Thursday, February 28, 2008

Run Up To GE12 Pasir Mas 27th Feb 2008

PAS had a big ceramah in Gelam Mas last night. Guessing the number of attendees isn't my cup of tea as your guess is as good as mine. As always when Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali was the main speaker, the crowd was huge. He didnt have to work them up as he was an orator in his own right. Words seemed to flow from him seamlessly with ease and the crowd was lapping it up as Ibrahim played to the gallery.

This is the second time Ibrahim Ali is facing a general election on the other side of the fence. The first time in 2004 GE where he secured a 6198 votes, splitting the vote and bringing the UMNO candidate down with him. He tried his luck again in the 2005 Pengkalan Pasir by election and secured another dismal 415 votes losing his deposit.

Before 2004 he was the UMNO Pasir Mas Head of Division. A very powerful position as he would have a hand in proposing who and who could contest in an election in the Division. In this dog eat dog business, you can't maintain your position for too long as the second top dog will always be scheming to eat the top dog in order to climb the ladder of hierachy to be the top dog. For some reasons or other, he was suspended from the party.

In the 2004 GE thinking that he still had a loyal following among the voters in Pasir Mas, he contested as an independent and lost. He obtained 6198 votes. His was not the only loss as he split the vote and brought down the UMNO candidate Datuk Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman along leaving a clear passage for Ismail Noh of PAS to become the member of Parliament for Pasir Mas with a majority of 1251. For his part, he was booted out of UMNO and they said thay have closed the door on him forever.

The experience of the Pengkalan Pasir by election made him wiser. He came into the present battle with preparation made since the by election of 2005. He chose his aides better and those that couldn't be trusted were dropped.

Single mindedly he prepared for this election knowing that he is the only decision maker and everything depends on him alone. With or without a party, he will contest. Somehow Tok Guru Nik Aziz received his proposal well that he should contest under the PAS banner just for the Parliament seat while he will throw his support for the state seats in the parliamentary constituency of Pasir Mas. As usual when Tok Guru made up his mind he will stick with it no matter what objections there was. Of course the incumbent Ismail Noh wasn't happy although the voters were not happy with Ismail Noh himself. Hanifa Ahmad who lost in the GE of 2004 in the three cornered fight with Ibrahim and in which Hanafi Mamat won the by election, wanted another go at being an MP too. Tok Guru has to decide and he has decided that Ibrahim Ali will contest as an Independent under PAS while Hanifa is allocated the state seat to contest. A very wise decision as it is a win win decision provided voters of both sides will honour the gentleman agreement and not later deny that there was no such an agreement like what happened between the current and the previous PM's of a country called Bolehland. Ibrahim's supporters will definitely deliver and most PAS supporters are obedient to the wishes of Tok Guru.

This is the first major ceramah organized by PAS Pasir Mas. The earlier major one was at Mini Stadium Pasir Mas when the lineup of candidates were announced. This was a few days before the Nomination day and a clear 2 days in advance of UMNO's announcement of the finalized list for Pasir Mas on 23rd February. In last night's ceramah, Ibrahim spoke about why the voters of Pasir Mas need to send him to Parliament. To him there is a void of vocal members of Parliament who can speak up against the ruling coalition. Everybody knows of Ibrahim's ability in this department. Though there are many opposition members of Parliament, when was the last that we heard of one of these members speak with substance? Silly and trivial matters were brought up and such people were made the laughing stock of not only of parliament and also the public by constantly playing them on TV and with wide media coverage. So now who next dare to be made a fool? If you speak on a good subject, an opposition rarely get a coverage. I have known Ibrahim to publish his speeches. That is something good really as the masses could know what he spoke about. I don't know of any others who do such a thing. Last night in his speech he mentioned that speaking in parliament isn't easy as you must know what to speak and must do your homework well.

Ibrahim also spelt out why the current campaign period is longer than usual. He said that BN wants the opposition to expend themselves. Maybe there is some truth in that. At the moment BN has yet to go all out on their ceramah. Are they waiting for the other party to expend themselves first?

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