JOHOR BARU, 20 April 2009: The federal government is committed to the continued development of Iskandar Malaysia to turn the special economic corridor in southern Malaysia into a new growth centre in the country.
In giving the assurance, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said his administration’s development policy on Iskandar Malaysia was a continuation of the administration of his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“The time has come for the creation of a new growth centre in the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia as the situation in the Klang Valley is congested with the presence of foreigners from other countries, particularly from the east coast.
“Hence, when there is a new growth area developing, with capital injection from in and outside the country, the people will have a choice to migrate to places like Iskandar Malaysia,” he said when speaking at a meet-the-civil servants gathering here today.
Launched on 4 Nov 2006 and spanning across 2,217 sq km, Iskandar Malaysia, three times the size of neighbouring Singapore, covers Johor Baru, Senai, Kulai, Gelang Patah, Pontian, Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Langsat.
Iskandar Malaysia has nearly met its US$13 billion overall foreign direct investment target for the phase ending in 2010.
Iskandar Investment Bhd, the catalytic of Iskandar Malaysia, said today more than US$11 billion or 92% has been invested by players in Iskandar Malaysia.
Present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, state executive councillors and senior state government officials.
The prime minister said the federal government in planning the development of Iskandar Malaysia would seek the views of the Johor state government to ensure success of the country’s biggest corridor development.
He assured Johoreans that they would not be sidelined from the corridor development and that they would reap various benefits from it.
“This is not the time for us to try to politicise the Iskandar Malaysia issue. I believe we should not turn this mammoth project into a political polemic but to view it in a positive light.
“With the injection of foreign investments and hi-tech investment, eco-tourism development, medical and international tertiary education, surely we will be proud to see Iskandar Malaysia placing Johor on the world map,” he said.
Najib also said his administration’s “One Malaysia. People Come First and Achievements Top Priority” concept was not merely a sentiment but based on fairness and equality as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
He said his concept complements that of Abdullah’s themed “Excellence, Glory and Distinction and “Vision 2020” by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib said his administration would emphasise on people-friendly approach.
Najib also said the open tender concept was the principle of his administration to wipe out corruption in the civil service and to restore public confidence in the government. — Bernama