Malaysia, we need a third force



The rationale is simple, really, politicians from both sides of the divide have shown they are incapable of delivering reforms the rakyat desperately long for.

We need a third force because that humorous adage appears to be true - the only time a politician doesn’t lie is when his mouth is shut. Sadly, we have seen this one time too many in the Malaysian context.

We need a third force because on the Barisan Nasional side, the coalition continues to elevate politicians that have tainted records. On the Pakatan Harapan side, the coalition has become U-turn experts where election manifesto is concerned.

I do not know which betrayal is greater - that BN politicians stole from the rakyat whilst manufacturing racial and religious rifts as red herrings to mask their avarice and plundering or that Harapan politicians reneging on their promises while allowing the continuation of BN-style politics.

We need a third force because both coalitions will not deliver social justice. Think Teoh Beng Hock, Indira Gandhi, Raymond Koh, or Amri Che Mat and the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). Think of the merry-go-round that those who seek justice are being subjected to by the powers that be.

We need a third force because Harapan politicians – specifically the presidential council – have become impotent at addressing the seemingly one-track mindedness of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed.

It’s hard to believe that this council comprised of politicians who were once incarcerated under the Internal Security Act, that these politicians rode on the coattails of victims of social justice, promising to bring resolution and closure, only to end up once again disappointing the latter.

We need a third force because it appears most of these once-reform minded politicians have now become apologists for the powers that be instead of holding office bearers accountable.

We need a third force because both sides are not interested in creating equality. It is now clear they are willing to bounce along with the rule and divide narrative that was manufactured under BN, as evidenced by continual tolerance of racial and religious extremists.

We need a third force because both coalitions are wont at ignoring electoral warning signs. BN failed to heed the signs post-GE 12 and GE 13, and Harapan has failed to heed Tanjung Piai.

Where’s the post-mortem that Harapan promised to undertake following Tanjung Piai? Instead, what we get from both is the expert delivery of self-extolling report cards and typical lip service aimed at making us believe they would address voter gripes.

Well, do you feel as though Harapan has fulfilled 60 percent of its manifesto? I tell you what speaks the most to me though - the drab state of the economy, corrupt politicians still uninvestigated, and the "delay" of the IPCMC.

We need a third force because political frogs still swamp our scene. Instead of providing us with a stable and confident government, politicians from Harapan have instead indulged in conspiracies, creating anxieties in the minds of Malaysians, who for the most part just want to make ends meet in an already tough operating environment without having to keep track of political shenanigans.

We need a third force because both sides are clearly caught up in a political Game of Thrones instead of implementing reforms within the civil service delivery mechanism. Little Napoleons, duplicated laws, inept procedures, and burdensome bureaucracy still rule the roost.

We need a third force because both sides take us for fools when it comes to the notion of "rule of law". Yes, one set of rules for you and me, the masses, and another when it comes to the power players.

For example? You declare something wrongfully or erroneously to the authorities, and you will feel the weight of the law. On the other hand, you can get by with fake degrees if you are a minister under this present regime.

You could organise or attend congresses where you slur or slight minority races because you are the "boss", but you warn them if they wish to organise one to address their very valid concerns.

We need a third force because we cannot allow New Malaysia to be governed using old politics.

We need a third force because if life has taught us one thing, it is that we cannot leave reform and change in the hands of politicians. It is too precious an initiative to be left in the hands of men who are already imperfect, and who lose their way all too easily once they are in the throngs of power.

No, it’s not easy to form a credible third force. I am under no dreamy impression.

However, we have done the impossible before. We have changed the oldest and one of the most corrupt governments despite overwhelming odds. I think if social figures or personalities are willing to lead such an initiative, there may very well be a fighting chance.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.