The third force is a term coined for a movement which is free from political parties in fighting for the social agenda including on political matter. Political analysts are of the view that the third force is the voice of arbiter and struggle to resolve real issues on the ground which is often sidelined or politicized by mainstream politics.
The third force among the Malay Muslims movement, voices out the concern of the shortcoming and incapacity of the government and even the opposition on issues affecting the position of the Malays and Islam in the country.
Among the issues it has voiced out are proselytization, the use of the term Allah by Christians in their religion, sales of liquor, sexual crime and many more disgusting issues to the Muslims. In fact the solution that the movement has adopted is what the Muslim in the country really need. Their struggle is more transparent and educative.
In the current political scenario of the country, the third force can also be a check-and-balance to the government and the opposition based on the country’s history and sociology.
The third force is seen as mostly guided by the NGO but none has so far been headed by any individual specifically. In the view of this writer, it is not just championed by Datuk Dr. Hasan Ali because the third force has existed before he formed JATI.
It is also not headed by Zulkifli Noordin or Datuk Ibrahim Ali or any Member of Parliament and independent lawmakers. In fact on close scrutiny, the voice of the third force is non-partisan because it also comes from UMNO, Pas and PKR. Sometime, what they voice out is different from and contradicted the respective aspiration of the party.
However, the third force at this moment doesn’t come up in the form of a political party because it is obvious that Malaysian voters are focus on the clash between the government and the opposition. Probably the number and figures of the third force is not that influential compared to the established figures in UMNO and also Pas.
But the voice of the third force is strong enough in opening the eyes and is expected to be able to influence the voters especially the silent majority who chose their representatives more objectively and not only based party sentiment. It is obvious that in the last 12th general election, many UMNO members voted for the opposition because they were upset with the BN government. It is also not impossible that in the coming 13th general elections, there are Pas members which voted for UMNO if Pas fail to carry their aspirations to sanctify Islam.
The third force is to call for and protect and empower the provision in the Federal Constitution especially on issues affecting the Malays and Islam.
They also reject any form of corruption and abuses by any quarters, and fight for justice based on Islam and not based on any human precept and Western liberalism.
They call for the people to be thankful to the fortune that blessed the country and religion.
Defending the race and religion is not racism and extremism. In fact, it is in line with the call to defend the country’s identity and dignity of Tanah Melayu and Islamic country.
As such, the government and the opposition should hear and consider the voices and calls made by the third force. Be open in accepting criticism and views from others.
Do not link them to UMNO just because they voice the issues regarding the Malays. And likewise, do not relate them with Pas just because they fight for Islamic cause as if only Pas is qualified to talk about Islam.
Lastly, the best politic and propaganda is not to topple the opposing parties but to display noble and just principles and offer good governance and development for the people.