24 August 2012

Some thought on Iskandar Malaysia at this moment

I would like to note down some of my thought on Iskandar Malaysia at this moment. With opening of Legoland IM coming next month, we can start feeling the heat of Iskandar Malaysia, by discussion among each others through newspapers, online forum or other social media. I would like to note down some points of Iskandar Malaysia at this moment.

1. Business Opportunity

To be frank, we will be under disadvantage if we compete with Singapore directly in certain area such as in financial, logistic and offshore & marine industries. Singapore is now a regional financial & logistic hub in Asean countries or even in Asia. What we can do is to either supplement to Singapore by providing cheaper labor costs to the multi-national companies with comparable infrastructure, or to fully utilize  its land bank for further value added businesses such as theme parks (recreation), health care industry (cheaper cost compared to Singapore), Islamic Finance Industry, and education etc.

While Singapore land is so squeeze now (they are not going to spend any more lands on expanding road / expressways . In fact, the government tries to reduce the COE now to reduce the traffic congestion), you may have a better infrastructure in IM area, especially if you would like to access to anywhere else from second link from TUAS or from causeway from Woodlands.

2. Job Creation 

The job creation mainly comes from services industry as and when the population grows bigger to at least 3 Million people. What I can foresee is that Malaysia has its competitive advantage in theme parks industry provided if its managed by good and talented management in Malaysia. Not only that, we could see a surge in construction activities, that will bring a lot of jobs to Malaysian. Education wise, we may create job for professors & lecturers to come and enjoy the life while working here. 

3. Property

Property market is an indicator of how hot of the economy is (or rather, how much hot money is in the property market). When the economy is in a good time, the property prices tends to go up due to increasing demand from increasing job creation. A new common terrace house (22*70) could cost you 300K-400K easily in IM area, depending on its location and facility.

I also note that few if not some Singaporean have started switched to Iskandar Malaysia to enjoy bigger space and "Kampung" a.k.a. relax living style while driving to work in Singapore. While the property market in Singapore getting too hot, this trend is not stoppable (except for the security reasons that many people are concern about).

The other trend would be increasing supply of high rise properties around JB old town area. But I am afraid of the impact of the charges on EDL may switch over the demand to Nusajaya area from JB area. 

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