The project aims to improve walking in the city center
CORONATION Avenue, located in the heart of Johor Baru City, features heritage buildings and iconic landmarks that celebrate cultural diversity.
The Coronation Avenue booklet published by Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) and Think City offers a glimpse of the capital’s rich spiritual heritage.
They include the over 100-year-old Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, built by famous architect Mohamed Arif Punak, with a blend of Islamic and colonial design; Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, the oldest church in the city; and the ancient Johor Temple which has held its annual Chingay procession for over 140 years.
The Sikh Gurdwara Sahib Temple – built in 1916 – is also part of the avenue, along with the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple, an iconic landmark of Jalan Ungku Puan, which stands out for more than 120 statues and 26 murals in the temple.
Another notable mosque along Coronation Avenue is Masjid India at Jalan Duke, which was built in the 1950s on land purchased from a bread factory.
MBJB Deputy Secretary Nazatul Shima Mohamad said the Johor government wanted to improve the practicability of downtown Johor Baru, which was one of the reasons for the Coronation Avenue project.
“The walkways and walkways have been gradually improved to become more spacious and to meet different needs, with targeted landscaping to also soften the harsh landscape,” she said.
“Modernization works are planned for many parts of downtown Johor Baru, including Jalan Duke, Jalan Ungku Puan, Jalan Dhoby, Jalan Gereja, Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim and Jalan Trus.”
She said the city council had always wanted to preserve culture, heritage and the arts while working towards its goal of achieving international city status.
“Despite being a former central business district, downtown Johor Baru is rich in culture and heritage.
“There is a lot to explore here, including the hundreds of heritage buildings downtown.
“In addition to the iconic religious institutions listed under Coronation Avenue, we also have a food map, which allows visitors to experience the context of popular cafes and restaurants in the city,” said Nazatul Shima.
She urged the public to take ownership of the city by refraining from dumping, vandalizing and destroying monuments and landscaping.
She said these actions, along with the illegal parking, tarnished the city’s image and the council’s efforts to preserve and nurture Johor Baru.
Johor Mentri Besar’s advisor Datuk Tee Siew Kiong started Persiaran Muafakat Bangsa Johor (formerly Coronation Avenue name) in 2017, while he was chairman of the National Committee for Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
He said the idea came from his goal of promoting Johor’s identity and diversity as a tourism product to show that the state is different from others.
“I wanted an initiative to tell the story of Johor so that people could learn how the sultans had graciously granted land to different denominations to build their houses of worship.
“Apart from that, we wanted to show the harmony of the state and the ‘muafakat’ spirit,” he said.
Tee added that he was happy to see that the initiative continued and developed even after changes in the administration of the state government.