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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nusajaya progressing well despite economic glut

From left: Harun Johari, Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim looking at the model of Nusajaya’s regional city development

NUSAJAYA: UEM Land Holdings Bhd is confident Nusajaya will have enough to attract investors and residents by end-2011 when major projects such as the RM1bil Kota Iskandar are completed.

By then, the RM1.4bil Coastal Highway linking Danga Bay to Nusajaya and the RM715mil Legoland Theme Park would also be ready, said managing director and chief executive officer Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim.

“Nusajaya is progressing well and has attracted interest from both local and foreign investors despite the current economic slowdown,’’ he said yesterday.

He said this at a briefing attended by Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and his deputy Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin during their working visit to Iskandar Malaysia.

UEM Land is the master developer of the 9,308ha Nusajaya, which is the key driver of Iskandar Malaysia.

Nusajaya comprises seven signature developments – Kota Iskandar (Johor State New Administrative Centre), Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters, Puteri Harbour Waterfront Development, EduCity, Medical City, International Destination Resort and Residential Developments.

Wan Abdullah said its high-end residential projects, East Ledang and Horizon Hills, a joint venture between UEM Land and Gamuda Bhd, had attracted a large number of foreign buyers.

“Foreigners made up of 65% and 45% of the buyers at East Ledang and Horizon Hills respectively and the projects have recorded a good take-up rate,’’ he said.

He said UEM Land would sign a contract with the Federal Government this year to build a housing project for the latter’s staff based in Kota Iskandar.

Wan Abdullah said it would also submit a proposal to the Federal Government to build the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex (CIQ) at Puteri Harbour.

He said the CIQ Puteri would facilitate visitors coming to Johor Baru from Singapore using water taxis and ferries from nearby islands in the Riau Archipelago such as Bintan and Batam.

Wan Abdullah said the CIQ Puteri would also provide similar facilities for boaters and yachters from all over the world to moor their vessels.

Meanwhile, Iskandar Regional Development Authority chief executive officer Harun Johari said investment in Iskandar Malaysia would be largely driven by the private sector.

Of the RM47bil investment expected in Iskandar Malaysia by next year, 60% would come from the private sector while public spending and government-linked companies would make up the balance, he said.

Launched on Nov 4, 2006, the 2,217-sq-km Iskandar Malaysia is divided into five flagship development zones – JB City Centre, Nusajaya, Eastern Gate Development, Western Gate Development and Senai-Skudai.

By The Star (by Zazali Musa)

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