Selangor Journal
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during the Johor-level Madani Aidilfitri celebration at Padang Begonia, Angsana Johor Bahru Mall, Johor Bahru on April 18, 2024. — Picture via X/ANWAR IBRAHIM

Financial zones can help Johor surpass other states economically — Anwar

JOHOR BAHRU, April 18 — High-impact projects such as the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) and Special Financial Zone (SFZ) in Forest City can spur Johor’s economy to outpace that of other states in the next one to two years, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Both JS-SEZ and SFZ will ensure a more rapid growth (for Johor). They are still being formulated but will help in accelerating the economic growth,” he told reporters during the Johor-level Madani Aidilfitri celebration at Padang Begonia, Angsana Johor Bahru Mall, here today.

Also present were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin; Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz; Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi; Deputy Works Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan; and former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam.

Earlier in his speech, Anwar said Johor continues to drive growth and record among the best progress and development in Malaysia.

“We are establishing a special economic zone that can develop a close relationship with Singapore and we are setting up a special financial zone in Forest City. These indicate that Johor will record a very rapid growth,” he said.

He noted that Johor also has a low hardcore poverty level with fewer than 2,000 individuals, and this can be resolved in the short term.

In addition, other programmes such as flood mitigation are also prioritised to address problems that are faced by the people.

“We cannot just strive for big growth. Floods are also sizeable, so mitigation efforts must be given priority. I want the leaders and officials to monitor to ensure that the project is carried out swiftly so that the problem faced by the people is resolved,” he said.

Therefore, he said leaders in Johor must ensure the state administration is free from corruption and the people’s interest is safeguarded.

Meanwhile, Anwar said the development in any state should be in tandem with human development to ensure the people’s well-being.

“Do not focus (just) on buildings, industries and highways, while trivialising people.

“What is the meaning of development if we neglect the poorest people who lack opportunities, whether they are Malay, Chinese, Indian or Orang Asli. They are all Johoreans and must be given a place and afforded the utmost protection,” he added.

Some 5,000 people attended the celebration organised by the Defence Ministry together with the Johor state government.

Johor is the first of seven states to hold the Aidilfitri Madani 2024 celebration, which will be followed by Sabah (April 20), Melaka (April 22), Kelantan (May 2), Kedah (May 4), Penang (May 5) and Terengganu (May 9).

Former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam, who celebrates his 90th birthday today, was also honoured at today’s event.

— Bernama

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