JOHOR BARU: The state government is planning to re-introduce a touch-point programme called Program Titik Sentuhan Rakyat (PTSR) to address the high cost of living.
The programme involves selling daily necessities to the public at a discounted price.
“The high cost of living has been discussed at state meetings and reintroducing PTSR is being considered as a way to help those in the low-income group,” said Johor unity, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman Dr Chong Fat Full.
“The programme was previously under the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) but we need the help of all state executive councillors because it also involves other portfolios such as agriculture and welfare.”
He said the matter was currently still under discussion as it involved many government agencies as well.
He added that the issue of high cost of living would also be addressed by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad at the state Budget 2021 that would be tabled in November.
PTSR was introduced in September 2013 by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to help those in the lower-income group venture into entrepreneurship and other skills to boost their income.
It was also aimed at helping low-income families by providing food aid to the needy and through programmes that help the public cope with the high cost of living.
The programme ended in 2018 following the change in government after the 14th general election.
Dr Chong said besides trade and consumer affairs, the state would also focus on unity programmes with help from the National Unity Ministry.
“Before this, the Unity Department was under the Prime Minister’s Office but now it has its own ministry.
“The focus for next year is also the seven initiatives (Tujuh Ikhtiar Makmur Johor) that was introduced earlier to help the state economy recover post-Covid-19,” he added.
The seven initiatives are the establishment of Ibrahim Johor Economic Council (IJEC), Johor Digital Masterplan, Singapore-Johor-Riau Growth Triangle Development (SIJO-Kepri), Johor Investment Company (JICO) in Singapore, the New Economic Alignment, Johor Food Bank and the Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030.
On another matter, Dr Chong said he was currently making working visits to places of worship across the state to better understand their needs and issues.
“This is necessary to learn about the cultures and the people’s background in Johor and look into how the state government can be more proactive in helping the people,” he said.