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Old July 30th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #1
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BIG NEWS! South JOHOR METROPOLIS!

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news.php?id=211273

July 30, 2006 13:04 PM

SJER To Turn Johor Into International Metropolis - PM

JOHOR BAHARU, July 30 (Bernama) -- The South Johor Economic Region (SJER) will turn Johor into a metropolis on par with Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China, and put Malaysia on the world map, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Sunday.

He said the SJER, to be developed by the government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional, was expected to experience robust development and modernisation, and help spur the country's economy in the future.

"The huge development and investment in the SJER, I believe, will make Johor as a major metropolis in Malaysia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and the world, and on par with Hong Kong and Shenzhen on the mainland China.

"Through the SJER, Johor will be known on the world map," he told about 5,000 people who welcomed him at the Senai Airport. Abdullah is here for a day's visit to Johor.

With the government's plan to carry out massive development in southern Johor under the SJER development programme, the strategic area, the prime minister said, would also emerge as the country's economic booster in the future.

Abdullah said the government sincerely hoped the SJER development plan would be well received by the Johor people and he would present the government's plan for the southern Johor area to the Sultan of Johor at Istana Bukit Serene this afternoon.

He said rural areas, the entrepreneurs and the Bumiputera community would also be involved in the SJER so that all levels of society would enjoy progress under the development plan.

The prime minister said that besides the SJER, the government would also develop several other development corridors like the northern areas of Peninsular Malaysia covering Perlis, Penang and North Perak which would be developed by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).

The East Coast development corridor covering Kelantan, Terengganu and East Pahang would be developed by the national oil and gas corporation, Petronas.

"All these are my plans, not other people's plans," the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the Johor people had given a very big mandate to Abdullah to lead the country and therefore, the Johor people would stand strong behind his leadership.

"Truly, the Johor people solidly stand behind Prime Minister in his effort to implement and realise all national missions. Let us be with him together," he said.

The crowd who welcomed the prime minister, carried various banners to express their support for Abdullah, some of them read "Teruskan Perjuangan Mu, Pak Lah", "Umno Pulai Menentang Sebarang Bentuk Gangguan Ke Atas Pimpinan Pak Lah" and "Kami Tetap Menyokong Kepimpinan Pak Lah."

Other leaders who were there at the airport to receive the prime minister were Cabinet ministers from Johor, state executive council members and Johor Barisan Nasional leaders.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 30th, 2006, 06:46 PM   #2
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http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/st...=211349&cat=st

July 30, 2006 19:44 PM

South Johor Development - The Growth Catalyst For Asean

JOHOR BAHARU, July 30 (Bernama) -- The South Johor Economic Region (SJER) strategically located on a 1,500 sq km site, will be the catalyst for the region's economic growth, and moving in tandem with the robust development of Shenzhen in southern China, the Prime Minister said.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the SJER located near Singapore covering areas from the Johor Baharu City Council, the Johor Baharu Tengah, Pasir Gudang, Jeram Mukim, Serikat Mukim to Kulai District Council, "will be the engine of growth for the manufacturing sector in the region."

"This is a strategic development given that the southern Johor area is two and half times larger than Singapore, with land being cheaper and more competitive than the republic," he told a news conference after launching an anti-oilspill vessel, named Seri Endon, owned by Syarkat Kejuruteraan Asas Jaya Sdn Bhd at the Marine Department base in Gelang Patah near here today.

Highlighting the key attributes of the SJER, Abdullah said the area is also well-positioned, given the availability of basic and quality infrastructure, including communications infrastructure, as well as a large population which could provide the human resource.

The SJER set up to provide the impetus of growth for various sectors such as service, manufacturing, industries, ICT and logistics, had received the approval from the Johor Sultan today, and will be developed jointly between the federal and the state government as well as the private sector.

Abdullah said: "The Sultan of Johor wants the project to be expedited" during his audience with the Sultan at Istana Bukit Serene at noon here.

The prime minister said the government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Berhad had been given the responsibility to help with planning and steering the development in the region, which would also encourage growth of other types of development which were of high quality.

Abdullah said he and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman will jointly chair a committee to be set up to monitor the development of the SJER.

He said his visit to Johor today was aimed at providing a briefing on the development plan of Southern Johor.

He said, infact the SJER was still in the planning stage, "but there are investors comprising large companies from overseas which are interested in establishing their presence in this region with proposed investments worth RM15 billion."

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 30th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #3
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http://www.chinapost.com.tw/i_latestdetail.asp?id=40024

Southern Malaysia set to become world-class economic hub, PM Abdullah says(updated 02:52 p.m.)

2006/7/30
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP)


Economic development planned in Malaysia's southern Johor state will turn the area into a world-class hub on a par with Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Sunday.

