Malaysian Social Justice Party

Malaysian Social Justice Party or (Malay: Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia) (PEKEMAS) was a political party formed by Tan Chee Khoon and Syed Hussein Alatas in 1972. On 19 July 1974, Parti Marhaen Malaysia merged with the party.[2] The party was dissolved in 1982.[3]

Malaysian Social Justice Party
Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia
FounderVeerappen Veerathan
Tan Chee Khoon
Syed Hussein Alatas
Split fromParti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
Merged intoParti Keadilan Rakyat (1998)
Succeeded byParti Keadilan Rakyat (1998)
HeadquartersKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Political positionLeft-wing
ColoursRed, White, and Green[1]


The party were formed by Tan Chee Khoon, Syed Hussein Alatas and Veerappen Veerathan[4][5] in 1972 after Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia co-founder Lim Chong Eu led Gerakan into the newly expanded Alliance (renamed as the Barisan Nasional or National Front).[6] Tan strongly opposed this move because he felt it endorsed the race-based parties in Barisan Nasional. PEKEMAS is noted as a non-communal party and were formed based on principles similar to Gerakan.[7][8][9] Them were joined by 2 others Gerakan MPs, V. David and Veerappen.[10] Despite this, Tan supported the controversial government-supported New Economic Policy, which expanded the privileges given to Bumiputra (Malays and other indigenous people) under Article 153 of the Constitution because he felt tougher affirmative action was required to address Malay poverty.[11] On 19 July 1974, Parti Marhaen Malaysia merged with the party.

In the 1974 general election,[12][13] PEKEMAS suffered a terrible defeat, with Tan being the only successful candidate out of 36 candidates for Parliament.[14][15] PEKEMAS' campaign against the government was predicated on denying them the requisite 2/3 majority for amending the Constitution, which Tan opposed. The Democratic Action Party and the Sarawak National Party became the largest opposition parties in Parliament, with nine seats each. This effectively hamstrung Tan's and PEKEMAS' agenda in Parliament.[16] Tan announced his retirement from politics in 1977, although he held his Parliament and Selangor State Assembly seats until their terms expired the next year. The party influence started to wear out in 1978 due to the defection of its chairman, Ahmad Boestamam to Parti Rakyat Malaysia[17] after 1978 general elections.[18] The party further shrank in 1979 due to most of PEKEMAS' supporters defecting to the DAP.[11][19][20][21] It managed to field a candidate in the 1982 general elections before its dissolution.[22]

List of PEKEMAS leaders

#NameTook officeLeft office
1Tan Chee Khoon19721977
2Ahmad Boestamam19771978

Elected Representatives

  • Members of the Dewan Rakyat, 4th Malaysian Parliament
  • List of Malaysian State Assembly Representatives (1974–78)


The party has been noted as having rough similarities with current Parti Keadilan Rakyat.[23]

General elections result

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
1 / 154
105,718 4.99% 1 seats; Opposition Tan Chee Khoon
0 / 154
23,792 0.68% 1 seats; No representation in Parliament Ahmad Boestamam
0 / 154
619 0.01% ; No representation in Parliament Shaharuddin Dahlan

State election results

See also


  1. "Hilangnya idealisme kepelbagaian kaum dalam Gerakan". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. "New Straits Times – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  3. "Thank You Malaysia". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  4. "The Star Online". The Star. Malaysia. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  5. Gin, Ooi Keat (11 May 2009). Historical Dictionary of Malaysia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810863057.
  6. George, K. (2005). "Champion of the downtrodden", Aliran, (Go to search engine and enter "alatas" and various articles mentioning will come up). Retrieved 14 February 2006.
  7. "PERSPECTIVE: And the roars will continue to echo - Politics - New Straits Times". Archived from the original on 4 May 2014.
  8. Weiss, Meredith L. (17 October 2014). Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Malaysia. Routledge. ISBN 9781317629597.
  9. Means, Gordon P. (1991). Malaysian Politics: The Second Generation, p. 29. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-588988-6.
  10. K S Sandhu, A Mani, ed. (1993). Indian Communities in Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 259. ISBN 978-9812100177.
  11. Loh, Kok Kin (2003). "Tan Sri Dr Tan Chee Khoon – A Life of Service" Archived 15 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 14 February 2006.
  12. "SEJARAH PILIHAN RAYA UMUM DI MALAYSIA – shameel iskandar". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  13. "Rencana – Utusan Online". Utusan Online. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  14. "Popularkan Barisan Alternatif untuk tandingi BN". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  15. Hwang, In-wŏn (1 January 2003). Personalized Politics: The Malaysian State Under Mahathir. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9789812301857.
  16. Means, pp. 33, 34.
  17. "Prof Syed Hussein Alatas meninggal dunia". Malaysiakini (in Malay). 24 January 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  18. "Malaysia – Pilihan Raya – Pilihan Raya Umum Kelima ( 1978 )". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  19. Means, p. 67.
  20. Mathews, Philip (28 February 2014). Chronicle of Malaysia: Fifty Years of Headline News, 1963–2013. Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 9789671061749.
  21. admin (12 December 2012). "Peluang PR menang PRU-13 cerah kerana BN banyak masalah". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  22. "Malaysia – Pilihan Raya – Pilihan Raya Umum Keenam ( 1982 )". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  23. JASIN, A KADIR. "Agenda Daily – A CAUTIONARY TALE OF TWO COALITIONS – Agenda Daily". Agenda Daily (in Malay). Retrieved 25 March 2016.
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