Do we need a third force?


Malaysians have taken umbrage to the absence of 20 Pakatan Rakyat Parliamentarians at the third reading of the Dewan Rakyat recently where Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s first Budget almost did not get passed when it barely got through by a 66-63 vote margin. For the first time, the national budget was approved with such a narrow margin. In parliamentary democracies, a budget that is not passed is equivalent to a vote of no confidence on the government.

This means PR LOST the chance to topple the BN government because the 20 missing PR Parliamentarians could have made a big difference to the outcome of votes. Read more about it HERE and how Tian Chua admitted HERE that it had been a ‘planned mission’. To me, it is nothing but a SHAMEFUL and POORLY EXECUTED mission.

All over cyberspace, netizens are demanding for the names of those missing MPs and an apology or rationale for their absence. MPs know the schedule of meetings and are expected to adjust their personal appointments to attend the Dewan Rakyat – a duty expected of all elected representatives. Read more outbursts from Malaysia Today readers at THIS LINK.

This incident shows up the lackadaisical attitude of MPs on both sides of the divide. In short, things do not really look promising at all. Many of us voted for change via the Opposition but there does not seem to be a difference between the two sides safe that one is rolling deep in the grime of alleged corruption and racism. Is it a mistake then to hope that PR can steer the country to the change that we so badly need? Have we all been wasting our time, effort and hopes on PR?

Perhaps the time has come for Malaysians to create a ‘third force’ in Malaysian politics. By definition, it is the political coalition that offers an alternative to two major political parties – in this case, BN and PR.

Instead of banking on a two-party system, we may need an independent political organization that can play a watchdog role on the BN and Opposition government by focusing on developing and advocating reformative and transformative policy proposals. It can actively educate, agitate, organize and lobby to achieve the rakyat’s agenda in many ways.