JOHOR BARU, April 14 — The Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) touted building three theme parks, including the world’s first science fiction-themed play universe, that will turn the southern Malaysian state into an economic powerhouse on par with neighbouring Singapore.
Johor BN chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the world’s first science fiction theme park, called Sci-Fi Universe, will be constructed at Iskandar Puteri in 2019 with an investment of RM400 million.
“In addition to that, Johor will also have a new tourism centre in Desaru worth RM4.5 billion and a RM2.7 billion eco entertainment park near the Yayasan Pelajaran Johor campus in Kota Tinggi,” he said to a 3,000-strong audience while launching the Johor BN 14th general election manifesto at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre here.
All three projects are expected to cost RM7.5 billion.
Mohamed Khaled said Johor must upgrade its tourism sector with new attractions to be competitive.
“If Singapore has Gardens by the Bay, we will build a new tourism centre in Desaru. If Singapore has Universal Studios Singapore (USS), we in Johor will build the world’s first science fiction theme park.
“This will position Johor as the new southern economic power and prepare the state as a competitor to all, especially our neighbour Singapore,” said the state’s caretaker mentri besar in his speech during the manifesto launch.
The manifesto that includes 230 offers, involving five major thrust points, to attract voters in GE14 on May 9.
The manifesto themed “Team Johor for a New Decade: Offers for the Future” has five thrust points, dubbed the Hi-5, that were for a prosperous economy; provision for comprehensive infrastructure; development of mind, talent and skill; high performance leadership and sustainable society; as well as Islamic and culture.
Among the offers by Johor BN to voters include the RM500 cash assistance to the state youths earning RM3,000 and below.
Those aged below 30 are categorised as Johor young people or Orang Muda Johor (OMJ).
Johor BN will also introduce the first national passport programme with a RM50 rebate for the first time passport application for OMJ. The offer is limited to 3,000 recipients per year.
In support of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) 2.0 project, Johor BN has also pledged to resolve the issue of second-generation settlers and their heirs in the schemes within five years.
To deal with the well-being of the B40 and the middle-class in Johor, Mohamed Khaled said Johor BN will provide RM50 savings for every Johor-born baby.
“In addition to that, Johor BN will give out pocket money of RM100 pocket to qualified Year One students,” he said.
Other areas within the manifesto was the introduction of the Johor Natural Disaster Insurance for victims of natural disasters such as floods, as well as to improve the existing flood warning system.
To combat corruption and abuse of power in state administration, Mohamed Khaled said the manifesto will require all the state excos and civil servants to declare their assets to the Mentri Besar.
He said all 56 state assemblymen and 5,000 local authority staff will also be required to sign the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Corruption-Free Pledge.
Mohamed Khaled also pledged the establishment of a dedicated site to build the Tun Fatimah Women’s Complex as a shopping centre, clothing complex, counselling centre and capacity building as an offer for the women in Johor.