The Johor government has a big aspiration to make the state as the new economic powerhouse in Malaysia. According to its Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, this goal has become part of the long-term development for Johor.
He stated that several mega-infrastructure projects such as the Rapid Transit System (RTS), Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking system, Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HRS), as well as Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project would set Johor above others when the constructions are completed.
In his speech before officiating SMK Dato’ Penggawa Timur’s 44th Parent-Teacher Association meeting on Sunday (Jan 21), Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled said that these mega projects, along with other developments taking place in Johor, are expected to generate up to 250,000 employment opportunities in the state. At the event, he also darned certain parties for questioning the state government’s efforts in attracting foreign investments.
“Without these investments, the state government cannot develop Johor’s economy. We can see how vibrant the developments here are,” he said.
Mr Nordin added that unlike the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), the opposition party does not have any concrete plans for the state of Johor. He stated that the government has been proactive in addressing the issue of high living costs in the state, especially in urban areas. Among the concrete move taken were building affordable homes and other helpful initiatives. About 27 percent affordable homes in Johor have been built so far, with a price claimed to be the cheapest in Malaysia, between RM40,000 and RM150,000.
It was the responsibility of the BN-led state government to ensure that the people are able to benefit from continuous development in Johor, said Menteri Besar. The aspiration is to make Johor a developed state while its people can enjoy prosperous lives, Straits Times reports.
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The Johor Mentri Besar said on Saturday (Jan 20) that the bilateral agreement signed by Malaysia and Singapore last week to finalise the implementation of the RTS project will play an important role in boosting cross-border economy. He stated that this economic phenomenon would benefit not only Johor residents, but also those from other surrounding states who intend to seek employment in Singapore for higher wages.
On the other hand, seeing from Singapore’s side, its citizens might use the new infrastructure to come to Johor for shopping or other recreational purposes, and thus boosting the economy.
“Cross-border economy is certain to thrive between countries located in close proximity to each other. Perhaps what is happening in Johor Bahru and Singapore now, can serve as an insight to the relevant parties on managing the cross-border economy of Kedah-Thailand,” he said after visiting the Pasir Gudang Urban Transformation Centre on Saturday.
On Tuesday (Jan 16), Malaysia and Singapore have signed the agreement for the RTS project, at the eighth annual retreat between leaders of both countries. The planned RTS will connect Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru and the planned Woodlands North MRT station, which is part of the upcoming Thomson-East Coast (TEL) Line in Singapore.
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