BN launches Johor polls manifesto, pledges to govern with integrity in 'new political narrative'
JOHOR BAHRU: The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition launched its manifesto for the Johor state election on Tuesday (Mar 1), pledging to implement a slew of initiatives if it is voted into government.
The manifesto, centred around BN’s key campaign message “Stability for the future”, encompasses five key initiatives: A pledge to govern with integrity, political reformation, an economic strategy to recover from COVID-19, a focus on youths as well as welfare for the people.
The manifesto was announced by Johor’s caretaker chief minister Hasni Mohammad via a Facebook Live event.
“All in all, BN Johor has one main objective, for the state of Johor to prosper supported by a new political narrative which is stable and mature,” said Mr Hasni who is also BN Johor chairman.
“These initiatives are realistic, we don't promise, but we will strive to fulfil them. And they will empower the welfare of all Johoreans,” he added.
To boost the integrity of the Johor government, Mr Hasni said that if BN wins, all state assemblymen will be required to declare their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Key-performance indicators will also be introduced for senior state civil servants and village heads, and they will be announced publicly.
Mr Hasni added that each assemblyman, regardless of whether he or she belongs to the government or opposition, will receive RM200,000 annual allowances for constituency works.
Mr Hasni, who is contesting in a four-corner fight in the Benut state ward, added that BN is also looking to enact an anti-hopping law for Johor assemblymen.
He added that BN will strive to realign electoral boundaries in areas with a dense voter population “to empower democracy”.
To help small businesses who are grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Hasni said the BN government will also look to offer interest-free loans to suitable firms.
Meanwhile, he pledged that BN will offer help to settlers in the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) areas or those in the Malay reserve lands by building homes and improving the infrastructure.
Mr Hasni said that in its manifesto, BN is looking to boost public infrastructure in the state by integrating its public bus and rail services with the Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link service.
He added that BN is also keen to launch a new environment initiative called the Johor Green Deal, which will be based on clean energy, mitigation of natural disasters and the formation of low-carbon cities.
“This will be launched in stages over the next five years,” he added.
The 15th Johor state election will see a total of 239 candidates contesting across 56 seats.
Last Sunday, BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the coalition is looking to win at least a two-thirds majority, or at least 38 seats.
Early voting will take place on Mar 8, while polling has been set for Mar 12.
Johor’s state assembly, which has 56 seats, was dissolved by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar on Jan 22.
Prior to the dissolution, Johor Chief Minister Hasni Mohammad justified that his state government needed a fresh mandate as it only held a slim majority following the death of former chief minister Osman Sapian in December last year.
Mr Hasni said that the election was necessary as the stability of the Johor state government was a prerequisite for investors and businesses to expand their operations in the state.
More than 2.59 million voters are eligible to cast their ballot in this state election, with the Election Commission targeting a 70 per cent voter turnout.