KUWAIT: Iskandar Malaysia (formerly known as Iskandar Development Region) will appoint a team of local and foreign experts to come up with a blueprint on security for the area, said Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim.
He said security was one of the most important criteria for foreign investors and hence IRDA was taking the concerns seriously.
How safe would you like it to be? We want it to be comparable to Singapore or even better, he said, adding that the media in Singapore often liked to remind us of crime in the Iskandar area.
Ikmal said the team of security experts would be appointed next week and RM3mil had been allocated for the blueprint.
They would look at all aspects and ways to make Iskandar a safe place for foreigners and locals. Does crime happen in one particular type of area? Do we need to restructure?
We are looking at CCTVs, communication and database and a grid so that we can monitor the situation and take action, he said.
Ikmal said the blueprint team of experts would be working closely with the police, fire department and local authorities on ways to beef up security.
He expected the blueprint to be ready in four months.
We are appointing a combination of local and foreign experts because we want to see how foreign countries fight crime and make places safer so we need foreign expertise for that.
And if foreign investors see a foreign security expert that is well recognised they will be more confident in investing, he told reporters on Tuesday night after presenting a session on Infrastructure and Real Estate Development at the 4th World Islamic Economic Forum.
Ikmal said initial investments from the Middle East for Iskandar Malaysia totalled RM4.1bil so far and that Kuwait was one of the serious investors.
We are making the effort to put Iskandar Malaysia on the investment map for Islamic countries and for Middle East investors, he said.
He added that with high oil prices, there was more liquidity in the oil-rich Middle East countries and they were looking at where to put their money.
Ikmal said Iskandar Malaysias target was to get RM47bil in investments by 2010 and it already has RM32.7bil committed and hence has already met 70% of its target.
To a question on how the fluid political situation in Malaysia was affecting foreign investments, he said that one of the selling points for the country was its political stability and he expected it to remain that way.
To a question, he said he expected no change in the countrys economic direction should the Barisan Nasional Federal Government fall.
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