The South Johor Economic Region, located just across the strait from Singapore, will be developed by the government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd., over the next five to seven years.

The government earlier this year announced a budget of 12.2 billion ringgit (US$3.3 billion; ?2.6 billion) for the development of the region.

The government plans to carry out massive development in the area, Abdullah said in Johor, according to the national news agency Bernama.

"The huge development and investment ... will make Johor a major metropolis in Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the world, and on par with Hong Kong and Shenzhen," said Abdullah.

Analysts have said the main reason for the creation of the hub is to woo multinational corporations based in Singapore to relocate to Johor, where land and labor costs are lower.

It said the development will include information and communications technology industries, petrochemical and marine-related industries and power plants.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 12:33 PM   #4
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From The Star

Monday July 31, 2006


‘HK of Malaysia’ plan

By NELSON BENJAMIN, TEH ENG HOCK AND FARIK ZOLKEPLI

JOHOR BARU: Southern Johor, which is more than double the size of Singapore, is set to become a metropolis like Hong Kong island and Shenzhen in China, said the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the Southern Johor Economic Region (SJER) was the largest development corridor earmarked under the 9th Malaysia Plan compared to other corridors in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

“There is a lot of potential here as land is not too expensive like in other places and there is adequate workforce. Proper implementation of these projects will attract more investors and put Johor on the world map,” he said on arrival at the Senai International Airport at 9.15am yesterday.

Thousands of people had gathered at the airport car park area to welcome Abdullah who was on a one-day trip here to explain the state's development projects under the 9MP to the Johor Sultan and state leaders.

“We may not necessarily use the same methods of development (as in Hong Kong or Shenzhen) as we will mould it our way,” Abdullah said, adding that the 9MP had taken into consideration development projects already under way such as Nusajaya and Danga Bay.

Abdullah said Khazanah Nasional Berhad would be the catalyst for the development. Later at a press conference, he added that the total investment for the SJER was RM15 billion, including foreign investments.

Development of the various corridors in the country, he added, was important to steer the country towards achieving Vision 2020. The projects would bring development to other parts of the country and not be only concentrated in the Klang Valley.

The Northern Corridor, which comprises Seberang Prai, Perak and Perlis, would be developed by Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Sime Darby, while the Eastern Corridor covering Kelantan, northern Terengganu and western Pahang would involve Petronas.

Abdullah, who met the Johor Sultan at Istana Bukit Serene at noon here, later told newsmen that the Sultan had given his approval for the projects to proceed.

He also announced that both he and Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman would be joint chairmen of a committee set up to oversee the projects.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 12:36 PM   #5
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http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/n...cle/index_html


Johor Hits It Big
Abdullah’s baby, a super corridor in south Johor

31 Jul 2006
Ravi Nambiar


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOHOR BARU: The Prime Minister arrived here in a take-charge mood yesterday and made the biggest announcement the country has heard from him this year since the Ninth Malaysia Plan: Johor is the new growth engine for Malaysia. It will create a million new jobs over the next two decades.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi picked the southern State to lead the way as the first of four new power-corridors in the country, including Sabah and Sarawak.

They are aimed at magnetising billions of ringgit of global investment to sprout jobs and growth for the nation.

To kickstart this new engine, he said that foreigners were ready to invest RM15 billion in the new initiative, dubbed the South Johor Corridor (SJC). It will be a priority development by the Federal Government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

His announcement, made in an off-the-cuff speech at Senai Airport to a crushing crowd of 5,000 supporters, was greeted with thunderous applause.

"This is for the people of Johor. Let them hear it first from me. I want Johor to develop and prosper just like in the old days under rulers like Sultan Abu Bakar, who is the founder of modern Johor," declared Abdullah.

He said when fully developed, the super corridor could surpass Klang Valley as the nation’s number one growth destination and even give neighbouring Singapore a run for its money.

The Prime Minister will take personal charge of the project as the joint-chief of a new body expected to be created specially by Parliament, called the South Johor Authority. The other chairman of the authority will be Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

The proposed authority is aimed at giving focus and direction to the separate plans of private investors, which sources told the New Straits Times involves billions of dollars to be pumped into prime land stretching over 10,000 hectares, more than twice the size of Singapore.

Sources told the NST that Middle East investors are poised, together with Malaysian companies and private investors, to invest billions of US dollars in a wide range of breakthrough projects.

These include an education hub with state-of-the-art facilities supported by world-class brand name universities. Also on the cards is a medical centre of excellence, with top-end private hospitals and research facilities.

Tourism, already a big earner for Johor, is to get a bigger push with higher-end hotels to draw big-spending visitors.

In pushing for faster growth in Johor, Abdullah, who is also the Finance Minister, said the new super corridor would be developed the same way as Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China were, to emerge as special economic zones and the focus of investors.

