10 August 2014

Middle East, Singapore, China. What's Next?

If I still remember correctly, Iskandar Malaysia is one of the corridor projects proposed by former prime minister of Malaysia Tun Abdullah. His original plan was strongly supported by Middle East companies initially. After that Dubai was hit by the global financial crisis and Middle East investors retreated from this region. Singapore developers especially MNC started venture in Iskandar Malaysia seriously only after year 2012, as the property price in Singapore rose significantly due to the US Quantitative Easing. And from this year onward, many Chinese developers rushed into this region and try to replicate their business model in China, in the hope that Johor Bahru - Singapore can be like another Shen Zhen - Hong Kong.

So far, I have not seen significant demographic changes as most of the development actually are cater to those whose who are working in Singapore. Most of the locals here cannot afford the high real estate price here, as their wages are not as high as those in Singapore, mainly due to the currency conversion rate of 2.55. If this continues and Malaysia government cannot create higher salary jobs, it definitely could only be the backyard of Singapore.

So far, I still have no concrete idea on when will the MRT linked to Johor Bahru. This is the main catalyst for those who choose to stay in JB instead of in SG, especially the transportation cost increases a lot, thanks to the implementation of new VEP price by Singapore government and increase in toll fares by Malaysia government on woodlands causeway just to compensate builder of EDL.

With high speed rail project in planning stage, I hope that this can bring benefit to all residents along the HSR route. Hopefully it could create synergies, I sincerely hope that Malaysia government could show their supports to Iskandar Malaysia. Without the support from Malaysia government, it could only be another white elephant project.

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