‘RPK and Zaid not the real third force’

By FMT Staff

An astute political blogger and former assemblyman has dismissed claims that the newly launched Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and Zaid Ibrahim’s renamed party are the much-touted third force to cripple Umno-Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz said Malaysians with well-grounded knowledge of politics and parties were likely to “stay away from a nebulous concept of a third force” as flagged by MCLM and Zaid.

“I am not trivialising RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin) and his band of merry men or the motivations of these well-intentioned individuals.

“The issues raised and the concerns voiced are undoubtedly pertinent and relevant, but perhaps best suited to the urban constituencies.

“In which case, MCLM will face formidable competition from established political groupings such as Pakatan Rakyat, which is something more solid than just some intellectualised concept,” noted Aziz, who was Pulau Manis assemblyman from 2004-2008.

Aziz described MCLM as a “loose association of like-minded individuals” with “some understanding” of what it means to be democratic.

“But at the moment, democratic means anything but Barisan Nasional or Umno’s policies,” he quipped.

He added that the most pertinent question now on most people’s mind is: “What is the third force’s agenda and plans?”

He dismissed Zaid’s re-emergence in a renamed political party, saying, “it will not make any difference to Malaysian politics”.

Misreading political situation

Penning his views on his blog sakmongkolAK47, Ariff said the third force entity and Zaid’s party were misreading the current political mood.

He opined that they were “over-reading” with “unbounded optimism” the results of the 12th general election.

“I say perhaps we have over-read the support for opposition parties as being a permanent shift. As such, I think there will be a shift back of allegiance to BN and notably Umno.