Kota Iskandar assemblyman and Former Johor Housing, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman, Sr. Dzulkefly Ahmad in his press statement suggested the current state government to utilise a fund namely Johor State Heritage Trust Fund (TAWNJ) on top of the RM3.068 Billion cash reserve to aid the people who were affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
He mentions specifically the small traders, hawkers, daily wage earners, rubber tappers and farmers, the group of people that do not have employers and has no EPF nor SOCSO hence making them unable to benefit from ‘Inisiatif Ihsan Johor’ incentives nor the RM600 provision that were announced by the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 23rd March, 2020.
TAWNJ, established in the 1990s, has an amount of RM300 million funds as of date courtesy of the compensation of construction of the Linggui Dam built in 1988 and completed in 1993 for the Public Utilities Board of Singapore (PUB) and the fund is restricted only to be used in relation to water and for any emergency. According to the 2018 Auditor General of Malaysia’s Report, TAWNJ has an amount of RM680.37 million and has a strategic investment stake of 30% in BSNC Corporation Bhd and 17.24% share in Al-Salam Reit.
He added that 3.6 million Johor residents are currently facing dire difficulty to survive and it is appropriate that the Johor government provides sufficient aid to people even if it means the need to use the Cash Reserve or TAWNJ citing states such as Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang have provided sufficient provisions for their residents.