KUALA LUMPUR: When Za’aba Ibrahim was a PAS member, he was loyal to a fault.
So when the party instructed him to file a petition challenging the election result for the Pulai parliamentary seat in Johor in the last nationwide polls, he did so without any hesitation.
In 2013, Barisan Nasional’s Nur Jazlan Mohamed won the seat, beating then PAS deputy president Salahuddin Ayub with a majority of 3,226 votes.
Za’aba lost his case and the court ordered him to pay RM50,000 in damages and it was then that he realised that the love he had for the party was unrequited.
None of the leaders from the Islamist party, he claimed, offered any financial support despite them initially promising to do so should he lose the case.
Instead, help came from strangers.
“I got calls from people I did not know who declared their support for me and wanted to offer me money.
“One late night, a Punjabi man rang me to say he would bank in the money the first thing in the morning as the banks were closed,” he told FMT.
Za’aba, a welder, said those who have come to his aid included assemblymen from Amanah and DAP – the two parties PAS has sworn off any cooperation with – as well as Bersih 2.0.
“Even some Umno members and a surau offered me money. I really appreciate their offers.”
Za’aba, who joined PAS in 1994, said it was the generosity of these “strangers” that saved him from being declared a bankrupt after he successfully collected RM54,431.
‘No one from PAS came to my aid’
Za’aba said as soon as he received a court order instructing him to pay for damages, he forwarded it to the party’s state office which later told him that they forward it to the central leadership.
“There was no word after that and I assumed they had taken care of it. But in November, I was hauled to court.”
In December last year, Johor PAS commissioner Mahfodz Mohamed said PAS would not pay for the damages as Za’aba was no longer a member. Za’aba joined Amanah, a PAS splinter party, in 2015.
Za’aba feels though that this should not be case as he had filed a petition as a PAS member and the court order to pay RM50,000 was made when he was still a member.
“No one from PAS came forward. They only know how to curse and swear. I got the brunt of it from PAS members.”