Johor Bahru

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"Johor Bahru is often thought of as Singapore's hinterland, similar to what Shenzhen is to Hong Kong." — Global Oneness [1]

The Johor-Singapore Causeway, with Johor Bahru in the background.
Transformasi Johor Bahru
(Uploaded by Lelong Bank on 17 July 2013)

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Location of Johor Bahru

Visit to Johor Baru, Malaysia
(Uploaded by vincentyeo88 on 19 January 2009)

Johor Bahru (JB) is the state capital of Johor and the southernmost city of mainland Asia. 'Johor' means "jewel" and 'Bahru' means "new" in the Malay language.

Separated from Singapore by the Straits of Johor (also known as the 'Tebrau Strait'), Metropolitan Johor Bahru (now known as Iskandar Malaysia) occupies a total area of 220 sq km (85 sq mi),[2] almost one-third the total size of Singapore.

2.   Demography: With a population of more than 1.33 million in the city, Johor Bahru is the 2nd largest urban area in the country, after the national capital, Kuala Lumpur, and its associated Klang Valley region. Its population consists of: [3]

  • 44.0% Malay;
  • 41.5% Chinese;
  • 9.1% Indian; and
  • 5.4% of other minorities.

Teochew was the lingua franca of the Chinese community in Johor Bahru until the 1970s, with a large proportion of the community tracing their ancestry back to Chaozhou in China. Rapid economic development in Singapore since then has brought many Chinese from other parts of Peninsular Malaysia to settle in Johor. As these Chinese are generally from other dialect groups, Mandarin has since replaced Teochew as the lingua franca for intra-communication within the Chinese community.

Lured by the availability of jobs in the manufacturing and service sector, both in Johor Bahru and Singapore, the Indian community is one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the city. As with most Indians in Malaysia, a large proportion of the community are Tamil, tracing their ancestry back to southern India.

The total population of the Singapore-Johor Bahru conurbation is 7 million, one of the highest in Southeast Asia.[4] Johor Bahru is also part of the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle (IMS-GT), one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Its population growth rate is also among the highest in Southeast Asia.

3.   Economy: Johor Bahru is often thought of as Singapore's hinterland, similar to what Shenzhen is to Hong Kong. It is an important industrial, tourism, and commercial hub for southern Malaysia and one of the 3 main urban centres in Peninsular Malaysia (besides Kuala Lumpur and Penang), apart from being one of the biggest industrial centres in the country. Johor Bahru's major industries include electronics, resource and petrochemical refinery and shipbuilding. The heavy industrial areas are Pasir Gudang to the east and Tanjung Langsat to the west of the metropolitan area. Light-to-medium industrial areas, on the other hand, are mainly located north and north-west of the metropolitan area in Tebrau, Tampoi, Senai, Skudai, and Kulai.

It is estimated that 300,000 residents in Johor Bahru work in Singapore and as many as 150,000 commute daily to work in Singapore. The daily severe traffic jams at the Woodlands and Tuas Immigration Checkpoints reflects the sheer volume of people working in the republic as well as the large number of Singaporeans entering Johor Bahru. The large number of residents in Johor Bahru work in Singapore because of the higher salaries and also because of the stronger Singapore Dollar (roughly S$1.00 = RM2.40 as of 2011). For the same reason, many Singaporeans own property, businesses, and factories in Johor Bahru,[5][6] as well as visit Johor Bahru for shopping, entertainment and dining. As such, Johor Bahru's retail scene is highly developed for a city of its size. Being within easy reach from Singapore, Johor Bahru also receives half of the country's annual 22.5 million foreign tourists via its bridges and road links to Singapore.

4.   Infrastructure of Johor Bahru:

Road infrastructure of Johor Bahru   (click image for larger view)
City of Johor Bahru  (Video credit: Uploaded by kuanbt on 24 January 2008)
  • Internal network: Two major highways link the Johor Bahru Central Business District (CBD) (Daerah Sentral Johor Bahru) to the outlying suburbs:
  1. the Tebrau Highway, linking the city to the north-east; and
  2. the Tun Abdul Razak (TAR) Highway/Senai-Skudai Highway, linking it to the north-west.
Pasir Gudang Highway and the connecting Johor Bahru Parkway crosses Tebrau Highway and TAR Highway about midway and serves as the middle ring road of the metropolitan area.[7] The Johor Bahru Inner Ring Road, which connects with Sultan Iskandar customs complex, helps in controlling the traffic in and around the CBD.[8]
  • Intercity network: Access to the national expressway system is possible via the North-South Expressway, with entry-exit points located strategically within the metropolitan area. The causeway links the city to the Singapore with a six-lane road and a railway line. The Tuas Second Link Expressway, located west of the metropolitan area, was constructed in 1997 to help alleviate the congested causeway. It is linked directly to the Johor Bahru Parkway and the North-South Expressway.
  • Airport and seaports: Johor Bahru is well-connected to regional and international centres:
  • The Senai International Airport, located north-west of the metropolitan area, serves regional and national airlines. It is one of the hubs of AirAsia.
  • The Port of Tanjung Pelepas to the west of the metropolitan area in Nusajaya currently ranks as Malaysia's biggest transshipment hub.
  • Johor Port, otherwise known as the Pasir Gudang Port, is located on the eastern side of the metropolitan area in the industrial area of Pasir Gudang. It is the country's most important commodity and mineral resources seaports as Johor is home to a large number of major commercial plantations and Pasir Gudang is home to majority of Malaysia resources refineries.[9]
  • In addition, Singapore's world-renowned seaports and airport also caters to Johor Bahru's transportation and logistics need, as they are both less than an hour's drive from the city.
  • Radio stations: Johor Bahru is also home to 3 radio stations:
  1. Best 104 is the country's first private radio station;
  2. Johor FM is a government-owned regional station; and
  3. FM Stereo Johor Bahru is another government-owned station, covering only the city.

Sultan Ibrahim Building, the state secretariat's office at Bukit Timbalan in Johor Bahru

5.   Government of Johor Bahru: The Johor Bahru metropolitan area runs across several districts and is jointly managed by the following local councils:

  1. Johor Bahru District:
  2. Pasir Gudang Municipal Council (Majlis Perbandaran Pasir Gudang)
  3. Pontian District: District Council of Pontian (Majlis Daerah Pontian)
  4. Kota Tinggi District: District Council of Kota Tinggi (Majlis Daerah Kota Tinggi).

6.   Recent development and future plans: A number of urban development projects in the Johor Bahru city centre, with the aim of making it more pedestrian-friendly, has been completed. Among these projects are:

Under the Iskandar Malaysia masterplan, Johor Bahru is expected to grow to a large urban area of over 3 million residents by 2025, second in Malaysia only to the Klang Valley. The growth is also expected to spill over into the neighbouring districts of Pontian and Kota Tinggi, creating an urban area that would be even larger than that envisaged in the masterplan, possibly over 5 times the size of Singapore.[5]

Among future plans in Johor Bahru are the construction of JB Monorail, using Maglev technology to link: [10]

Similar to the KL Monorail project where all the structures are elevated, the project will have 8 stations between Johor Central, located next to the causeway, and AEON Tebrau City near the Pandan Hospital. With tickets priced between RM1.50 and RM2.60, the monorail is expected to ferry some 98,000 passengers daily for the 13-minute ride between Johor Central and AEON Tebrau City.[11]

See also:

External links