Thursday, June 26, 2008

26-06-2008: Iskandar Malaysia draws RM33b investment

KUALA LUMPUR: The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) has registered investments totalling RM33 billion or 70% of the RM47 billion target set for Iskandar Malaysia under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Amirsham A Aziz.

“This figure is derived from contractual agreements, and not memoranda of understanding (MoU), with the IRDA,” he said in his reply to questions from Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi (Batu Pahat-BN), Tony Pua (Petaling Jaya Utara-DAP), Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor-PAS), Khalid Abdul Samad (Shah Alam-PAS), Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (Pulai-BN) and Hamim Samuri (Ledang-BN).

Amirsham said six foreign companies from the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have invested in Iskandar Malaysia.

They include Kuwait Finance House, Aldar Properties PJSC, Mubadala Development Company, Millennium Development Company, Damac and Limitless Dubai.

Local investors include UEM Group, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Tradewinds Bhd and Lido Boulevard.

“All investments, be it local or foreign, are required to follow all policies and regulations set by the federal and state governments. This will be monitored continuously by the state government and IRDA,” Amirsham said.

He also told the House the total investment included RM4.3 billion from the government for infrastructure development while the rest were from the private sector and government-linked companies.

On the rights of landowners, Amirsham assured the lawmakers the government would protect the rights of landowners in all development corridors.

“No landowner will be forced to sell their land, but it must be noted that they are free to sell their land on the willing-buyer and willing-seller concept,” he said, adding all matters related to sale of land in any corridor were under the purview of the state government concerned.

To a supplementary question, Amirsham said efforts were underway to improve security in the Iskandar area.

He said the government has approved an allocation for more police officers and crime prevention in the area.

“We are also negotiating with a joint committee in Singapore for feedback and to encourage Singapore to avoid describing the IRDA or Johor as unsafe,” he added.

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