Growing Iskandar Malaysia elicits mixed feelings in Johor

Residents keen on job prospects but wary over losing way of life

The Iskandar Malaysia region will double its size to encompass Kota Tinggi, Pontian and parts of Kluang. While some are hopeful this will mean a better economy, others express concern that the Forest City mega project is turning into a "mini China".
Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in Johor's rapidly expanding Iskandar Malaysia development zone. ST PHOTOS: ARLINA ARSHAD
Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in Johor's rapidly expanding Iskandar Malaysia development zone. ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD

On the south-eastern tip of Johor, two hours' away by bum boat from Changi in Singapore, a small fishing village has been struggling to cope with encroaching development and an influx of foreign workers.

Many villagers have relocated, almost turning Tanjung Pengelih, in Pengerang district, into a ghost town dotted with empty wooden houses on stilts, derelict boats and a few odd warungs (Malay food stalls) and sundry shops.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 26, 2019, with the headline 'Growing Iskandar Malaysia elicits mixed feelings in Johor'. Print Edition | Subscribe