News: 16 August 2023

Johor Bahru LRT, Jakarta LRT and HSR delayed again, Manila Bay reclamation halted, Bangkok canal plan, Bangkok Pink Line, and more

Hello from Jakarta, the world's most polluted city. I was surprised to read that given the competition from other polluted cities, but after spending a day here I wouldn’t say it’s not true. I use IQAIr when I am checking air pollution, and they are reliable for getting an overview.

Despite the air quality, it is good to be back in Jakarta. I was last here in 2019, and in between this time, there has been a barrage of articles proclaiming that Jakarta is being abandoned as it moves to the new capital. Yes, the capital institutions are moving, but it is business as usual here. Most of the time it is just copy editors of media outlets who come up with these sensationalized and misleading headlines.

I’m looking at public transport and waterways while I am here, and I will have a construction report for subscribers after my visit.

[An integrated BRT/MRT station in a city that doesn’t look like it is being abandoned.]

Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia

Johor Bahru LRT is a proposed light rail transit system for the city of Johor Bahru in Malaysia.


🇰🇭 Cambodia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

“President Widodo acknowledged that air pollution in Jakarta had been a problem for years. Moving the capital city from Jakarta to Nusantara, on the island of Borneo, is one of the solutions, Widodo said.”

🇱🇦 Laos

🇲🇾 Malaysia

The Johor Baru-Woodlands cross-border shuttle runs infrequently, and the peak-hour tickets sell out a month in advance. This is the easiest win to immediately reduce overcrowding at the border crossing.

“Allocating that sum for high-speed travel between KL and Singapore seems like a disproportionate investment.”

🇲🇲 Myanmar

🇵🇭 Philippines

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

Posting this one for the drone photo of the plot on sale. Not a square metre of space is left undeveloped.

🇻🇳 Vietnam

Article about how the station for Hanoi on the North-South high-speed railway should be at the current Hanoi Station instead of Ngoc Hoi Station, 10 km outside the city centre.

SGN is not SIN, but I will be glad to see these passport scanners in operation like at Changi Airport.

• Trash continues to make headlines after last week’s news. HCMC accelerates progress of waste-to-energy plants, and 3 solutions suggested for trash-covered lagoon in Vietnam’s Quang Ngai. posted a longer round-up of the waste problem in Vietnam.

• I have travelled extensively around Vietnam, and I am continually staggered by the glut of empty villas and abandoned construction projects. One thing I mutter to myself is “who is going to buy all these villas and shophouses”. Phu Quoc island has inventory of nearly 18,000 beachfront properties, property giants post $11B in unsold inventory, and banks put foreclosed beachfront properties worth dozens of millions of dollars on sale.

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