TAN Sri Halim Saad may be about to make a comeback in the local corporate arena after working behind the scenes and travelling extensively in and out of the country for over two years.
One of his many privately-owned companies is said to have secured rights from the Perak government to develop a new industrial park in the state, and the venture could be his first foray into the local construction/property sector.
It is believed the the company plans to develop an industrial park on a 1,100-acre site at Pengkalan Hulu in Perak, near the border with Thailand, mainly to attract manufacturing companies to relocate their operations there.
Thus far, approval has been granted for the development of 150 acres of the land, and negotiations are in progress to get approval to develop the remaining 950 acres.
Work on the project – to be known as the North Perak-South Thailand growth corridor – is expected to begin soon and targeted for completion in six years. The company has put an estimated sales value of RM1.2bil on the project, and sources said funding would be from internal sources.
According to the sources, the Perak government wants to fast-track the project and would help Halim’s company by way of joint marketing and promotional activities. The intention is to develop the area into not just an industrial park but a logistics centre so that it could act as a catalyst of growth for the Hulu Perak area.
“The selling point for the area is the cheap labour force from neighbouring towns in Thailand such as Betong, Yala, Narathiwat and Patani and easy access – just over an hour’s drive – to Penang port,” said a source. The sources said talks were already in progress to get some big names in the manufacturing sector to relocate to the new area.
Industries that the state government is hoping to attract to the area include textiles and clothing, food production, wood-based manufacturing, and even some small and medium-size enterprises.
Halim is not alone in this venture. His long-time friend, Anuar Adam, who is a shareholder in Toxicol Sdn Bhd, is his partner in the venture.