writer residing in Austria. He has published numerous writings in several languages, including 'Rosa Luxemburg: ‘Ich bin ein Land der unbeschränkten Möglichkeiten’' (1999), 'The Credit Crunch: A Marxist Analysis' (2008), and 'Cuba’s Revolution Sold Out?' (2013). His extensive work on China's transformation into an imperialist power is covered in his book 'The Great Robbery of the South' (2013).
Micheal will be sharing his views in the topic “De-Dollarization and Multipolarity: Is a New International Order viable and attenable?”
g) Arnout Hoekstra: is the General Secretary of the Socialist Party since 2019. Before that he was the Lead Candidate for the SP during the elections for the European Parliament and an alderman in the city of Vlaardingen for 8 years.
Comrade Arnout is speaking as a panel on the topic “Greenwashing is Not the Solution to Climate Crisis”
h) Sarah Hathway: is a social worker and worked as a union organiser in the health sector who has been recently elected as a local councillor in the City of Greater Geelong for the Socialist Alliance.
Comrade Sarah is sharing her view in the panel for the topic “Major Power Rivalry, Militarism and the Threat to Peace in Southeast Asia”
i) Giles Ji Ungpakorn: is a Thai-British academic and Marxist political activist. He was associate professor in the Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University before fleeing to the United Kingdom in 2009 after facing a lèse majesté charge in Thailand. He joined as a member of Kon Thai UK, a Red Shirt organisation in the UK.
Comrade Giles will be analysing the turbulent Thai politics in the topic “ Democracy in Crisis: The Case of Thailand”
This year's Socialism 2023 Conference will have 7 panel sessions, 1 keynote speech, featuring 20 prominent speakers, aiming to offer a forum for the discussion of current global and regional problems that impact the majority of people.
The world is hungry for true political alternatives, hence PSM is tackling a number of hot themes this year as listed below:
a) Third Force in Malaysia: The two-party system in the Malaysian political arena has taken shape, yet society is not more inclusive and democratic. How can we create a progressive third force capable of breaking through this situation?
b) The lost generation of the 21st Century?: Multiple financial crises and pandemics have erupted in the 21st century, alongside environmental disasters, war, and a lack of social safety nets. Youth have been left feeling trapped in this maze, with nothing but anxiety and frustration.
c) The Transitional Program for Socialist Movements in the 21st Century
[KEYNOTE]: Socialism has come into focus as an alternative in response to the deepening of capitalism crises in the 21st century.However, developing countries, which often have limited resources, face the question of where to orient their efforts and how to initiate the transformation.]
d) De-Dollarization and Multipolarity: Is a New International Order viable and attainable?: The U.S. dollar has consistently served as an invisible weapon of American imperialism, shaping a global order favourable to American capital. With the development of several countries, an eagerness has emerged to de-dollarize in order to free themselves from American control.
e) Towards a Feminist Socialist Alternative?: The composite entity of capitalism and patriarchy is deeply embedded within the current economic, political, and cultural systems. In moving towards a more equal and free future, we must pose strong challenges to both capitalism and patriarchy!
f) Major Power Rivalry, Militarism and the Threat to Peace in Southeast Asia: China's rise has challenged the global dominance of American imperialism, increasing the likelihood of Southeast Asia being drawn into conflict. China asserts its sovereignty in the South China Sea dispute, thereby jeopardising the sovereignty of neighbouring nations in the region. However, the question remains whether China will become another form of imperialism.
g) Greenwashing is Not the Solution to Climate Crisis: Viewing crises as opportunities to increase profits is a consistent feature of capitalism. In addressing the threat of climate change, elites opt to leave it to the market and technology, or they simply delay action, adopting a callous attitude of “after me, the flood”.
h) Democracy in Crisis: The Case of Thailand: Thailand was one of the earliest countries in this region to undergo modernization, but the development of democracy has been relatively constrained. While recent protest movements have injected vitality into Thai democracy, the last election once again left progressives disappointed.