Before I, Jayanath was the Third Force

Posted on August 23, 2020


IMG-20191109-WA0061 ed Note : This post is dedicated to my new friends in Melaka. Hope it helps all to better understand I am the Third Force.


In an earlier post on 17th May, 2020, I looked to the freedictionary  for an explanation of the conventional meaning of Third Force ( here is the meaning given : one or more nations, political parties, or other organisations occupying an intermediate position between two other opposed forces ).

This definition envisages the Third Force as a group.

I asked in that earlier post if the Third Force could not be just one individual?

One individual a Third Force?

Can one individual be a force, let alone a Third Force?

Does not make sense?

Let me illustrate.

In July, 2007, I received an email from a total stranger.


He attached something he had written and asked if I would consider posting it in my blog.

After reading it, without any hesitation, I posted it.

You can find it HERE and I urge all of you to make time to read it.

Soon thereafter, I met up with Jaya and a few others, this meeting leading to the hosting of the first Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) get together the next month.

You can read about that event HERE

Early, November, 2007, we took the SABM get together to Penang.

Read about that HERE.

Some of you may recall that November, 2007 was a most historic month when the rakyat took to the streets, first for the Bersih rally, then for the Hindraf rally.

Early 2008, we were all occupied in the run up to the 12th GE in March, followed by the by-election in Permatang Pauh in August, amongst others.

Fast forward to 2009.

In February, between by-elections (January in Kuala Terengganu, April in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai ), a small group of us got together to begin the task of drawing up the SABM Charter.

You can read more on this effort HERE.

That year, on Hari Malaysia, SABM was officially launched.

Read about that HERE.

Fast forward to 2010.

SABM took its roadshow through the country.

This video that SABM put out then will give you an idea of the message we took to the rakyat in Semenanjung, Sabah and Sarawak.

Summarised : This is my home. I care. I want to make it better.

I want to pause for a while on this narration and share what we discovered during the roadshows.

We met so many people who felt the same as we did.

We were meant to be a nation of equals.

Politicians were playing the divide and rule and looting the nation.

And so many expressed fear.

To speak up.

To step out.

To begin to take ownership of the nation, to wrest it from the thieving politicians.

Seeing this, SABM started a Call To Action workshop.

To get people to understand that we were as much to blame as the thieving politicians in dragging the nation into the abyss that it was in.

Our silence, in the face of the shameless oppression and insidious divide and rule, was as much to blame as the elected representatives who only saw getting into the legislative halls as a lottery ticket to riches.

If things were going to change, we, the rakyat, were going to have to step up and take ownership of the nation, shape her, drive her, and ensure no-one was left behind.

2011-2012, SABM began efforts to take the Social Inclusion Agenda (SIA) to the nation, and to politicians on both sides of the divide.

Even after the 14th GE, SABM still pushed the SIA.

Enough of this narration.

I want to turn now to the many people I have met in these 10 over years.

Many reasons are offered for not stepping forward to do anything, even as they complained about the state of the nation.

The classic : what can one person do? How can one person make a difference?


The effort of one man counts for nothing?

Jaya sent out an email to a stranger in 2007.

Retired senior civil servant, living a comfortable middle-class life.

Didn’t have to get involved.

He cared, though.

Enough to not look away, remaining indifferent to the injustices unfolding before him.

And so, no fear.

No thoughts on how that email might or might not make a difference.

Just doing what he believed needed doing, and that it was right.

Trying whatever avenue he thought might move this nation in the right direction, however incremental.

That one email set in motion a chain of events that brought so many together on a common cause, spanning more than 10 years.

In 2011, we launched I Am The Third Force, firstly, as a wake up call to Malaysians who were unhappy with the state of the nation and, then, to honour those who, now awakened, would give life to the national anthem.

Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku : My country, my home, the place of my birth. A statement of ownership, no? So rise and take ownership.

Rakyat hidup bersatu dan maju : Real progress, in every sense, for everyone, will only come to a united people.

I Am The Third Force of 2011 was stillborn for a number of reasons.

Working with as many of you who care enough, I would like to continue that effort to wake up fellow Malaysians and to honour those who will join us to give life to the national anthem.

I digress a little to make my final point before I close this post.

If you want to pursue a matter in court, you must have a sufficient interest in the matter.

Locus standi.

No sufficient interest, no locus standi, and you risk being labelled a busybody.

A Third Force is a busybody.

No sufficient interest required.

Just care.

And caring, without waiting for numbers to get behind you, do.

Jayanath cared and, caring, did.

Jayanath is the Third Force.