High expectations in the city

Pasir Gudang is now a city, the third in Johor after Johor Baru and Iskandar Puteri.

PASIR GUDANG: Residents of Pasir Gudang are happy and have high expectations now that it has been accorded city status.

Civil servant Nursuhadah Norazan, 25, said air pollution was the main concern of residents living in Pasir Gudang as it is one of the biggest industrial zones in the country.

She said the Sungai Kim Kim pollution incident in March last year was still fresh in the minds of residents here.

“It caused so much inconvenience to us and hopefully something like this will be prevented from occurring again, ’’ said Nursuhadah.

The Sungai Kim Kim incident that affected some 6,000 residents in Pasir Gudang, gained nationwide attention.

Students were also affected and 111 schools in the area were forced to close temporarily.

Housewife Norhafizah Nordin, 24, hoped the authorities would upgrade the drainage system in the housing areas, including making them wider and deeper.

“Clogged drains make perfect breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes and Pasir Gudang is a dengue hotspot in Johor Baru district, ’’ she said.

Norhafizah also urged the authorities to take stern action against those found dumping rubbish indiscriminately here, including foreign workers.

She said another issue that needed immediate attention was potholes as these posed danger to motorists.

Cleaner M. Sarojini, 53, hoped Pasir Gudang City Council (MBPG) would review the existing free bus services by the Johor Public Transportation Corporation (PAJ).

She said that while the initiative to provide free bus services to locals was good, the services did not extensively cover routes within Pasir Gudang areas.

“There were paid bus services prior to the introduction of the free services. The services (paid bus) were good as they covered almost every route here, ’’ said Sarojini.She said another issue that needed immediate attention was faulty streetlights, adding that poorly-lit areas could become a hotspot for crime such as snatch thefts.

Optometrist Cheng Joo Hon, 66, said the air quality in Pasir Gudang was bad as there were many heavy industries operating here.

“We need strict monitoring and enforcement by the relevant authorities on air quality, ’’ he said.

Cheng said the Sungai Kim Kim incident was the best example of how irresponsible parties were treating rivers as dumping grounds.

“They discharge untreated effluents into water bodies and the people suffer.

“The authorities must be vigilant against this.”

He also suggested that MBPG plant more trees here and embark on a long-term plan to transform Pasir Gudang into a lush green area.

“Although Pasir Gudang is an industrial zone, this should not stop us from greening it and making it a garden city as well, ’’ said Cheng.

The main industries in the city are transportation and logistics, shipbuilding, petrochemicals and other heavy industries besides oil palm storage and distribution, located in Johor Port and Tanjung Langsat.

Pasir Gudang was proclaimed a city, the third in Johor after Johor Baru and Iskandar Puteri.

The area was formerly known as Kampung Pasir Udang.

According to historical records, it was founded in 1918 by Long Abu who is believed to have originated from Riau, Indonesia.

The name Pasir Gudang came about due to the existence of a sand mine in Kampung Ulu nearby.

Sand (pasir in Malay) was dug and stocked in sand pits or warehouses (gudang in Malay) to be exported to Singapore, leading to the name Pasir Gudang.

On July 1,2008, Pasir Gudang Municipal Council was established and on Nov 22,2020, the municipal council was upgraded to Pasir Gudang City Council.

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