Activism, the bus trip to Taiping, and stepping out as the Third Force in solidarity with Guan Eng

Posted on August 7, 2020


maxresdefault editedCome next month, If I include my years of activism through the courts as a legal practitioner, starting from year 2000 until 2010, that accounts for 22 years of my life.

What’s it been like?

I have always used taking a bus ride to Taiping to describe that journey.

You buy a bus ticket to Taiping and, on that travel date, you arrive and find the bus is packed.

50 passengers.

All on the same journey.

Each with their own agenda.

Through my years in SABM, then briefly in MCLM and, the one that took the most out of me, ABU, I was blessed that most that I had the honour and privilege to work closely with were driven by the same ideals and aspirations.

One, people, one nation, all equal.

Returning the liberties guaranteed to us under the constitution.

Freeing the people from a corrupt regime, and returning the nation back to the people.

Like life, in activism, too, you learn to take the good with the bad.

There have been those who might have started off on the straight and narrow, then veered over to the dark side.

And there have been those who were never really with us, but hid their agenda all too well.

In 2009. one.

2011 and 2012, quite a few.

And in early July, this year, yet another.

What have I learnt from this?

In political activism, work with those who you can trust, but never trust completely.

Let the trust be founded on what you know and come to know of the person.

Let the little distrust arise from the very nature of the political arena you work in.

If the distrust does encompass reasons personal to the individual, do yourself a favour and do not work with the individual.

On 5th August, 2020, a few of us mooted taking an independent candidate initiative into the 15th GE.

It will do all of us well to keep this in mind when we begun to consider individuals, both as candidates as well as supporters who are prepared to come out of their respective comfort zones, roll up sleeves, and work to make this effort a reality.

Today, my friend, Guan Eng, was charged in court with soliciting a bribe.

I have known Guan Eng since 2007.

Campaigned with him in Penang in 2008.

Had harsh words with him in 2009 when he was CM over a matter that we both disagreed on.

Never, though, ever given a reason personal to him to distrust Guan Eng.

Today, I am asked to believe that he did what Rosmah, in her ongoing trial, is said to have done.

Guan Eng contends that the charge is politically motivated.

I think so.

“I want to stress that we don’t practice corruption. We fight corruption”, Guan Eng is reported to have said.

I have always known that of Karpal and Kit Siang, and I see no reason to think otherwise of Guan Eng.

I stand in solidarity with Guan Eng.

I take this opportunity to formally launch a new initiative, I AM THE THIRD FORCE.


I remind myself of that bus ride to Taiping and in looking to build on this, will veer towards quality rather than quantity.

More on this later.