PRESS STATEMENT
For immediate release

On Marxism classes: Malaysians must reject paternalistic intervention

Kuala Lumpur, 29 February 2016 – “I was shocked to hear that the police has forced the cancellation of a course on Marxism scheduled for 20 March in Petaling Jaya. As a free market advocate who is running a free market think tank, I think it would be disastrous if Marxist ideas were to become policy in Malaysia,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. “History tells us that Marxism has only resulted in misery and oppression of the people. But it is completely wrong to prevent legitimate discussion of this leftist ideology. You do not fight an idea by using force. Instead you defeat an idea by advocating for a better idea.”

“The police claims that the class must be cancelled because it is an attempt to promote communism. This is ironic. It is actually in communist countries that authorities prevent the teaching of ideas and beliefs that are not approved by the state.”

“Malaysians must reject this paternalistic intervention. It does not matter whether you agree or disagree with Marxism. There is a bigger issue of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience at stake. We cannot ignore this development.”

“German theologian Martin Niemoller put it best when he said, “When the Nazis came for the communists, I did not speak out as I was not a communist. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out as I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out as I was not a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.””

END

For media enquiries: T: +603 6201 8896/ 8897 E: wansaiful@ideas.org.my

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