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Commentary: When buying large Mustafa meets retail paradise Johor Bahru


Johor Bahru is already wildly common with Singapore vacationers, with sprawling malls throughout the metropolis limits and much more within the neighbouring districts of Iskandar Puteri and Kulai. At S$1 to RM3.32 (US$0.75) on the time of writing, the discerning Singapore shopper could head there to profit from the beneficial trade price.

Decathlon, the French sporting items hyperstore for instance, has many retailers and mini-outlets throughout Singapore. However the newly opened JB branches have been common with Singapore consumers who’ve seen that some merchandise price much less in ringgit.

Singapore is the biggest marketplace for arrivals. Based on Tourism Malaysia knowledge, 5.22 million customer arrivals had been from Singapore in 2022, with Indonesia a distant second.

Whereas it isn’t specified what number of travelled by way of or solely to Johor, Singapore is clearly an necessary buyer base for Johor retail, F&B and repair industries and their path to financial restoration.

To Malaysians, nevertheless, the southernmost state is broadly seen as an costly one to reside in, with larger prices of dwelling blamed on its Singapore clientele. The numerous Malaysians who’re working in Singapore however based mostly in Johor could have the means to buy and eat out, however the identical doesn’t essentially apply to the remainder of Johor residents.


For the common Malaysian dwelling and dealing in Johor, belt-tightening is more and more changing into the norm.

The pandemic years shattered many Malaysians economically. About 20 per cent of middle-income households (pre-pandemic M40) slid into the underside 40 per cent earnings group (B40). A further 12.5 per cent of the B40 entered the hardcore poor class (outlined as having a family earnings of lower than RM1,169).

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