Declared a city in 1994, Johor Bahru is a rapidly growing city. My wish list for
Johor Bahru in ten years' time is simple - a city that is improved and developed
based on the existing one. I think Johoreans do not need a 'megapolis' but
changes that benefit the ordinary man and woman in the street.
Firstly, priority must be given to better planned roads and drainage. Floods
occur every time there is a heavy downpour.
It has been flooding in Jalan Air Molek and Jalan Yahya Awal ever since I can
remember. Recently housing estates like Taman Johor Jaya were also flooded. In
fact, before the city grows more organically, there should be an improvement of
the present infrastructure.
Secondly, we need a garden city. We should 'green'
the city. There are some parts of Johor Bahru that are lined with the trumpet
flower trees. They are beautiful when the flowers bloom. This is a fine example
that should be replicated elsewhere. Local
species like the tembusu should be more widely planted. In fact many
flowering plants thrive in our climate. An example is the bougainvillea.
Otherwise we will really become an urban jungle - pavements and more pavements.
The present parks should also be improved upon. Set up public sports and
fitness grounds and facilities for the young and elderly. Outdoor exercise
equipment should be put up in all these parks for the senior citizens to
exercise and enjoy the fresh air.
In addition, there should be better public transport. I think there are
enough cars on the roads. In fact, cars should be banned from the city centre
itself. Of course then, there should be more public buses that provide regular
and efficient service. There should also be underground train services that link
the people from one part of the city to the other. This will cut the massive
traffic jams that plague Johor Bahru. Furthermore, there should be pedestrian
walkways and bicycle lanes all over the city. This is one way to save the
To ensure that Johor Bahru moves with the other major cities in Malaysia, we
should build more facilities for the people. An example is libraries. The latest
census figures indicate that Johor Bahru is
fast becoming Malaysias second largest city, with a population of over one
million. How many good libraries are there in Johor Bahru? There should be a
library in every large residential area. Let the children, even the toddlers,
make the library their second home. There is also urgent need to have public
health centers. Public health care supported by state-of-the-art equipment
should be one of the first priorities of the city. What is available now is too
Let's begin the work of 'remaking' Johor Bahru into a city where gracious
living is a reality now.