Border opening and rising prices matter to Johor voters
Updated: Apr 6
* This article is originally published on Free Malaysia Today dated 9 February 2022.
PETALING JAYA: The question of when the Johor-Singapore border will be fully opened is among the top issues of concern to voters in the Johor elections, according to a political analyst.
Shahrill Sabarudin, a Senior Fellow of Bait Al Amanah who is doing research on Johor politics, said voters were interested to know what plans were being made to ensure the full opening of the border.
"The recent VTL (vaccinated travel lane) was met with a lot of anticipation and hope that the border will be fully opened beyond the current limited use of buses and flights, only to be cut short due to the risk of an Omicron surge," he told FMT.
He said business people and the public were excited and ready to go back to the norm Johor once enjoyed, only to return to the Covid-19 status quo.
“For the many businesses and spouses and workers who depend on the border opening, this will be something that needs to be thoroughly addressed in the state elections,” he said.
Shahrill said another major influence on voter sentiment was how the contending parties could guarantee improvements in people’s livelihood.
“It is what keeps everyone up at night, wondering how to survive tomorrow and what the future looks like for them,” he said.
Specifically, he said, the issues were the current hike in food prices and whether the minimum wage would be raised.