KUALA LUMPUR: The rain and flights of stairs at Desa Pandan’s Block A and B walk-up flats did not deter Barisan Nasional’s Titiwangsa parliamentary candidate Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani from reaching out to voters.
Johari, who is seeking to recapture the seat he won in the 13th General Election (GE13), returned to his childhood turf, which was a squatter colony before it was redeveloped into five-storey walk-up flats in 1988.
He visited close to 30 residents, many of them elderly, whom he and his family have known for decades, as part of the 15th General Election (GE15) meet-the-people campaign trail.
One of them was Zaharah Daim, 67, who is recuperating from surgery. Johari said he would pray for her speedy recovery.
Zaharah’s daughter, Anisuriani Abd Rahim, told Johari that her mother would be unable to go out and vote for him, describing it as a wasted opportunity.
However, Johari said it was better for Zaharah to stay home.
“Stay here and pray for me. I pray you will recover soon, too,” he said.
Anisuriani said her family regretted voting for Datuk Seri Rina Harun in 14th General Election (GE14).
Rina defeated Johari by 4,139 votes in the 2018 polls.
“We made a mistake, and it is time to correct it,” said the 37-year-old.
Leha Jantan, 78, had just arrived home from Melaka when she got news that Johari was visiting her.
She waited in the corridor in front of her first-floor unit for Johari, watching from afar as he went door-to-door at the next block.
“When I was told he was coming, I quickly cleaned my house and took in the laundry to make the house presentable.
“I knew Johari’s mother from way back. They lived in an adjacent block and I have seen him as a boy.
“I am happy he is here as I have not seen him for some time, and I hardly go out, too, because of Covid-19,” she said.
Another resident, Jasimah Snow, 63, said Johari continued to visit the area although he was not the elected representative.
“He continued to help and he never forgot about us. I have received contributions from him to repaint my house before. He is pleasant, hardworking and kind.
“He even helped with my late’s husband burial eight years ago,” she said.
In GE15, Johari is up against Pakatan Harapan’s Khalid Abdul Samad, Pejuang’s Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Perikatan Nasional’s Dr Rosni Adam.