Meeting the press: Abdul Ghani speaking to reporters during the press conference to deliver his New Year message at Bukit Timbalan in Johor Baru yesterday.
Nusajaya set to start ops by March
JOHOR BARU: Twelve mega projects totalling billions of ringgit are expected to kick off this year under the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), said Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.
Among the projects scheduled for implementation are:
- The RM4.2bil Node 1 project in Nusajaya;
- RM1bil Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL);
- The 15km, RM1bil coastal highway linking Johor Baru with Nusajaya;
- RM900mil clean up of Sungai Skudai, Segget and Tebrau; and,
- RM500mil MSC Cyber City project in Kulai.
“The new state administrative centre in Nusajaya, worth RM1.2bil, is also expected to start operations by March,” he told reporters at a press conference to deliver his New Year message.According to him, among the projects implemented in 2007 were the launch of the RM1.5bil Puteri Harbour and the RM7.8bil Tanjung Bin power plant.
The IDR project was launched in November 2006, but it has taken over a year for the details, including the support and incentive packages for investors, to be finalised.
Abdul Ghani dismissed concerns that a possible recession in the United States would negatively impact development projects in the region, saying that smaller countries would enjoy high growth rates.
“Besides the United States and Europe, everybody is optimistic about economic growth and we expect the world rate of growth to go beyond 6%, even in Africa,” he said.
He was confident the IDR would continue to attract large foreign and local investments in 2008.
He added that projects funded by West Asian investors would be situated in Node 1, about 30km from Johor Baru after the Second Link.The Abu Dhabi-based main developer, Alder Properties, will invest US$520mil (RM1.7bil) to develop a leisure zone, while Al-Nibras 2 Ltd, a subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House, will invest US$330mil (RM1.08bil) to develop the culture cluster.
In addition, Abu Dhabi’s Millinium Development Company will invest US$325mil (RM1.07bil) for the development of the international financial zone.
Meanwhile, the state hopes to be almost squatter free by 2013 through a RM583mil relocation programme that will house around 8,000 squatters presently living within the IDR.
An estimated 2,932 people whose settlements had to make way for the construction of the EDL would be given alternative housing.
Abdul Ghani said RM300mil would be spent to relocate 2,700 squatters from Skudai Kiri and its neighbouring areas to flats near Sungai Melana, behind the Kipmart in Tampoi.
Another 2,450 squatters from Lumba Kuda and Bukit Chagar are expected to get the keys to their homes in Seri Stulang and Pasir Pelangi soon.