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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Malaysian Rubber Board land sale on track

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) is on track to monetise some of its land bank assets in the Klang Valley, said chairman Datuk Wira Ahmad Hamzah.

He said MRB was satisfied with the smooth progress so far particularly on the sale of over 40ha of its Rubber Research Institute (RRI) land in Sg Buloh for the My Rapid Transit (MRT) project.

Of its total 1,300ha RRI land bank, Ahmad said MRB planned to retain about 214ha for the development of MRB's new headquarters, a dedicated international class rubber research centre, a Royal Commodity College, a rubber museum and rubber-related business clusters.

“All these proposed developments will be financed from the funds to be generated from our land bank assets monetisation exercise,” Ahmad told StarBiz on the sideline after the opening of MRB's International Rubber Economic Conference 2011 was officiated by Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk G. Palanivel yesterday.

Declining to comment on the funds to be generated and also the costs involved for MRB's future development, he said “Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to unveil full details on the subject before year-end.”

Industry observers had pegged MRB's land bank assets to be worth over RM1bil nationwide. MRB's prime land bank assets are located in Sg Buloh and Jalan Ampang in KL. The MRB's current headquarters sits on a hot location along Jalan Ampang facing the Petronas Twin Towers in the city's golden triangle area.

Earlier, at a press conference, Palanivel said that while it was tough to increase the hectarage for rubber cultivation in Malaysa, with more research and development, yield per ha in rubber plantations could be increased.

By The Star

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