Monday, 22 April 2013

Iskandar Malaysia - why it remains a dream

Iskandar, the newest Hottest Hotspot in Johor, Malaysia. Notice the duplication of Hot Hot in the previous sentence? Iskandar is Hot. Is there a reason for its hotness?

There are many pros relating to property investments in Iskandar, one of it being the cheap and abundant land. A higher standard of living brought about by new infrastructure and amenities. A few of  the key initiatives for increasing demographics.

Themeparks                                 - 2 completed, more to come.
Waterfront living                         - Danga Bay, Puteri Harbour, Tanjong Puteri, The Cove
1/2 priced Resort style living       - Horizon Hill, East Ledang
Incentives laced business district - Medini
Wellness and Hospitality             - Columbia Hospital, Raffles Hospital
Education                                    - Maborough, Raffles, Newcastle, Dutch Maritime University
Nightlife                                      - Mall of medini?
Recreation                                   - Golf
Security                                       - ?
Communityness                          - A Singapore based expatriat community (JSCA)
Jobs?                                           - ?
Commercial?                               - ?
Transport                                     - High Speed Rail, Ferry, MRT                      

There has a lot of good development coming in the next few years. How is it shaping out? I am not sure, but I'm pretty sure it is better than cyberjaya and putrajaya at this point of time.

Government's policy matters a lot and the Johor Govt has been encouraging to say the least.

Mass Crossborder Transport wise, don't even bank on it. Singapore is not going to sacrifice security for convenience. Those residents staying in HH and JB hoping to see the train crossing into Singapore, can forget about it. It means the immigration clearance and security have to step up by 3 x. Watch out for recruitment for Immigration officers. When that happens, it might.

Internal MRT? Its not going to make money for Johor. Johor is not China, it would not build a mega infrastructure for show of face. Face it (pun not intended), it is economics driving the development, why will any Johorians or expats give up driving for MRT when the cost of vehicle is so cheap?

Business wise, what brings Singapore competitive advantage in petrol refinery is not going to happen in Iskandar. JI was specially designed to meet this demand for integrated services of refinery, storage, development of by products, transport out etc seamlessly. Is that going to happen in Iskandar?

An International Finance Centre, what makes an international finance centre? Would the likes of New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai be found in Iskandar? I beg to differ.

I believe compared to Singapore, Iskandar might be a good place to live, work and play, however, there is a critical mass and critical price point where such luxury is no longer attractive. Luckily, we are not there yet.

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