Ibrahim Ali wants army base in Pasir Mas

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Pasir Mas parliamentarian Ibrahim Ali today called for an army base to be built in his constituency of Pasir Mas, hinting that it will boost the number of 'BN-friendly' voters there.

"A battalion of troops, that's a lot of voters. Serampang dua mata (kill two birds with one stone). Build it now in the name of national security, sediakan payung sebelum hujan (be prepared)," Ibrahim said when debating the Defence Ministry allocation during the committee stage of the 2011 Budget Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.

The 8th Brigade Army Base in Desa Pahlawan, near Pasir Mas in Kelantan, is not located in the correct place, Ibrahim argued.

"The real threat lies at the border with Thailand, where Pasir Mas meets Rantau Panjang. That is where all the smuggling is, and the drug trafficking," he said.

He asked the ministry if there were plans to relocate the base or build another one in his constituency, with a subtle reminder to the federal government that even a base for a battalion of troops would mean a significant number of army-based voters for the BN.

Pakatan Rakyat has expressed concern over the abuse of postal voting by military-based voters and their spouses to boost support for the BN.

This is one of the concerns raised before the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms.

'Their serbans will fly'

Ibrahim similarly called for the navy to locate a small base in Kelantan, which fronts the South China Sea, and is in a direct line of the refugee train from Vietnam, among other threats.

"When the Japanese invaded Malaya, they landed in Kota Baru... But today in Kelantan there is no coastal defence," he told the Dewan Rakyat.

In the same vein, Ibrahim called on the Defence Ministry to deploy a Scorpene submarine in Kelantan to defuse the political capital of PAS, which was consistently criticising its procurement.

"Send one of the Scorpenes over. I am sure that thousands of Kelantanese will flock to see it.

"And if possible, let me give a speech on the deck of the Scorpene to explain the real story to the people, who have been bombarded by PAS ceramah on how the submarines cost billions (of ringgit) and cannot even dive.

"Even the menteri besar (Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat) can get to see it. Maybe even their serban will fly off after they see the Scorpene!" Ibrahim said.

The twin Scorpene submarines purchased are linked to an international corruption scandal being investigated by French authorities, involving shipbuilder DNCS and several foreign nations, including Malaysia.

Locally it is linked to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

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