Hang Bertuah: Ibrahim Ali’s Hang Tuah Impersonation

In order for the Malays to achieve their 67% share, they must abandon the strategy of enriching only the elite Malays and leaving the rest to rot.

By Farouk A. Peru

Ibrahim Ali must have loved to play Hang Tuah as a child. You can see the look of pure immersion in his character in the pictures from the first Perkasa congress. He kisses his keris with the utmost conviction that he is doing good for his bangsa. Then he stabs the heavens with it while yelling something (I don’t know what but his mouth is wide open).  Dr M is somewhat more subtle in his appreciation. I am almost chilled by his gleeful smile in this picture here. What could he possibly be thinking? 

If you wish to understand the nature of a particular group, there is nothing better than a ‘big’ meeting like an AGM or a Muktamar or in this case, Perkasa’s inaugural congress. In such meetings, the groups will remind their members of their fundamental ideas and will exhibit their true political rhetoric. The infamous keris-kissing incident was part of such an assembly.  

In the case of Perkasa, we would do well to analyse the rhetoric used by both Ibrahim Ali, his underlings and Dr M himself, as the patron of the organisation.

This event is clearly a big one in Malaysian politics. I count at least ten separate pages in the Malaysian Insider which are direct coverage or comments about this event. I have picked the most relevant bits for my analysis. 

Ibrahim Ali says that the Bumiputras deserve 67% of the nations wealth. He says ‘Therefore it must be explained that in a democracy, the majority is regarded as the national agenda. The country’s economy must be divided in accordance with the distribution of the population,”

Here we need to ask, does this mean that Malays who are beneficiaries of APs, fat government contracts etc need to distribute their wealth among the poorer Malays? Ibrahim doesn’t say. If he believes that a ‘democracy’ must address the problem of the majority, surely he doesn’t mean ‘majority’ to be ‘select group of Malay cronies’.  It would be the same with the Chinese and Indian poor as well. Are they given their due rights in accordance with their percentage of the population? Or is this simply about a class conflict with the BN cronies reaping the lions share of everything? 

Ibrahim condemns the leaders of the Malay GLCs for not showing support for Perkasa. He claims that they look after ‘personal interests’ instead of the interests of the Malays. This is very interesting indeed. Ibrahim admits that the Malay corporate leaders are in fact not helping the Malays. If we tie this back to the previous paragraph, it would logically mean that in order for the Malays to achieve their 67% share, they must abandon the strategy of enriching only the elite Malays and leaving the rest to rot. We didn’t need Ibrahim to tell us this. Dr M’s failed experiment is plenty of evidence for that. Nevertheless, Ibrahim should now denounce this strategy and work towards more socialist principles. Maybe he can join the DAP? Lim Kit Siang mentions that Ibrahim actually came to him for help at one point. No big surprise since Ibrahim does a lot of lompat-ing in his political career.

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