Third Force to encircle Umno

The current political landscape in the country is fertile for all minority parties in Barisan Nasional or otherwise to opt for a direct coalition system.

Within the state BN, especially for Sarawak, minor parties can work out a cooperation pact namely the newly revamped SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples Party) with PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) and SPDP (Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party).

Awang Abdilllah, Free Malaysia Today

After the 12th GE of 2008, what we are witnessing are structural changes in the Malaysian political landscape – the emergence of a two-party system in Malaysia – Umno the main component of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, and the opposition pact led by PKR and PAS.

Unlike the two-party system in some countries such as the US, either one of the two parties can win an election and form the government and the other automatically becomes the opposition.

But in Malaysia the dual party system is unique. Firstly it is a Malay based two-party system and secondly neither party can form a government on its’ own without a coalition with the non-Malay minority parties.

Hence the political landscape in the country provides the right scenario for all minority parties in BN or otherwise to opt for a (direct) coalition system of government whereby the minority parties will contest using their own party ticket.

And after the general election is over, these minority parties can negotiate to join either one of the two Malay based parties.

Therefore the formation of a federal government would then be based on the two-party system and a coalition system.

As we have known or rather common knowledge, that there have been so many gross abuses committed by Umno under the name of the government and the BN entity.

Only Umno wields so much political and economic powers leaving the other minor component parties sharing the leftovers.

This has been Umno’s policy and practices since 1981 following the Mahathir undemocratic-authoritarian rule.

The other component parties though members of the BN are all tied down under the Umno system of controls which enables the latter to become the de facto federal government.

Since 2009 when Najib took over the premiership, initially he tried more democratic approaches such as the 1Malaysia slogan , economic, political and electoral reforms but with little success.

However of late it is getting clearer that like Mahathir, the former shares similar beliefs that only through the undemocratic-authoritarian rule can Umno continue to hold such political and economic powers and maintain its’ grip on other races and parties .

Two-pronged strategy needed

This special two-party political system requires a third force that has the two pronged strategy to encircle Umno’s despotic power and to prop up the opposition – Pakatan plus coalition – and strengthen the system.

Lets look at the components of the Third Force:

i) Direct coalition system at national level and state levels.

Across the country there are many minor political parties whether in the BN or opposition that can team up and forge a common platform through the direct coalition system.

Parties like DAP, MCA, MIC, PRS, SPDP, SUPP, PESAKA, SAPP and others can contest in an election using their own party symbols.

I believe the people can accept such a united political body to breakup Umno and PBB hegemony (in Sarawak). A direct coalition system acts as a check-and-balance against the dominance of an undemocratic, dictatorial kind of government.

After the 13th GE, these third force political parties can work out which of the two main Malay parties they wish to join enbloc or on individual basis.

Under a direct coalition system, a coalition partner is not tied down to a main or even a majority component party in the government.

It is a loose partnership whereby any partner can quit the government and join the opposition.

However if the partners who quit have a majority seats, then they can proceed to form another different new coalition government.

So there is freedom of choice – any party can join or leave the ruling party or the opposition.

Hence in the formation of the federal government and the respective state governments in Malaysia, the direct coalition system is the best alternative for every minority party.

If all the minority parties in BN or opposition team up to join PKR and PAS, then Umno‘s dominance is history at the national or state levels in Semenanjung Malaysia and Sabah.

ii) Cooperation pact in Sarawak

Within the state BN, especially for Sarawak, minor parties can work out a cooperation pact namely the newly revamped SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples Party) with PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) and SPDP (Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party).

The latter two can even forge a merger pact to form a stronger entity.

This kind of cooperation pact can form a third force component at state level to counter PBB’s hegemony of power.

If the Pesaka wing of PBB (Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) snaps and attaches itself to the grouping, the more the merrier.

If the state Pakatan wishes to join the pact, then PBB is completely encircled.

I believe a majority of the Malays would support such a pact.

This may compel some of the PBB leaders who are not aligned with Taib to consider crossing over to PAS or PKR to spearhead its presence further in the state before the 13th GE though the state would not be holding any state election.