WE PRAY THAT MR IBRAHIM ALI WILL HAVE A SPEEDY RECOVERY.
|Ibrahim Ali in his trademark finger-jabbing pose|
Malaysia's most controversial race-champion Ibrahim Ali has three blocked blood vessels in his heart and is now resting ahead of his by-pass operation scheduled for Monday, and while fellow politicians and well-wishers pray for his recovery, few Malaysians cannot help but wonder if he will exit from this latest challenge a man changed for the better.
The short but portly 57-year old has been in the thick of a political maelstrom created by the ruling Umno party, which is gearing itself for snap general elections widely expected to be announced early next year. Despite being the independent Member of Parliament for Pasir Mas in Kelantan, Ibrahim Ali is regarded as an Umno rider and Umno - which is Prime Minister Najib Razak's party - is known for its divide-and-rule racist policies.
Ibrahim has indeed angered Malaysians especially the non-Malays with dramatic proclamations that he cared for nobody and nothing but his own Malay race. Together with his ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa, he has tried to fan and stir up trouble between the various communities.
So drastic and racist have some of their statements and actions been that they have been featured prominently in most of the influential international press, creating untold damage for Malaysia's image as a politically stable nation and an attractive destination for investors.
"He was sort of like a guinea-pig for Umno when they tried to shift out all the racial rabble rousing activities to Perkasa but it didn't work because people still linked Perkasa back to Umno," PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
|One of the most popular spoofs|
Perkasa made him a national figure
Ibrahim burst into national prominence at the start of this year when he founded Perkasa. Although he has vehemently denied it, most Malaysians believe he was "instructed" to do so by top Umno power-brokers that included former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the Perkasa's patron.
It is not know for certain the size of Perkasa's membership but Ibrahim Ali has boasted it exceeds 200,000 - most of whom are the right-wing conservatives from Umno itself.
“Ibrahim is like a parasite, hopping from tree to tree to cari makan (make a living). Whichever tree he is on will somehow die and then he will flutter on to the next,” PAS MP for Kota Bharu Wan Rahim had toldHarakahdaily.
But will the implications of mortality strike Ibrahim
Nonetheless, despite his love-him-or-hate-him abrasiveness, Ibrahim Ali has managed to find sympathy from his fellow parliamentarians even though he himself exhibited the crudest disrespect for another fallen colleague.
|Flitting from tree to tree|
"Yes, we know Ibrahim - good and bad. But he's been in the political circuit for decades and I have personally known for more than 20 years. I can't say I think well of his politicking but I wouldn't want him or any human being to die prematurely. Hopefully he will repent and Malaysia can move ahead also," a well-wisher from the political opposition, who had tried to visit him on Saturday night, told Malaysia Chronicle.
Before last week, when he horrified the nation by publicly insisting that, "Even when I kentut (break wind) it will become a problem" as his excuse for his Edmund Chong slight, his most famous comment was, "Don't talk shit! Shit! Shit!Shit!" The quote was captured during an an interview with Al-Jazeera earlier this year.
Meanwhile, his family and Perkasa members are milling around the Ampang Specialist Hospital, where he is still in the Intensive Care Unit. He had a heart attack 10 years ago.
According to one family member, Ibrahim had been complaining of being unwell for weeks. He finally decided to get a check-up at the hospital on Friday and was immediately admitted.
“The doctor detected three blocked blood vessels in his heart and advised him to undergo surgery immediately. He is stable and is now resting in the intensive care unit,” said the family member.