It is finally official: the Johor Bahru terminal for the rapid transit system (RTS) link between Johor Bahru and Singapore will be in JB’s Bukit Chagar area: see http://www.nst.com.my/node/35315
Bukit Chagar is located behind the main train station ‘JB Sentral’. The plot of land is now mainly empty after dereliction of low cost flats which were built there in the 1980s. These apartment blocks were an eyesore for JB’s city centre and their demolition in 2008 was one of the first steps towards JB’s regeneration.
There is an interesting blog post by Blogger ‘oldstock’ who took pictures before and after demolition of the apartment blocks: http://oldstock.blogspot.com/2008/07/dust-settles-on-bukit-chagar-flats.html
The Bukit Chagar flats were also featured in an indie movie called ‘Punggok Rindukan Bulan’. The title of the movie is a Malay proverb ‘the owl longs for the moon / is unhappy in the absence of the moon’, meaning an ‘unfulfilled longing’. In the movie it is the longing of a father and a son who cope with the absence of a key female figure in their lives. One is tempted to draw a comparison and to say that there is now hope that the new purpose of the Bukit Chagar area will fulfill the longing of many Johoreans to be better connected to Singapore where many of them work. A longing fulfilled, rasa rindu tertunai.
More info about the movie Punggok Rindukan Bulan:
and pictures from the movie: http://s276.photobucket.com/user/sinemazharr/library/Punggok%20Rindukan%20Bulan?sort=3&page=1
After nearly a year of negative news and political turmoil, hot and cold showers in the form of increase in toll fees on both sides, Singapore vehicle entry fee increase, disputes over reclamation works, oversupply of condos, not enough low and medium cost housing, unclear news and rumours about restrictions to foreign ownership (which turned out to be wrong) and many more - after all these mainly negative sentiments, positive news are now coming out again: the decision on the JB terminal, the progress of the HSR link between KL and Singapore, the plan to have hourly trains from JB to Singapore, some big investments (and with it new jobs) by firms like Bostik, the development of the huge oil & gas area in Pengerang, the opening of Komtar/JBCC with Marks & Spencer and also: the planned gazetting of Kampung Sungai Melayu as a heritage village - all positive news. Let’s hope they keep coming.