Pontian Besar which is about 51 km from Johor Bahru is no longer a sleepy town. Traffic is getting more heavy, and travelling time gets longer because of more vehicles on the road.
Changes is also happening along the coast of Pontian Besar. The town is facing worsing soil erosion and it had lost quite a bit of land to the sea.
According to Nasir Khan, his house was used to be surrounded by mangrove trees but now, ten years later there are not many trees to be seen. He said last time if he walked towards the sea, he can get lost among the trees. Now he is only a stone throw away from the open sea.
Goh Ah Kiat shared about a night in 1997 when he and the town folks faced a tsunami like situation. He said strong wind and storm sea whipped out a hundred houses and countless mangrove trees.
Roofs were blown onto the roads, and residents had to run for refuge in the nearby schools. They were there for three days. Most of the residents relocated after that terrible incident.
Cattle farmer, Ramakrishnan, said the situation along the coast is worsening. He said the Drainage and Irrigation Department had put up bunds and sand bags, but that measure is only temporary, the sea has now eaten into the bund.
He said the oil palm plantation along the coastal area faces a real treat if the bund collapses. Everything will be lost if the sea sweeps in.