Johor set to benefit from mega projects
JOHOR BARU, Dec 30 — Mega projects being implemented in southern peninsular Malaysia are set to bring economic progress to Johor over the next few years.
The High-Speed Rail (HSR) project is one of these. It will be a new benchmark for high technology public transportation between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
The HSR is set to reduce the land travel time between the two cities to 90 minutes. Travellers now have to endure an eight-hour journey by train or a four-hour trip by car or bus. Of course, flying is the better option but one has to consider the waiting time at the airports as well.
It is anticipated that via its seven stations in Malaysia and one in Singapore, the HSR project will bring benefits as well to the communities residing near these terminals in terms of opportunities in the socio-economic, business and education fields and also help raise their standard of living.
Progress has been smooth this year in the implementation of the HSR project, with the completion of the HSR alignment proposal for public inspection, the process of appointing the project delivery partner responsible for developing the project’s detailed design for infrastructure works including the stations, alignment structure, bridges, tunnels and causeways in Malaysia.
Another prominent mega project is Forest City, which has entered the second phase of development with the launching of the Forest City Golf Resort last month.
The Forest City Golf Resort comprises three international golf courses, a five-star hotel, apartments and villas, with the whole development project worth RM1.8 billion.
The second phase of Forest City involves an area of 10 sq km, which covers one-third of the whole project area, including the Forest City Golf Resort and the Industrialised Building System (IBS) Base.
The project, which will take 20 years to be completed, is expected to create 22,000 jobs for the local people and bring economic inflow in many sectors in the state.
Achievements aside, there was also sorrow in Johor in 2017.
Eight cyclists, aged between 13 and 17, died after being hit by a car on Feb 18, a few hours after the Chingay Festival, at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam near the Mahmoodiah Muslim cemetrey here. Eight other teenagers sustained injuries in the 3 am incident.
A car driven by a 22-year-old woman reportedly crashed into a group of 20 to 30 teenage cyclists believed to have been occupying the whole road.
The incident raised a national outcry as well as a debate on teenagers who allegedly tested their modified bicycles recklessly on busy roads in this city.
The numerous arrests and raids to curb the dangerous cycling activity did not stop the teenagers from carrying on with their stunts without any regard for the risks.
Johor Police deputy chief Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said that up to Oct 31, a total of 13 operations were conducted against the ‘basikal lajak’ bicycles that had been modified without proper specifications, and 91 of these machines were seized and 31 summonses issued.
The police operation also covered other districts besides the city, among them Kulai, Kluang, Segamat and Pontian.
Parents were also advised to monitor and exercise control over their children, and not let them wander in public areas without proper observation.
The parents had help in the form of a group of volunteers who called themselves ‘Happy Riders’ and took the initiative by gathering these teenagers and advising them on safe riding on the roads.
They also helped the teenagers to re-modify their bicycles to meet the safety specifications. — Bernama