The list of problems and corruption cases plaguing the state as a result of one-party dominance has cost the state and federal governments millions, if not billions of ringgit. A glimpse of some of the white elephant projects and mismanagement by BN shows why a change of government is the only option for the informed Johor folks.
Crooked Bridge and Iskandar CIQ
- Opened in 2007, the customs and the JB Sentral complex has more than 2.5 million sq feet of space, several times the size of its Singapore Woodland CIQ counterpart
- The CIQ complex together with the flyover and the crooked bridge was to cost the government RM 2.379 billion
- However the crooked bridge project was shelved and the government compensated the project contractor, Gerbang Perdana with RM 300 million.
- The flyover link from the CIQ to the Causeway costing RM 250 million was awarded without open tender to Gerbang. Total overall cost for the project thus far : RM 1.13 billion
- The CIQ is regularly plagued by congestions, poor pedestrian access, poor signages and lack of bays for buses
Slumping JB Business Centre
- With the opening of the Second Link and the Iskandar CIQ, many tourists have bypassed the JB business centres and head for other destinations.
- Together with competition from surrounding areas such as Batam, many Singaporean tourists now shun JB
- Causeway’s share of entry point for tourist in Johor dropped from 82% to 64%
- Businesses in JB commercial centre, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, reported drop of over 50 % in revenue (Utusan Malaysia, 27 January 2009)
Senai-Desaru Expressway (SDE)
- A highway link straddling Johor’s booming south economic belt, it was touted as the missing physical link to Johor’s growth
- However, the results have been dismal. Traffic volume is only 48% of the initial projection, thanks to an expensive toll rate. For comparison, it charges 29 sen/km vs 14 sen for PLUS and 11 sen on DUKE.
- The expressway’s quality has also been circumspect: The 2010 Auditor General Report shows road paving thickness to be substantially lower than allowable specifications. On the Pasir Gudang-Desaru stretch the expressway is one lane each way.
- The concessionaire, 30% owned by Johor state government, had its RM 1.46 billion bonds downgraded to junk bond status in April
- The government had to fork out RM 365 million more for land acquisition to build SDE. Will it have to take over the project, to ‘save’ it?
Sungai Segget Canal
- A waterway located in the heart of the JB city, Sungai Segget canal was the commercial lifeline of the city before being covered up with culverts and pedestrian walkway built over it at a cost of RM 6 million. .
- In December 2010, after a visit to the JB area, Najib announced that the federal government will beautify the city by making Sg Segget a canal again under the JB city’s RM 1.8 billion transformation plan.
- The walkway was to be demolished, cleaned up and beautified at a cost of RM 200 million.