Media statement by DAP Johor Chairman Liew Chin Tong on Sunday 24 January 2021
1. The DAP Johor State Committee meeting on Friday 22 January 2021 deliberated at length on the current political situation. The meeting was held virtually.
2. DAP Johor urges the Johor State Government and Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad to emulate the Selangor and Penang Governments in announcing a significant sum of financial aid package for the people of Johor, particularly small businesses.
3. In the face of the second lockdown, Selangor recently announced a RM73.87 million aid package which included a RM 6 million allocation for free mass targeted Covid-19 screening and expedition of the digitalisation process for small businesses, among others. Penang on the other hand approved a RM20 million package with financial aid for small business owners and special allocations to its ADUNs and MPs.
4. DAP Johor also urges the Johor State Government to re-open pasar pagi, pasar tani and pasar malam with strict distancing and hygiene rules. If malls, which are enclosed spaces, can operate, there is no reason for open spaces, which have better air ventilation and thus are theoretically safer as far as Covid-19 is concerned, to be shut down. The state government must not overlook the lives and livelihood of ordinary Johoreans while trying to curb the pandemic.
5. The Covid-19 health crisis has worsened, and we need to have a clear plan to contain and mitigate the spread of infection, as well as a plan to help ordinary Malaysians to tie over this crisis which could last for another 9 to 18 months.
6. The Johor State Government is the owner of the KPJ chain of hospitals with branch hospitals throughout the nation. We urge the State Government to turn KPJ hospitals in Johor into semi-public hospitals to deal with areas in which the Federal Government have failed to address. For instance, the State Government could direct the KPJ hospitals to ramp up testing capacity or to be prepared for vaccination so that Johor becomes the first state to complete full vaccination of her people.
7. On 6 December 2020, Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni in the State Assembly promised to admit members of the Opposition to the following committees, namely the District Development Action Committee or Jawatankuasa Tindakan Pembangunan Daerah (JTPD) and Select Committees at the State Assembly level.
DAP Johor urges the Menteri Besar to honour his promises. Such committees will be avenues for bipartisan deliberations, and it is needed now more than ever due to the worsening Covid-19 crisis and in face of a federal Emergency rule.