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Friday, April 9, 2010

MRCB eyes land in Iskandar to develop property projects

JOHOR BARU: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is eyeing land in Iskandar Malaysia for its property development projects in Malaysia’s first economic growth corridor.

Executive director Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid told StarBiz that the company was looking to develop projects on a joint-venture basis with land owners or other parties.

Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid ... ‘We see Iskandar offering good prospect.’

“We see Iskandar offering good prospect in the long run in view of the commitment shown by the Federal Government and other stakeholders,” he said.

The company is now undertaking two projects in Johor Baru – the RM550mil Permai psychiatric hospital in Tampoi (to be ready by year-end) and the RM1bil Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway (EDL).

Earlier, at a press briefing, Zaki said MRCB’s wholly-owned subsidiary, MRCB Lingkaran Selatan Sdn Bhd (MLSSB), was on track to complete the EDL project by end-2011 and it would be opened to motorists by February 2012.

MLSSB was awarded the 30-year concession in June 2007, including the four-year construction period.

The 8.1km dual three-lane carriageway – 4.4km elevated and 3.7 At-Grate – is an electronic, open toll system and motorists have to pay their toll charges using the Touch & Go card only.

The expressway provides direct link between the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex in Bukit Chagar and the North-South Expressway via the Pandan interchange.

“The opening of the EDL will shorten travelling time by almost 50% to most destinations in Johor Baru and improve connectivity and accessibility,” said Zaki.

He said this would help reduce daily traffic congestion at Jalan Tebrau/Pandan, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Skudai/Jalan Abu Bakar and Jalan Stulang Darat.

He said toll charges were only for traffic going to and fro Singapore; while local motorists could use the EDL for free. He added that Works Ministry would announce the toll rate before the opening date.

Zaki said MLSSB was the first highway concessionaire in the country to finance the land cost at RM254mil including allocating RM10mil for squatters relocation programme.

He said the EDL would also help to open up the eastern corridor of Johor Baru which has been earmarked for major development under Iskandar Malaysia.

By The Star

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