We interview Venuusha Priyaa, member of Pemuda Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM Youth)
My name is Vennusha Priyaa, age 26, working as an IT Business Analyst.
What drew you to PSM? When did you join the party?
I was a university student when I was first introduced to PSM. I was always keen to contribute to society, and did some small charity work here and there. I joined a student movement advocating free education and later learned that PSM’s student front was the main group leading this. I officially joined PSM in 2017.
Why do you think socialism has such a negative reputation among so many people around the world? What do you say to those who discourage you?
No one in our community really talks about “Socialism” per se. We have been taught since young in our school syllabus that anything related to communism/socialism is bad. I think the lack of discourse and the brain-washing since young has led to this. It is now our duty to put forth the facts and truth of what happened and how we got here. Instead of skewing the facts, let’s put it out and judge for what it really is. Whenever someone tries to discourage me, I always talk about civil rights movements and how leftist movements brought forward every single progressive change we have today.
How familiar are you with Malaysia’s left-wing history? Are there particular leaders you admire?
Only after joining PSM, through the ideology classes PSM conducts, was I introduced to leftist history. I learned about a whole new political side of Malaysia and what they advocate for which before this, I never knew existed! Though I don’t have anyone in particular I admire, I do admire the dedication the left parties’ had at that time to fight for our people, risking their lives for the betterment of Malaysia.
Is there any frustration you feel over PSM’s size and impact? Since Dr Jeyakumar and other candidates were soundly defeated in GE14, has the party been reduced to mosquito status?
Yes I do feel frustrated at times because we’re a small group (by numbers only), but even with a small number of us, I have seen the major positive impacts PSM brings to the nation. I know we can do so much more, if only we had more people and political-executive-power. The only frustration I face when PSM candidates didn’t win in GE14 was because of the effort we all put in during election campaigns. Otherwise, I still believe we go on with our work and duties. If only given the chance, I can’t wait to see the wonders we can bring about and I’m sure even the Malaysian people will then realize how much power the politicians had to bring changes but they lacked political will.
Do you see any differences between BN and PH rule?
Not a big difference. I think they tried to maybe change some of BN’s ways but ultimately, nothing changed. It was a big let down for me especially some laws regarding child marriages etc which for a fact can be done away with easily. As I’ve said earlier, lack of political will. Politicians are elected and are supposed to think of the people, not what are the “politically correct” decisions that will allow them to be in and maintain power. That’s just selfish.
What can be done to broaden PSM’s appeal, particularly among young people and non-Indians?
I think that PSM has a lot to offer and we have young people who approach us or are interested but I think we don’t resourcefully ground them. The PSM youth wing does try conducting classes to teach our principles, left history etc but ultimately, the ground work is the most crucial for us to really understand our countries’ issues and how the system works. Groundwork isn’t easy and we need to put forth a lot of time and energy and with the state of our country, a lot of youths are debt-ridden and work long hours. So we need to figure out how to close this gap.
To join Parti Sosialis Malaysia, please access the application form by clicking on this link!