‘Two-and-a-half strikes – and you’re out!’

(Malaysiakini) – The country’s so-called “third force”, the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, will evaluate the integrity of all 76 Pakatan Rakyat MPs before deciding whether or not to contest in their seats in the next general election.

MCLM president Haris Ibrahim said the movement first wants to make sure that the Pakatan incumbents “are safe from the integrity point of view”, so that the country can avoid a pesta katak (carnival of frogs).

However, the evaluation process appears to be quite lenient, with Haris explaining that MPs who fail the first round of the test would be subject to a second evaluation.

Only if the Pakatan MPs fail the second ‘integrity test’ will MCLM approach their relevant political parties to ask what they intended to do about the results.

“We will go to the party concerned and ask it, ‘can you tell what’s your position?’ If it tells us it is getting someone new, we would like to know who.

NONE“If it says it is not, or (gives) no response, we (will) probably look for a candidate for those seats,” Haris (right) said after a press conference at the KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall today.

A prominent lawyer and blogger, Haris said MCLM has 40 volunteers who were ready to start working soon to evaluate the Pakatan MPs. He expects their reports on the first round in about two weeks.

“We are still studying the constituencies. We are looking at all the 222 seats, and we will first evaluate the 76 Pakatan Rakyat incumbents.

‘We won’t contest if they pass’

“We will send the results of those who do not make the grade to the party leadership and to the MPs concerened.

“If all 76 pass the criteria we are using, then we won’t be looking at the Pakatan seats… if they are clear, we will be looking at the 146 BN seats.”

MCLM, which counts the likes of well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin among its members, denied speculaion that it is adamant about contesting in PR seats without any evaluation done beforehand.

“No, there is no such thing. As far as we are concerned, it (the focus) should be on integrity… even they (Pakatan) say they are a bit weak in certain areas, (but) it’s not our concern.

“Our concern is, if we win the 13th general election (and) two days later BN (gives) RM2 million (each to opposition elected representatives), we will see a pesta katak again,” he said.

Haris brushed aside a question on whether the evaluation would also be done on BN parliamentarians, saying it would be a pointless exercise.

“Why waste our time? We want to take them out already, mah… if you are a good fellow, you won’t be in BN,” he said.