JOHOR BARU, April 10 — Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) rejected today claims that its election manifesto copied existing initiatives and proposals by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), arguing that it was simply addressing common issues in the state.
While there may be overlaps on topics, Johor PH policy chief Dzulkefly Ahmad insisted that the proposals were not the same.
“BN needs to understand the content and differences before questioning the PH manifesto as though we did not conduct our research first.
“We need to look into the content of the pledges, many of which are common issues concerning the rakyat such as housing and water,” he said at a media conference held at the South Johor Chinese Press Club in Jalan Maju here today.
Also present were Johor Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) chairman Aminolhuda Hassan, Johor PKR deputy chairman Jimmy Phua Wee Tse, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) representative Dr Hashim Yusoff and DAP Johor deputy chairman Dr S. Ramakrishnan.
The Johor PH manifesto promises, among others, the free provision of 10 cubic metres of water monthly to B40 category households, the removal of quotas when allocating affordable home and the issuance of a special medical card that provides eligible recipients with RM500 worth of treatment a year.
Dzulkefly, who is also Johor Amanah deputy chairman, said the PH manifesto contained marked differences such as a five-year plan to revive the Johor government scholarship awards, establishing a Johor University, creating 200,000 highly-skilled jobs, building 100,000 affordable houses and providing more sites for Chinese and Tamil schools.
Dzulkefly, who is the pact’s candidate for the Kota Iskandar state seat, also said that the PH manifesto for Johor is based on realistic projections and research.
“BN should be rational and take steps to fully understand what PH wants to convey to the state before condemning the manifesto as a copy,” he said.
Out of 10 pledges, Dzulkefly said Johor PH has three that are similar to BN’s promises in their manifesto: Housing, water and education development.
However, he reiterated that there were nuances to each that made them dissimilar.
The Johor PH manifesto for the 14th general election (GE14) is based on five pillars containing 60 pledges, including scrapping the goods and services tax (GST) and developing a Northern Johor Development Corridor, among others.