Johor-Iskandar & Malaysia power shifts (update 1)

I was seated at the window seat on a flight from KL to Singapore. Over southern Johore, the plane made a nice flyover from the western part over Tanjung Pelepas toward the eastern end of that part of the state. Just east of Syed Mokhthar's container port (and a bulking terminal across from it) was a lot of red-brown earth cleared areas for property development in the core Iskandar area. The same could be seen in the Danga Bay area between that and Johor Bahru town. Just north of that was suburbia with lots of homes laid out.

Just east of Johor Bahru were some red-brown earth scars of land leveled for building (but a lot less than in the core Iskandar zone) and further east were palm oil plantations and replantings of those areas. Toward the far eastern area was again large areas opened for development - presumably for RAPID. It was a great fly over, I wish the airline would have allowed me to take more than a few shots, but the policy is to switch off devices for the landing. 

It looks like Johore development is proceeding to complement 
Singapore's need for more northern space and arguably in competition with ports and oil and gas infrastructure.

 Flying over core Iskandar - Medini zone and Johore suburbia

What's hot in the news in Malaysia are some interesting moves for more participation in state administration by the Sultan of Johor. Other Malaysia states are in the news with recent kerfuffles in Terrengganu, about increased oil royalties and on East Malaysia. 

Some commentators are wondering about an apparent shift in state versus federal negotiation power. In opposition land, there are also questions on its leadership power over Selangor issues on water, controversial road construction, religious administration and more. At the recent Teluk Intan byelection, Chinese ruralfolk delivered a massive negative 15 percentage vote swing in a political revolt against the efforts of the DAP leadership. 

It would seem that traditional political leaders have lost some of their powers to state and local actors at this point of the political cycle. What next?

News links

Johor housing Bill to be amended; Updated: Sunday June 8, 2014 MYT 5:11:38 PM;
NUSAJAYA: The Johor Housing and Real Property Enactment Board Bill 2014 will be amended to include a provision that the Sultan is to act on the advice of the Mentri Besar.... The amendment, which reads “role of the Johor Ruler is on the advice of the Mentri Besar”, was announced by Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin during the state assembly sitting here, Sunday... Khaled said that other clauses in the Bill which mention the Johor Ruler would be changed to “state authorities”.... The Bill is expected to be tabled at the state assembly sitting on Monday....It had been reported that the Bill would empower the Sultan to appoint JHRPB members, oversee its accounts and also dissolve the board.... It is understood that the Johor Ruler would also be able to determine the remuneration of board members, approve the appointment of a director and pass the estimated expenses for each following year before seeking the state government’s approval for the allocations....