A good example of how the state assembly can play an effective role in prioritising the people’s interest regardless of party politics.
Johor Pakatan Harapan has revealed that it had prior to the state assembly sitting today, met with state Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad on democratic reforms which he has agreed to fulfil.
The move will likely avert Hasni’s ouster as the menteri besar amid speculations that Bersatu may undermine Umno leadership as retaliation for Umno’s internal coup in Perak which ousted Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu as the state menteri besar.
“Johor opposition leader Aminolhuda Hassan, together with Johor Harapan leaders, had before this met with Hasni.
“A number of matters intended to strengthen democracy and show respect to voters, including in opposition constituencies, were discussed,” Johor Harapan leaders said in a joint statement.
The statement was inked by Aminolhuda, who is also the Johor Amanah chief, as well as Johor PKR deputy chairperson Jimmy Puah and Johor DAP secretary Tan Hong Pin.
Apart from requesting for equal allocation between government and opposition representatives, the Harapan leaders also requested for the formation of a select committee in the Johor state assembly.
They asked for all assemblyperson, including opposition ones, to be involved in the district development action committee meetings (Jawatankuasa Tindakan Pembangunan Daerah) which oversee the implementation of development efforts.
“The menteri besar has responded. As was already informed during his budget speech, RM150,000 will be allocated to every opposition assemblypersons with an additional RM50,000 one-off announced during his winding-up speech today.
“With regard to the formation of a selection committee and the involvement of opposition assemblyperson in the district development action committee meetings, the menteri besar said he had no objections in proceeding for further action.
“This is historic for democracy in Johor. Johor has become a good example of how the state assembly can play an effective role in prioritising the people’s interest regardless of party politics,” they said.
In contrast, they said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also a member of the Johor state assembly, was not committed to democratic reforms.
“The federal government led by Muhyiddin, who is also the Gambir assemblyperson, has not acted in the same way the Johor government has in strengthening democratic institutions that are inclusive,” they said.
However, the Harapan leaders expressed disappointment that a motion to exempt assessment tax on low-cost homes for 2021 was not approved by the Johor assembly.
The negotiation between Johor Harapan and Hasni, who is from Umno, came amid speculation that Umno is considering political cooperation with Harapan in Perak.
Umno, after ousting Bersatu’s Faizal as the Perak menteri besar, is seeking to form the new state government.
Even though Umno has 25 assemblypersons which makes it the largest party in the Perak state assembly, it is still five seats short of a majority.
Umno’s partners under the previous government – PAS and Bersatu – have yet to throw its support behind Umno as they remain angered by Faizal’s ouster.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has indicated that Umno is open to working with parties in Harapan if the impasse continued. – Malaysiakini