JOHOR BARU: A day after the historic meeting between Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Johoreans hope the get-together will bring more prosperity to the state.
Many hoped the new ties forged between the Johor Ruler and the Prime Minister would help speed up key projects such as the Rapid Transit System (RTS), Double Tracking and Bus Rapid Transit projects to help improve connectivity.
The real estate sector also hoped that the latest development would attract more investors.
A retail manager, who wanted to be known as Wan Abdullah, said pictures of Sultan Ibrahim and Dr Mahathir in the sky-blue first-generation Proton Saga took many people by surprise.
“There was so much buzz on social media. The Ruler really went out of his way to welcome the PM to Johor in his own unique way,” he said, noting that the photograph was also splashed on the front pages of almost all newspapers in the country.
Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar also hoped that the renewed friendship would help spur more development in Johor.
“We need the infrastructure projects such as the RTS, Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit and even a third link bridge into Singapore to ease congestion at the Causeway and Second Link.
“These projects are needed to ensure we have better connectivity. The government should also put in more effort to improve our relations with Singapore,” he said.
Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Redha) branch chairman Datuk Steve Chong Yoon On said it was always good when leaders were able to sit down and work together for the benefit of the people.
“We welcome this positive meeting,” he said, hoping that Dr Mahathir would be able to give a “clear signal” to the real estate industry.
Chong said that while local developers were willing to assist the state government build 100,000 affordable homes for those in the B40 category, more needed to be done to help local developers release their bumiputra lots.
“Faster release of the bumi lots will help improve our cash flow,” he said.
Johor Umno treasurer Datuk Md Jais Sarday described the improved relations as good for Johor.
He also hoped that more efforts would be made to improve relations with Singapore.