20 June 2014

Iskandar Malaysia News - June 2014

Iskandar Malaysia is moving forward to be a world class city which features on Education, Logistic, Industrial, and Services industries that provide sustainable growth here. But I believe that Iskandar Malaysia would try not to compete but complement Singapore, its neighbor which is currently a financial & logistic hub in the region. 

As of current stage, we have seen ventures from private sectors especially theme park operators (LegoLand), movie maker(PineWood) as well as private education providers from U.K. and it is a good start here. 

But to be a livable city, we must also increase efforts in providing higher wage jobs in Iskandar Malaysia besides providing cheaper labor costs to Singapore. So far, there are some concerns from investors / businessmen / public on rising living costs (especially housing affordability issue). The state government was trying to push for more affordable housing to the public (especially for those whose household income are below RM3,000.00). 

The cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia could bring to the successful result, as it may become a "Greater Singapore" in future. It is already an open issue that many people traveling to Singapore from Iskandar Malaysia would face a terrible jam during peak hour (6am - 10am & 5pm - 9pm). Many workers still reluctant to move to cheaper place in Iskandar Malaysia despite the rising rental costs in Singapore due to this issue. Hopefully with MRT / BRT linked to Johor Bahru from Singapore, we would see a structural change here. But whether it could further boost up the purchasing power in Iskandar Malaysia, it still remains questionable.

Summary of the news on June 2014 is shown as below. 

  • UMLand Property Galleria in Singapore : UMLand new property gallery to showcase development products of UMLand in Iskandar Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur Strategically located at Anson Road, the 2,000 sq ft UMLand Property Galleria was recently launched to serve as a UMLand presence in Singapore.
  • Cushman & Wakefield to expand into MalaysiaCushman & Wakefield has expanded into Malaysia. The new office in Kuala Lumpur is C&W’s 35th office in Asia Pacific. Sanjay Verma, CEO for Asia Pacific commented: “This move is in line with our five year strategic plan, which contains an aggressive expansion plan for our business in Asia Pacific. This new office in Kuala Lumpur will help us further increase the depth and breadth of our service offerings to our global clients.” 
  • Iskandar sets RM25b investment goal for 2014: Iskandar Malaysia, foreseeing brighter investment prospects, has set an ambitious goal for the southern economic corridor to rake in RM25 billion in investments in 2014, thanks to the continued vibrancy of the domestic economy.
  • Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios opens in JohorSouth-east Asia's largest integrated studio facility is open for business in Johor and it has already attracted a multi-million-dollar television production from American Internet-streaming service provider Netflix. Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios held its official opening last Saturday. Sitting on 20ha of land, the massive film soundstages are 100,000 sq ft in total, while its television studios and other production facilities take up another 24,000 sq ft.
  • Book on Johor’s sea gypsies out in bookstores: Rapid development in Johor via the Iskandar Malaysia project has made many people forgotten the existence of the Orang Seletar or sea gypsies. Not much is known about the lives of this indigenous people who traditionally live on boats and carry out their living on the sea throughout Johor
  • Iskandar 'complements, not competes with' Singapore industries: The trade ministers of Singapore and Malaysia yesterday emphasised that the Iskandar development region in Johor will complement, rather than compete with, Singapore's own manufacturing sector. They stressed this at the ground-breaking ceremony of Nusajaya Tech Park, the 60:40 project between Singapore's Ascendas and Malaysia's UEM Sunrise.
  • Iskandar's Nusajaya Tech Park breaks ground: The development has 40 per cent pre-commitment for its facilities and is expected to support 200 enterprises when fully operational, the developers say. The projected gross development value is S$1.5 billion (RM3.7 billion) and the first phase of the development is expected to be completed in 2016. Ascendas will have a 60 per cent stake in the project with UEM accounting for the other 40 per cent.
  • Eco World Upbeat On Expansion Strategy:  ECO World Group Bhd expects its asset injection exercise and property sale to give it surplus cash to support its expansion costs. The developer has been aggressively acquiring land over the last 10 months in the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang.
  • Johor royals emerging as KEY PLAYERS in Iskandar property projectsJohor's royal family have emerged as key players in the booming Iskandar property market with major stakes in several developments as well as holdings in related industries.
  • MB needs to drive Iskandar MalaysiaA great many people in Johor have no affinity with this entity called Iskandar Malaysia. Despite all the hype and hullabaloo, they can't relate with it. They have no clue if this is yet one more government department, public corporation, or as pointed out by the young upstart earlier, another bus company.
  • 'It's A One-Stop Centre To Fulfil Housing Needs'State Barisan Nasional assemblymen, who voted for the Johor Housing and Property Board Enactment 2014 yesterday, have assured that the new law would serve the needs of Johoreans.
  • EduCity well on trackUniversity of Reading Malaysia, University of Southampton Malaysia Campus and Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia are set to help redefine the higher education landscape in the country. The three world-renowned British universities, part of EduCity Iskandar in Johor, are keen to set the record straight: they believe with the integrated campus concept fully in place, EduCity will succeed in achieving its goal of becoming a world-class education hub.
  • Iskandar reaching critical mass as investments rise: Iskandar Malaysia is attracting investments that will form a critical mass to kick-start economic activity and power the region to become the special development zone that the Malaysian government envisions it to be, said Ms Sarena Cheah, joint managing director of property developer Sunway Berhad’s property development division.
  • Sunway Outlines RM30b Township Plan In Iskandar: Sunway Property last week unveiled its plans to nurture and foster a vibrant community in Iskandar Malaysia through its township named Sunway Iskandar, which has a gross development value of over RM30 billion. Comprising six different precincts — The Capital, The Parkview, The Lakeview, The Riverside, The Seafront, and The Marketplace — Sunway Iskandar will span across 720ha in Iskandar Malaysia.

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