Johor-Singapore water taxi idea being floated

 Property development within the eastern side of Iskandar Malaysia is likely to see a boost with a proposal by the state government to set up a water taxi service between Johor and Singapore.

The suggested water taxi, a public transportation between Kong Kong and the Changi Ferry Terminal in Singapore, would likely stimulate migration to the eastern part of Johor, said Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

"We are still in the midst of carrying out a feasibility study on the proposal, which has also been forwarded to the Federal Government.

"The water taxi is expected to save more than half the current travel time to the republic from the Pasir Gudang area," he said during the launch of Mah Sing Group's Meridin East Township, near Kong Kong here yesterday.

Currently, it takes up to two hours to travel between Pasir Gudang and Singapore via the Causeway, while the estimated travel time for the water taxi is only 20 minutes per trip.

Mohamed Khaled hailed Mah Sing's RM5 billion (S$1.67 billion) Meridin East mixed development project, which would see the construction of affordable houses, commercial lots, a wide range of amenities along with lush greenery.

He said sustainability needed to be at the heart of development and planning of Johor, adding land use and transportation plans must address environmental protection and waste reduction.

Other issues that need to be addressed include reducing carbon footprints, preserving habitats, restoring biodiversity and stewarding urban waters while conserving it.

"Land use and transportation planning should also support a robust city economy, which allows local businesses and sustainable manufacturing activities to thrive in," he said.

Mah Sing Group chairman Tan Sri Yaacob Mat Zain said the project, covering a 531.5ha land near Kong Kong, was divided into five phases for the next 12 to 15 years.

"The gated and guarded property will also feature a 50m-long Mulberry Lake besides 44.51ha of reserve land for recreational purposes and thousands of native trees to be planted within the area.

"Another important component in our development of the road infrastructure is easier access to the Senai-Desaru Expressway connecting to Kong Kong from Tanjung Langsat and the widening of Jalan Kong Kong," he added.

Mah Sing has launched phase two of its Greenway project with prices starting from RM357,000 for a built-up area of between 1,595sq ft and 1,648sq ft; while its Eden neighbourhood starts from RM453,000 for 2,033sq ft double-storey homes.