Johor Bahru – Sin City poem


I used to call it City of Crime – because of, well, you know, its crime.

On a tip from Simon Thong, via Lim Kit Siang’s blog:

Sin City, Jay Bee – a tribute to Johor Bahru

by Azly Rahman

Where have all those memories gone
Of the city that never sleeps
Sin-filled you are
… Offering life’s panorama
A pandora box of a lushness of emotions

Jay Bee
You may be called a city of filth
Of gang wars and transvestite agalore
Of rock kapak geniuses conceived immaculately
From the womb of Papa Rock
Ahhh New Johor … New York you may want to be
Thou shall never attain that notoriety

Sweet city sin city
Celebrating the velocity of money
It is there I knew love’s inner beauty
As we walked up and down the Lido Beach
whose middle name is “filthy”
Ohh Jay Bee … you are a soul that is one with me

Jay Bee
Sin city
where politics stink
where corruption gets a nice daily wink
where the power elites are the underground kings
where the poor are hoodwinked
where the children of the working class roam the streets in motorcycles with bilng bing
where the smell of ganja filled the air like a pissed-on fermented drink
Ahh Jay Bee
City of Sins

Your hunchback of Tanjung Puteri is dead and gone
Committed sepuku at the sight of what has become
Of you sin city Jay Bee
Si Bongkok died of a death he long-willed for
As the sight of the crooked bridge broke his heart that exploded with a roar
Ahhh… thanks to the Johor Corridor
And the Disney of Nusajaya Johoreans adore
Sin city
Jay Bee
Your economy, like a Segget River , stinks till eternity

Love is gone
Of the one my heart held on
As I walked countless miles
Along the Lido beach
Time has not been kind
To this city that never sleeps
To this sin city
That weeps
The yesteryears of the loss of pride that run deep
Love is gone
The deal is sealed
Sin city you are now sold
To the forked tongued nationalists grown old like ageing Disneys

Sin city
Jay Bee
You were once mine
You will no longer be

And response from the powers that be:

Shahrir chides blogger over ‘sin city’ JB

By MOHD FARHAAN SHAH and YEE XIANG YUN

JOHOR BARU: A poem on the Net that derided Johor Baru as a “sin city” has ruffled the feathers of its MP Datuk Shahrir Samad and the state government.

Shahrir accused United States-based blogger Dr Azly Rahman of degrading and tarnishing the city through Sin City, Jay Bee a Tribute to Johor Baru that has appeared in several anti-establishment portals, including DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang’s blog.

He dared Dr Azly to return home and see how the city had progressed.

“Johor Baru is not trying to emulate New York. The crime rate there is much higher than it is here,” he told The Star, when asked to comment on the poem.

Shahrir chided the blogger for living in the past.

“Sorry to disappoint him, but Johor Baru is not like what he had in mind when he wrote the poem,” he said.

Johor Tourism and Environment committee chairman Hoo Seong Chang said such negative poems would not affect the state’s tourism.

“We have proven ourselves with attractive packages that pull in visitors all-year long,” he said.

“I understand the state’s cleanliness has been an issue but we are working on it.”

Hoo said about 16.5 million tourists visited the state last year.

“For the first three months of this year alone we have already attracted 3.9 million tourists an increase of 455,672 when compared with the same period last year,” he said.

Dr Azly, who lives in New Jersey, said he was born in Singapore but grew up in Kampung Melayu Majidee here. He studied at a boarding school in Kuantan and continued his studies in New York.

In his poem, he portrayed Johor Baru as a drug-ridden, corrupted and eco-unfriendly city with a poor economy.

One of the stanzas in the long poem, reads:

Jay Bee

You may be called a city of filth

Of gang wars and transvestite galore

Of rock kapak geniuses conceived immaculately

From the womb of Papa Rock

Ahhh New Johor New York you may want to be

Thou shall never attain that notoriety.

In the final stanza, Dr Azly wrote: “You were once mine, you will no longer be.”

Not being in JB since a long time, I can’t comment on whether it’s crime prone anymore, or nice and safe as Datuk Shahrir says.

Anyone care to update?


10 Responses to “Johor Bahru – Sin City poem”

  1. Simon Thong Says:

    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_659365.html THREE Singaporeans were caught in a terrifying car chase during an attack by a mob in Johor Baru.

    They were pursued for 7km by 15 to 20 people after a dispute at a carpark, one of the men told The Straits Times yesterday.

    The attack continued even when they reached the Malaysian Customs building, where the mob smashed their car’s windows with a steering lock and ripped its seats.

  2. Simon Thong Says:

    http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles//22ustes/Article/
    Police chief raps blogger for lies on JB
    2011/04/28
    By Jassmine Shadiqe
    jashadiqe@nst.com.my

    Read more: Police chief raps blogger for lies on JB http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles//22ustes/Article/#ixzz1Krd0Cfjj

    JOHOR BARU: Utter rubbish!

