Rethink plans for Johor coastline

Rethink plans for Johor coastline

Property projects along the Johor coastline seem to be targeting the investment dollars of wealthy foreigners and Malaysians ("The future is in Johor, says Sultan"; March 19).

But while some Singaporeans and foreigners may choose to live in Johor and work in Singapore, the numbers are not likely to be significant.

Many of the properties are likely to become vacant second or third homes of transient "outsiders".

The Forest City development's claim that its reclamation efforts are far smaller than Singapore's nearby is a lame effort to justify its actions ("Forest City developers insist green issues tackled"; March 20).

The Republic is over 25 times smaller than Johor, and hosts 60 per cent more residents.

If the Johor coastline is as strategic to the state as the Johor Sultan stressed, would it not make more sense to leave the strait clear for sea trade at Malaysia's Tanjung Pelapas port as well as Singapore's upcoming maritime and logistics hub in Tuas?

The waterway also has the potential to be a world-class hub for water catchment, aquaculture and tourism. Borderless recreation, such as international rowing competitions, can be jointly organised by both sides.

I hope independent experts can be appointed to consider these suggestions, and above all, assess the impact the Forest City development has on marine ecology in the area.

Nothing can be more strategic than enhancing the long-term social compact and resource security of friendly neighbours, instead of depleting the shared body of water with mismanagement and short-sightedness in a more crowded world.

Toh Cheng Seong

This article was first published on April 1, 2015.
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