THE ANUS OF ASIA
Geographically Jay Bee sits on the southernmost tip of mainland Asia, so literally it is the bowel of Asia, hence the title. What is so great about Jay Bee? All hue and cry over what? Nothing if you ask me. My heart cries out for the Malaysians who have to travel daily to Singapore to earn a living daily. About 400,000 Malaysians work in Singapore and of these 250,000 commute daily by car, motorbikes, bus and trains from Jay Bee to Singapore. The traffic on the causeway and the human exodus at both immigration checkpoints is enough to turn anyone off. 60 years on after Merdeka the city is in dire need of a monorail, LRT or Rapid JB bus service and short of many much needed expressways. There is no MRT service from JB across the causeway to Singapore except for a KTM shuttle service with 14 outgoing trips from Jay Bee and 12 incoming. I cannot imagine that a water span of a little over 1 kilometre can’t be linked by the latest public transport available when the Japanese and Chinese can build bridges over open seas and the Brits a tunnel over the Channel! This is definitely a failure on the part on the Johor state government.
Instead of building much needed public infrastructure, all one sees are blocks and blocks of condominiums. Even this economic activity doesn’t create much needed jobs for Johoreans as lock stock and barrel all comes from mainland China. So what economic development are we talking about here? Jay Bee, a supposedly seaside city but you can’t even see the sea any longer, because these condos have blocked out the seafront. The famous LIDO beach has all but disappeared! Parking is another problem. Not enough land is allocated for parking and as a result, Jay Bee has earned the title of “Park As You Like City”, at least that’s how I see it! The streets in the city centre and the CDB are a mess with cars parked on both sides of streets.
In so far as public amenities are concerned, the Rakyat have been further short changed all in the name of so called economic development. The only hockey stadium in the city centre where school kids used to play has been taken away to make way for condos. The Istana Besar grounds, a popular jogging and picnic spot with locals which was open to the public is now out of bounds. It was supposed to be transformed into a Botanical Gardens but 6 years on, although work is completed it still has yet to open its doors to the public. But then again that might not as the powers in being may see it as their private property. Many parts of the city do not have a decent bus service. Many, especially the elderly and school kids need a bus service to get them about, but unfortunately that is not the case to be. The city doesn’t even have a proper city bus terminal, can you beat that? If the Datuk Bandar and MB think that the JB Sentral bus terminal is a city bus terminal they must be out of their mind. It’s not a city bus terminal, it’s a traffic quagmire!
And then you have the infamous Sungai Segget cutting through the city centre. Millions were spend trying to mitigate its flooding and also landscaping its surrounding. Nothing that one can be proud of by what it looks today except that the widened street has encouraged more rampant illegal parking on its sides. Not forgetting to mention the daily useless Pasar Karat which is actually a pasar malam in disguise. I can’t believe a busy part of the city is closed to traffic daily from 6 PM daily just to make make way for this shithole! A far cry from the likes of flea markets in St Kilda or Fitzroy! What is the MB, Datuk Bandar and Datuk Shahrir Samad trying to prove?
Akhir kata, saya ingin menyarankan kepada MB, Datuk Bandar dan MP Jay Bee agar jangan memperlekehkan warga Jay Bee dengan sandiwara tuan tuan. Jangan sampai orang Jay Bee naik muak dengan kamu dan mempermainkan kamu pula dalam PRU akan datang.
And for the powers in being don’t take the Rakyat for granted as they too have eyes and see what is happening to their city. The winds of change are blowing mind you, lest all of you be blown away in its path! Enough said.
author : a concerned pensioner