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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Syed Mohamed set for IIB top job

Datuk Syed Mohamed Ibrahim, the property head at DRB-HICOM Bhd, is slated to join Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) as its chief executive officer (CEO), replacing Arlida Ariff who currently holds the post.

Arlida's contract expires at the end of this year and it is believed that her term will not be extended, sources said.

"The offer has been made and he (Syed Mohamed) may even start this year," one of the sources said.

IIB confirmed that Arlida's contract finishes at the end of the year, but declined to comment further.

Syed Mohamed and Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the parent of IIB, also declined comment.
Syed Mohamed has been the group director of DRB-HICOM's property and infrastructure division since early this year.

He returned to Malaysia after a stint as chief operating officer of Seera City Real Estate Development Co, a firm leading the RM24 billion, 15-year project known as the "Knowledge Economic City" in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

The city is one of six new cities being built by Saudi Arabia and is intended to be an education and technology hub.

Before that, Syed Mohamed was the CEO of Tabung Haji's property arm, TH Properties Sdn Bhd, the developer of Bandar Enstek, a RM9.2 billion township in Negri Sembilan.

He will succeed Arlida, an engineer by profession, who was appointed IIB executive director on July 2 2007. She became the president and CEO on January 1 2008.

Under her watch, IIB has brought in significant projects like the Legoland theme park, factory outlets, and some world-renowned universities.

The RM750 million theme park, which is among the main attractions at Medini North in Iskandar Malay sia, will be the fifth Legoland in the world and is scheduled to open in 2012.

Since the set-up of IIB in November 2006, the company has also awarded over RM3 billion worth of construction jobs in Iskandar Malaysia.

In Medini North, there are RM1.7 billion worth of ongoing projects, including Legoland Malaysia and 1Medini, a residential project by WCT Bhd and IIB.

Arlida said recently that she was in talks with several local and foreign investors to build a three-star resort hotel, a four-star business hotel, a retail mall and a high-rise tower in Medini North worth RM1 billion.

IIB is also trying to get two other universities to set up engineering and multi-programme schools in EduCity, the 120ha education enclave in Nusajaya. One is with Singapore's Raffles Education Group.

In June, IIB signed a deal with the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) to set up an MDIS campus in EduCity.

The MDIS campus is the third in EduCity, the other two institutions being the UK's Newcastle University of Medicine and the Netherland's Maritime Institute of Technology.

By Business Times

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