JOHOR BARU: Pontian is poised to boom economically and become the next growth area, especially with its close proximity to Iskandar Malaysia and the mammoth Forest City project.
Johor Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the district, known for being a fishing village with pineapples, oil palm and fruit plantations in the past, was now booming with investment coming into its agriculture, fishing, tourism and industrial sectors.
“In the last five years, there have been a lot of changes happening in and around Pontian.
“I believe the next few years will be an exciting time especially with the developments happening in Forest City and Iskandar Malaysia,” he said in an interview here.
He explained that Pontian’s development was expected to grow further mainly with the construction of a new RM650mil bridge across Sungai Pulai between Gelang Patah and Serkat.
“This bridge will be similar to the Sungai Johor bridge for the Senai-Desaru Expressway.
“This will cut travel time to Pontian by at least 45 minutes.
“This will definitely spur development as we target a lot of small and medium industries will relocate their operations to the district because of our close proximity to Iskandar Malaysia,” he said.
Tee, who is also Pulai Sebatang assemblyman, stressed that travel between Forest City and Pontian would also be within 45 minutes instead of almost one and a half hours to two hours now.
Tee added that the bridge project was expected to be completed between 2020 and 2021.
He stressed that Pontian was already well known for its Tanjung Bin power generation plant, Kukup wetlands, fresh seafood and eco-tourism.
“In the future, Pontian will need a new airport and port to handle all this growth and development,” he said, adding that their economic boom would also create more jobs for the locals.
On real estate, Tee said previously 0.4ha of land in the district was about RM150,000 but now it has shot up between RM500,000 to the millions in certain areas.
Tee, who is a local from Benut, said he has always served his constituents sincerely and attends to all their needs as much as he could.
“I always answer or return all calls as I believe in engaging with the people,” he said, adding that he believed in political stability and unity among the people regardless of race and religion.
Asked about his contributions in his area, Tee added that he has always listened to people’s views and pushed for upgrading of infrastructure in the district including widening of the roads, improving drainage, building of road dividers to reduce accidents and having more street lights.
“I hope with more job opportunities, more Pontian folk will come back and live with their families here as I believe in strong family unity, ties and values,” he added.