Smart Economic Corridor Like Iskandar Malaysia to Greatly Benefit from Malaysians with Better Education and Skills Plus Progressing Physical Developments

ISKANDAR MALAYSIA, 11 OCTOBER 2019 – While the 2020 Budget promisingly covers many different development and growth aspects in Malaysia, an equal emphasis on Rakyat development and transformation will ensure that the country, and a smart economic region like Iskandar Malaysia, to greatly benefit from Malaysians with better education, knowledge and skills.

“The economic situation and technology trends around the world are moving at a rapid and spontaneous pace. Catching up with these changes will require a lot of effort from everyone and all corners of Malaysia. We are glad to see that the 2020 Budget is more matured and holistic, acknowledging the equal importance on both physical and Rakyat development to adapt to these changes and strengthen the progress of the nation,” said Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

Speaking from Iskandar Malaysia’s experience, Datuk Ismail further explained that while the region continued to experience speedy progress and growth, efforts in ensuring that the Rakyat living in the region are not left behind are equally important and have proven to be successful.

In the 2020 Budget, around half a billion Ringgit will be spent to enhance the Research & Development (R&D) Framework with another whopping RM64.1 billion allocated to the Ministry of Education. With Budget 2020 focusing on key strategies that include enhancing job opportunities, modernizing the labour law and investing in education and talent, what is clear is that next year’s budget recognizes the importance of Rakyat development in the government’s shared prosperity agenda.

“While we are particularly excited with the focus to develop the Rakyat, Iskandar Malaysia is also thankful to the government for the other 2020 Budget offerings that have added value to the region. These include the customized and targeted investment incentives, emphasizing accelerating the digital economy, strengthening access to financing for business, enhancing job opportunities, investing in education and talent, enhancing the transportation ecosystem and promoting environmental sustainability,” explained Datuk Ismail.

Budget directly benefitting to Iskandar Malaysia would be the RM42 million allocated for the Sg Segget Centralised Sewerage Treatment Plan in Johor Bahru, the RM85 million allocated for easing the traffic congestion at the Causeway, the new schools in Pasir Gudang, Kulai and Johor Bahru and the government’s intention to proceed with the Rapid Transit System (RTS) between Johor Bahru and Singapore.

Iskandar Malaysia achievement of total cumulative investment of RM302 billion, since 2006 until June 2019, could be further boosted by the RM1 billion worth of customized packaged investment incentives, the Electrical & Electronics industry tax exemption, MIDA’s allocated budget for post-approval investment monitoring, the RM1 billion Maritime & Logistics fund and realization and even the development of 5G ecosystem.

SMEs development is also being a key agenda in the region and the over RM1 billion fund allocated to ease access to financing for business will help to grow the SMEs in Iskandar Malaysia and this will have spillover benefits in the increased number of jobs creation and household incomes.

With environmental being the third main agenda in Iskandar Malaysia, the other two being economy and social above, the almost RM800 million budget allocated under promoting environmental sustainable strategy can also help in realizing the region’s low carbon society initiatives and programmes, which have helped to put Malaysia on the global environment map.

“Iskandar Malaysia is now going through its innovating and sustaining stage of growth. It is therefore reassuring to note that the government has strongly emphasized on research and development through innovation from several fronts including ICT, digital transformation, telecommunication and entrepreneurship.

They form the basis that would enable Iskandar Malaysia to further reaffirm its position as a region that offers the best location for investment, for work and for living, now and for the future.” #End#

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