BENTONG: The sudden death of Pelangai assemblyman Datuk Seri Johari Harun, who was among those on board the aircraft that crashed in Elmina, Shah Alam yesterday has left his constituents here in grief and disbelief.
Although Johari had only served as the assemblyman for less than 10 months after winning in the 15th General Election (GE15) last year, the 53-year-old state Local Government, Housing, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman has left a lasting impact in his constituency.
Kampung Sungai Perdak village head Thu Yin Li said she wept upon receiving confirmation that Johari had perished in the air crash which claimed the lives of nine others.
"When I was first told about the incident, I refused to believe as there was no confirmation and many villagers started to call me to verify the news, but I did not answer their calls. It was only much later at about 6pm when authorities confirmed the matter. I cried.
"Johari only became an elected representative last year, but he has been working here for several years and he was such a gem of a person. When floods struck Sungai Perdak here in 2021, Johari visited the village regularly and even arranged, and paid for excavators to immediately clean the mess.
"The new houses built in Sungai Perdak to replace those destroyed in the floods were Johari's initiative. He not only got SPNB (Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd) to build the houses, but ensure works were done quickly. To date, nine units have been completed," she said, adding the new housing units will certainly remind the villagers of Johari.
Thu said Johari was no stranger to villagers here as he developed a close relationship with them and often came to the village before he was picked to contest in GE15.
Huge water surges in Sungai Kerau in Telemong and Sungai Perdak on Dec 18, 2021 resulted in major damages in the nearby housing settlements.
Meanwhile, Norhanizam Mustapa, 38, from Felda Chemomoi in Pelangai said a sombre atmosphere enveloped in the settlement after news about Johari's death broke out yesterday.
The odd-job worker described Johari as a likeable person and a leader who is very flexible when attending to matters related to the constituency.
"Johari has his own way of handling things and there is little paperwork involved. He will listen to the problem before making the necessary arrangements himself or instruct his aides to immediately solve the issues.. He has left a huge impact on Felda settlers here.
"Johari was even scheduled to open the Felda Chemomoi cooperative meeting on Tuesday (Aug 22), but God has other plans for him and we have to accept it," he said.
Meanwhile, S.Segaran said Johari played a major part to ensure the flood-hit areas including housing settlements in Manchis and Telemong near here were cleaned and repaired after the disaster struck in Dec 2021.
The 57-year-old from Kampung Manchis said Johari had a lot of plans to develop the constituency and some of the projects including housing had begun.
"Johari often helped those in the traditional villages, Felda schemes, Chinese new villages and estates. His sudden death came as a shock to everyone," he said when contacted.
Yesterday, the six-seater Beechcraft Model 390 (Premier 1) bearing the registration number N28JV crashed near Elmina, Shah Alam when approaching Subang Airport from Langkawi.
The crash killed all eight people onboard - six passengers including Johari and two crew members - and two road users in the incident.