Johor’s leader Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has commented on the exorbitant cost of housing in Singapore, saying it is beyond the grasp of ordinary Singaporeans.
He emphatised with Singapore’s middle-class, which he says is feeling the squeeze of rising prices.
Sultan Ibrahim also said that more Singaporeans will find themselves living across the Causeway, while working in Singapore.
“The future is in Johor because Singaporeans, not just Chinese, will be buying homes in Johor.
Homes are already beyond the reach of ordinary Singaporeans over there.
It is a political issue when the middle-class find themselves squeezed. Even in Malaysia, with its abundance of land, the young are finding it difficult to own a home, especially in the Klang Valley and Penang.
Once the links are in place, it will become the norm for Singaporeans to live in Johor and work in Singapore. That is the future.”
Sultan Ibrahim also issued a veiled challenge that Johor intends to contest Singapore for future land space.
He said that Singapore has been aggressively reclaiming land, and Johor must do the same.
“Singapore has reclaimed over 70sq km of land from 1960 to the present day, I am told.
According to one report, by 1990 the total land area of Singapore was 633sq km. This was an increase of 51.5sq km, which made up 8.9 per cent of the total land area. With continuing land reclamation, Singapore’s land area will increase by about another 100sq km by the year 2030.
I don’t know if these figures are accurate but it is a fact that the shape of Singapore has changed because of aggressive and systematic reclamation. To put it bluntly, and you know that I am a straight-talking person, if Johor does not carry out reclamation, Singapore will and it has been doing so.
Why is it that no one talks about Singapore doing this landfilling work? Why is Johor being singled out? Johor has to do this because it is strategically necessary.”
Sultan Ibrahim was speaking in an interview with Malaysian newspaper, The Star, from his new home which overlooks Singapore.