Johor planning new COVID-19 economic stimulus package, says chief minister

Johor planning new COVID-19 economic stimulus package, says chief minister

Johor skyline
The skyline of Johor Bahru, as seen from neighbouring Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

JOHOR BAHRU: The Johor state government is planning to launch another economic stimulus package to help residents cope with the financial impact of COVID-19, Chief Minister Hasni Mohammad said on Thursday (May 27). 

Mr Hasni made the announcement in a media statement after a virtual meeting with elected representatives of the state. 

"The Johor state government has always prioritised the welfare and interests of the people, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Various initiatives and assistance have been given to the affected groups and the efforts will continue to be strengthened," said Mr Hasni. 

"Therefore, the Johor state government is planning to provide an economic stimulus package 3.0. Apart from that, the state government has also allocated RM10 million (US$2.4 million) for the (distribution) of food baskets (to the needy)."

Johor's economy has been heavily impacted by the border closures enforced by COVID-19 as many businesses in the state are heavily dependent on visitors from Singapore. 

Mr Hasni did not provide any more details to the stimulus package that will be launched. 

However, it will be on top of a stimulus package announced by the Johor state government in 2020, in which a total allocation of RM150 million was used to help industries and sectors in the state impacted by COVID-19. 

In his statement, Mr Hasni added that the state government is looking to expedite the process of vaccinating residents in the state. 

"Meanwhile, in ensuring the vaccination process is implemented quickly, safely and effectively, the state government has taken several approaches including working closely with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and all relevant parties to obtain vaccines, including efforts to procure our own vaccines such as buying from Singapore," said Mr Hasni.

READ: Johor sultan urges Malaysia government to consider full lockdown if COVID-19 cases continue to rise

EACH STATE ASSEMBLYMAN TO RECEIVE RM50,000 FOR COVID-19 ADVOCACY PROGRAMMES

Following the meeting, Mr Hasni added that the state government agreed to channel an additional allocation of RM50,000 to each state assemblyman for advocacy programmes to help disseminate accurate information related to the government's efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I call on all people representatives to redouble their capabilities and initiatives to fight COVID-19 in their respective constituencies for the good of the people," said Mr Hasni. 

Mr Hasni conducting the meeting a week after Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar called for Members of Parliament and state assemblymen representing constituencies in Johor to meet and discuss how to overcome the COVID-19 situation. 

Sultan Ibrahim said that these elected representatives "need to play a role" in curbing the pandemic and extend help to those who are affected.

This was despite an emergency ordinance that is in force preventing parliament and state legislative assembly sittings from being held at this time. 

In his statement, Mr Hasni thanked all state representatives who participated in the discussion and added that talks will likely "continue in the future". 

"In the discussion, all representatives of the people voiced their views and gave confidence to the state government in leading various efforts at the state level in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic," said Mr Hasni. 

"The discussion and commitment shown by all representatives, both from Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan, exemplifies the 'Johor way' of political discourse, in which it is very important to achieve consensus across different political parties in facing this pandemic."

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Source: CNA/am(rw)

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