The SJC’s sprawling physical presence will stretch from the Causeway to Gelang Patah, embracing Senai Airport and Johor’s two biggest ports.

Abdullah is confident the SJC can compete for business and investments from around the world with its strategic location and built-in advantages.

"Let me stress that this is my idea. It did not come from anyone else. It is my own vision and plan to create this super corridor in south Johor to make it the nation’s premier growth centre," he said.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 12:37 PM   #6
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http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/n...le/local1_html

Johor Sultan gives project the nod
31 Jul 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOHOR BARU: The Sultan of Johor is impressed with the South Johor Corridor (SJC) project and wants work started on it without any delay.

The Prime Minister was granted an audience with Sultan Iskandar at Istana Bukit Serene here yesterday, and briefed him on the corridor.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the Sultan was "very happy" with the development and its impact on the economy.

"He has given the nod for us to go ahead with SJC," he said at the close of his one-day working visit to Johor.

Present was Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

"The Sultan is impressed with all the details of the SJC, and has given his blessings to start work on the project without any delay," he said.

Abdullah said the SJC would be of strategic value because of its location at the southern tip of Southeast Asia. Its abundant land at competitive prices will attract the world’s businessmen and investors.

In fact, he said, despite being in the planning stage, there were foreign investors who were willing to plough RM15 billion into the project.

"This project will not only create jobs for the people and be a boon for business, but will also raise the standard of life of the people," he said.

Earlier, he briefed State Executive Councillors, state assemblymen, Members of Parliament and senators on the scale of the SJC development.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 12:58 PM   #7
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HK and Shenzen of Malaysia eh ? Then can outperform KL in term of highrises leh ? hehehehe
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Old July 31st, 2006, 04:35 PM   #8
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Jobs Aplenty Through South Johor Corridor

By Yong Soo Heong

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 (Bernama) -- Two days before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visited Johor Baru to announce his plans for the South Johor Corridor (SJC), a port executive said the people in Johor were all abuzz as to what the plans were.

"We are just very excited about it and we want to know more," he said.

And the prime minister did not disappoint: he even told his audience in Johor Baharu Sunday that foreign investors were already willing to invest RM15 billion for a start and that about a million jobs would be created over the next 20 years.

Bursa Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Composite Index gained 1.13 points to 935.85 Monday on news of the SJC. Winners leading losers by 363 to 335 while another 315 counters were traded unchanged.

A Johor-linked company, Johor Land, gained two sen to RM1.05 while infrastructure-based Ranhill and Gamuda were unchanged at RM1.18 and RM3.50 respectively.

An analyst with a research house said news of the SJC helped to boost investor confidence as to what the government would do to stimulate the economy through the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Abdullah had likened the future of Johor to be like Shenzen, one of the fastest growing cities in the world in southern China.

Once a fishing village, Shenzen was singled out by former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xioaping as the first of China's Special Economic Zones (SEZs) on the eastern coast in 1979. The SEZs proved to be a great success and helped transform the further opening up of China and continuous economic reform.

Shenzhen has today grown to become one of the largest cities in the Pearl River Delta region, regarded as one of the economic powerhouses of China and the largest manufacturing base in the world.

Abdullah said SJC would be a priority development of the federal government under the 9MP and would cover 10,000 hectares, an area twice the size of neighbouring Singapore.

The area of focus will stretch from the Johor Baru Causeway to include Pasir Gudang and Danga Bay to Gelang Patah on the south western coast of Johor.

The SJC will also leverage on several key sea, air and rail logistics facilities in seaports like the Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Johor Port, the Senai Airport and the KTM Bhd rail link.

In Gelang Patah and in the areas around the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) in south western Johor, various maritime industries like the International Petrochemical Centre, Maritime Industrial Centre and Regional Bunker Supply Centre will be established.

PTP itself will be developed as a transhipment hub and a logistics and manufacturing industrial centre through its free zone areas. All this will enable SJC to eventually emerge as a regional logistics hub.

Besides logistics, another analyst with a research house said the SJC would also see major real estate developments at Nusajaya, the Johor state government's new administrative capital, and the urban redevelopment of Johor Baharu, the development of a waterfront city at Danga Bay covering more than 800 hectares, and the establishment of a Cyberport in Johor Baru and a Cybercity in Kulai.


He said this would also see the development of new growth areas in tourism and in ICT.

