By H G Rahman
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-- As the current campaign for GE 15 unfolds one can see the flags of the various parties and their candidates seeking to form the next government being placed anywhere that space allows it.
Observing this in Kuala Lumpur, our capital, it is not hard to miss the face of one (Datuk Seri) Johari Abdul Ghani, the former MP of Titiwangsa, who is seeking to make a comeback following his defeat in the 2018 polls.
While hardly anyone would be able to find fault with the former Finance Minister (II) even during the height of the scandals that plagued UMNO in the lead up to GE14, Johari, like many others from BN was passed over in favour of “new faces” including the now infamous Rina Harun (Bersatu).
Rina epitomises the problems with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) short lived time in power: incapable, misguided, clueless, pursuing priorities that have nothing to do with governance and ultimately failing to care for the people who voted them in. This is not mere hearsay as the fact is Rina is running off to Sepang. Funny enough Johari’s most serious challenger Khalid Samad (PH-Amanah) also seems to be running away from Shah Alam to Try his luck in Titiwangsa.
And so the stage is set - opportunists are gathering to face off against an MP with a proven track record, no doubt hoping to leverage on the PH- friendly voters in Kuala Lumpur but GE15 is nothing like GE14. Having tasted the flavour of PH and the subsequent failed PN, voters are yearning for a return to the good old stability of BN.
But enough about the big picture. Let's take a closer look at Johari himself.
A captain of industry, man of the people
Even before entering politics, Johari had developed a strong reputation as a wise and intuitive businessman having helmed and indeed currently helming a variety of successful companies. While anyone can check what these companies are here is what's important: good management.
It is hard for some to think of politics being anything like business but indeed the secret to success is the same for both: good and decisive management. Taking such an attitude will ensure that voters at least in the constituency of a particular MP will be well catered for even if that MP is not part of a government.
Good management means the Rakyat of the constituency will have their voice heard, will have their problems resolved (as far as it is the MP’s responsibility to do so. Personal problems don't count!) and can probably look forward to the quality of amenities including drainage, roads and lights being assured.
Good management also means the party members of a particular MP will benefit from having a good example to follow and will hopefully implement what they see as they rise in the party. This is important in ensuring corruption is reduced, party discipline is kept and the good name of the MP is preserved. We know all too well what can happen if these basic principles are not followed.
Johari with his leadership firm but friendly leadership style checks all these boxes and more. What's more is that the people trust him as he did not choose to abandon UMNO in its darkest days unlike some others who now shamelessly campaign against the party that gave them their opening into politics.
This people-to-people and heart-to-heart management style has also translated into Johari demonstrating strong solidarity with the people of Kuala Lumpur in general and the people of Titiwangsa in particular.
Despite losing out in 2018, Johari has been diligently working the ground for the past four years, with the people of the constituency recognising him as a familiar and much welcome face. Those who have remained his supporters now feel justified for remaining loyal while those who swung to Bersatu in 2018 have recognised that they elected an MP (Rina) who did little for them and in fact showed little interest in improving the constituency or helping the Rakyat who reside there.
A clean new deal for Kuala Lumpur
Zooming out to the whole of Kuala Lumpur, Johari, who has hinted at his wider intentions, aims to bring a better order to the management of our capital city especially in regards to removing the worst excesses of mismanagement, over development and corruption, by ensuring the Federal Territories Ministry will not run wild like it did during the PH days when Khalid headed the ministry.
The very worst aspect of this is of course the gazetting of the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP2020) with at least 273 addendums without public consultation, a move which alienated many PH supporters who were promised that not only would development issues be better managed but would be people centric.
This issue is the elephant in the room and it is hoped that johari will be able to bring a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to bear on all those responsible for this grave injustice. This issue, above and beyond most others, has put Kuala Lumpur in danger of losing its last remaining green lungs and has thrown city planning and reasonable development into chaos.
This is responsible for the worsening of problems faced by those in Kuala Lumpur, especially the now chronic flooding, traffic congestion like never before seen and in general dropping the liveability of the city.
So let us cast our votes wisely this time and put in an MP who will not only focus on his own constituency but has the big picture in mind, one that will allow Kuala Lumpur to move forward as a well-managed and forward looking city.
Johari Ghani: A New Deal For Kuala Lumpur?
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