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28 January 2012

A simple signboard goes a long way - Johor - New Straits Times

A simple signboard goes a long way - Johor - New Straits Times:


Let us (Johoreans) not be known for building much-talked about structures, but fail at the simplest, most common, and necessary directions to make our way there.

The drive to the JPO from Johor Baru via the North-South expressway is almost perfect, but the nightmare comes right after exiting the Skudai toll plaza.

There is no indication at all where one should go, or turn, to get to JPO, and that is so frustrating.

To make matters worse, just after exiting the toll plaza, JPO's grand structure, with its designer labels calling out your name, is visible.

You get all excited and feel the adrenaline rush. It is just across the highway on the opposite side, and it goes out of sight as you drive on.

One will keep on driving, at least I did, hoping to find a sign which indicates "please turn here".

Unfortunately, there are no directions, much to the disappointment and frustration of many.

To make a turn and find your way back is another hassle.

I beg those in charge: Please dear sirs, please erect a signboard, make it visible and not confusing, and most importantly, do it as soon as possible.

After six years in Johor, my friends and family members take my word when I say the place is "a must-visit".

I take pride in the development and attractions in Johor.

As a self-proclaimed ambassador of the state, I ensure my friends and relatives will have a good time, which includes a safe journey to the JPO.

This was my fifth trip to JPO, yet I lost my way heading towards it on Chinese New Year day.

Imagine how first-timers would feel.

I had relatives from Kuala Lumpur, travelling in four cars, following me.

We had left the Thistle Johor Baru hotel at noon, hoping to spend many hours shopping.

On my previous trips, I was sure there was a small signboard in brown, pointing to a turn that read Johor Premium Outlet.

Waiting to find the signboard for the turn, I got lost.

I also noticed several cars attempting to reverse along the highway's shoulder after they too missed the turn.

After making a legal U-turn, I headed back in the opposite direction, hoping to find a signboard directing me where to turn.

Failing to find one, I ended up back at the Skudai toll plaza.

Even though I have a Touch 'n Go card, I had to stop at a booth with a toll attendant to ask for directions.

She said: "You missed the turn, go back to Skudai and pay the toll again."

I had already paid 80 sen, and for losing my way, I had to fork out another 80 sen after making the U-turn. My relatives in the three cars following me did the same.

It is not so much about the toll fee that went to waste, it is the time and hassle.

The worst was how my relatives went on telling me how disorganised and unprofessional things were in Johor Baru.

That was upsetting, because they had valid points. All that was needed was a signboard.

Just a week earlier, band members from Unedited arrived here in Johor Baru to perform in conjunction with the Iskandar Malaysia Media Race at the Hive in Thistle Johor Baru.

The band members consisted of journalists and editors based in Kuala Lumpur.

On their way back, they decided to pay a visit to the much-talked about JPO.

They got lost after missing the turn because there was no signboard.

Signboards with the words Nusajaya, Gelang Patah, or Senai meant nothing to them.

Visitors will expect to see a signboard that reads Johor Premium Outlets.

Unedited members were shocked beyond words when they learned that such a talked about attraction did not have proper signboards.

This was a group of experienced journalists and they too were taken aback.

If this article does not force those responsible to get on their feet as soon as possible and ensure a signboard is put up, then maybe a Google search with the words sesat (lost) and Johor Premium Outlets will do the trick.

Read more: A simple signboard goes a long way - Johor - New Straits Times

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