KUALA LUMPUR: Capitalism assumed a dominant position after the end of the Cold War, but there is still no resolution to problems of poverty plaguing most nations," said Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj at the Socialist Forum 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Saturday.
Speakers in the first panel included Sam Wainwright from Socialist Alliance Australia, Ahmad Fuad from Islamic Renaissance Front, Venezuelan Ambassador to Malaysia Manuel Antonio Guzman and Jeyakumar, who discussed socialism as the alternative economic and political system.
According to Dr. Jeyakumar, opening up spaces for people's participation in the political sphere was a way to overcome a state that is biased towards the ruling class.
"The several alternatives that socialism brings into economic and political system is to bring economic monopolies under democratic control, productions for need not profit and participatory democracy," he said.
He also said that the capitalist system has failed to provide a decent level of living for the majority of the people around the world.
Guzman spoke about Bolivarian socialism, which was being practiced in Venezuela, saying it was not perfect yet but said capitalism was not the solution.
"Bolivarian process has reduced poverty and at the same time raised awareness and made the people become protagonists.
"Chavez broke the vicious cycle of neo-liberism in Venezuela. Bolivarian revolution changed the priorities of the government policies.
"State resources are aimed to solve the most important problems of the neediest people," said Guzman.
He added that in order to deepen the revolutionary process in Venezuela, they needed to involve the people on the ground and empower them in making decisions for the country.
In another panel, participants like Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Linda Harris from Communist League Australia, Prof Madya Dr Badlishah Shah Baharin from Ikram and social activist Choo Chon Kai discussed the impact of the Arab Spring on world history.
Dr Badlishah said that building democracy was much harder than toppling a dictator.
"The Arab Spring has given us an optimistic hope and also a lesson in democracy.
"Egypt is on the decline in terms of democracy, but we should not underestimate the people. The will of the people will prevail."The convention themed 'Delinking from Global Capitalism' concludes on Sunday.
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