RM241mil aid for Johoreans

JOHOR BARU: Johor has rolled out its third and largest economic stimulus package worth RM241mil to boost its pandemic management efforts and to provide financial relief to the people.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the Ihsan Johor 3.0 financial aid package, which involves 33 initiatives, was aimed at empowering the state’s management of the pandemic and strengthening social security.

A Johor Covid-19 advisory committee, headed by former Universiti Malaya Faculty of Medicine dean and Yale University adjunct associate professor Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, will be set up.

“This will help to strengthen our pandemic management efforts using science, data and technology and take on post Covid-19 challenges, ” Hasni said in a Facebook live announcement yesterday.

Hasni said RM75mil was allocated to improve the state’s pandemic management efforts with RM40mil to be used to purchase Covid-19 vaccines.

“The state government will work with KPJ Healthcare on this and the healthcare provider will also sell vaccines to those who need them. We will also provide 190, 000 Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kits to conduct targeted tests and enable three city councils here to purchase the test kits to benefit about 60, 000 people, ” he said.

The MB said RM20mil would go towards providing allowances and ensuring that the welfare of frontliners at the vaccination centres and roadblocks are taken care of.

“The status of the Malaysia-Singapore border closure and the state government’s development vision depend on the way we manage the Covid-19 cases.

“Through these initiatives, Johor will be able to test, trace and vaccinate better. And above all, we hope to recover faster, ” he said.

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, benefiting more than 1.5 million recipients.

Hasni said a total of RM167.33mil was allocated for the first Ihsan Johor economic stimulus package followed by the second financial package worth RM109.48mil.

He said the Ihsan Johor 3.0 economic package would channel RM126.86mil to benefit the people and human capital development across various industries, RM9.5mil for SMEs and traders, and RM1.74mil for the tourism industry.

Hasni said RM661, 000 derived from three months’ pay cut on the Mentri Besar and 10 state executive councillors, civil servants and contributions from various government-linked companies would be channelled to Johor’s disaster relief fund to fight the pandemic.

A special committee will also be formed to ensure that the Ihsan Johor 3.0 initiatives are implemented accordingly and to monitor the progress, he added.

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