Government approves another RM700mil for Iskandar Malaysia

The Government has approved an additional allocation of RM700mil for infrastructure and various other projects within Iskandar Malaysia for the next two years, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said.

Abdul Ghani, who is also the co-chairman of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said the decision was made during a meeting with the Irda board of directors in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

He said the additional allocations would also be channelled to existing projects under Iskandar Malaysia.

“The allocations will help us to ensure that all projects will be completed on schedule,” he said after launching the Kota Iskandar tourism project and launching the Siar Jauhar Gallery here recently.

In October, Najib who is also Finance Minister when tabling the Budget 2011 in Parliament, announced that Iskandar Malaysia would receive RM339mil in allocations.

The allocations will be used to construct highways, houses and public transportation services within the southernmost part of Johor where Iskandar Malaysia is located.

Meanwhile, Abdul Ghani said that the number of visitors to Kota Iskandar had increased by more than 30% this year.

“The area is visited by both tourists and those dealing with the government offices here,” he said.

He added that Kota Iskandar had recently won the Malaysia Property Award 2010 for the public sector category organised by FIABCI-Malaysia.

Abdul Ghani said it had been identified as one of the 10 must-visit tourist destinations in Johor.

“Tourists are allowed to visit the State Legislative Assembly building even when the State Assembly is in session.

“Other than that, those who admire beautiful architecture will appreciate the Moorish-Andalusion and the Johor Malay features that are incorporated into the Bangunan Sultan Ismail and Bangunan Dato Ja’afar Mohamed,” he said.

He added that tourists would be able to learn about the history of the state through articles, artefacts and posters displayed at the Siar Jauhar Gallery.