NOWADAYS more strangers are stopping by his fruit stall in Gelang Patah. Business has improved for 48-year-old Abdul Aziz Layong.
This makes the father of four school-going children feel more encouraged to open his stall daily.
His routine is to man the stall until his wife Azlina Arshad takes over in the afternoon. From then on heat tends to his job as the village head of Kampung Ulu Pulai a community of about 200 households with more than 1,300 people.
Life for Aziz and those in some 40 other small villages in Pontian located within the Nusajaya area in the Iskandar Development Region has visibly improved.
Some landowners want their villages to be given a facelift and remain as traditional kampungs and perhaps turned into tourist attractions.
Others are hoping the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) will help them find interested parties especially government linked companies to jointly develop their land.
The setting up of the Social Projects Fund (SPF) to finance social and community initiatives in Iskandar is another reason why me people have embraced the development corridor.
Datuk Maulizan Bujang the Tiram assemblyman dismissed allegations that the poor had no place in Iskandar.
He said squatters had been provided low cost houses that were affordable for purchase or rent.
“Iskandar is being exploited by the opposition The DAP is saying that the Chinese are marginalised while Pas politicises whatever it can possibly.
“But the people are not buying any of it because they can see that the development taking place such as the upgrading of roads and other infrastructure will benefit them he said.