Best of all, the jobs created via the SJC means that people in Johor need not really have to leave their state to seek greener pastures.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 31st, 2006, 09:47 PM   #9
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This proposal is a joke. How on earth can you compare it to Hong Kong and Shenzen when they themselves admited that the land values are dirt cheap. Places with dirt cheap land values are only good for low skilled industries not metropolis. Metropolis like Hong Kong and Shenzen have astronomical land values(signifincantly higher than KL)
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Old July 31st, 2006, 10:07 PM   #10
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Shenzhen's land isn't that expensive. Logistics and port facilities have performed very well in recent years. As long as the transport links are there, cheap land can appreciate rather quickly and support a full range of industries. Shenzhen has been aiming for the IT industries as well.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 09:07 PM   #11
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From Berita Harian

Pelan induk SJER dijangka siap sebelum akhir tahun


JOHOR BAHRU: Pelan induk pembangunan Wilayah Ekonomi Johor Selatan (SJER) yang membabitkan perancangan Kerajaan Pusat, negeri dan Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) dijangka siap sebelum akhir tahun ini.




Menteri Besar, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, berkata jawatankuasa khas membabitkan tiga pihak itu sedang memperincikan pelan induk berkenaan bagi memastikan semua pembangunan SEJR lengkap dan tidak bertindih.

Katanya, pada masa sama, kuasa eksekutif kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan (PBT) Johor yang terbabit dalam pembangunan SJER, akan dikekalkan sepenuhnya.

“SJER tidak akan menjadi seperti Putrajaya dan sebab itu Perdana Menteri semalam (kelmarin) mengumumkan jawatankuasa yang dipengerusikan bersama beliau dan saya,” katanya pada sidang akhbar di kediamannya di Saujana di sini, semalam.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kelmarin mengumumkan SJER akan menjadi metropolis terkemuka dunia seperti Hong Kong dan Shenzen di China.

Abdul Ghani berkata, keluasan sebenar segi tiga pembangunan SEJR membabitkan Mukim Serkat di Barat, Pasir Gudang di Timur dan Kulai di Utara adalah seluas 2,200 kilometer persegi atau 200,000 hektar.

Beliau berkata, kawasan itu sudah mengalami pembangunan bercampur dengan kepelbagaian bidang ekonomi seperti pembuatan dan logistik tetapi masih ada ruang untuk pembangunan.

“Sebab itu pentingnya kita mempunyai satu pelan induk komprehensif serta pihak berkuasa yang akan memantau, merancang dan melaksanakan segala projek dengan lebih berkesan tanpa kerenah birokrasi," katanya.

Abdul Ghani berkata, kawasan SJER berkeluasan dua kali ganda daripada saiz Singapura, akan mempunyai pembangunan khusus.

Katanya, Pasir Gudang menjadi pusat logistik yang menempatkan dua pelabuhan dan Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail di Senai dan dihubungkan dengan Pelabuhan Tanjung Pelepas menerusi landasan kereta api.

“Kulai menjadi pusat penyelidikan bidang komunikasi teknologi maklumat (ICT) yang menempatkan Cyberjaya Johor dan di Selatan iaitu Johor Bahru menempatkan kawasan rekreasi dan perumahan,” katanya.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 05:12 AM   #12
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I am happy that the 9th Plan has emphasize development away from the Klang Valley, everyone anywhere in the country should have access to modern living conditions, it is good that forumners from all parts of the country are highlighting development in their areas. Those in Klang valley mostly have access to adequate facilities, its time the rest of the country gets theirs
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:02 AM   #13
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Well said. I believe balanced development is the key to the future to prevent over-population and urbanization in certain localized areas.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:23 PM   #14
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NEWS JUST KEEP POURING!

http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...6.txt/Article/

Mah Sing seeks land in Johor

August 2 2006


MAIN-BOARD listed Mah Sing Group Bhd expects to reap positive benefits from the implementation of infrastructure projects in the South Johor Economic Region (SJER), where its current three property projects are located.



Mah Sing president and group chief executive Datuk Leong Hoy Kum said the company shares the Government optimism in the economic potential of the region.


"The group looks upon the effective implementation of the various infrastructure upgrades in Johor as an excellent opportunity for us to further expand in Johor.


"We are actively sourcing for land in the prime locations in the SJER, which will allow us to develop our signature lifestyle townships," he said in a statement released in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.


Mah Sing currently has three projects in Johor, namely Sri Pulai Perdana in Skudai, Austin Perdana in Tebrau and Sierra Perdana in the Tebrau-Plentong growth corridor - all located within the SJER.


The property developer, which had its presence in Johor since 2000, currently has some 152.4ha of undeveloped landbank with RM750 million gross development value.


Leong is confident that the company's projects, especially Sierra Perdana would be more attractive to home buyers and investors when key infrastructure projects such as the 11km coastal road from Permas to Pasir Gudang is completed.


He said Sri Pulai Perdana is now matured while residential properties in Austin Perdana are expected to be fully developed within this year.


