Johor BN unveils manifesto to chase ‘lion’ Singapore

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JOHOR BAHRU: Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) today launched its manifesto for the coming general election (GE14) themed “Johor Team For A New Decade: Pledges for the Future”, containing 230 pledges for the people of Johor.

Johor BN chairman Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the “Johor Hi-5” manifesto has five core thrusts namely economic growth, provision of comprehensive infrastructure, development of the mind, talent and skills, high-performance leadership, and establishment of a sustainable, Islamic and cultured community.

“These pledges are guided by three targets namely to meet the needs as well as enhance the well-being of the people as a whole, positioning Johor as a new southern economic power that has its own unique, significant and meaningful contribution to Malaysia as well as preparing and propelling Johor as a competitor to all, especially Singapore.

“We will not let Johor to simply become a backyard for anyone, what more just merely being an observer to Singapore.

“So, Johor or better known as the ‘Southern Tigers’ will start showing its fangs and stripes for this specific mission that I shall call ‘Chasing the Lion,’” he said when launching the Johor BN manisfesto here.

Also present were Johor BN deputy chairman Abdul Latif Ahmad, state MCA chairman Wee Ka Siong, state MIC chairman M. Asojan and state MyPPP chief Sivakumar.

Apart from the five core thrusts, BN pledges to focus on five target groups namely young Johoreans, the Felda community, disabled people, the Orang Asli, women and mothers.

The manifesto also touches on all aspects of the people’s wellbeing and assures that no Johorean will be left behind in order to face the task ahead taking into consideration the needs of all districts in the state over the next five years.

Priority will also be given to efforts to reduce the cost of living, strengthen the housing agenda, make a success of mega projects, create job opportunities and entrepreneurs, with the overriding principle being that the people came first in all considerations.

Khaled said among the other pledges were offering RM50 as education savings for each child born in Johor, pocket money of RM100 for Year 1 pupils based on eligibility, setting up Pusat Asuhan Muafakat Johor child care centres and expanding the Bas Muafakat Johor free bus service to serve schools, housing estates and industry.

He said the BN was committed to make a success of mega projects to spur economic growth including completing the Petrochemical Intergrated Development Project (Rapid), develop Taman Industri Pengerang which has a gross development value of RM1.1 billion and continue developing the Johor Bio Desaru Food Valley.

BN in the manifesto says it is committed to the development of the RM4.5 billion Desaru Coast integrated tourist centre, a RM400 million Sci-Fi Universe, and the Johor Eco Entertainment Park (JEEP) costing RM2.7 billion at Bandar Akademi YPJ Kota Tinggi, which would provide 250,000 employment opportunities.

Other pledges include an annual allocation of RM600 million for the maintenance of village roads and the implementation of the stage bus services transformation (SBST) programme which costs RM90 million a year, for five years.

For tertiary level education, Johor students would be able to enjoy at least four benefits, among them additional non-interest-bearing education loan funds, allocation of RM2,000 for every Johor student association and an allocation of RM1,000 for every Johor student who succeeds in furthering his or her studies at a public university.

BN also pledges to give RM500 to those getting married for the first time, provided they earn RM3,000 and below monthly.

For the Felda community, BN pledges to provide skills training for 500 Felda youths each year, develop a socio-economic transformation programme and solve all issues over inheritance within five years.

For people with disabilities (OKU), BN says it will create the Johor Classic Orchestra, making music a tool for capacity building of children with disabilities and promoting the Johor OKU Arts and Cultural Festival more aggressively.

There are at least six empowering agendas for mothers and women of Johor including setting up a special site for the establishment of the Tun Fatimah Women’s Complex as a business centre, fashion complex, counseling centre and capacity building for Johor women, providing free mammograms and introducing Women’s Day.

Khaled also invited the entire “Johor team” to work together to focus their efforts, energy and the future for the Johor New Decade to succeed.

“We no longer want to wrestle with those who are always changing their looks and logos, those fighting for seats and those who make the GE a field to topple others. In fact, this time we are able to see that the rocket is no longer flying, the blooming flower has withered and what’s left is the split moon,” he said.

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