MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don’t you just hate it when someone says: I told you so?

The Third Force has become a reality in the UK. Who ever thought the LDP would garner 30% of the votes even though they won only 10% of the seats? And none of the two major parties -- Labour and Conservative -- could form the new government without the involvement of the Third Force, LDP.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I told Zaid Ibrahim a long time ago: don’t join PKR. This was when he was still in Umno and not even made a Cabinet Minister yet. I asked him to lead a Third Force, a ‘balance’ between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

Zaid said even if we create a Third Force we would still need a political party platform. Fine, I replied, then join DAP and bring a group of Malay professionals, civil society movement and NGO activists, Bloggers, and so on, with him into DAP -- maybe a core group of 30 or so people not yet committed to any political party.

“Why DAP? Why not PKR?” Zaid asked. And I gave him my reasons why DAP and not PKR.

Not long after that Zaid was made a Minister and I thought that that was the end of the story. Then Zaid resigned as a Minister and, again, I broached the subject. This time I proposed that if he does not want to join DAP, and since I do not agree that he joins PKR, then maybe he can form a new party to ‘house’ this Third Force.

Zaid was skeptical about the idea. He said that a lot of time and money would be required to get a new party established. The short cut would be to latch on to an existing party. We told him we did not like that idea but agreed to let the matter rest.

Now, we can tell Zaid: I told you so! We did not think PKR was suitable for him. He is too ‘independent’, does not have the ‘discipline to kowtow’ to what he does not believe in, will not be able to tolerate the nonsense in PKR (and we know there is a lot of nonsense in PKR), and is a ‘loose cannon’, just like the rest of us, and will always shoot at anything that moves -- friend or foe.

My final word to Zaid is this. Get out of PKR. Forget about contesting the party elections. Leave and come help us lead the Third Force. Let the Third Force make an electoral pact with any of the 20 or so political parties from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat that may be prepared to make an electoral pact with us.

And if none are prepared to make an electoral pact with our Third Force then we shall contest the general election in three-corner fights even if we lose or lose our deposit.

Winning or losing the general election is not the issue. The issue is to offer the voters an alternative choice in the event they find both Barisan Nasional as well as Pakatan Rakyat unsuitable choices.

Let us call this Third Force Barisan Rakyat. It is neither Barisan Nasional nor Pakatan Rakyat. It is the alternative to both.

The Third Force has become a reality in the UK. Who ever thought the LDP would garner 30% of the votes even though they won only 10% of the seats? And none of the two major parties -- Labour and Conservative -- could form the new government without the involvement of the Third Force, LDP.

This is not that easy to realise in Malaysia, of course, because, in Malaysia, politics is all about money and the Third Force will not have that kind of money. But do not underestimate the intelligence of the Malaysian voter. If enough Malaysians are committed to a Third Force we might yet be surprised.

This may not happen this coming general election. It may take time to see a Third Force with enough clout to force both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to agree to political reforms, which is going to be the agenda of the Third Force.

Heck, it took a long time for it to happen in the UK. 30 years, in fact, after 17 years of Conservative and 13 years of Labour. But finally it did happen. And, in time, it will happen in Malaysia as well.

But we must be prepared for the long haul. There are going to be no short cuts. We can plant the seed now. But we may not be around to see the fruits of our labour.

So be it!


It’s Zaid vs PKR, as criticisms mount

(The Malaysian Insider) - The gulf between PKR deputy presidential hopeful Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and the party leadership appears to be widening, with vice president Lee Boon Chye today rubbishing the former lawyer’s “bewildering” claim that PKR tried to stop him from contesting.

Newcomer Zaid cuts a lonely figure as senior party figures continue to slam the former Umno man for also alleging that underhanded tactics were being used to discredit him following his candidancy announcement.

“No one has prevented Zaid from contesting and campaigning for any post including the presidency,” Lee said in a statement.

In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia on Sunday, Zaid had alleged that he was being prevented from contesting for the deputy president post.

The former de facto law minister said that a party like PKR, which claimed to be democratic, should ensure that those who were qualified to contest were given a chance to do so.

“Even though we may love Azmin or Anwar, it shouldn’t be to the extent where orders are issued not to nominate me,” he had said.

Lee said Zaid’s “unkind insinuations” that other PKR leaders, such as chief strategist Chua Tian Chang and N. Gobalakrishnan, had also been prevented from contesting were equally untrue.

He pointed out that Chua had won the Batu division chief post and Gobalakrishnan was still vying for the same post at Padang Serai.

Lee also questioned Zaid’s motive in choosing to air his grievances publicly to the press — citing his interview with Mingguan Malaysia, the weekend edition of Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia — and urged the PKR Federal Territory chief to go through regular party channels instead.

“He should stop playing the victim to gain sympathy at the expense of the party,” the Gopeng MP said.

Lee added that he was “perplexed” by Zaid’s claim that PKR was blocking his reform agenda as the party was always trying to enhance its reform-based policies, and challenged him to explain the agenda.

“Zaid should also reveal the so called ‘reform agenda’ and proceed to advocate them through the usual decision making process rather than providing sound bites to the press,” he said.

Lee pointedly reminded Zaid to focus on the “real adversary”, Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno, even in the midst of PKR’s intense party election.

The hotly contested fight for deputy presidency — largely between Zaid and vice president Azmin Ali — has revealed deep divisions within PKR and thrown the party’s commitment to direct elections into sharp focus.

Azmin, who is also Selangor chief, is believed to be PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s preferred choice, while Zaid is said to be popular with East Malaysian and non-Malay members.

The party leadership, however, has warned of “Trojan horses” in PKR — thought to be a veiled reference to Zaid — intent on using the direct election to take over the party.

PKR amended its constitution last year to give one member one vote in direct elections.

Earlier this month, some 400,000 PKR members began voting for divisional leaders and the 25 members of the central leadership council, including president, deputy president and four vice presidents.

The party’s 218 divisions will hold two separate meetings, one for the annual general meeting and election of divisional leaders, and a second to vote for national leaders.

The divisions will vote for national leaders on weekends, from October 29 to November 21.

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