PUTRAJAYA, Dec 10 — Carpet seller Deepak Jaikishan — a businessman once close to Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor — and Supermax Corporation Bhd founder Datuk Seri Stanley Thai — who withdrew his previous backing for Pakatan Harapan (PH) just before May 9 — both bid up to almost a million ringgit collectively for artworks depicting PH leaders last night.
Former associate to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deepak paid RM150,000 for a black-and-white photo of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail after it was put up for bidding at PH’s maiden charity dinner in Putrajaya International Convention Centre here.
Jaikishan was previously linked to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah but turned on the pair after a business deal with an Umno leader allegedly went sour.
Thai, who founded Supermax Corporation Bhd — one of the top four glove makers in the world — and who apologised to Najib in April for having supported the Opposition in GE13, also walked away with an autographed photo of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir in his Putrajaya office several days after he was sworn-in taken on May 23 was sold for RM350,000.
Before GE13, he reportedly said he would join most other Malaysian Chinese “in abandoning support for Najib” and vote for the Opposition for the first time in GE13.
Meanwhile, an autographed photo of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders after they were sworn-in as Cabinet ministers following the May 9 general election victory was sold for RM500,000, making it the most expensive of six artworks put up for bidding.
Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah had earlier unveiled the picture during a bidding ceremony held here.
“This is the first picture taken after Dr Mahathir was sworn-in and moments before his first press conference as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia,” he said to loud applause from the crowd.
Platinum Victory Holdings Sdn Bhd executive director Gan Yee Hin was announced the winner after his bid of RM500,000 stood unchallenged, making it most expensive photograph among six sold tonight.
The only picture sold to a non-Malaysian was a photo of DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang gesturing in Parliament that was sold for RM100,000 to a Mr Hwang from China.
Meanwhile Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s portrait was sold for RM110,000 to MKH Berhad executive chairman Tan Sri Chen Kooi Chiew.
The first item that went on the block was a portrait of Mohamad Sabu that was sold for RM10,000 to a man from Pahang.