We interview Yap Xin Yit, member of Pemuda Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM Youth)
My name is Yap Xin Yit, aged 20. I am currently a student studying at a university.
What drew you to PSM? When did you join the party?
I admire the work PSM had done, and agree with their ideals. I joined them because I wanted to fight for a better future for all Malaysians, particularly for disabled people as their needs, and concerns have been sidelined. I joined the party in late 2019.
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?
I think socialism has a negative reputation because of the lies we have been taught about it, such as mass famines, and evil dictatorships. My understanding of it, and experience with socialists have taught me this is not the case. To those who doubt or discourage me, I urge them to reconsider and take a look at the work done by PSM. They will likely realise that socialism is not a scary monster. In fact, they would benefit greatly as their work done, and proposals support the vast majority of Malaysians.
How familiar are you with Malaysia’s left-wing history? Are there particular leaders you admire?
Admittedly, I do not remember much of Malaysia’s left-wing history. However, I do know that they fought for the livelihood of many workers, and were considered a progressive force to be reckoned with. It is difficult to pick a favourite here as I admire every single one of them.
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?
Definitely. The number of members has been steadily growing so I am hopeful that they will have an even bigger reach and impact as time goes on. Hardly a mosquito status from the people I had spoken with. They like the work PSM had done so far and do hope they participate more in elections because they have been yearning for a party like PSM.
Do you see any differences between BN and PH rule?
BN and PH are not much different to me. After all, both of them want to maintain neoliberal capitalism, which has been chipping away at the livelihoods of workers.
What can be done to broaden PSM’s appeal, particularly among young people and non-Indians?
Championing more on the issues faced by young people would be one way to get their attention, such as affordable and quality education, employment, and climate change. PSM does appeal to all races, but as a majority of the most exploited workers are Indian, it is unsurprising that non-Indians think they mainly care about Indians. I do think that if they intend to attract more non-Indian workers, they could purposely seek out more non-Indian workers, but that would be unfair as all workers deserve support, and should not be prioritised over others for better public lens.
To join Parti Sosialis Malaysia, please access the application form by clicking on this link!