TOK HIM PAHLAWAN MELAYU are the words printed on the sheath worn by Dato' Ibrahim Ali (or Tok Him as he is locally known) the independent member of Parliament for Pasir Mas. Today he is standing tall as the President of Perkasa Malaysia. Perkasa was once an obscure non governmental organization which took on a different prominence once Datok Ibrahim Ali took over the helm. He used it to the hilt to promote Malay rights and above all to promote himself as a politician and save him from obscurity for the lack of a suitable platform to voice his issues.
He was once the Head of UMNO Division Pasir Mas having won the battle for the post from the late Haji Hassan Ismail. Later he left UMNO to join Semangat 46 with Tengku Razaleigh. When Semangat 46 was dissolved, his attempt to come back to the high office of Pasir Mas Division was thwarted by the then head of the division, Dato' Rahim Ab. Rahman who later lost the post to his deputy, Hanafi Mamat. Dato' Rahim and Hanafi managed to maneuver Dato' Ibrahim Ali out of UMNO Pasir Mas and he was in the doldrum until he was elected as the MP of Pasir Mas under the PAS banner. Without the assistance from PAS, he would garner less than 1 thousand votes based on his own steam as an independent as happened when he stood as an Independent in the 2004 General Election.
Now Dato' Ibrahim Ali no more enjoy the support of PAS and of course not UMNO too.
Today 16th July 2010 is D Day for Dato' Ibrahim Ali. It is the day of reckoning for him. His group of workers is welcoming him home to Pasir Mas after a considerable success on the national front, championing the Malay Rights. Many people including yours truly are skeptical about his ability to draw a crowd even on his own turf of Pasir Mas. All the more so when PAS is no more backing him.
The event was scheduled at 2.30 PM at Dataran Keretapi, a very strategic place in the middle of this small town. The place is big enough to accommodate a sizable crowd but not too big to make it look empty should there be a small crowd. This is clearly an excellent strategy.
It was almost 4.00 PM when Dato' Ibrahim's entourage reached his service center in Kg. Mekasar. Here a sizable number of motor bikers were waiting to join those bikers from Tendong already with the entourage. The entourage was led by a number of police outriders who ensured a smooth flow of traffic for the bike procession.
The traffic police outrider.
A Rebana Ubi group provided the merriment along with the entourage. This is a good way to attract the attention of the people along the route. His workers definitely knows how to do things.
This was the car that Dato'Ibrahim Ali traveled in. He waved at yours truly upon seeing yours truly snapping pictures of the event, acknowledging any effort to help him get some publicity however small. I guess holding a bulky DSLR helps yours truly to be seen by Tok Him.
The street of Pasir Mas was jammed packed when other bikers from all over Pasir Mas joined the procession towards Dataran Keretapi. Dato' Ibrahim Ali could sense success from this point onward.
Upon arrival at Dataran Keretapi he was received by the people there.
The Master of Ceremony was on the spot where Tok Him was given the Tengkolok (head gear) to wear and the Keris (Malay Dagger) to hold with while the red sheath he worn bore the words Tok Him Pahlawan Melayu. That was the symbol carried by the Tengkolok and Keris.
Tok Him reluctantly mounted a special chair to carry him to the stage where he will be making his speech.
The special chair was carried on the shoulders of four people and Tok Him seemed to enjoy himself immensely while on it.
This is the special chair left behind the stage.
The crowd infront of the stage. Be my guest to guestimate the number of people in the crowd. A miss by 5,000 either way is normal depending on who is reporting it. The foe will report less and the friends will report more.
Another view of the crowd which preferred to stay under the shady trees rather than bear the hot sun.
Tok Him taken to his seat.
He is an orator. When in his element he could hold his audience spellbound for hours. Read the papers if you want to know what he said. I am not really bothered by what he said. Now he has tasted blood and he announced that many more such gatherings will be carried out in Pasir Mas. Yes he must keep the momentum going and get more support before his foe could cut him down to size which I think is difficult given the support he seems to have within Pasir Mas UMNO itself.
During his campaign under PAS banner for the 2008 election, he had established his own workforce rather than rely on PAS workers for support. I guess this is the workers that remain loyal to him and are working for him now. As a strategist, he is brilliant.
Tok Him is giving a speech against the backdrop of a building with the writing Semangat 46, Bahagian Pasir Mas in green.
Frankly I would say Pasir Mas UMNO could have been better if he were allowed to hold the rein. He not only is a vocal man but he has ideas and will not hold any grudges against his fallen enemy. A case in point is when he won the post of UMNO Division head against the late Tuan Haji Hassan Ismail, he still put Tuan Haji Hassan on his committee. Unfortunately politics is such, only the victor survives.
The finale of the event was the doa recital by white robed Ustaz with Tok Him mingling with the crowd. He was later raised on the shoulders of his supporters to the shout of Hidup Melayu. Hidup Tok Him.
Below the crowd responding to the shouts and cheers.
Ain't that a big crowd enough? Some among the crowd are PAS supporters who are disillusioned by the way PAS is going. Something that the PAS leaders must immediately address. Dato' Ibrahim Ali could win the next General Election should UMNO Pasir Mas provide him with the platform. There are dissent within the party too against the current divisional leader as well as there are sympathizers within it. Now the UMNO leadership at national level must think of readmitting Dato' Ibrahim Ali if it want to have any semblance of winning back the Pasir Mas Parliamentary constituency in the coming 13th General Election.
Read Utusan Malaysia's report on the event here.