Malaysia: Johor BN unveils its ‘aspirations’, plans funding for opposition

  • Johor BN, like its counterpart in Malacca, plans to continue providing funding for the opposition if it wins in the state polls. Johor BN chief Hasni Mohammad revealed this when announcing the manifesto of sorts which he described as an “aspiration (ikhtiar) rather than a promise”.
  • BN’s reluctance to call the manifesto a promise appears to stem from its attacks against Pakatan Harapan which it accused of failing to keep its promises after the coalition released an extensive manifesto for the last general election.
  • Instead, Hasni provided a general outline of their “aspirations” constituting five cores, namely economic development, people’s wellbeing, youths, integrity and political reform.
  • Under its aspirations outline, Hasni said a BN-led Johor government will continue to provide MYR200,000 allocation to all assemblypersons, regardless of whether they were from the government or opposition.
  • Several BN-led state governments have abandoned their past policies of depriving the opposition of funding, being aware that they may need to count on them in the event of political instability amid a more fragmented political alignment.
  • “Furthermore, in order to strengthen our democracy, with a two-thirds majority, we will conduct a redelineation exercise for state seats that have a huge number of voters,” he said.
  • Following the implementation of automatic voter registration, the number of voters has exploded. Seats like Tiram, Kota Iskandar and Puteri Wangsa have seen their voters balloon from between 60,000 and 70,000 to 105,000 and 116,000, rivalling those of parliamentary seats before automatic voter registration was implemented.
  • Hasni said Johor BN also plans to have all their elected state representatives declare their assets to the MACC and ensure key performance indexes for them.
  • On the welfare front, Hasni said BN wants to provide an annual cash handout of MYR150 to primary and secondary school students from families earning MYR3,001 to MYR7,000. A further MYR500 will be provided to varsity students from B40 families every year.
  • Hasni also spoke about reviving Johor’s economy including extending interest-free loans to businesses. He also said they will focus on integrating Johor’s upcoming public transport infrastructure including the Bus Rapid Transit, Rapid Transit System and Light Rail Transit.
  • He also made a commitment to resolve the state’s housing supply issue and expedite efforts to combat climate change by ensuring Economic, Social and Governance (ESG) compliance as well as a “Green Deal”.

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