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Kampung Pictures Daily Contemplations on the Third Force
Contemplations on the Third Force PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Thursday, 14 October 2010 00:00

Over a hundred citizens came by Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia that wet evening on Sept 24th. It was the inaugural SABM Dinner Lecture - a paid event - where each month a key personality is invited to expound his or her views on a selected issue facing the nation. The idea hopes to achieve two goals: to enable a platform for deeper discussions, and to help SABM raise funds to continue with its operations and activities

THE rain had let up by sunset, slowing down into a stubborn drizzle. The food, North Indian with a lamb entree, helped satisfy the damp conditions.

The evening's speaker was Zaid Ibrahim, often credited as the main facilitator behind the Pakatan Rakyat's common policy framework, a broadened agenda to restore democracy and restructure weakened institutions.

sabm-dl-zaid1His topic: Do we need a Third Force?

To be clear, the term 'third force' generally refers to a grouping of people or organisations that mediates between polarising powers.

In the case of Malaysia, Zaid stressed it is the awakened rakyat who are undoubtedly the Third Force. "Political parties will tend to sway, become lax. It is the informed citizen, together as a collective, who will make the government serve, no matter which party holds the majority."

He reminded dinner guests - in a 40-minute talk which covered various grounds - that it is crucial to maintain the momentum of being the nation's watchdog and the need to set up solid citizen structures in order that this task becomes ingrained as a nationwide culture. Education and the critical mind is essential if there is to be a better future, said Zaid.


Much was discussed during question-and-answer especially on kataks, and the ability of the Pakatan Rakyat to provide good, trustworthy candidates to contest in every State and Parliamentary seat during General Elections. On the question, "Should the Third Force then complement with its own spread of independent candidates at the next General Elections?", Zaid preferred the No. "I would rather that you offer these fine people to the Pakatan Rakyat. From there, they can reach the goals of reformasi more effectively."

Time crept fast and further discussions on that matter had to rest; it was past 10pm and the PKR deputy president candidate had to leave for another appointment. Still the tables remained occupied as guests continued to explore points from the evening's talk. How ought the Third Force shape itself from here? Action of course, if we aim to get anywhere fast.

And certainly with fuel provided by the continued discourse on key topics. Which is why, for the month of October, the SABM Dinner Lecture features the voice from a Brave New World.

He needs no introduction. His topic speaks for itself.


Seats are limited given the available space at the Rumah. As this is also a fund-raising event, each seat is RM50 or a 10-seat table for RM500 inclusive of a restaurant-prepared dinner, dessert and refreshments. We'll make every effort to ensure a full tummy and a heady discourse.

For reservations, please email joannalim.sabm(at)gmail.com.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 October 2010 08:41

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