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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

'Wellness City' likely to miss launch deadline

JOHOR BARU: Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Temasek Holdings's joint venture "Wellness City" development in Johor Baru is likely to miss its May launch deadline, as bilateral discussions continue between Singapore and Malaysia.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the joint venture has been included in Points Of Agreement (POA)++ discussions between the two countries, which are only expected to be concluded by the end of the year.

"Its' been referred to as a "Wellness City", what constitutes as "Wellness", that has to be sorted out by the two joint venture partners.... but at least to some extent there has been some commitment. The site has been agreed upon.., it's somewhere where we are now," he told reporters at Danga Bay Sdn Bhd's sales office in Johor Baru last Saturday.

Danga Bay Sdn Bhd was awarded a privatisation by the Johor State Government in early 2000 to develop 720ha of waterfront land along Johor Baru's Lido Beach.

In a joint statement on the "Wellness City" project issued in May 2010, both countries' leaders had said they looked forward to a launch by May 2011.

The POA++ includes talks on an Rapid Transit System (RTS) to improve accessibility between Singapore and Johor Baru.

"The issue is where to connect (between Singapore and Johor Baru) and what kind of RTS we are talking about. Now its just a general term, RTS," Abdul Ghani said.

Some 60,000 to 70,000 motorcyclists cross the causeway to Singapore on a daily basis.

"JB Sentral hasn't got the space for it where as Kempas has about 80ha of land. The chances are we will link the RTS to Kempas Baru Railway station," Abdul Ghani said.

By Business Times

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