JOHOR BARU: Work to upgrade stretches on seven roads have been given top priority so that the people can continue to enjoy good infrastructure facilities that reflect a modern and developing country.
The state assembly was told that the stretches were Muar-Tangkak-Segamat road, Pekan Nenas-Pontian road, Jalan Tampoi, Pasir Gudang highway and Jalan Skudai (Pantai Lido stretch).
Works and Housing Committee chairman Datuk Baderi Dasuki said Ulu Tiram-Kota Tinggi road and Air Hitam-Johor Baru road had also been identified for upgrading work, adding that road conditions must be improved to reduce accidents.
Under the Eighth Malaysia Plan, a total of RM340mil was spent to upgrade four stretches of road and the projects have been completed, he told Chong Ah Owon (BN Paloh).
To a question by Wee Jeck Seng (BN Pekan Nenas), Baderi said the Works Department has no plans to upgrade the road linking Pekan Nenas to the North-South Expressway via Kampung Sawah, Kampung Maju Jaya, Kampung Melayu Raya and Gunung Pulai.
The road planning department under the Works Ministry is studying the possibility to build an excess road directly to Pontian from the expressway, he said.
Meanwhile, Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the state had allocated a 1,216ha site in Sisek, Kota Tinggi, to be developed as a Biotechnology Valley for the study on herbs and roots for pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
Ghani (BN Serom) said a RM1mil centre would also be built in the area to identify and conduct research and development on natures resources.
As an incentive, the state would give priority to growers and farmers, especially those planting herbs to be involved in state-initiated programmes, including contract farming.
Herbal plants and roots will be planted with the co-operation of manufacturers for guaranteed purchase from the growers and to ensure constant supply, he told Datuk Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid (BN Machap).
In debating the states 2005 Budget, Datuk Dr Haris Salleh (BN Sungai Abong) wants the Johor Government to conduct a study on the impact gentle boys and spinsters have on society.
There are a lot of boys who are 'soft today and perhaps this is because the authoritative figure around them are mostly women.
The trend is rather worrying and the number of unmarried women are also on the rise. There should be a study on how these two groups affect society as a whole, be it good or bad, he said.