Friday, May 09, 2008

man of principle, ibrahim ali

PASIR Mas MP Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali has often been described as a “frog” because he has jumped from one political party to another.

In the recent general election, Ibrahim contested the Pasir Mas parliamentary seat under the PAS banner but retained the status of an independent, making him the sole independent MP in Parliament now.

Ibrahim points out that he isn’t the only one and many others have switched allegiance. He insists that he is a man of principle and that is why, at this stage, he prefers to remain an independent MP.

“I cannot stomach double standards. That is why I was often a victim in political parties because I speak my mind, without fear or favour. Now, I can speak on anything without being bound by party guidelines which at times can inhibit an elected representative from performing his or her duties,” Ibrahim says.

The outspoken politician has often hogged the headlines, like when he recently challenged MP for Bukit Gelugor and DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who uses a wheelchair, to stand and speak in Parliament.

Ibrahim started out as a leader in a political coalition called Berjasa, an off-shoot of Kelantan PAS in the 1970s. He then joined Umno and was a strongman in former party vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s faction.

When Tengku Razaleigh broke away from Umno to form Semangat 46, Ibrahim joined him and won for the first time the Pasir Mas seat. He then rejoined Umno ahead of Tengku Razaleigh, who later disbanded Semangat 46 to return to Umno in the late 1990s.

Ibrahim lost the Pasir Mas parliamentary seat twice to PAS but regained it in the March 8 general election after securing a deal with the Islamist party, despite major disagreement from certain PAS leaders.

Ibrahim was sacked from Umno in 2005 after contesting as an independent in the 2004 general election. He was earlier suspended for disobeying party directives on campaigning guidelines for the Umno divisional election in 2003. here