Supportive move


Hasni (front row, second from left) chairing the first Ijec meeting.

JOHOR BARU: Johor is seeking a RM1bil allocation from the Federal Government in its bid to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state, especially those involved in the manufacturing sector, get back on their feet after Covid-19.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state asking for the allocation was fair because the SMEs were one of the biggest contributors to Johor and the country’s economy.

“The SMEs in the manufacturing sector have been hit hard by the pandemic. I will meet with Finance Ministry to discuss the request for the allocation.

“During discussions with the SMEs, they have highlighted problems they faced and the state government will help them, ” he said after chairing the first Ibrahim Johor Economic Council (Ijec) meeting in Puteri Harbour here.

Ijec is one of the seven initiatives introduced by Johor government as part of its economic recovery plan post Covid-19 pandemic.

Hasni had said strong economic and administrative resilience would help the state face the impact of the virus.

The other initiatives are Johor Digital Masterplan, Singapore-Johor-Riau Growth Triangle (SIJO-Kepri), Johor Investment Company (Jico), new economic line, Johor Food Bank and Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030.

Ijec’s role is to gather experts to provide short and long-term solutions for the people and the state, such as creating new employment opportunities and determining the best way to take advantage of opportunities arising from the US-China trade war.

Members of Ijec include former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Johor state secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani, Khazanah Nasional Berhad managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan and Malaysian Institute of Economic Research chairman Tan Sri Dr Kamal Salih.

The others are Petronas chief executive officer and executive vice-president Datuk Md Ariff Mahmood, JCorp president and chief executive officer Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, Eco World Development Group executive chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Bank Rakyat chief executive officer Datuk Rosman Mohamed, Bait Al Amanah founder and director Dr Abdul Razak Ahmad and state Financial Officer Datuk A. Rahim Nin.

On the Ijec meeting, Hasni said economic matters and the recovery process were discussed.

“We discussed stimulus packages and brainstormed ideas to ensure the state’s economy remained competitive, ” he said.

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