On the Beat | By Wong Chun Wai

Of Ibrahims and satay in Kajang

From left: Khalid Ibrahim, Ibrahim Ali, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi

From left: Khalid Ibrahim, Ibrahim Ali, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi

Lately, whether by design, fate or plain coincidence, we have been seeing, reading or hearing about people or issues that involve the name Ibrahim.

THERE is something odd going on lately in Malaysia. For some seriously strange reasons, whether by design, fate or plain coincidence, Malaysians are seeing, reading or hearing about people or issues that involve the name Ibrahim. So let us go through the current hot list.

Anwar Ibrahim: He sure knows how to confuse us. We all thought he wanted to be Prime Minister. Then he said he would retire from politics and take up a teaching career if Pakatan Rakyat failed to capture Putrajaya in the general election.

Well, many of us, being the confused lot that we are, actually believe him, or at least believe in the many things that he has been saying, anyway.

Then, following the decision of the Kajang state assemblyman to vacate the seat, Anwar confused us further by saying he would not be contesting the seat. But he finally announced, after much charade, that he would be contesting after all.

Now, he says that even if he wins the seat, he does not aim to be the Mentri Besar of Selangor. Well, the whole world seems to think otherwise.

He has already confused us enough with his answers on why he is forcing a by-election in Kajang. Until now, no one, including his diehard supporters, can give us a convincing explanation.

Seriously, all of us should really ask him what it is he really wants. This man has to be the master of surprises. No one can beat him at that.

No one can remember him having a liking for football. Horses and jet ski, yes. Suddenly he has donned the colours of the Selangor football team.

If Penang plays against Selangor, we are not sure if he will be wearing anything, given that he is an MP from Penang, which is also a Pakatan-controlled state. That’s pretty confusing.

Well, for sure, he has really given us a few good lessons in politics!

Khalid Ibrahim: This is one sorry Ibrahim. His hair has become more dishevelled lately. He murmurs to himself most of the time and he is doing this even more.

Who can blame him? He has to be careful who he talks to now with his party boss wanting to take over his job. His fellow ADUNs – who all claim they are in politics for the sake of the people – must be having a tough time deciding who they should stand behind now to further their political ambitions.

They have to decide which horse they should back – this mumbling corporate figure or the real political animal, Anwar Ibrahim, who has the magic of getting people to believe what he wants them to believe.

If it’s me, it’s me. If he says it isn’t him, all will nod in agreement, as if under a spell, and repeat that it isn’t him. It’s just a lookalike of me, a body double, a Siamese twin.

Poor Khalid. The only one he can trust is himself. He can only talk to himself.

We all hope he will just hang in there because he is actually a likeable bloke. What you see is what you get from this Ibrahim.

Zaid Ibrahim: Now, this one is tricky. We are just as confused because he has either joined or formed almost every political party in town. And we, being the terribly naïve Malaysians, thought that this sort of thing only happens to Sabahan politicians.

No one is quite sure why he is declaring his candidacy for the Kajang by-election. It can’t be his love for the satay there, for sure. We are not even sure if he knows his way around Kajang or if he even has friends there.

But this Ibrahim can be assured that he will get his 15 minutes of fame every night on prime time TV. Our advice is he should not attempt to sound too philosophical or intellectual during his campaign rounds in Kajang.

That’s because we are already confused. We are not sure if he is seeking the support of Barisan or Pakatan Rakyat supporters. We are not too sure there are enough fence sitters like him. But we are sure he will confuse us during the entire campaign period.

Ibrahim Ali: We can assume that he will be there. He and his gang of merry men never let us down when it comes to providing the comic relief. But he has been saying that he is actually the one who has been delivering the Malay votes for Umno and that without him, Umno would have been in serious trouble.

But the best line from him recently is that there are many troublemakers impersonating Perkasa members! Fuyoh!

Now, that’s interesting! And we, being the confused Malaysians, thought that Malaysian politicians have confused us sufficiently and endlessly but this is the ultimate confusion! Imitation Perkasa members, wow.

Haris Ibrahim: He has been unusually quiet since being initially denied entry into Australia last September. The outspoken activist and lawyer shows up everywhere. He is a permanent fixture in all protests and demonstra¬≠tions. A specialist in this sort of things, we may say. We are not sure if he will add some colour and excitement in Kajang. But he’s definitely another Ibrahim that we can welcome to the Kajang polls, to confuse many of us further.

Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh: He may not be a household name in Malaysia but he would probably get a recognition from the Malaysia Book of Records for being involved in the most number of non-­government organisations. This Ibrahim is involved in every NGO Рfrom Bersih to Gabungan Mansuh ISA to Pemantau to Independent Monitoring Election Commission.

He has served notice that he will be in Kajang in his capacity as chief of the Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel). Are there any hats he is not wearing? Hasn’t he been confused himself before?

We won’t be surprised if he will soon head a Gabungan Cinta Satay Kajang or Stick It Up for Kajang Voters movements.

Rahim Thamby Chik: Well, not quite Ibrahim but close enough. This veteran politician can’t stand the sight of Anwar Ibrahim. Or for that matter anything about Anwar Ibrahim. He is his sworn enemy. Well, Enemy Forever. Not BFF, for sure.

We are not sure whether he will turn up in Kajang with Ummi Hafilda, another sworn enemy of Anwar. She seems to have gone into political oblivion since her marriage to a Pakistani doctor. It seems to be like an extended honeymoon, perhaps to make up for lost time. But we hope to hear from her soon. Looks like she has discovered that there’s more to life than her obsession – Anwar Ibrahim. It’s never too late. All these players hate one another but they can’t stay away from one another either. Isn’t that confusing?

Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi: Brahim LSG Skychef Sdn Bhd, formerly known as MAS Catering, belongs to Datuk Ibrahim Haji Ahmad Badawi, the younger brother of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. This company has been in the news lately.

Those of us who have been lucky enough to travel on business class on MAS will find the airline’s satay simply irresistible. Having lost the nasi lemak fight, we hope MAS will now redeem its image and go to Kajang for a satay war soon.

No one would have thought that there is such a thing as a “very naked” nasi lemak! Chef Wan Ismail took a picture of the very bare nasi lemak that was served in economy class on the route to Bangkok.

To the horror of this melodramatic chef, he claimed there were no nuts! Chef Wan may seem lembut (soft) at times but no one messes around with his food.

He was terribly pissed off. He whipped out his smart phone and took pictures of the nasi lemak missing the nuts. Err, sorry, I meant groundnuts.

And for Chef Wan, that’s a helluva of a telanjang (naked)! The essential ikan bilis or fried anchovies were not there either.

Well, following a full investigation, just short of a Royal Commission, it was finally revealed that the nuts had to be removed because they had gone stale. Blame the supplier who had gone on Chinese New Year break. Well, someone has to be the scapegoat in the great Malaysian tradition.

Poor Ibrahim, we never thought this would become an issue. This whole thing may seem a little nutty but the moral of the lesson here is, please don’t take economy class passengers for granted. We are not any ikan bilis, okay? We can strip anyone, Datuk or no Datuk, naked.

Well, things are going to get more interesting because the nomination and campaigning for Kajang have not even started yet!

And we still say the Election Commission should extend the campaigning period.