The Johor government’s latest economic stimulus package has received the thumbs up from various groups, and is seen as “timely assistance” during this lockdown.
Johor Tourist Guides Association chairman Jimmy Leong Wie Kong said the one-off initiative for tourist guides, homestays, budget hotels and travel agencies based in the state was a reflection of the government’s commitment.
“We thank the state for looking after the welfare of the tourism industry here during these trying times.
“This initiative would not have materialised if there were no consultations between industry players and the state government, ” he said.
Leong also thanked Johor tourism, youth and sports committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi for continuously engaging with the industry.
Johor Indian Petty Traders and Small Business Association chairman D. Ravindran said the one-off incentive for canteen operators, barbers, budget hotels, small and medium enterprises as well as school van and bus drivers was among the initiatives that would benefit its members.
He also welcomed the assistance under e-Kasih, the RM200 vouchers for those in the B40 group and the Gerobok Makanan food aid programme.
“The rent exemption for those living at people’s housing projects and deferment of business licence fees until December are much appreciated too, ” he said.
Ravindran added that while he was grateful for the RM500 one-off initiative for some 10, 000 people who had lost their jobs, he believed that the actual number was much higher.
“We are of the opinion that the figure is over 10, 000 and the state should do what’s necessary to get more accurate statistics, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Johor Malay Non-Governmental Organisations Coalition Council president Zaini Atan said the economic stimulus package was timely, especially with the extension of the lockdown.
“We also welcome the state’s move to buy its own vaccines to expedite efforts to achieve herd immunity, ” he added.
Leong echoed his views, saying: “Johor is unique because of its proximity to Singapore and its economic interdependence with the island republic.
“So getting the population here vaccinated early is particularly important for the state.”
Last week, the Johor government unveiled its third economic stimulus package worth RM241mil as part of efforts to step up its Covid-19 pandemic management initiatives and provide financial relief to the people.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad had said that the Ihsan Johor 3.0 financial aid package with 33 initiatives, was aimed at empowering the state’s management of the pandemic and strengthening the social safety net.
Since the first movement control order in March last year, the state government has allocated a total of RM550.95mil through three economic stimulus packages, benefitting over 1.5 million recipients.