Johor: Beyond Bricks and Mortar
Sustainability and innovation are keys to transform cities into successful developments.
Iskandar Malaysia has entered phase 3 of its development and this is the time to look beyond the hardware. There must be effective ways to create holistic lifestyles that will bring about new opportunities like job creation and better quality of life.
To achieve such feat, the second Market Series of Forums, jointly organised by Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) and Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship (FGBMF), chose the theme ‘Building Cities, Enriching Communities’ that was held on 2nd May at Mutiara Johor Bahru. Over 200 attendees were present during the insightful event.
“We believe this forum is timely as we will be focusing on two key issues. Firstly, we are providing an update on new developments and opportunities in Johor and especially in Iskandar Malaysia. The second objective is to discuss how we can build enriching societies for our people. This is also to discuss how we can ensure citizen participation and develop better lifestyle,” said Tan Sri Dr Michael Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, ASLI.
After the welcome remarks, the forum started with first session called ‘The Untold Story: Insights on Developments and New Opportunities in Johor.’ The speaker for the session was Dr Gerard Kho, Chief Marketing Officer, Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd where he provided updates on previous developments as well as other developments in the pipeline in Johor. “Johor is cementing its position as one of Malaysia’s key economic hubs with a deluge of developments. Investors are here not only to buy properties, they invest because there are business opportunities. When they come, they normally don’t leave and this brings a lot of high value jobs into the country. With various components coming together, this will be the tipping point to light up Johor,” said Dr Gerard.
This was followed by Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Chief Minister of Johor’s ministerial keynote that was relayed by Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
“Johor’s economy grew by 5.9% on average in the last five years outpacing that of Malaysia at 5.6%. We foresee that Johor Bahru will rise as a globally competitive, sustainable and inclusive metropolitan region. We hope that Johor continues to prosper, leveraging on Iskandar Malaysia as the population’s choice destination to Invest, Live, Work and Play,” he said.
The next session called ‘Infusing Essential Values for Holistic Living in Modern Cities’ saw speaker Dato’ Ngei Chee Chau, Managing Director, Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd identifying crucial values for holistic living in the marketplace where many people earn their living and define their identity.
“Holistic living encourages people to live more fully and with greater meaning. It encourages consideration not just for ourselves but also for other people and the environment. In modern cities, the importance of holistic living is magnified as we strive to build a more prosperous, flourishing society,” he said.
Finally, the closing session had Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, President and Executive Director, Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd explaining about the DNA of The Next Generation Master-Planned Communities.
“Being a property company, we are moving beyond developing houses and buildings by being involved in the full spectrum of the property vehicle. This means creating opportunities to embark in new businesses. In the end, you want the community to be safe, healthy, socially inclusive and culturally harmonious. This will ultimately contribute to happiness,” said Syed Mohamed.
The panellists for both sessions included Izhar Hifnei, Chief Operating Officer, Johor Petroleum Development Corp; Datuk Ir Khairil Anwar Ahmad, President and CEO, Iskandar Investment Bhd; Tan Wee Bee, Deputy Managing Director, Sunway Bhd Property Development Division (Malaysia & Singapore); Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority; Datuk Joy Appukuttan, lawyer, Messrs KH Lim & Co; Sim Tian Liang, President, Johor Master Builders Association; Suria Suppiah, General Manager, Pulau Indah Ventures Sdn Bhd; and Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, President and Executive Director, Iskandar Waterfront Holdings.