JOHOR BAHRU: Three major entertainment parks will be built in Johor at a cost of RM7.6 billion (US$1.96 billion), said the state's chief minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin on Saturday (Apr 14) as he unveiled Johor Barisan Nasional's manifesto for the 14th general election.
“We want to be the new economic powerhouse in the region and make Johor a competitor to all including our close neighbour, Singapore," said Mr Mohamed Khaled.
"We will not let Johor simply become a backyard for anyone, what more just merely being an observer to Singapore.
"So, Johor or better known as the ‘Southern Tigers’ will start showing its fangs and stripes for this specific mission that I shall call ‘Chasing the Lion’," he added.
Among the 230 pledges outlined in the manifesto was BN’s commitment to develop a RM4.5 billion Desaru Coast integrated tourist centre, which would include “world-class facilities and hotels” and a RM400 million Sci-Fi Universe theme park.
“In Singapore, they have Universal Studios but here, we will build the world’s first science fiction theme park near Legoland here,” he said as quoted by The Star. "For us to catch the lion, we must upgrade our tourism sector with new attractions."
Mr Mohamed Khaled said the BN government is also committed to developing the Johor Eco Entertainment Park costing RM2.7 billion at Bandar Akademi YPJ Kota Tinggi. He added that the project would provide 250,000 employment opportunities through the Iskandar Global Business Services Shared Services and Outsourcing sector.
Dubbed Johor Hi-5, the manifesto lays out five core thrusts, namely economic growth; provision of comprehensive infrastructure; development of the mind, talent and skills; high performance leadership and establishment of a sustainable, Islamic and cultured community.
LOOKING AFTER "YOUNG JOHOREANS"
Apart from the five core thrusts, Johor BN also pledged to focus on five target groups - the Orang Muda Johor (Young Johoreans), the Felda community, disabled people, the indigenous community as well as women and mothers.
Mr Mohamed Khaled said the pledges include RM50 as education savings for each child born in Johor, pocket money of RM100 for Year 1 students based on eligibility, setting up Johor childcare centres and expanding the Johor free bus service to serve schools, housing estates and work places.
Meanwhile, the BN government has pledged to give RM500 to young Johoreans earning less than RM3,000 who are marrying for the first time. A rebate of RM50 will also be given to young Johoreans below the age of 30 who are applying for a passport for the first time.
Malaysians will go to the polls on May 9.