PSM's Nasir Hashim: Success is when leaders squirm

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”

- Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

INTERVIEW | In this part 2 of the three-part interview, retiring PSM chief Mohd Nasir Hashim explains why his party wins hearts, but not elections.

Question: As one of the founders of Parti Sosialis Malaysia, what was the motivation behind creating a left-wing party when left-wing parties over the years have been sidelined from the mainstream political process?

Mohd Nasir Hisham: I became a socialist while studying at Cornell University in New York, USA. I was a food technologist and nutritionist (international nutrition), but interested to know about people's struggle for socialism from my Malaysian friends.

Becoming a socialist was an ongoing consciousness process since my early days, and through parental guidance. They may not use the word "socialism", but their actions spoke louder than words. It's as if my innate consciousness was triggered.

I returned to Malaysia to do PhD research and realised that I was especially weak in the field of economics. When I returned to the US to defend my thesis, I found time to do self-study, including studying the works of Karl Marx.

In Malaysia, we formed Insan (Institute for Social Analysis) and published the magazine Nadi Insan. Those involved were Jomo K Sundaram (photo, below), P Ramasamy, Ishak Shari, Rustam A Sani, V Paneer Selvam, Rohana Ariffin and many others, and I was the chairperson. I was further exposed to the plight of the poor masses and had press conferences for the victims to present their cases to the press...

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