Johor people want money, not political stability, says Guan Eng

(MMO) – The people of Johor are less interested in political stability and more on having their socio-economic needs met, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng asserted today.

After a week of campaigning for Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the Johor election, Lim said he found that Johoreans are more concerned about their wellbeing, pay cheque and the country’s economic and financial stability rather than the political stability the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalitions claim to represent.

The MP for Bagan said Johoreans are worried about the rising prices of goods which would be exacerbated by the price of oil rising to US$115 (RM480).

He proposed a Price Stabilisation Fund with an initial seed of RM3 billion derived from the windfall tax set to be introduced next year.

He also proposed the abolishment of the proposed tax on companies bringing back money from profits earned in Singapore and overseas countries, adding that it was a matter of time before this tax was imposed on individuals.

The former finance minister listed a total of six things the BN and PN coalitions should address in the run-up to the March 12 state vote.

“Three, with prices rising but salaries not rising, many cannot make ends meet. The government should allow the public to withdraw their EPF (Employee Provident Fund) contributions if not by RM10,000, then at least RM5,000 to allow them to meet their financial obligations.

“Four, postpone the increase in electricity tariffs by up to 20 per cent for 1.6 million business and industrial users beginning February to help businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and economic recession.

Five, reopen borders immediately, especially with Singapore, to allow a quick economic recovery to save both lives and livelihoods when so many businesses in Johor are dependent on Singapore,” Lim said in a statement.

The sixth step Lim proposed is to withdraw the proposed amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 to increase the compound fines of individuals from RM1,000 to RM10,000 and for companies to RM1 million.

These penalties could increase to RM100,000 fine for individuals and RM2 million for companies.

“The government should take full responsibility for their failure to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and not pin the blame on the people by increasing penalties and compound fines,” he added.

Johor will head to the polls on March 12. Early voting is this Tuesday.

The Election Commission (EC) has permitted talks and physical campaigns as well as door-to-door visits, subject to the Covid-19 prevention standard operating procedure (SOP) and candidates will surely make full use of them.

A total of 239 candidates will contest in the upcoming state election consisting of 202 men and 37 women who will be competing for 56 seats.

Johor has 56 state constituencies, with more than 2.59 million voters who are eligible to cast their ballots. The EC is targeting a 70 per cent voter turnout.