LAST_UPDATETue, 15 May 2018 11am

A Third Force in Malaysian Politics – For Better or Worse?

Self-appointed leader of the Third Force in Malaysian politics, civil rights lawyer, Haris Ibrahim has taken on the mantle of short-listing candidates to stand under the banners of Pakatan Rakyat components, Parti Keadilan PKR Rakyat (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP). I don't believe either of the two Pakatan party leaders have sanctioned Haris' initiative, for I can't imagine two key components in an alternative-government-in-waiting would surrender or privatize this important role.


In another article I had indeed asked of Haris, who also leads the online NGO People's Parliament, "Who Art Thou in Politics?", chiefly wondering why he was so "involved" in PKR inner politics when he was NOT even a card-carrying member, and that his writings were/are mainly in favor of two then appointed "top" PKR leaders who only recently abandoned the BN banner to join PKR.

In The Star printed edition on Nov 17, a news report headlined "Azmin’s Faction Blamed for Pushing Zaid to a Tight Spot", it was reported that:

"Meanwhile, Barisan Rakyat coordinator Haris Ibrahim denied that it was a “third force” or that it was backed by Zaid.”

The blogger, who said the group aimed to supply Pakatan with MPs that would not abandon it after securing enough seats to form the Federal Government, said it hoped to contest 30 parliamentary seats in the next general election (GE13).

“So far, we have 16 potential candidates. We will contest using PKR and DAP banners but in Parliament, we will serve as independents.

“We do not want to form a new party as we want to do away with politics of patronage where division chiefs expect to be nominated.” (news report excerpt ends here)

A PKR strategist told this writer that an outsider like Haris who is not even a party member is being too presumptuous to think PKR would surrender this role of selecting candidates to outsiders.

"Why would PKR or DAP want to pass on to a third party to select candidates to contest under our banner?

"And who is to tell that these so-called men/women of integrity picked by Haris will permanently follow his mandate based on his own set of principles and ethics?"

Indeed, I think Haris, drunk on commenters' cheering squad on his blog, has arrogated for himself a status justified by the cheering squad – that status befitting a demigod? On what criteria has Haris followed to shortlist these 16 candidates for the next general election?

In fact, as I had observed in an earlier article, Haris and some so-called Barisan Rakyat bloggers got pretty involved in PKR party elections, having concurrently started a campaign named "BLOGGERS FOR NURUL" just as deputy presidential candidate Zaid Ibrahim had advised the MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar to accept the nomination for deputy president candidacy (which Zaid had confirmed contesting, but would make way for Nurul... but that's another story well past its shelf-life). What I have noted is that Haris has consistently "supported" Zaid's – and another Sabah leader Jeffrey Kitingan – In the latter's politicking, especially during the current PKR party elections.

As Haris' initiative is officially reported by the MSM, I have sighted an article written about this so-called Third Force previously on his blog, but the Star report  on Nov 17 is the first time where DAP and PKR are dragged into the picture.



Third Force: New Impediment for Change at Putrajaya


I have written that a Third Force is premature on the Malaysian political landscape when even the Pakatan Rakyat comprising PKR, DAP and PAS – the latter two having proven records of some 50 years of struggle to boast of, with PKR only a 12-year teenage growing up period – for the first time have given Malaysians the hope of a two-party system, hence the most viable coalition to replace the BN government.

At this junction, do we need a third force of "Spoilers" who would likely make the next 13th General Election see more three-or more-cornered fights, mainly to the benefit of the incumbent BN regime?

Who's to guarantee that some or all of this core group of some 20 "persons of integrity" when elected into Parliament would not sell their souls in a "hung Parliament scenario”? Ask the electorate if they had felt cheated when three PR assemblymen in Perak caused the downfall of the Pakatan government when they deserted PKR and DAP and "became independents". Independents, my foot!  It's the almighty dollar/ringgit you frogs are looking at, no? RM4 million for Hee Yit Foong, yes?

The next question arising is: Haris, where are the funds coming from to finance the election campaign for GE13 for these candidates under your Third Force?

Zaid who Haris adores as seen from his blog posts had stated he might set up a new political party once his resignation takes effect coming Dec 16. I quote from the Malaysian Mirror:

Though another writer claims on Zaid's behalf that it's presumptuous of certain writers to link any of Zaid's moves to finally connect with Haris' latest initiative, it is a possibility that it finally would transpire that way. Zaid might not get enough support to register his new party; these two new forces would converge into one? So to contest in GE13, Zaid becomes another "man of integrity" by Haris' definition to add onto to his shortlist?

Am I going to be surprised? That's a RM64million question I may get to answer six months from now should PM Najib Tun Razak receive inspiration to call for an early GE13, one I believe could lead Malaysia down that slippery slope into another failed state. And a Third Force would not in any way help in Pakatan’s path to Putrajaya to prevent Malaysia becoming another Zimbabwe.



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