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Iskandar Malaysia’s progress and next decade

A good friend who’s a top management still believe that Iskandar (including JB) is nothing more than just an imagination and that he imagined the whole Iskandar with lots of unsold units which has been built and that buyers would lose all their money. I asked if he has actually been to Iskandar recently and his answer was negative. His reasoning? Investors would prefer Singapore and not Iskandar and these two choices are right next to one another. He asked this very important question, ‘If you can earn S$ versus RM, which one would you choose?’ I said, ‘Anyone would choose S$ over RM when it comes to monthly salary. However, not every type of job can exist in Singapore. Besides, for Singapore to continue prosper, it has to have a supporting base and that can be Iskandar.’ To cut the story short, we did not debate further and thus we remain good friends today. He does not believe in buying JB properties while I believe but working full time meant my income is limited. Please give me 2 more years.
As for Iskandar, here are some points highlighted by Zazali Musa in TheStar recently. Let’s run through some of his points and decide on the next actions accordingly. Iskandar Malaysia was launched on Nov 4, 2006. (Yes, it’s been 11 years and still ongoing…)  As at 31 Dec 2017, it has attracted a total of RM253 billion in investments and the economic corridor targets to achieve RM383 billion by 2025.

The size is 2,217 sq km which is three times bigger than Singapore and two times the size of Hong Kong. (No, it was not envisioned to overtake Singapore but to ‘prosper thy neighbour’)
Iskandar Johor is “fortunate due to its close proximity to Singapore, an international trade and financial centre.” (Have we ever though about why the Singaporean government is also very supportive of a vibrant Iskandar Malaysia? Here’s what the PM of SIngapore thought about Iskandar for the SMEs) 

Diversification continues to happen and current focus include oil and gas, bio-economy, green technology, halal-based products, hospitality and services and logistics.  Johor is no longer just a manufacturing base even if it has long been a manufacturing base for the region. Over RM93 billion was invested into the manufacturing sector from 2013 to 2016.
There are also these enhancements in connectivity into and within Iskandar Malaysia. They include Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double-tracking railway system, the High Speed Rail (HSR), the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) and Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit System (IMBRT).  Of course the latest good news would be the reduction in toll charges for vehicles using the Second Link and starting from April 1, Singapore will reduce charges at their Tuas checkpoint during peak and non-peak hours. That full article in TheStar for reference. 
Feeling a bit more positive with these actual happenings? Depends lah. If we are looking to buy and rent it out to students, then the usual market is still Greater KL lah. Not Penang and not yet Iskandar JB. If we are looking at diversification, perhaps. If we are currently working in Singapore and thinks the upcoming RTS will change our lifestyle, then buying in Iskandar is likely to be a good decision. Whatever it is, always look at it from our own reason(s), not what our friends are telling us yeah. I wonder when is my next trip to JB. Cheers.
written on19 Feb 2018
Next suggested article: Outlook in Iskandar? RTS helps a lot

Property Investment always start with knowledge. Equip ourselves with more here.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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0 Responses

  1. Seeing is believing. Iskandar has indeed changed a lot over the years and for the better too. Being a johorian, I’m very confident that Iskandar will continue to prosper. Perhaps you should plan your next trip to JB soon 🙂

  2. Hey author, you should have a read on the book “Billion dollars whale”. Its about Jho Low and how much money he took from Malaysians. How he did it and who has he worked with to pull this off. And interestingly, one Iskandar land deal was stained by him, Taib Mahmud and one Mubadala guy. My vision for Malaysia after reading the book… bleak….

    1. Thanks for your comment. My vision for Malaysia after staying here for 42 years…. is…. Bright. Cheers.

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