Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad voiced his concerns about the Iskandar region in a blog post on 8 July, as he wondered how it will change the demographics and electorate of the area.
He said properties there would be pricy and unaffordable for local residents from the surrounding areas.
He warned of a possibility of a high influx of foreigners living and working in Iskandar to a point that it might outnumber the native Malaysian residents there, akin to Singapore’s migrant population growth after the British established a trading post here in 1819.
Tun Mahathir added Johor Bahru would change radically, with a number of skyscrapers which will make it more attractive and impressive than New York.
Describing it as Johor Bahru Baru (JBB), which translates to the new Johor Bahru, he said it will reflect Malaysia’s modernity and progress and will bring the country into a new era.