ISKANDAR PUTERI (Nov 14): A total of RM4.6 billion has been allocated for 434 development projects, including 79 new projects, in Johor in the Budget 2022, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.
He said the close relationship between the federal and state governments would help expedite the planning of the development projects implemented under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
“Most of these projects are continuation projects, projects that already exist (and now) wants to continue including building schools, roads and double-tracking.
“I am responsible for development projects and Johor is an important state because it is the main gateway (in the south of peninsular),” he told reporters after attending the Post-12MP Roadshow Session Meeting in Kota Iskandar here on Sunday (Nov 14).
Commenting on the meeting, he said Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad has raised the issue on the number of new projects in the state which he deemed to be small in number as compared to continuation projects.
“We clarified that this is related to the financial constraints due to Covid-19 but when the country’s financial position improves after this, the government will consider the state government’s application,” he said.
He said among the development projects in the state include the Gemas Electric Double Track to Johor Bahru, the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link), a new 36-classroom school at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Putra 2, Kulai, the Ulu Tiram People’s Housing Programme and Pasir Gudang Hospital.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Mustapa said Johor is among major states that contributed to gross domestic product (GDP) with an annual average of 3.1% above the national average of 2.7% per year in the 2016 to 2020 period.
“This makes Johor one of the main contributors to the national economy apart from Selangor, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak.
“Johor’s economic growth was led by the services sector, particularly in the wholesale and retail trade sub-sector, food and drinks, accommodation followed by the manufacturing sector particularly in electrical, electronic and optical products
He said Johor’s inclusion in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) regional cooperation would have a greater impact on the state’s economy.
Besides that, he said Johor’s absolute poverty rate of 3.9% is lower than the national absolute poverty rate of 5.6%, based on the Household Income Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey (HIES BA) 2019.