Johor Zoo expected to reopen by April next year

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Zoo, closed since 2020, is expected to reopen by April next year once all the renovation and upgrading work is completed, says Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor.

The Johor State Housing and Local Government committee chairman said the RM9mil allocation announced by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi will be used under phase 1 for the development.

“The work progress is now at 30%, and we expect all of the upgrading works to be completed in the first quarter of next year or early April,” he said.

The upgrading works include a visitors’ walkway and entrance arch, an outdoor parking area, an online ticketing system, improvements to the zoo’s pond and gates, piping, and electrical systems.

Mohd Jafni also said Johor State Housing Development Corporation will hand over 5,123 Johor Affordable Home (RMMJ) units next year.

“This is part of our target of building 30,000 RMMJ units by 2026. To date, we have built 7,735 units.

He said currently they are building 3,023 units in Johor Baru, followed by Kluang (1,087), Kulai (216), Muar (194), Batu Pahat (88), Kota Tinggi (300), Tangkak (129), and Pontian (86).

He said the state government has also approved planning permission to build about 2,000 units of such homes in Mersing by 2025.

“The Housing and Local Government Ministry has approved two people’s housing programmes (PPR) in Larkin and Kluang.

“The PPR Larkin will have 300 units with development worth RM72mil while the PPR Kluang will have 600 units with development worth RM115mil,” he said, adding the Larkin project is expected to kick off in November next year,” he said.

Mohd Jafni said one of the important highlights of the Johor budget is the Rumah Kasih Johor (RKJ) phase 2, where 120 affordable houses will be built and given away for free.

“I would like to thank Mentri Besar for expanding this project next year; this year, the government has allocated RM6.5mil to build 50 units of RKJ, where each district will have five.

“For next year, we will build another 120 units in all 10 districts with a total allocation of RM17mil.

“The priority will be the same, to help the hardcore poor have their first home,” he said, adding that the first phase of RKJ will be handed over by the first quarter of next year.

Mohd Jafni said the state government has allocated RM16mil to help Yong Peng, Tangkak, and Kota Tinggi local councils, which have limited tax revenue.

“The fund will be used for emergency post-flood cleanup operations and general maintenance of public amenities,” he said.

Onn Hafiz, who tabled the Johor budget with the theme Driving Development Prospering the People on Thursday, covers six core areas – governance, economic development, social safety net, facilities and basic needs, cleanliness and environmental sustainability, and youth.

He also said the budget would be implemented through 29 strategies and 99 initiatives.

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