Leong expects Austin Perdana's shop offices - Austin East and Austin Centrepoint - to become the commercial hub of the booming Tebrau area.


"The group recently launched Austin Suites, two blocks of serviced apartments facing the central lake and take-up has been strong," he added.


Mah Sing's latest project, Sierra Perdana, is expected to benefit from the proposed Coastal Highway which will cut through the project, reducing traveling time to the city.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:25 PM   #15
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Tuesday August 1, 2006

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...5&sec=business

great news article

RM5b to upgrade South Johor Economic Region

BY ZAZALI MUSA

JOHOR BARU: The Federal Government is allocating RM5bil for infrastructure projects in the South Johor Economic Region (SJER) under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).

Sources told StarBiz the allocation, part of the RM12.2bil package for SJER, would be used to upgrade existing infrastructure and construct new facilities.

“The money is ready to be released any time now as the Prime Minister wants the infrastructure projects to start as soon as possible,” said the sources.

They said the tendering process for the projects would be through relevant departments such as the Public Works Department and the Economic Planning Unit.


A view of Johor Baru, The South Johor Economic Region is poised for tremendous growth under the Ninth Malaysian Plan.
They said Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which had been given a mandate to act as planner and co-ordinator, would not be involved in awarding the projects.

Many had thought Khazanah would award the bulk of the infrastructure projects to government-linked companies, including UEM World Bhd.

“It is wrong to say that Khazanah will have the final say. The process will be transparent and everybody can vie for the projects,” the sources reiterated.

The sources said Khazanah had no interest to hold on as the SJER planner and coordinator, and that a consortium would be set up to monitor the progress of SJER.

Khazanah is likely to hand over its “power” early next year and Konsortium Prasarana Rakyat Johor will be one of the bodies in the grouping.

SJER, covering Senai in the north, Pasir Gudang in the east and Tanjung Pelepas/Gelang Patah in the west, is one of the key areas that have been identified for expansion under the 9MP.

Among the new infrastructure projects in the SJER are the Permas Second Bridge, 11km coastal road from Danga Bay to Bandar Nusajaya and 11km coastal road from Permas to Pasir Gudang.

Existing roads to be upgraded include the Inner Ring Road from Jalan Storey near the Gerbang Perdana complex and Jalan Yusof Taha.

The upgrading also involves the Middle Ring Road from Jalan Tun Razak to the Senai Highway and the Outer Ring Road from Jalan Tebrau to the Pandan intersection.

From there, the Outer Ring Road would be extended to Ulu Tiram where it would link up to the Senai-Desaru Highway.

“The construction of new roads and upgrading of existing roads is important to ensure that the anticipated increase of traffic volume is efficiently catered for,” said the sources.

Part of the infrastructure allocation would be used for cleaning rivers, security enhancement and upgrading the sewerage and drainage systems in the Central Business District (CBD).

Rivers to be cleaned up are Sungai Segget, Sungai Pandan and Sungai Skudai. The main objective of this exercise is to bring life back to these rivers.

The high crime rate in Johor Baru has caused concern among many parties and money will be spent to enhance security.

Sources said it was important to improve security as the large scale development in the SJER would pose a challenge for the police force.

“Johor Baru is in the limelight for the wrong reasons; we have to do something to gain the confidence of visitors and investors,” the sources added.

The sewerage systems in the CBD from Jalan Datuk Sulaiman to Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Lido beach will be upgraded.

There is a dire need to replace these systems as most of the piping is old and cannot cope with the rapid development in Johor Baru district.

The drainage and irrigation at the estuaries of Sungai Tebrau, Sungai Masai, Sungai Skudai and Sungai Plentong will be improved to prevent flash floods.

The package will include the beautification of the 20km waterfront promenade starting from the Tanjung Puteri Customs and Quarantine Complex to the state’s new administrative centre Nusajaya.

Reviving the seafront and water-related activities is one of the main objectives under the tourism-related component in the SJER.

Facilities for the water transport system will include water taxi services and cover Tanjung Puteri, Danga Bay, Tanjung Pelepas and Nusajaya.

“The water taxi services might extend to Singapore to attract visitors from there, especially with the upcoming casino and integrated resort,” the sources said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abduallah Ahmad Badawi is scheduled to visit Johor on Aug 14 to announce details of the SJER.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:27 PM   #16
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B U S I N E S S

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...5&sec=business

Wednesday August 2, 2006


All eyes on stocks linked to SJER

By KEITH HIEW

PETALING JAYA: The anticipated heavy trading in South Johor Economic Region (SJER)-related property and construction stocks following news of the Government allocating RM5bil for infrastructure projects in the region under the Ninth Malaysia Plan did not materialise yesterday.

However, analysts are still bullish on the medium-term prospects of those companies.

