Saturday, June 22, 2019

PMFTU Pledges Support to All Political Bodies

Taken from Morning Tribune, 6th April 1948 (Page 3) 

Morning Tribune April 6th, 1948

In April 1948, a ten-day conference was organised to celebrate the third anniversary of PMFTU. In the general assembly:

1. Ganapathy pledged support to all political bodies striving for the enhancement of the social and political status of all Malayans. Ganapathy also spoke about Malayan labourers had drawn to WFTU's sincere cooperation. He also reminded local government not to underestimate labour uprising in West and the Malayan labourers would draw to the awakening. 
2. Secretary of Singapore Communist Party - Chan Min Ching warning indication showing Singapore to be turned into anti communist headquarters for SEA. 
3. Agent of Government of India to Malaya T.G Nadarajan Pillai spoke about the necessary to establish a profit sharing system for labourers similar to many trades in United Kingdom, establishment of cooperative societies among labourers and government provide small plots of land for labourers. 

PMFTU Pledges Support to All Political Bodies 

Speaking at the general assembly of the third anniversary celebration of the Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions in Singapore yesterday, Mr. S.A Ganapathy (Chairman) pledges the support of the organization to all political bodies “striving for the enhancement of the social and political status of the people of Malaya”

The interests and welfare of the labourers of the world had drawn the serious attention of the World Federation of Trade Unions to which was also extended the sincere co-operation of the workers of Malaya, he said.

“The local government authorities should never be under the hallucination that the revolutionary spirit prevailing in the West and other awakened countries of Asia would not draw into its orbit the labourers of Malaya.” Mr Ganapathy added.

No Danger of War

Secretary of the Singapore Communist Party Mr. Chan Min Ching, said that although the present international situation was comparatively tense, there was no immediate danger of third world war. Confrontation with an impending economic crisis and the ever-developing upsurge of the colonial peoples, the imperialist bloc was fanatically making preparation for war.

The Five-Power military pact recently signed in Western Europe, in his opinion, was identical with former Axis agreement and was only a pretext persecuting democratic and leftist forces. For instance, the recent anti Communist persecution in Burma and India. Mt Chan said was coupled with the persecution against trade union leaders and strikers who demanded better living conditions.

Referring to the British Government he said, that the Labour Government in England, instead of leading Malaya towards self-government, “is leading us towards war. The Colonial Secretary (in Singapore) openly called for war preparation recently when he spoke at an RAF Association function. Lately, a defense department for the Colony had been established under Mr. G.Hawkins.”

There was very indication, Mt Chan said, that Singapore “may be made” the anti-Communist headquarters for Southeast Asia.” To suggest that Malaya today was threatened by foreign aggression was absurd, he said, because any aggression could only come from American imperialism.

A Query

One should not wonder why imperialism is deadly anti-Communist because (Mr. Chan said) Communist parties have long been known to be most revolution in their opposition to ruthless exploitation of the popular masses and violation of civil rights. War preparations under the present circumstances could only mean more unbearable taxes to the people and preparation against the people and against democracy he added.

Workers’ Handicap

In a country like Malaya where much of the workers were immigrants without an inch of land or roof of their own the workers unions would be very much handicapped in their bargaining power, said Mr. T.G Natarajapillai, Agent of the Government of Indian in Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, speaking next. The country’s economy depended mainly on rubber and tin for progress and prosperity. This being the case, in the event of depression, workers would have to accept lower wages, unemployment or repatriation to their countries of origin, he said.

One way in which to ensure industrial peace (he said) was to make the workers feels that they were partners in the industry by devising a system of profit sharing as done in some trades and industries in the United Kingdom and other commonwealth territories.

Co-op Societies

Co-operative societies, he thought also might help workers to save some money. But the only was to avoid a feeling of frustration was for government to enable people who have lost touch with their motherland to own small plots of land and settle down.

Comparing the financial solidarity of the employers’ organization and that of labour, the speaker said labour should be very thoughtful before embarking upon direct action. He called upon union leaders to study the pros and cons of all problems and encourage conciliation and other means of settlement of disputes.

Among other speakers were Mr. P.V Sharma, who spoke on behalf of the Malaya Council of World Affairs; and Mr. Eu Chooi Yip, on behalf of the Malayan Democratic Union.

Greeting telegrams from Sian and Indonesia Trade Union movements were read.

The annual assembly of the Federation is expected to last ten days.

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