Recent updates: iskandar, Johor. Ferry, RTS and flights.

Connectivity is key to the economy and the economy will then support property market yeah. Especially for a city next to Singapore. Especially to attract tourists from other countries. Some latest happenings in JB.
Ferry services across the Tebrau Straits to boost connectivity with Singapore? Johor’s International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Puah today said ferry service and water taxi are among the new modes of sea connectivity being planned. At a press conference at the state’s administrative centre, he said, “We are exploring new ways as the Causeway and Second Link are already in their maximum capacity,” he said at a press conference at the state’s administrative centre here. Any new facilities must be private initiatives as the government has its economic constraint. The government will play a facilitator role in bringing up these proposals from the private sector. Pasir Gudang and Changi ferry jetty are the proposed locations of ferry service. We need study all the proposals before submitting them to the federal government.” Here’s the article in (Personally, I think ferry services would be good to supplement holiday periods. However, I do think that once RTS is in place, the ferry services may become a secondary choice unless there are some other reasons to take the ferry. For example,watching the dugongs or even to some small islands for a retreat.) 
Johor Bahru – Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) would require more land than initially planned. Johor’s new Menteri Besar Osman Sapian said, “We need a bigger area for the RTS project, so the number of land owners affected has also increased.” He also shared that some owners of land plots marked for acquisition had demanded higher compensation. (HMMMM…) RTS is scheduled to start by end-2024 and will be a 4km line connecting the Bukit Chagar station in Johor Baru to Woodlands North. Construction of the link is expected to begin next year. Osman also said that based on current market value, more than RM300 million (S$101.5 million) would need to be paid to land owners in the Kim Teng Park residential area. The 10ha area has 1,500 residents and 300 homes, comprising single-storey terrace houses, single and double-storey semi-detached houses and bungalows. Full article in StraitsTimes here.  (I think it’s important that the compensation be already FINALISED. Frankly, there’s no point in doing this only at the last when the route has even been decided. It’s also encouraged to say that ‘some owners’ because if some owners want higher compensation, then what about ‘all other owners?’
Johoreans could no longer fly to Macau directly from Johor. Actually, that’s not the real issue. The main issue is that people from Macau could no longer fly into JB directly. Perhaps they would need to fly into Singapore first and then only visit JB after that. The date that AirAsia will stop the flights would be 1st August 2018. Johor State Women Development and Tourism Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said, “This morning I had a discussion with AirAsia Group Chief Executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, and he clarified that the main reason for stopping the service was that it was not generating revenue for the company.” She views this decision with great concern as it will affect the development of Johor’s tourism industry. She stressed that the State government will continue to strengthen its cooperation with AirAsia and interested parties in order to promote Johor’s tourism industry. (It’s extremely important for the tourism ministry to understand what would be the main attractions for people from Macau or even Hong Kong because if there are nothing special that JB has to offer versus Singapore, then it’s going to be tough to help AirAsia convince people to fly in. Once this has been identified or even created, it will guide AirAsia’s decision better.) Full article in here.
Happy following!
written on 21 June 2018
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