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Thursday, December 29, 2016

PKR MP Johari Abdul: I went from riches to rags for Reformasi

PKR Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul shared the story of how he, once a millionaire businessman, turned hawker after leaving Umno to join PKR.
"I had ventured into business and worked with the powerful man, Daim (Zainuddin) in developing Langkawi. That was the time I joined Umno," he said.
"Due to my close ties with politicians, I was quite comfortable owning a big candy factory in Penang. I travelled quite extensively.
"When the fight between (then prime minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad and (his deputy) Anwar Ibrahim erupted, I was holding an important post in Umno, and I was a proxy for several prominent leaders in their companies," he said without naming the leaders concerned.
Johari, speaking at the 'Sponsor A Constituency' event last night, said he was a millionaire at the time.
"I had to make a choice between whether I should stay with Umno or join the Reformasi movement," he said.
"That was a difficult time for me. I consulted my wife and children, and they said I should fight. So I joined Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to form a new party," he said.
Lucrative posts no more
Following his move, said Johari, he lost all his lucrative posts in the corporate world and was forced to survive by becoming a hawker at Pudu market for two years.
"This is the experience I have to share with you, especially the youth.
"When time comes for us to make a decision, we should choose for the sake of the people, regardless of our wealth and prominent positions," he said.
Johari was among the 25 recipients from parliamentary and state constituencies that received RM2,000 donations each at last night's fundraiser.
'Sponsor A Constituency' is a crowdfunding programme by Invoke Malaysia aimed at helping Pakatan Harapan win the general elections.
Invoke plans to raise funds for 22 parliamentary seats and three state seats over a period of four months, according to Pandan MP and Invoke advisor Rafizi Ramli.
"We plan to raise RM360,000 through a Jan 14, 2017 fundraising luncheon in Johor Bahru and a Jan 15 fundraising dinner in Penang," he said.
Invoke has identified these 25 constituencies as they are either marginal seats, which won or lost by less than 3,000 majority votes in the last polls, or where Malay votes may swing in the next election, said Rafizi.
Other funding recipients were PKR Permatang Pauh MP Wan Azizah, Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh and Amanah Kuala Krai MP Hatta Ramli.
Anwar joining Umno a shock
Wan Azizah told the crowd how in the past she was shocked when Anwar Ibrahim first decided to join Umno.

He was then close to PAS and even campaigned for the Islamist party in the general election at the time, she said.
"I had married a teacher (Anwar). He taught dropout students who had no chance to (further their) studies. This should be the struggle for our children and country," she said.
"So when he told me he wanted to join Umno in 1982, I was so shocked. This was something unexpected," she said.
"He then contested in the general election and won.
"I had a culture shock, as my life would change at that point," she added.- Mkini

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