JOHOR BARU, May 21 — Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) has outlined five urgent agendas that should be discussed immediately by the state’s MPs and assemblymen, following next week’s bipartisan meeting.
In a joint statement, Johor PH today suggested that the Johor government conducts free Covid-19 screening, expands vaccination awareness and offers additional economic stimulus for those affected by the pandemic as among the agendas.
It said the Johor government can mobilise hospitals under KPJ Healthcare owned by Johor Corporation Bhd (JCorp) to detect early infections, especially among those who are asymptomatic.
“The use of the Antigen Rapid Testing Kit (RTK-Ag) should be encouraged. Early prevention can help us analyse the situation more carefully and reduce costs and impact when compared to the full implementation of a movement control order (MCO).
“A bipartisan meeting of Johor MPs and assemblymen should also discuss plans to expand vaccination awareness campaigns to the state’s residents to achieve a registration figure of at least 70 per cent of those eligible.
“In fact, the number of people in Johor who have received vaccinations also remains low at 4.38 per cent,” said the statement jointly issued by Johor Opposition leader and state PH chief Aminolhuda Hassan, who is also the state’s Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) chapter chief, his PKR and DAP counterparts Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and Liew Chin Tong respectively.
The state PH coalition also proposed that the Johor government provide additional economic stimulus packages to assist those affected during the Emergency and the third phase of the MCO.
They suggested that economic assistance should be given to the low-income groups, small and medium enterprises (SME), young people and workers who are severely affected as well as those who have lost their primary source of income due to MCO’s implemented by the federal government.
“It is appropriate for the Johor government, MPs and assemblymen to discuss the state’s economic plan and review the 2021 Johor Budget to ensure that the people’s economy remains resilient, especially when the pandemic has not subsided,” said the statement.
The other two remaining agendas listed by Johor PH consist of plans to reopen the Johor-Singapore border and ending the Emergency to allow both the Parliament and state legislative assemblies to reconvene to discuss bipartisan approaches in tackling the pandemic.
Johor PH said it welcomes the latest procedure that allows Malaysian citizens who are existing students and long-term pass holders to travel out of the country, especially to Singapore.
“In-depth discussions on this matter must be continued to ensure that the Johoreans and Malaysians who work on the other side of the Causeway can continue to survive,” said the statement, adding that the state administration also needs to urge both the Malaysia and Singapore government to expedite the border opening after the situation is more stable to restore the state’s economy.
Johor PH added that it welcomes and supports the decree by State Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar for the state’s MPs and assemblymen to hold a meeting in an effort to discuss the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases.
“We also welcome Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad’s statement that the meeting will be held next week.
“We believe that a bipartisan approach in dealing with the escalating pandemic is best for the lives and economic conditions of the people,” said the statement.
Yesterday, Hasni had proposed the meeting after Sultan Ibrahim had earlier decreed for all of the state’s MPs and assemblymen to meet and discuss their views on the Covid-19 epidemic as well as solving the problems faced by Johoreans.
Hasni, who will chair the meeting, was reported saying that the discussion will further strengthen and improve the efforts that have been taken by both the state and federal governments to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.