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Friday, December 19, 2008

Sime plans mega project,12,000ha multi-themed scheme to kick off next year

KUALA LUMPUR: SIME Darby Bhd will carry out a massive development project at the Negri Sembilan-Selangor border covering some 12,120ha, with the first launch expected next year.

The development will be based on five themes – health, education, sports, hi-tech and recreation – and will be located at its present Labu and Tanah Merah estates.

Each theme will be developed as an integrated city and the cities will be interconnected.

The first to be launched next year will be the Medical City, which will encompass training colleges, a medical centre of excellence, teaching hospitals and even housing units built for the elderly and infirm.

“We will even invite other medical companies, especially international ones, to set up their facilities in this city.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid.

“We will also be building a nurses training centre to produce 15,000 nurses a year,” said Sime Darby president and chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid.

He was speaking at a media briefing to announce that the Goverment had agreed in principle to Sime Darby’s proposal to buy up to 51% of IJN Sdn Bhd, which operates the national heart institute, Institut Jantung Negara.

Zubir said a second IJN would be built at the Labu Medical City which would also see four other “centres of excellence,” including one for cancer treatment. He said the five cities would be like “multiple Subang Jaya(s),” which was also developed by Sime Darby.

On the purchase of a majority stake in IJN, he explained that it made sense because the group’s healthcare division’s long term plan was to set up several centres of medical excellence.

However, he stressed that “it was not yet a done deal” as due diligence of IJN had yet to be done. He also denied that IJN made more money than Sime Darby’s medical services business.

“Last year IJN made RM20mil while (Sime Darby’s) SJMC made RM25mil. This is a marriage and not a takeover. The synergy from this win-win situation is tremendous,” Zubir said.

By The Star (by Wong Sai Wan)

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