JOHOR BARU, June 11 — Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) today suggested that the state government has further room for improvement in rolling out the latest Ihsan Johor 3.0 Economic Stimulus Package initiative for the state.
In a statement issued today, the coalition noted that several areas could be fine-tuned further, such as access to vaccination centres.
“The distance of vaccination centres in Johor, which are located in the city, makes it difficult for the people of Johor, especially those in the rural areas.
“We suggest that free transportation services should be offered to the people to ease their vaccination process,” Johor PH said.
The statement also suggested that the Johor government studies the Selangor government’s approach in providing transportation rebates of RM20 for those relying on e-hailing services to travel to and from a vaccination centre, saying it will benefit 50,000 users at a total cost of RM1 million.
“Johor PH emphasises once again the importance of creating mobile vaccination centre services and the use of community centres such as houses of worship as temporary vaccination centres in rural areas in order to facilitate the process,” it added.
The statement was jointly issued by Johor Opposition leader and state PH chief Aminolhuda Hassan, who is also the state’s Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) chapter chief, together with his PKR and DAP counterparts Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and Liew Chin Tong respectively.
Yesterday, the Johor government announced its third economic stimulus package worth RM241 million consisting of 33 initiatives as part of its Covid-19 pandemic management efforts and to also provide financial assistance to the people.
Called the Ihsan Johor 3.0 Economic Stimulus Package, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the initiative, among others, aims at empowering the state’s management of the pandemic and strengthening its social safety.
On a related matter, Johor PH also said the state government should consider the use of self-screening test kits and Covid-19 breath tests as used in Singapore, in addition to Rapid Test Kits (RTK-Ag) testing and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) testing.
“Screening tests need to be implemented on a large scale to detect positive cases in the community in order to curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible,” it said, adding that the state government’s action to strengthen pandemic management with the purchase of 190,000 units of RTK-Ag kits to further expand screening tests in Johor is in line with the coalition’s recommendations voiced during the online meeting session on May 28.
The statement also touched on assistance for farmers and fishermen on a ‘one-off’ basis of RM1,000 to ensure that the group can survive in a time of the pandemic.
“To further boost the agricultural sector in Johor, the Ihsan Johor 3.0 Economic Stimulus Package needs to increase allocations in the agriculture, livestock, and fisheries sectors to produce more agricultural entrepreneurs for the future,” it said.
In addition to that, the coalition also suggested improving the state’s internet access with allocations to increase data and unlimited internet access in rural and urban areas in Johor.
“Efforts to provide unlimited internet data, especially for the B40 and M40 groups who use the internet a lot at home to work and for home-based learning, is important.
“It can also encourage small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Johor to switch to a more digital business model,” said the statement.
Overall, Johor PH said it welcomed the Ihsan Johor 3.0 Economic Stimulus Package initiative amounting to RM 241 million.
However, it urged that the continuous involvement of state assemblymen and cross-party MPs in various decision-making platforms such as the district disaster committee should be considered as a more advanced step to form a strong cooperation to fight Covid-19 and help the people.
The Ihsan Johor 3.0 Economic Stimulus Package will be implemented to complement the current efforts that are made by the Federal government.
During the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) last year, the Johor government through the Ihsan Johor Economic Stimulus Package 1.0 allocated RM167.33 million and has benefited a total of 295,464 recipients.
Meanwhile, the Ihsan Johor 2.0 Economic Stimulus Package worth RM109.48 million benefited a total of 387,674 recipients.