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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

JB to get own ‘KLCC’

Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and Mukhtar Hussain signing the plaque at the branch opening

JOHOR BARU: Johor wants to develop the former sites of the Lumba Kuda and Bukit Chagar low-cost flats in Johor Baru into an area similar to Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the components of the project would include buildings that resembled the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, hotels, condominiums, serviced apartments and retail complexes.

“On clear days, the towers would have a commanding 360 degrees views of the city centre and our neighbour Singapore,” he said yesterday.

Ghani was speaking to journalists at the opening of the HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd’s first Islamic bank branch in Johor at Taman Nusa Bestari and also its seventh branch.

He said the Lumba Kuda and Bukit Chagar sites would also be the last stop for the mass rapid transit (MRT) services from Woodlands, Singapore to Tanjung Puteri in Johor Baru. A rapid transit system (RTS), which would be centralised at Kempas KTM station, will connect commuters to other parts of Johor Baru and Pasir Gudang.

Ghani said Johor was opened to all options on the type of RTS to use; whether to have a bridge across the Straits of Johor or an underground sea tunnel linking Johor and Singapore.

“The distance might be short: only about 1.6km but if the sea tunnel project is viable and can help reduce congestion above land, why not,” he said.

Ghani said the Iskandar Regional Development Authority and State Economic Planning Unit would have until the end of the year to complete their studies on the city centre transformation plan and submit their findings to the Federal Government.

Under the 10th Malaysia Plan, some RM1.8bil will be spent to turn Johor Baru into a vibrant city in line with its status as one of the five flagship development zones in Iskandar Malaysia.

By The Star

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