They said while shares of companies such as UEM World Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and Gamuda Bhd did not exactly attract heavy trading, their medium-term prospects remained “exciting''.

A local analyst contacted by StarBiz yesterday expected UEM group to be involved “one way or another” in the tendering for and securing of SJER-related projects due to its “relatively large land bank” in Johor.

The analyst said other companies could benefit, but the most important factor in determining the future profit of those companies making bids would be the distance of their project site from the centre of the SJER.


“The main point to consider is SJER's catalyst developments, which would include the building of basic amenities such as hospitals.

“Once those are built, we could see more interested investors and hence, an appreciation in land value.”

The analyst said the relatively lukewarm reception to the stocks yesterday was expected, as the initial euphoria over SJER-related stocks in the first half of the year had subsided.

“People are now waiting to see if these catalyst developments can kick off successfully.

“Once these are up, they would probably wait another couple of quarters to see if earnings are impressive for these companies before any further re-rating,” he added.

An analyst from OSK Securities offered a similar point of view, saying that most of the investors would have known which companies stood to gain from SJER projects.

He said while the full details were not known, such as which company would be getting a specific job, investors knew that companies such as MMC Corp Bhd, UEM and SP Setia had a presence in Johor and could be holding back until there was convincing proof of how those companies would fare should they win any contracts.

Meanwhile, another research house said in its report that the key beneficiaries of the development of Johor as well as the SJER included Mah Sing Group Bhd, Plenitude Bhd and KSL Holdings Bhd.

This is especially with the SJER projects and the upcoming integrated resorts in Singapore potentially boosting land value in Johor and housing demand, it said.

However, the research outfit also said the downside to the Johor property market could come from a demand slowdown, especially since the market had decelerated following a rise in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.

Land scarcity in Johor Baru would also mean developers would need to venture out further to secure land bank, it added.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:28 PM   #17
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http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/cont...65b00-2c9f3f81

Foreign, local investors keen on proposed SJER

Foreign and local investors have expressed keen interest in the proposed South Johor Economic Region (SJER), encompassing an area of 2,217 sq km, according to Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

Early indications of interest from various foreign and local investors towards the proposed SJER are very encouraging, the government’s investment arm said on Aug 2.

“Khazanah in its planning and enabling role to date has seen strong early indications of significant scope for GDP enhancement, job creation, investments and upgrading of capabilities and benchmarking to global standards, while ensuring development is done in a holistic and sustainable fashion as envisioned,” it said.

The proposed SJER would cover the logistic triangle of Senai Airport to the north, Port of Tanjung Pelepas (southwest) and Johor Port in Pasir Gudang (southeast).

Khazanah said several catalyst projects had been identified and being studied or in some cases had already started, involving both private and public sector participation in the proposed SJER development.

They include the Johor State New Administrative Center (JSNAC), Southern Johor Industrial Logistic Cluster, Waterfront City, Medical Hub, Educity, and an international destination resort.

A proposed high-speed train linking Kuala Lumpur and the SJER region and an iconic building as a landmark for the new metropolis are among the projects being studied, it added.

Khazanah, which heads the master planning and the coordination of potential investments in the region, said the target date to complete the SJER master plan is before end-2006.

Details on investments, infrastructure and other catalyst projects, regulatory authority, job creation, social development mechanisms among others, will be announced in due course.

Khazanah managing director, Datuk Azman Mokhtar said they had completed the initial master planning work for the project and are now working closely with the Federal and Johor State Government to finalise the details.

“The Federal and State governments will then decide on the appropriate governance structures and mechanism for the SJER,” he said.

In July 2005, the Government had given Khazanah the responsibility of conducting a feasibility study to develop a special economic zone in South Johor in what was then referred to as the Southern Belt Economic Zone (SBEZ).

In October 2005, Khazanah presented a conceptual outline plan for the proposed SJER to the National SJER Planning Committee (NSPC) that concluded that there was a strong economic, social and developmental rationale for the proposed development of SJER.

Khazanah said the area had excellent links through the North-South Expressway, road and rail links to Singapore, air and sea links to Indonesia and the region.

Its strategic location and proximity to some of the world’s most rapidly growing and important economies is expected to be a key differentiating factor for the development.

Khazanah also said that the SJER Master Plan is, inter alia, intended to minimise several key risks that had hampered regional development in the past, including uncoordinated and duplicative development, excessive private value capture and potential marginalisation of the local population.

A key component of the SJER is the creation of a one-stop fast-track mechanism agency for investors and consumers.

The Master Plan would emphasise on sustainable development, conservation of the environment and equitable distribution of the benefits of growth among the local population.

Khazanah will also coordinate participation of private investors, both local and foreign.

