Development in Johor needs to be holistic and balanced

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Merdeka Day Message by DAP Johor Chairman Liew Chin Tong on 30th August 2014

On behalf of the Democratic Action Party Johor State Committee, I would like to wish all Malaysian citizens especially Johoreans a very pleasant and spiritually uplifting Merdeka Day.

The year has thus far seen multiple disasters and calamities at a scale unimaginable just last year such as the mysterious disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of MH17 in contested Ukrainian air space. Such tragedies shall not deter us from our resolve to build a better Malaysia and a better world.

Malaysian politics has entered a phase of stagnation in which the support for both the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional and the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat has declined. Admittedly, many voters are disappointed with both coalitions and choose to “opt out” from the political discourse.

Pakatan Rakyat needs to reinvigorate itself for Malaysians to embrace it as their party of choice and not merely a default option against Barisan Nasional.

A clearly defined common agenda among Pakatan parties that focuses on democratisation and economic justice will serve as a covenant with all Malaysians, as opposed to UMNO/Barisan Nasional’s 3R (race, religion and royalty) agenda.

For Johor to move forward, holistic and balanced development should be the shared agenda.

Johor cannot be just about the Iskandar region and the Iskandar region must not be just about property development. Even within the Iskandar region, disparity is on the rise which requires urgent attention.

Johor is a vast state that requires better transport and communication linkages for a balance development so that development can spread to central and northern Johor organically.

Better paying jobs and more robust technological development among our industries should come hand-in-hand so that we have a virtuous cycle of higher pay, better skill and larger productivity gain.

The Federal and State Government of Johor must also do more for public housing, public health, education and local community building for a more just and equitable Johor.

Liew Chin Tong

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