JB city council plans iconic move

JOHOR BARU - The iconic Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim located at the heart of town here will be abuzz with activity again as the Johor Baru City Council plans to shift some of its operations there soon.

Johor Baru Mayor Ismail Karim said plans had been in the pipeline since June last year and, now, final arrangements were being made for the shift.

"The move was a joint idea between Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin and myself. We had two meetings with the Johor Ruler on it," he said after the full city council meeting here yesterday.

Ismail said one more meeting with the Sultan would be held next month to obtain final approval.

"The plan is to house several council offices, including the landscape department, licensing department, part of the health department and a one-stop centre,'' he added.

He said plans were also in place to build a cafe at the top floor of the building in Bukit Timbalan to provide a bird's eye view of the city.

"There are also plans to set up a council gallery and another gallery featuring the Johor Sultan which will include pictures and photographs from the annual Kembara Mahkota Johor," he said.

Ismail said the existing city council building would still house the main offices but his personal office would be moved to Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim.

The mayor also said the shift would require major renovations inside but stressed that the external fa├žade of the building would be preserved.

The Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim, built in 1940, was used by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942 as a fortress and command centre to spy on British activities in Singapore.