“Separately, it is envisaged that Khazanah will also be making investments directly, or through its investee companies, alone or in partnership with other companies in the proposed SJER,” it said.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:30 PM   #18
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Business

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3....php?id=211940
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
August 02, 2006 21:23 PM

Khazanah Identifies Several Catalyst Projects For SJER


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 (Bernama) -- Several catalyst projects for the South Johor Economic Region (SJER) have been identified and being studied or in some cases had already started, it was announced today.

Involving both private and public sector participation, they include the Johor State New Administrative Centre (JSNAC), Southern Johor Industrial Logistic Cluster, Waterfront City, Medical Hub, Educity, and an international destination resort, said Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which is involved in the formulation of the SJER Master Plan.

A proposed high-speed train linking Kuala Lumpur and the SJER region and an iconic building as a landmark for the new metropolis are among the projects being studied, it said.

Khazanah said the SJER Master Plan was to be completed and launched before the end of 2006.

When completed, there would be further details on investments, infrastructure and other catalyst projects, regulatory authority, job creation, social development mechanisms.

Khazanah said the SJER project was mooted and conceptualised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2005.

It will be driven by both the public and private sectors through various mechanisms, including through the federal government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and through Privately Funded Initiatives (PFI).

Several infrastructure projects including those under the 9MP Plan have been identified and will be announced in due course.

Khazanah Managing Director Datuk Azman Mokhtar said Khazanah's role for the past year had been to spearhead the master planning and the coordination of potential investments in the SJER.

"We have completed the initial master planning work for the project and are now working closely with the federal and Johor state governments to finalise the details. The federal and state governments will then decide on the appropriate governance structures and mechanism for the SJER," he said.

In giving a background on the formulation of the SJER project, Khazanah said in July 2005, the government tasked Khazanah to conduct a feasibility study for the development of a special economic zone in South Johor in what was then referred to as the Southern Belt Economic Zone (SBEZ).

A Special Projects Team (SPT) was formed in Khazanah to undertake the task led by Dr. Iskandar Ismail, Director of Special Projects in Khazanah.

Officers from the federal and Johor state governments were also seconded to the SPT.

In October 2005, Khazanah presented a Conceptual Outline Plan for the proposed SJER to the National SJER Planning Committee (NSPC) that concluded there was a strong economic, social and developmental rationale for the proposed development of SJER.

The NSPC was chaired together by the prime minister and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

The NSPC further tasked Khazanah to develop a detailed and comprehensive Master Plan for the development of SJER that aimed to address socio-economic development in a holistic and sustainable fashion.

Particular emphasis was placed on ensuring an investment climate that was both attractive to local and foreign investors while ensuring that local communities were not to be marginalised.

The SJER Master Plan will consist of several sub-plans, currently structured to cover the Physical Plan, the Economic Plan, the Commercialisation Plan, the Regulatory Plan and the Social Plan.

The proposed SJER is envisaged to cover the logistic triangle of Senai Airport to the north, Port of Tanjung Pelepas (South West) and Johor Port in Pasir Gudang (South East), encompassing an area of 2,217 sq km.

Khazanah said the SJER Master Plan was also intended to minimise several key risks that had hampered regional development in the past, including unco-ordinated and duplicative development, excessive private value capture and potential marginalisation of the local population.

A cornerstone of the proposed Master Plan is the need to ensure that the rights of the federal and state governments under the Federal Constitution are preserved.

Khazanah said a key component of the SJER would be the creation of a one-stop fast-track mechanism agency to provide a facilitative environment for investors and consumers.

The federal and state governments will play a major role in facilitating the creation of an investor-friendly environment through among others, immigration, education, tax, land and close liaison with local authorities.

Another key feature of the master plan will be the emphasis on sustainable development, conservation of the environment, and equitable distribution of the benefits of growth among the local population.

In addition to its planning role, Khazanah will also coordinate participation of private investors, both local and foreign, who will be the key demand drivers and act as the catalyst for the success of the SJER.

Separately, it is envisaged that Khazanah will also be making investments directly, or through its investee companies, alone or in partnership with other companies in the proposed SJER.

-- BERNAMA
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:32 PM   #19
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B U S I N E S S Tuesday August 1, 2006

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...0&sec=business

SP Setia sees good prospects for property projects in Johor

BY DANNY YAP

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd sees good prospects for property developments in south Johor following the Government’s decision to transform the region into a major economic hub.

SP Setia group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said the allocation by the Government and expected flow of foreign investment totalling about RM15bil would provide further impetus to fast track the state's economy to the next growth level.

“We are very happy with the government allocation and positive sentiment towards the region,” he told StarBiz.

As a developer, SP Setia believed strongly in the potential of the Johor property market, especially the South Johor Economic Region (SJER), he said.