    This is what Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff said of United States-based blogger Dr Azly Rahman’s poem entitled Sin City, Jay Bee — A Tribute to Johor Baru.

    He advised the blogger “to engage his brains before he shoots his mouth”, meaning that Azly should check his facts before he writes.

    Mokhtar said the poem was misleading, packed with lies and it was tarnishing the state’s image.

    Read more: Police chief raps blogger for lies on JB http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles//22ustes/Article/#ixzz1Krd8bUGG

  3. Simon Thong Says:

    Here’s someone who doesn’t agree with Shahrir or the Police Chief: he wrote ti the Star.

    I REFER to the report ‘Shahrir chides blogger over ‘sin city’ JB, (The Star, April 27).

    The United States based Malaysian blogger Dr Azly Rahman seems better informed than our own Member of Parliament!

    Elected persons should walk with the common folk to gauge the problems in the city.

    Sitting in five-star hotels and coffeehouses will not help! It is a different plain altogether.

    A mere walk along the backlane between Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Meldrum in the evening will lend support to Dr Azly’s views.

    The backlane in the city centre where hawkers ply their trade is infested with overfed rats and cockroaches and the manholes are not covered and pose a danger to pedestrians, especially senior citizens and children.

    It seems reports have been made by hawkers but no action taken.

    And for a gateway city to have such despicable backlanes is a shame.

    The other evening as I sat dining at the Peking Restaurant in Sentosa, a group of Singaporean diners paid their bill and went to the car park but soon came back exclaiming that their car had been stolen!

    Claims by authorities that the crime rate has fallen may be an incorrect assertion. It may be correct to say that reports of crime has fallen because victims don’t report cases as they feel nothing will come out of it.

    In this country we have numerous laws and regulations but we are lackadaisical in our inspection and enforcement.

    At times we are selective in what we do.

    S. BALARAJAH,

    Johor Baru.

  4. Simon Thong Says:

    Seng Ah Kong (GRandpa) to JB: Mr Brown (sung to Muchael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’)

    Theres a place Batu Pahat.
    Where the old folks can roam free.
    And this place very cheap. Got many palm trees.
    Work whole life in Singapore.
    But still Broke until teng kor.
    Don’t want you.
    Go and die in another country.

    When its time to Mati,
    90 cents for a kopi.
    Send ur dad and mum.
    They have chewing gum.

    Send ah kong
    Fine budget old folks home.
    Health minster say got discount across borders.
    Since we are dying.
    Might as well make space for the living.

    Singapore too small
    Pls go to JB.

    Youmay think it is far
    Scally bad guys steal ur car.
    Lagi worse if u drive bm or Honda.
    Don’t be scared
    Not so scared.
    Just don’t stop if tire flat.

    Theres no jam if u choose to go on wkdays.
    When u go to johor, u can also do some shopping
    Seafood cheap n fresh.
    U can save some cash.

    Send ah kong move to a bigger plc
    Health minister say malaysa Oleh.
    They got pirate ship and power tokat ali.

    Why? Singapore
    Better go Jb.

    Send ah kong if he kana sick.
    Health minster say ambulances on the way
    Gahment very caring. Just an option they are sharing.
    Singapore loves u. Grow old in Jb.
    Gahment very caring. Just an option they are sharing.
    Singapore loves u. Grow old in Jb.
    For you and for me
    Got no erp
    Its cheaper u see.
    Go die in jb.

  5. Simon Thong Says:

    You can watch and listen to this on youtube; just go to “Send Ah Kong”.

  6. Simon Thong Says:

    But there is good news, too:
    See http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/5/1/sundaymetro/8574887&sec=sundaymetro
    Sunday May 1, 2011
    Tried, tested and worthy
    Story and pictures by ZAZALI MUSA
    zaza@thestar.com.my

    Generations have grown up loving the bread baked in the coal-fired oven of an old-style bakery in Johor Baru.

    NOTHING beats the smell of freshly-baked bread and pastries, and so if you are within the premises of Salahuddin Bakery, one of Johor Baru’s oldest bakeries, you will surely think you are in bread heaven.

    Customers, both local as well as Singaporeans, religiously patronise the 74-year-old Salahuddin Bakery along Jalan Dhoby in the old part of the city to get their favourite bread and pastries.

    In fact, many of them have been enjoying the bakery’s products since they were young and now their children and grandchildren have become customers too.

