What will it be for BN — Ibrahim Ali or 1 Malaysia?

By Jahabar Sadiq
The Malaysian Insider
April 08, 2013


April 8 — The Barisan Nasional (BN) has unveiled a centrist manifesto that fits its 1 Malaysia philosophy but Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s endorsement of Datuk Ibrahim Ali as a coalition candidate would appear to be at odds with the concept.

The stout Perkasa chief has been anything but centrist or even 1 Malaysia in his approach to push for Malay rights at a time when BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been advocating a gradual economic liberalisation and equity for Malaysians.

But why would the country’s longest-serving prime minister, who spoke in 1991 of a future Bangsa Malaysia plump, for an ethno-centric Ibrahim (picture), who ran on a PAS ticket in Election 2008 only to turn pro-Umno after winning the Pasir Mas seat?

“I hope BN will give Ibrahim Ali a spot. If he is made a candidate, I will go to Pasir Mas to campaign,” Dr Mahathir pledged over the weekend, adding: “If we have more individuals like Ibrahim Ali, Malaysia will be safe.”

Is Dr Mahathir promoting the Ibrahim Ali who threatened to burn Malay-language bibles? The Ibrahim Ali who wanted guaranteed Bumiputera involvement in infrastructure projects even after Putrajaya said it must be on merit.

How safe will Malaysia be with Ibrahim still in politics? Or is this a joke?

One thing can be said about Dr Mahathir. He backs his men. He backed Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in his corruption trial. And he is now backing Ibrahim whom he once made a deputy minister in charge of law.

Dr Mahathir is also Perkasa’s patron. After all, Ibrahim has been the veteran politician’s attack man from the time he ended Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s political career in Umno and the government.

And Ibrahim could also be useful if the need arises to shake up the top Umno leadership in the event BN performs poorly in the closest election ever.

Both also share a dislike for Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Ibrahim left Umno after Abdullah became party president and prime minister. But Ibrahim has been in and out of political parties, earning the sobriquet “Katak” or frog.

But the simple fact is that both Dr Mahathir and Ibrahim probably resonate with old-style Umno members and voters, who believe in personalities not policies. And not with the new and younger voters who seek a better Malaysia through inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness.

BN will have to think long and deep about Dr Mahathir’s advice to consider giving Ibrahim a seat under its banner. Because Malaysia is made up of more than just the apparently 400,000-strong Perkasa seeking Malay rights already enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Four years of 1 Malaysia has shown how much BN can gain by keeping to a moderate and centrist path. Any deviation to the fringes will lose them votes, despite the brimming ideas in their manifesto.

  1. #1 by chengho on Sunday, 14 April 2013 - 1:03 pm

    ONE Malaysia , 1School , ONE Language

  2. #2 by tuahpekkong on Sunday, 14 April 2013 - 6:00 pm

    1School, ONE Language? The Constitution would have to be amended before this is possible.

  3. #3 by kg on Sunday, 14 April 2013 - 7:31 pm

    Besides Jibby and Madey, there is another force in BumNo, the Musidin group. Musidin is damaging Jibby in Pekan, Jibby may be defeated in Pekan or he can shift to PutraJaya, or he can move Musiden to GPatah to fight Kit so that all Musidin people must come out from Pekan to defend him in GPatah. Madey is sitting in between waiting for good time to install son as DPM, but there is another young group working to spoil Madey plan. Infighting in BumNo BeEnd is much more intense than them fighting PR. One will doubt BumNo BeEnd will fall by its own weight even without PR competing them.

  4. #4 by PoliticoKat on Sunday, 14 April 2013 - 10:37 pm

    chengho :
    ONE Malaysia , 1School , ONE Language

    One language? That is just dumb. Play to our strengths. All malaysians should be multilingual. That should be part of the national education. All Malaysians should be fluent in Malay, English, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic and one other language.

    The whole one language thing is silly. Be multilingual. Be multicultural. Imagine a malaysian that can go anywhere in the world and speak with the locals in their own language.

  5. #5 by Noble House on Monday, 15 April 2013 - 2:35 am

    What the old man meant was for katak to take a hike in the Lake Garden with his 400K renegades consist of mostly UMNO members. How could he not remember what this katak said he will do him when he kicks the bucket. Najib, for sure, wouldn’t want to touch him with a 10 ft pole. Sudah pakai, apa jadi lagi?

  6. #6 by Taxidriver on Monday, 15 April 2013 - 5:28 am

    He has forgotten many things he had said. I guess he is getting too old and, like any nyanyuk, he is always blurting out nonsense. Rakyat must retire him as he has already done so much for us.

You must be logged in to post a comment.