Freeze on serviced apartments in Johor

JOHOR BARU: The state has rejected new applications to build serviced apartments.

Mentri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin said this was to ensure that the property market would not be flooded by serviced apartments, especially in Iskandar Malaysia.

“All new applications have been frozen,” he said.

“Those who have received their approval can continue with their projects,” he said at the ground-­breaking ceremony of affordable homes by state-linked PIJ Holdings Sdn Bhd at Jalan Datin Halimah here yesterday.

Mohamed Khaled said construction of serviced apartments was not subjected to housing development conditions such as the providing of basic amenities such as schools, multi-purpose halls and places of worship.

Nowadays, such apartments were no longer rented out but owner-occupied.

“Hence, developers should provide these amenities to buyers,” said Mohamed Khaled.

It was reported that about 86,000 units of serviced apartments had been approved for the country’s first economic growth corridor until 2025.

However, according to the Iskandar Malaysia Comprehensive Development Plan 2006-2025, only about 26,000 units were deemed necessary for south Johor.

“We have directed the Township Development Planning Unit to review the need for such an excessive number of serviced apartment projects,’’ said Mohamed Khaled.

“It is better for developers to focus on building apartment units in Iskandar Malaysia instead of serviced apartments.”

Mohamed Khaled also said the state government had directed PIJ Holdings to conduct a feasibility study on developing wakaf lands in Johor and turn these into revenue-generating entities.

“There is a lot of idle wakaf land, especially in Iskandar Ma­­laysia, worth millions of ringgit,” he said.