Irda seeks more allocation


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 25 May 2011

JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) is seeking more funds from the Federal Government in the upcoming Budget 2012.

Chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim said a submission had been made to the Government and Irda was hoping that it would consider giving more allocation to Irda.

“The allocation will be used for infrastructure projects and other related works such as public amenities,’’ he told a press conference yesterday after the opening of the Wealth of Iskandar Malaysia conference.

He said the extra allocation was important as Iskandar Malaysia would be entering its fifth year and several of the infrastructure projects and iconic developments would be completed in 2012.

Ismail said the money would also be used in programmes specially structured and coordinated for the locals to create opportunities for them and equitable distribution of future wealth in tandem with the progress in Iskandar Malaysia.

Under Budget 2010, the Government had allocated some RM850mil for the five economic growth corridors, mostly in infrastructure.

The country’s first economic growth corridor Iskandar Malaysia had received RM339mil to construct highways, housing areas and public transportation services. The Northern Corridor Economic Region had received RM133mil, East Coast Economic Region RM178mil, Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy RM93mil and Sabah Development Corridor RM110mil.

Separately, Ismail said interests from Singapore investors to invest in Iskandar Malaysia remained strong despite the results from the recently-concluded general election in the republic.

“Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Leong has given a strong signal to Singaporeans to invest in Iskandar Malaysia and there is no turning back for them,’’ he said.

Ismail said improvement in bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore since Prime Minster Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took office in April 2009 would bring economic benefits to the two countries.

He said Irda and other stakeholders had to work even harder to attract investments not only from Singapore but from other parts of the world to Iskandar Malaysia.

Ismail said as of March 2011, Iskandar Malaysia had recorded RM73.24bil in committed investments since its inception in November 2006, with 59% from domestic investors.

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