JOHOR BARU: The state is poised to become not just an economic powerhouse, but a centre of sports excellence with the development of Arena Larkin and Stadium Sport City.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Johor was on the right track with rapid development, but at the same time, there should be a balance, especially in sports.
The two projects – Arena Larkin and Stadium Sport City in Mount Austin – came at the right time, he said.
“This will create a balanced life for the people here.
“Life is not only about survival, but to give us satisfaction as well, either spiritually or intellectually,” he said at the launch of the projects here yesterday.
The projects, worth about RM439mil, were not merely expenditure by the state government, but an investment beneficial to Johor, added Najib.
All the facilities, he said, would be ready by the next Sukan Malaysia or Sukma, to be hosted by Johor in 2020.
“I hope that with all these new sporting facilities, it will be the best ever Sukma games,” Najib added.
Sports, he said, was a platform that united all Malaysians in support of their heroes.
“During the Rio Olympics Games, our national badminton players successfully managed to get into the finals of the men’s singles and doubles.
“All of us – no matter our race or faith – were glued to our television sets and mobile phones to support and cheer our heroes as they make our country proud,” Najib added.
The Arena Larkin, which would have an indoor stadium and an aquatic centre, would be built on 41.6ha of land by Johor Corporation at a cost of RM350mil.
It would also include the refurbishment of the Larkin Stadium that is currently used by Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).
Arena Larkin is inspired by other international sporting hubs around the world such as the Melbourne Sports Hub and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
The Stadium Sport City is being constructed by Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor at an estimated cost of RM89mil and would, among others, host track and field events.