ISKANDAR PUTERI, Dec 6 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has agreed to issue a RM30 million special grant to ease the burden of vulnerable groups in the state affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was announced by Menteri Besar Johor Datuk Hasni Mohammad when winding up the debate on the Johor Budget 2021 at the state assembly sitting here today.
“Honorable Speaker, this morning I am pleased to inform that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has agreed to issue a special grant amounting to RM30 million to ease the burden of vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19 in Johor. Thank you, Honorable Prime Minister, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Hasni announced that all 56 Johor state assemblymen will each receive an additional allocation of RM50,000 on a one-off basis.
He said the allocation was given after the Johor Government realised that issues related to COVID-19 were becoming more serious.
“In this context, no one deserves to claim themselves as ‘heroes’ or ‘heroes’ in empowering the democratic system.
“I think that whoever becomes the government, it is their duty to strengthen democracy and always be guided by its ideals,” he said.
On the proposal to have assemblymen’s allowances cut and channelled to the Johor Disaster Fund, Hasni felt that the Johor Government should be more realistic and consider the long-term impact of decisions made.
He said it was not a matter of shirking responsibilities but rather learning from past examples, adding that he does not want the state leaders to be blamed later for any (wrong) decisions made.
“I appreciate the proposal presented. However, contributions for the State Disaster Fund should not be motivated to attract the people’s sympathy or end up as rhetorics alone.
“I hope the issue of salary deductions and allowances is not politicised. In my opinion, sincerity in donating or ‘berinfaq’ is better than being forced to donate. Let the right hand give, without being known by the left hand”, he said.
To date, RM32.3 million has been collected for the fund so far, he said.
He said of that total, RM28.8 million was spent on equipment for frontliners, basic food aid for those impacted by COVID-19, equipment at the quarantine centre and so on, while calling on all parties to continue to contribute to the fund.