ISKANDAR MALAYSIA, 22 March: November 2016 marked the 10th year anniversary for Iskandar Malaysia. Having been incepted in 2006, this economic development region has recorded achievement after achievement, setting standards for others to follow and is set to become another economic powerhouse for Malaysia.
In the past decade, since 2006 until 31st December 2016, Iskandar Malaysia recorded a total cumulative investment of RM222.44 billion, of which RM119.50 billion or 54% represents investments that have been realized as projects on the ground. This total cumulative amount exceeds the initial targeted figure of RM149 billion set when the region was first established.
The fourth quarter of 2016 saw Iskandar Malaysia securing RM3.6 billion in new investments, making the total investments from January 2016 until 31 December 2016, amounting RM32.15 billion compared to its annual target of RM25 billion.
Domestic investments were recorded at RM134.50 billion or 60% while foreign investments were recorded at RM87.95 billion or 40% from the total cumulative committed investments.
Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said throughout the 10 years of Iskandar Malaysia’s development, substantial changes could be seen in the region; not just in terms of economic development but also in social development and sustainability. This, he added, was the result of a strategic, comprehensive and meticulous planning of the Comprehensive Development Plan for Iskandar Malaysia (CDP).
According to Datuk Ismail, 15 percent of these jobs involved skilled workers and professionals, while 16 percent were for semi-skilled workers. In addition to employment opportunities, Iskandar Malaysia also benefitted the people of Johor and Malaysia through the various business opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMEs.
“Over the next few years, we want to increase the percentage of jobs offered in the professional and skilled worker to 45% and we believe this is achievable with greater collaboration with the industry and support by the government,” he added.
In October 2016, Iskandar Malaysia played host to Skim Latihan 1Malaysia’s (SL1M) career fair, which offered 10,000 jobs and training opportunities from more than 100 companies, The SL1M Career Interview Programme also offered RM25 million worth of grants under the Iskandar Malaysia Professional Fund as well as the Iskandar Malaysia Employment Grant (IMEG) scheme for workers and companies.
“This career fair saw IRDA joining hands with Federal and State agencies to help 80,000 graduates get jobs and skills training that led to job opportunities. IRDA also offered up to RM20 million in Upskilling and Recertification grants under the Iskandar Malaysia Professional Fund, which allowed for maximum loans of RM24,000 each to be repayable up to 5 years for Malaysians who want to obtain professional certifications that could help them advance their careers,” added Datuk Ismail.
Smart City in the Making: Connectivity in Iskandar Malaysia
Datuk Ismail said Iskandar Malaysia would continue to enhance its infrastructure facilities such as connectivity, in terms of public transport, roads and broadband networks.
“Iskandar Malaysia has embarked on the initiative of having a one-stop information repository named Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory (IMUO), which will also contribute to strengthening its connectivity. The IMUO is envisioned to produce, manage and analyse data on the performance of Iskandar Malaysia based on key urban indicators and other thematic issues relevant to local decision-making and global monitoring. This will help to formalize the sharing of data between federal and state authorities, government-linked companies, and the community to create an informed society,” said Datuk Ismail.
Iskandar Malaysia’s Green Agenda Takes Centre Stage
In addition, Iskandar Malaysia also place a lot of emphasis on elevating the people’s quality of life.
“We are very proud to be the first internationally-recognised pilot in the Low Carbon Society initiative in Malaysia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Datuk Ismail.
Last year in November, Iskandar Malaysia announced results of the Iskandar Malaysia Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory 2015 at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 22, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco. Based on this inventory, Iskandar Malaysia recorded a 7% reduction in GHG emissions in 2015 compared to in 2010. Iskandar Malaysia is the first in Malaysia to use such internationally recognized standards.
Iskandar Malaysia is also one of the more than 500 cities, 100 states and regions and 5,800 companies that report data annually to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The Carbon Disclosure Project runs the world’s largest climate change reporting system, and Iskandar Malaysia under its Low Carbon Society Blueprint 2025 has been reporting city’s climate-related data to this agency since 2015.
A Sustainable Metropolis of International Standing – Iskandar Malaysia Moving Forward
Iskandar Malaysia has successfully completed the first and second stages of its three-phase development namely Planning and Building Foundation followed by Strengthen and Continued Growth. Now, the third phase, themed Sustain and Innovate, will take Iskandar Malaysia to its targeted completion in 2025.
The Iskandar Malaysia Comprehensive Development Plan ii (CDPii), serves as a detailed guide for the region’s progress into the third phase of its development, which aims to sustain healthy growth rates and achieve resilience by also devoting resources to social development and environmental conservation initiatives.
Datuk Ismail shared that Iskandar Malaysia had achieved much progress and success due to the unwavering support and collaboration of both Federal and State Governments, as well as the private sector and the community.
“For 10 years, we have worked together for the benefit of the people through Iskandar Malaysia. I hope we can continue to work together through our collaborative efforts towards realising the vision of Iskandar Malaysia,” said Datuk Ismail.