6 Main Issues That Must Be Addressed By The BN/PN Government for The Johor State General Election
After a week of campaigning in Johor, feedback from voters revolve around 6 main people-centric issues that the BN/PN government have failed to address. The people want price stability more than the so-called political stability touted by BN.
One, inflation and rising prices of food, basic commodities, materials and business costs that will only be exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine with oil rising to more than USD 115 per barrel. To check rising prices, DAP has proposed a Price Stabilisation Fund with an initial seed fund of RM3 billion derived from the Prosperity Tax or windfall tax introduced this year. Unfortunately, neither BN nor PN has responded to this suggested solution.
Two, an abolition of the tax imposed this year on companies bringing back money from profits earned in Singapore and overseas countries. It is only a matter of time before a similar tax is imposed on individuals bringing back their pay or income from Singapore. There cannot be one country, two systems, whereby tax is imposed on companies but not individuals. Voters are worried that Malaysian workers in Singapore will be imposed tax after the 15th general election when bringing their income back to Johor.
Three, with prices rising but salaries not rising, many cannot make ends meet. The government should allow the public to withdraw their EPF contributions if not by RM10,000, then at least RM5,000 to allow them to meet their financial obligations.
Four, postpone the increase in electricity tariffs by up to 20% for 1.6 million business and industrial users beginning February to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. Five, reopen borders immediately, especially with Singapore, to allow a quick economic recovery to save both lives and livelihoods when so many businesses in Johor are dependent on Singapore.
Six, withdraw the proposed amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 that would be passed in Parliament after polling day on 12 March to increase the compound fines of individuals from RM1,000 to RM10,000 and for companies to RM1 million, and on conviction in court the penalties will be increased to RM100,000 fine for individuals and RM2 million for companies. The government should take full responsibility for their failure to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and not pin the blame on the people by increasing penalties and compound fines.
Lim Guan Eng