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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Iskandar Invt to award RM2b jobs next year

Iskandar Investment Bhd, a government company tasked to build catalytic projects in Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, will give out RM2 billion worth of contracts next year.

The contracts include jobs to build hotels and a shopping mall surrounding the Legoland theme park, president and chief executive officer Arlida Ariff said.

She said the company has awarded over RM1 billion worth of construction jobs before this and it is stepping up the development pace at Iskandar Malaysia. WCT Bhd, an infrastructure firm, had in July won contracts valued at RM767 million to build roads and sewerage there. Property and construction firm Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd has also won jobs from Iskandar Investment.

"We've spent the last few years planning and firming up deals, now it is time to convert those investments into activities that will stimulate more works on the ground," Arlida told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Next year's contracts are mainly for the construction of buildings that include a medical school and student residences, residential units within the Medini cluster, and amenities around Legoland.
The completion date for Legoland has been brought forward by about a year and it is now scheduled to be ready by April 2012, Arlida said. At least one hotel in that area and a shopping mall, will be ready by the time the theme park opens its doors, she said.

There will be a four-star business hotel and another resort hotel around Legoland, she added.

Arlida said Iskandar will bring in partners, both local and foreign, to work on some of the projects.

"Towards this year-end and into next year, we hope to announce at least three more partners and bring in three more universities into Educity (within Iskandar Malaysia)," she said.

"The next two months are very busy for me. I'll be travelling to five countries to finalise deals." She will be travelling to Dubai, the UK, Australia and India in the next two months.

"It's time to expand beyond the current markets and partners that we have now. There's still a lot of room for growth," she said.

Iskandar Investment's reputation and credibility is more solid now that it has awarded a big sum in contracts, she remarked. "We have given out over RM1 billion contracts. This is an affirmation that the project is for real."

By Business Times (by Chong Pooi Koon)

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