JOHOR BARU: Freeze on all land transactions within the Iskandar Development Region (IRD) has been lifted with immediate effect said Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.
He said with the move, land owners in the IRD could proceed with the sale of their lands which was “temporarily frozen” since July last year.
The freeze was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last July before the unveiling of the master plan of the IRD.
“Hopefully, this will help to boost development in the region,’’ said Ghani who is also the co-chairman of the Iskandar Region Development Authority (IRDA) on Tuesday.
There are some 250,000 acres of lands located within the IDR growth triangle covering Kulai-Senai in the north, Pasir Gudang-Tanjung Langsat in the east, Tanjung Pelepas-Gelang Patah-Pontian in the west.
He said this after receiving the RM1.4mil in business tithes for 2005 from Permodalan Nasional Bhd (Bhd) presented by it group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.
Ghani said it was vital to speed up land sales especially those involving large tracts within the IRD to ensure that proposed developments would take place.
He said Senai Airport Terminal Services (SATS) was finalising the acquisition of 500 acres of lands in Senai-Seelong from a plantation-based company.
Ghani said with the acquisition, SATS would be able to start developing Senai Airport as a leading logistic and cargo hub in the region.
On statement made by Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo in the parliament that the republic would like to take part in the IRD development, he said Singapore was always welcome here.
“Johor and Singapore have always been complementing each other economically for so long and we can always further strengthen the ties,’’ said Ghani.
He said Johor also welcomed Singapore’s participation in developing the transportation system within the IDR adding it would benefit both parties.
Asked whether Johor would allow the Singapore Mass Rapid Transport (SMRT) to take part in the proposed monorail project in city, Ghani said “we would consider all aspects”.
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