LOSE....In the last election, Ibrahim ran for Pasir Mas on a PAS ticket but became a BN-friendly MP after a falling out with the Islamist party.
By : ZURAIRI AR
PASIR MAS : Even with the might of Barisan Nasional (BN) behind him, Datuk Ibrahim Ali failed to defend his Pasir Mas seat against PAS newcomer Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz.
Pitted against heavyweight Ibrahim, the son of PAS’s spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat snagged 33,431 votes drawing an 8,047-vote margin between himself and the Independent incumbent who took 25,384 votes in the Kelantan federal seat.
Nik Abduh had hoped that Pasir Mas voters will still remember the Perkasa chief’s shifting allegiance in the last polls and let their anger decide their votes this time.
In the last election, Ibrahim ran for Pasir Mas on a PAS ticket but became a BN-friendly MP after a falling out with the Islamist party.
He had previously won against BN’s Ahmed Rasdi Mahmed with an 8,991 majority.
In 2004, Ibrahim had also ran as an independent but was defeated by PAS’s Ismail Noh.
The stout statesman, known derisively as “frog” for his party-hopping ways, had joined forces with BN this time as an independent candidate after the coalition’s Che Johan Che Pa failed to turn in his nomination forms on Nomination Day to give way for a straight fight between Ibrahim and Nik Abduh.
Nik Abduh is popular for his religious expertise, a trait seen desirable by PAS supporters that make up the bulk of Pasir Mas voters. The three state seats under the Pasir Mas federal seat — Tendong, Pengkalan Pasir and Chetok — were all won by PAS in the last polls.
It was previously speculated that Ibrahim might be picked by BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak to defend his Pasir Mas seat as the coalition’s candidate.
Perkasa patron and former prime minister Dr Mahathir had also stepped into the fray by urging the BN leadership to choose Ibrahim, even saying he would campaign for the former PAS member. He came to endorse Ibrahim in the final week before the polls.
But Ibrahim failed to make it into BN’s candidates list.
Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, yet another controversial leader, was however selected for the Shah Alam contest against incumbent MP Khalid Samad.
There were 72,122 registered voters in Pasir Mas, predominantly made of Malays at 96 per cent.