Elmina plane crash: Pelangai folk remember late Johari as being humble, charitable

KUANTAN: He loved to give to charity were the first words a Pelangai resident used to to describe the late Pahang local government, housing, environment and green technology committee chairman Datuk Seri Johari Harun.

The generous attitude of the late Pelangai assemblyman left a deep impression on Telemong native Mark Lai, 46, for helping his father when he had a heart attack in April.

"I contacted him (Johari) when I needed assistance to get medical treatment at a government hospital in Bentong. However, DSJo (the name villagers had bestowed on Johari) told me to go straight to a private hospital in Selangor.

"He told me not to worry about the costs because he would foot the bill. I knew the bill was around RM10,000 but he never once mentioned the money when we met," he said when contacted here Friday (Aug 18).

Lai said that although he had been friends with Johari since 2001, he did not expect the deceased would be willing to spend that much money on him considering that they were not even related to each other.

Lai, who is a volunteer firefighter in Telemong, said Johari always met up with the team (firefighters) to ask if they needed assistance that could be given to facilitate the rescue aspect because according to him "we are also helping the people".

Because of this, Lai did not waste any time in heading to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) in Klang, Selangor after finding out that Johari had been involved in the plane crash, besides attending Johari’s funeral to pay his last respects to the man he considered a brother.

Simpang Pelangai native Rusniza Abu Hassan, 50, remembers Johari as being charitable and humble as well as approachable despite being a successful corporate figure.

"Each time he visited (the area), the late Johari would chat with us. If we bump into him anywhere, he will surely shake our hands. I was in disbelief when I heard that his name was on the ill-fated plane's passenger list.

"When it was confirmed, I quickly rang my mother and we both shed tears remembering Johari’s friendship with my late father before he (Johari) became an assemblyman.

"He was also no stranger to our house as he often visited whenever he was in Pelangai," she said.

On the phone, Rusniza’s mother also shared the story of Johari's desire to establish a dialysis centre in Pelangai, considering that kidney patients who needed treatment had to travel tens of kilometres either to Temerloh or Bera.

Meanwhile, Kampung Agropolitan Chemomoi village headman Abdul Kholid Mohd Sharif, 61, said that even though Johari only became an assemblyman last year, he (Johari) had actually been serving in Pelangai for a long time.

"The late Johari once told me that he had a difficult life before becoming successful in business. Johari had said that he would help the poor if he had a better future.

"This made him never look down on anyone, and he loved giving alms...it's a pity that he is gone," he said, adding that many surau and mosques in Pelangai had held Yassin prayers for all the plane crash victims on Thursday (Aug 17).

Abdul Kholid, affectionately known as Pak Long, also said Johari was always in the area during the weekends, and according to the schedule, the deceased should have attended a cooperative meeting today, followed by presenting donations at the mosque as well as visiting residents.

Johari, 53, was one of the 10 killed in the Beechcraft Model 390 (Premier 1) aircraft crash along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, near the Elmina township in Shah Alam, Selangor on Thursday afternoon.

Eight of those who perished were six passengers and two crew members of the light aircraft, while the other two were civilians namely a motorcyclist and car driver, who happened to be passing by the location at the time of the incident. - Bernama

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Aircraft , crash , Johari Harun , death , Pelangai , residents


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