  7. Simon Thong Says:

    Another poem! Courtesy of http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/2011/04/gangsta-city-now-jay-bee.html

    Gangsta city now , Jay Bee?
    By Azly Rahman

    Yo .. yo … imaginary powers that be
    You’re angry reading the poem “Sin City, Jay Bee”?…
    You feel violated seems to me
    Let me tell you a story

    Lost I am in this sin city Jay Bee
    T’was a decade before 2020
    Was my last visit to my homies
    When they said the city will be safe and stress-free
    This regime’s election guarantee

    Yo Jay Bee
    Wassup yo Jay Bee
    From Ulu Tiram to Taman Pelangi
    I feel like I am in Gangsta city
    Worse than in Harlem and East Philly
    Crime City Gangsta city, what I knew of Jay Bee

    Beautiful names you have
    Those ending in “Indah” and “Jaya”
    Of “Tamans” and “Kampongs” and “Wadis” entire
    Beautiful names yo

    Ah.. Ulu Tiram
    You are no valuable oyster
    Ah … Pelangi Indah
    You are no rainbow as I see her
    Ah … Masai
    You are a shame to that African tribe
    Ah … Setia Indah
    You are not loyal to those elections promises
    Ah .. Johor Jaya
    What victory lies in snatch thieves one too many?

    I love the sound of that name Tampoi
    Signifying the psychopathology of the politics of the new and old
    One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
    Straight from the conveyor belt of progress progress progress

    Yo gangsta city Jay Bee
    Wassup with you chillin’ in your crib?
    What justice to humanity is this “my G”?
    As you failed the youth yearning for a life of sanity?

    Cybernetic technology
    Cybercafes aplenty
    Gangsta city’s mantra of informational technology
    Plagiarized from Cyberjaya and Silicon Valley

    Those who disagreed with that poem “Sin City”
    Don’t get me mad, yo
    Don’t get me mad, yo
    Don’t get me mad, yo
    Just clean up MY city
    Its spirit, mind, and body

    What has become of this beautiful city
    I grew up in
    safe and happy
    T’is a decade before 2020 we have these killing the city;
    Snatch thieves way too many
    Mat and Minah Rempits those one-wheeled hellraisers and damn happy
    Foul-mouth kids multiplying linguistically
    Gambling places way way too many
    Glue sniffing youth stoned cold crazy
    Decaying city traffic crawls like crazy
    Sin city gangsta city Jay Bee not safe to raise families
    Hills shaved bald for housing projects deforestation what-me-worry

    Yo yo yo gangsta city Jay Bee
    Shape up yo
    Do you want Lee Kuan Yew to tell you what to do?
    Or former New York Mayor Giuliani to give a free advice on how to run the city?
    Don’t get mad … you servants of the people imaginary powers that be
    Get cracking with your job in running this city
    So that I may be proud again of what this city means to me
    And my grandchildren and yours will not beg on the streets across Johor Disney

    Gangsta city, sin city, Jay Bee … to be or not to be …
    Posted by DR. AZLY RAHMAN at 9:36 PM

  8. Simon Thong Says:

    and he got 1 comment soon after:
    Anonymous said…

    Yes JB indeed is a sin city. I own a house in Johor Jaya. I rented it to a factory, the female workers lived there. But about 3 months later the factory called me and informed me that they wanted to stop renting and wanted to move out. The reason was the female workers got robbed and/or raped. I had to reduce the rental charges to keep this tenant. And they agreed to stay but will only let the male workers to stay there. It is said that the police only take note of the reports of such incidents but take no action! That is why the bad guys are still carrying out such terrible crime.
    6:04 AM

  9. espikay Says:

    Jay Bee my home
    why do i feel so alone
    when i visit
    something does not fit.

    What has happened to the soul of my town
    Why is my face contorted into a perpectual frown
    Where are the familiar faces and shops of wong ah fook
    All of you stop and take a look.

    i was born in Jalan Dhoby
    long before it was a city
    then it was home
    now its an empty dome.

    where are safiah, awang, mat, mariam and the others
    where are sau siah, her parents and her brothers
    where is the lady who sold us cow’s milk by the tumblers
    where did all the familiar people scatter

    oh how well i can feel what azly rahman feels in his heart
    how intensely lonely i feel as from a once-safe Jay Bee we depart
    But when night falls and my thoughts return to my childhood
    That is when i see my jay bee – for time – for me it still it stood!
    prasanna krishnan

  10. espikay Says:

    Jay Bee my home
    why do i feel so alone
    when i visit
    something does not fit.

    What has happened to the soul of my town
    Why is my face contorted into a perpectual frown
    Where are the familiar faces and shops of wong ah fook
    All of you stop and take a look.

    i was born in Jalan Dhoby
    long before it was a city
    then it was home
    now its an empty dome.

    where are safiah, awang, mat, mariam and the others
    where are sau siah, her parents and her brothers
    where is the lady who sold us cow’s milk by the tumblers
    where did all the familiar people scatter

    oh how well i can feel what azly rahman feels in his heart
    how intensely lonely i feel as from a once-safe Jay Bee we depart
    But when night falls and my thoughts return to my childhood
    That is when i see my jay bee – for time – for me – still it stood!
    prasanna krishnan

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