Whether or not your member of parliament (MP) knows you, let alone gives two hoots about you, it is imperative that you know your MP. Getting to know a little bit is good, and getting to know a lot more is even better, especially when you are required to talk to the Anti-Corruption Agency.
For this week, we would be talking to Datuk Joh Hari, the MP for Ayer Bangar – one of the most colourful personalities you can ever meet in the Malaysian politics arena. Come to think of it, we can never have enough.
Hari is no stranger to controversy. Everyone remembers the time when, in responding an angry accusation from a female MP from the opposition party, he flashed his tongue and said, “Oh yeah? Well, your father’s butt stinks!”
This immediately set of sparks of protest, especially from many non-governmental organisations (NGOs), like the Society Against Flashing Tongue and its sister organisation, Sisterhood Society Against Flashing Tongue and other NGOs like Organisation That Blames Only Politicians and of course, Organisation for NGOs.
Joe, as he wanted us to call him (sharp implements are powerful persuaders), was also known for his brash outlook and straight to the face approach. The latter was proven when recently he was literally nose-to-nose in confrontation with another opposition MP. The impending brawl never took place when the opposition MP suggested Joe to consume Listerine on daily basis.
Joe is also a great philanthropist. Acknowledging his own mortality and the fragility of life, he contributes regularly to Association of Retired Datuks. Also, in a clear attempt to promote local fruit industry, he regularly gave out free Durian samples to European tourists at the airport.
Despite his own role as a hardworking MP, Joh is a normal person like you and me, except he owns more and bigger cars. At home, he is just a regular Joe. In fact, his pet name is Regular Joe.
When we were ushered by his private security to his humble four storeys, elevator-fitted abode, Joe, who had just apparently woke up from deep slumber, greeted us in the living room.
“Welcome, welcome, alamak! I misplaced your copy of tenderlah!” he said, growing very nervous by the seconds.
When we explained to him that we are from the media, not a contractor, he calmed down.
Here’s the excerpt of the interview:
Father, mother, two elder brothers, one younger sister, two elder cats and one younger parrot.
Herelah. I got no hometown.
Your favourite food:
Catfo_I mean, err…Indian food.
Your favourite colour:
Beige with a tinge of red and alligator blue.
Your favourite beverage.
Bran…. I mean, branded drinks, heh.
What car do you drive?
Not what your press secretary drives. What do you drive?
Are you wired? I cannot answer this one.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Jackass The Movie, it gives hope to those who makes mistake.
What music do you listen to and why?
Slow jazz. They always play that in the hotel where I make deals with…next question.
Why are you not married? People say that you are_
Hey, don’t listen to what people say.
Then why are you holding hands with your PA who is obviously_
Are you sure you are not wired?
Aiyah. We don’t see anything wrong with that. Okay, next question. Who is your hero?
Spiderman. He inspires me with the way he kisses Mary Jane Watson upside down (looks at his PA passionately)
Your favourite place in this whole wide world?
You don’t watch old Malay movies much, do you?
Favourite tourism destination?
Swiss B_, I mean, Switzerland.
What is your hobby?
Oh, I read. I read a lot.
Oh, you know. Self-help books. Very motivating.
Aiyah, you knowlah. Books like How To Get Rich Without Working Too hard, Relax and Get Rich and my favourite, Why work, Squeeze The Jerk!, you get the idea.
Oh yeah, definitely. Okay, that would be all. Thanks for your time.
Thanks. Can I check you for wire?
Dude, this whole thing's on tape. Why do you think it's called interview?