‘Rights group not a third force’ – RPK

UNEASY: Raja Petra reveals Pakatan Rakyat’s tactic in undermining capable candidates

(NST) – SINGAPORE: PAKATAN Rakyat has allegedly been trying to undermine the emergence of a civil liberty movement as a “third force” in politics to avoid an erosion of its political base, Raja Petra Kamarudin claims in an interview.

The self-exiled Malaysia Today editor said tactics deployed by Pakatan include discouraging capable election candidates, who had originally intended to contest as independents, but were later allegedly heckled by Pakatan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to join its fray.

Raja Petra said Anwar was uneasy when such capable candidates were endorsed by the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), a pressure group he (Raja Petra) founded in the United Kingdom. The group advocates good governance through civil liberties.

“You (Anwar) want to cut the cake into two: Barisan and Pakatan and you don’t want any third party involvement.

“Oh, you (Anwar) are prepared to let them become independent before this. But when we (MCLM) approach them, you go: ‘Oh, they must join the party’.

“Is there any sincerity here? If that’s the issue, then we (MCLM) are prepared to stay out,” said Raja Petra.”

Raja Petra cited human rights lawyer, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, as among the possible candidates whom had been courted by DAP many years ago, but he had refused because he preferred to run as an independent.  

He said he had recommended Malik Imtiaz and other names to Anwar before. However, Anwar insisted the candidates become members of an opposition party first.  

Raja Petra said MCLM had decided it would not field any candidates for the coming general election and denied any notion  that the movement was a third force in the country’s politics.

He cited other organisations, which could merge as a third force, such as the United Borneo Front, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, Hindraf and even Bersih (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections).

Raja Petra further questioned Bersih’s motives given its seemingly close links to Pakatan.

“That has disappointed us a bit. That it is serving a Pakatan agenda, an Anwar agenda.

“We don’t want that. Bersih must be above it, not in it.”