Third force not relevant, says Dr M

(The Sun Daily) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed has dismissed the relevance of a “third-force” in Malaysian politics, claiming that it will only split the votes and resulting in a weak government.

“When there are too many (individual) political parties, the government will not be strong. It would be difficult for the parties to agree and come up with a policy for the country,” he told theSun today.

As such, ahead of the next general election, Mahathir said political parties should take a clear stand as to whether they are aligned to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), or the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

“They (third-force) just want to be prominent in politics. They want people to hear about them, but they are not serious politicians,” he claimed.

Asked if he was referring to Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) led by Datuk Seri Zaid Ibrahim, Mahathir said yes.

Zaid had served as de-facto law minister and Senator during the Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration, before leaving Umno to join PKR in June 2009.

He then quit the party, claiming he had lost confidence in the leadership, and went on to form Kita on Dec 15, 2010.

The former Kota Baru MP recently announced that he intended to dissolve the party.

“They (politicians) should forget about forming small, ineffective parties,” said Mahathir during a visit to Colmar Tropicale at Berjaya Hills.

“People should know what kind of character he (Zaid) is. He should just retire (from politics) as he has already done enough damage.”

Meanwhile, on the role of non-governmental organisations as a third force, Mahathir said: “There is a place for them before elections. But after elections, these groups should choose to support either the ruling government of the opposition.”

Gombak Setia assemblyman Datuk Dr Hasan Ali had on Jan 31 announced that he plans to set up an NGO called Jati to fight for Islam, Malay rights and the Malay rulers.

He said the NGO aspires to be a “third force” that would offset BN and Pakatan Rakyat in the next general election.

Other groups claiming to be the “third force” include Malay right-wing group Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa), and the Konsensus Bebas Parliamen, made up of Independent MPs.

Earlier, the surprise arrival of Mahathir and Berjaya founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun was met with a huge buzz of excitement by visitors at the Colmar Tropicale here.

As soon as the duo arrived at about 3pm, a small crowd started to gather at the resort’s entrance to meet them.

Speaking to theSun, Mahathir said: “When this place started, it was very quiet. But now, it has gained a lot of public attention and became a popular tourist attraction.”

Mahathir had inspired the development and design of both the Colmar French Village, as well as Colmar Japanese Village.

“I had imagined it to be a replica of the real French Village, so people will not need to go to France for the experience. So I think this place has been a great success,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tan also thanked Mahathir for his long-standing support and contributions to the development.

“We are always very pleased whenever Tun comes to visit. He always gives us ideas. Like this time, he said we should look at expanding the Colmar Tropicale to accommodate more guests,” said Tan.

Mahathir and Tan, who went on a walkabout around the resort, also took the time to greet and pose for photos with guests.