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SOCDEM Asia Celebrates the Nomination of Rui Araujo as East Timor’s Prime Minister

rui araujoSocdem Asia is extremely delighted by the auspicious developments in East Timor, as long-time pro-democracy activist and former health and deputy-prime minister Rui Araujo prepares to become the country’s prime minister.  Mr. Araujo, who hails from opposition Fretilin party and has long been seen as a favorite to become the country’s next leader, is set to replace independence hero Xanana Gusmao, who recently submitted his resignation to pave the way for the establishment of a unity government in the Southeast Asian country.


We believe the nomination of Mr. Araujo, which was widely supported by the two leading parties in East Timor’s parliament and enjoys the confidence and trust of the people of East Timor, represents a decisive and highly symbolic step towards establishing a unified government as well as institutionalizing the democratization process in the country, which gained its independence in 2002 following decades of struggles against Indonesian occupation.


The nomination of progressively-minded leaders such as Prime Minister-elect Rui Araujo, who hails from a younger generation of leaders in the country, reflects the growing desire among Asian peoples for more responsive, accountable, and nimble leaders, who understand the complex prerogatives and challenges of democratic governance in the 21st century. We fervently hope that the Mr. Araujo’s leadership will inspire a whole generation of social democrats and progressive leaders in East Timor and across Asia to continue to provide socially just, dedicated, participatory and effective public service to their constituents.


Joint Statement of SOCDEM Asia and the Progressive Alliance about the Imprisonment of Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim


anwar ibrahimWe, as progressive political parties in both government and opposition worldwide, are deeply concerned about the imprisonment of Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. His case raises internationally worrying questions about the independence of the judiciary and rule of law in Malaysia.


The selective and politically motivated prosecution of members of the opposition has a dramatic detrimental effect on political and social development in Malaysia.


We call for fairness, transparency, and the rule of law. Malaysia’s government has to recognize the importance of confidence in its judicial system and has to restore trust in its commitment to human rights.

Likewise we urge the Malaysian government to repeal the Sedition Act, a promise made by its leader in 2012 but now overturned, which systematically suppresses freedom of speech and assembly in the country. This suppression of dissent by the opposition and the Malaysian people in general violates political rights.


We express our full solidarity with the People's Justice Party, the Democratic Action Party, the family and friends of Mr Anwar Ibrahim, the people of Malaysia, and Mr Anwar himself. We have and will never stand inactive in witness of injustice and violation of human rights.


 We will work more closely with our Malaysian alliance partner, the Democratic Action Party, in upholding the truth and delivering equal justice for all. We stand together for the principles of social justice and human rights, towards a more democratic and progressive Malaysia.

Statement on Education

students educationAgainst the backdrop of high youth unemployment and growing inequality, which has been ravaging much of the world, we uphold that the human right to Education is an indispensable public good that not only enables individual freedom from ignorance and insecurity but also propels the national economy and fosters societal cohesion.


In today’s globalized world, the significance of education is conventionally understood in terms of its pivotal role in enhancing and preserving the productive and innovative capacities of the (national and global) economy. Education is largely seen as an instrument of skill-enhancement and cognitive development, preparing individuals to contribute to the efficient and robust operation of labour markets.


View Full PDF - Statement on Education