He said SJER was a boon for developers with substantial prime land bank in the area.

“Of particular interest to developers are the urban redevelopment plans slated for Johor Baru city and Port of Tanjung Pelepas, which will see existing industries upgraded to meet green standards and new standards being introduced to residential communities,” Liew said.

He said an emerging zone that would spawn the development of new townships was also on the cards.

In this respect, Liew said SP Setia's 1,509-acre Bukit Indah project in Bandar Nusajaya was one of the prime beneficiaries of the increased economic activity due to projects such as the Johor's new administrative capital, extension of Senai international airport and the Nusajaya Educity, which was expected to house at least four foreign universities with total enrolment of over 20,000 students.

Started in 1997, the Bukit Indah project still had close to 600 acres of undeveloped land bank that could benefit from the Government's recent pump priming activities, he said.

Liew said another project – Setia Tropika – located within the Tebrau corridor and forming part of the SJER, was another possible beneficiary.

Spanning 740 acres and with a gross development value of RM2bil, the project had transformed the development landscape of Johor Baru with its chic contemporary designs, he said.

“Setia Tropika will enjoy direct access to the North-South Expressway upon completion of the RM15mil link road being built by our subsidiary Setia Indah Sdn Bhd,” Liew noted. Its central location also afforded easy access to Johor Baru city centre and the causeway located 6km and 10km away respectively.

Asked if there would be a flood of investors buying properties in SJER, especially from Singapore, he said: “We believe that property demand in SJER is set to grow concurrently with the multiplier effects of the logistics infrastructure and introduction of commercially and investor-friendly incentives.”

On SP Setia's investment strategy in Johor, Liew said the company would capitalise on its yet-to-be developed land bank in the state, riding on the expected increase in economic activities.

He said SP Setia had successfully established a strong following in the Johor Baru market with its signature projects that showcased award-winning landscaping, innovative lifestyle concepts and quality homes at accessible pricing.

“Our Bukit Indah and Setia Tropika projects will underpin our growth in Johor. We are also actively scouting for more strategic land bank in Johor to further expand our presence and take advantage of the boost in infrastructure spending and economic activity,” said Liew.

Asked what was further needed to attract more investors to Johor Baru, he said the state government must put in place first-class logistics infrastructure, introduce more attractive incentives and maintain its low-cost lead to become a choice investment and tourism destination.

Other developers that have invested in the SJER include UEM World Bhd in Nusajaya and developers in Danga Bay.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:37 PM   #20
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Local News

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/n...le/local1_html

10 years to develop Johor corridor
01 Aug 2006
By R. Sittamparam


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOHOR BARU: The eagerly awaited South Johor Corridor (SJC) will be fully developed within a decade.

The key components are expected to be in place in half that time, Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said.

In thanking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who unveiled the plan for the 2,200- sq-kilometre SJC on Sunday, Ghani said the master plan would be ready within two months.

"It will ensure that there is no overlapping of facilities in line with our plan to turn the area into a new metropolis," he said at his official residence yesterday.

Abdullah had announced that southern Johor would be transformed into a new metropolis to become the nation’s, possibly even the region’s, latest growth centre.

Revealing the plan for the first time, Ghani said that the SJC would be a priority development by the Federal Government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

He had also said that the SJC would be developed in the same way as Hong Kong and Shenzen in China which had emerged to become special economic zones and the focus of investors.

Ghani gave the assurance that the State Government, with the co-operation of the Federal Government, would have no problems implementing the project.

"We have all the necessary assets in terms of land, strategic location and world-class infrastructure.

"Everything is in place for the formation of the logistics, manufacturing, educational, medical, financial, IT and tourism hubs."

Ghani said that as a first step towards realising the IT hub, the Prime Minister had accorded MSC status to the Johor Baru Cyberport.

The State Government had received an official letter on the matter last week.

Ghani pointed out that with the three international ports, railway system, Senai airport and highway linkages, the SJC would be within five to six hours of major economic centres in the region, including China, India and Indonesia.

He said investor interest in the SJC was highly encouraging, with the State Government receiving response from all over the world, including from educational institutions in Europe, the Middle East and Japan.

"I will be visiting Japan next month for talks on the setting up of a five-star hotel at Danga Bay and possibly a theme park."

Ghani said in anticipation of the SJC, the State Government was looking into ways to produce more skilled workers.

"On the security aspect, we have entered into an agreement with Bukit Aman to increase the manpower and facilities to meet the security needs of the new metropolis."

Ghani also dismissed speculation that the South Johor Authority (AJA), to be set up by an Act of Parliament to plan, monitor and implement the SJC’s development, would reduce the State’s control over the area.

"The AJA will serve as a one-stop centre to speed up the development work."
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