Five key themes to move Johor Forward
Upon my appointment as the State Opposition Leader by Pakatan Harapan Johor, I have expressed my intention to lead a constructive opposition that builds on bipartisanship in the hope to propel Johor forward and to safeguard the interests of Bangsa Johor.
I have written to the Menteri Besar, YAB Datuk Onn Hafiz bin Ghazi, on behalf of the Johor opposition, to propose the following thematic bipartisan select committees to be established in the Dewan:
𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗚𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 (𝗝𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘂𝗮𝘀𝗮 𝗣𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗧𝗮𝗱𝗯𝗶𝗿 𝗨𝗿𝘂𝘀 𝗖𝗲𝗸𝗮𝗽 𝗕𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶)
Good governance and integrity are fundamental to any government and public service. Best practices recommended by the committee shall be adopted across the state agencies, state GLCs, and local authorities to ensure effective, efficient and clean governance.
𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗖𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗨𝗿𝗯𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗥𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 (𝗝𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘂𝗮𝘀𝗮 𝗣𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗵 𝗜𝗸𝗹𝗶𝗺, 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿 𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗟𝘂𝗮𝗿 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿)
Climate change is an increasingly important issue. Floods, heatwaves, and other disasters continue to remind us that climate actions are needed. There is also a need for better planning for our cities and rural communities including infrastructures, public transport systems, housing, cleanliness and flood mitigation.
To form a committee in the Dewan means these issues could be addressed in a bipartisan manner and also to encourage wider public participation in shaping the future of Johor in these subjects.
𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗿-𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 (𝗝𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘂𝗮𝘀𝗮 𝗣𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝗲𝗿𝗷𝗮𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗮 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗿-𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗮)
Singapore matters to Johor’s economy and wellbeing in a big way, far more than to other states in Malaysia. Similarly, Singapore is heavily reliant on Johor for various resources that it lacks. Having a committee in the Dewan to examine issues relating to Johor-Singapore relationship would help formulate long-term bipartisan ideas and policies to ensure closer people-to-people exchanges, flow of goods and services, and economic opportunities between Johor and Singapore.
𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗥𝗲𝗷𝘂𝘃𝗲𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗙𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗺 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗘𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 (𝗝𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘂𝗮𝘀𝗮 𝗣𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗣𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗸𝗮𝘀𝗮𝗮𝗻 𝗙𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗺𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝘂𝗮𝘀𝗮 𝗡𝗲𝗴𝗲𝗿𝗶)
The Malaysian Federation needs a reset. The current constitutional arrangement concentrated too much power in the central government, at the expense of the states like Johor. It is the legacy of the previous one-party state dominated by an UMNO prime minister that had all the state chief ministers and menteris besar taking instructions from the PM. The time has changed.
Malaysia needs a federation that gives the Johor state government more power in health, economic development and education, just to name a few, and a higher share in income tax collection from Johor. When the Constitution was framed in 1957, tax sources from land were crucial whereas income tax was hardly featured then. But today, it is the reverse and income taxes form the largest part of federal revenue.
Sharing of income taxes with the state government is not a zero-sum game. The more economic development and the more collection means both federal and state benefit from a larger pie.
This is a huge topic and a very important one for the future of Johor, befitting serious bipartisan effort.
𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗘𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗺𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗪𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘀𝗮 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗿 (𝗝𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘂𝗮𝘀𝗮 𝗣𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗘𝗸𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗶 𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗷𝗮𝗵𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗮𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘀𝗮 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗿)
For the wellbeing of ordinary Johoreans and the future prosperity of the Johor economy, there is a need to build consensus across the political aisle and with the community to upgrade and reform our economy.
Issues such as creating better jobs with better pay, the cost of living crisis, youth unemployment, technological upgrade and innovation all deserve more attention and bipartisanship.
During my courtesy call to the Menteri Besar on 16 April, we discussed at length the importance of select committees. On 21 April, the Menteri Besar told me privately that the idea of bipartisan select committees is “on my radar”, and he had also told the media that he looked forward to setting up these committees.
Functioning thematic bipartisan committees will ensure elected representatives are well-versed in policy matters and develop policy focuses and fortes for themselves, which will improve the quality of public debates inside and outside of the Dewan.
Let’s move Johor forward with these key themes.