During my recent sojourn to my second hometown, Kluang, I was assaulted by the thought that I am really going to miss it even it was there. I was driving frantically trying to track down the old favourite Chicken Rice stall which has since shifted, when it occurred to me that Kluang might just become… (Cue horror music here) Johore Bahru!
You see, for years I have been tormented by this particular response I get immediately when I say I come from the Johore state: “Oh, JB.” Gritting my teeth, and holding back my urge to poke their eyes ala Three Stooges, I’d tell them that my hometown is Cha’ah, where I grew up, and Kluang, where I was born and spent my early formative years. But the myopic perception is not without reasons. I tell you why (especially to non-Malaysian readers).
Johore Bahru is the capital for the Johore state, a princely, second largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, and a haven for green plantations, namely oil palm, cocoa and pineapple. The state also homes manufacturing sites boasting many multi-national corporations. Yes, some even bigger than those in
But the trouble is, everyone seems to think of only the Johore Bahru city when the name Johore is mentioned. It’s sickening. I hate that city. It’s the wrong end of the stick with shit. It’s the word I would use as acronym to crème de la crème. It’s the barbecued piece of charred meat that you usually put aside as it is only fit to be eaten by your domestic pet. It, and I’ve said this to many before, is a bastard child of
Okay, I made that up. It’s just that
Kidding again. But Singaporeans throwing money there is a normal occurrences, like yearly haze. And the fact that Singaporeans are one of the largest property owners in Johore Bahru is not a new trivia, like moronic politicians or reptilian lawyers. But by doing so, they are making themselves available to the lowest, darkest facets found in any human being, also as a result of having seeing inflation rate in the city which is not as great as Kuala Lumpur, higher than KL, just because Singaporeans like to buy groceries enough to feed the entire population of Indonesia (neighbour).
So, no. I am not from Johore Bahru. I have family members near there. My younger brother is away from the stench, about half an hour or forty five minutes drive in a quaint little town called Kulai. Another brother (actually best friend who got assimilated to the family) is staying in Kota Masai, also out of the perimeter of the city of putridity. In fact, I’d seriously consider severing my ties with them if they were to settle down right within that geographic concentration of evil
In all fairness, I would not have mind if the government, in efforts to boost the national income, overcome deficit, and really be recession proof, should sell Johore Bahru off to
As for the rest of the Johore, we’d be fine. We have industrial estates outside of Johore Bahru, and huge oil palm plantation (one of the biggest in