Sunday, May 16

Iskandar Malaysia unaffected by global economic crisis, says UDA chief

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CONTINUOUS GROWTH: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is accompanied by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (second left), Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar (right) dan Iskandar Regional Development Authority’s chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim (left) commemorating Iskandar Malaysia’s five-year anniversary at Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya. The Southern Corridor will not be affected by the global economic uncertainty, but will continue to grow rapidly and attract investments, says Nur Jazlan. — Bernama photo

JOHOR BAHARU: Iskandar Malaysia will not be affected by the global economic uncertainty, but will continue to grow rapidly and attract investments, says UDA Holdings Bhd’s (UDA) chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

The development of the economic corridor in south Johor woukld be enhanced by Singapore’s decision to jointly develop it, he added.

“It’s a political decision to extend its economic borders and security, Singapore has a political objective to see Iskandar’s success,” he told reporters after the handing over of Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia aid at the Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat Hall here yesterday.

Nur Jazlan, who is Member of Parliment for Pulai – which is in Iskandar Malaysia – said Singapore has every reason to see the economic corridor succeeding as this would indirectly ensure the republic’s economic security.

Since its launch at the end of 2006, the 2,200 square kilometres corridor – which is twice that of Singapore – has received a total of RM82 billion in foreign and domestic investments, making it Malaysia’s most successful economic corridor.

Nur Jazlan said with the high cost of doing business in Singapore, it would be better for the republic’s businesses and factories to relocate to Iskandar Malaysia, citing the republic’s three to four times higher property costs.

“If they relocate here, there will be more job opportunities for Malaysians, who wil no longer need to go to Singapore to work,” he said, adding that 40,000 Malaysians commute to the republic daily.

Towards ensuring the success of Iskandar Malaysia, Malaysians and their leaders should discard their old suspicions about Singapore’s involvement in Malaysia and Iskandar Malaysia; and instead look at the issue from an economic perspective, Nur Jazlan said.

“We must work together, find the win-win situation and remove our previus negative mindset.

“Don’t politicise the issue, concentrate on the pure economic issues,” he said.

Nur Jazlan said it was not wrong to use Singapore to catalyse the development of Johor Baharu and south Johor, just as the republic uses Malaysia to develop itself, adding Johor Baharu would also need to be developed as an international city. — Bernama