IIB is committed to the long-term development of Iskandar Malaysia and its residents, as well as strengthening the position of the region as an attractive investment destination.
Iskandar Malaysia began as a vision in 2006: to become a dynamic region that benefits Malaysia in an economic, social and sustainable manner. Today, slightly over ten years after its inception, the region is firmly on track to realise this vision. The advantage of the economic region’s strategic location within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle and its close proximity to many of the world’s most dynamic economies such as India and China have helped shape the corridor into a thriving demesne that has attracted large scale investment from both domestic and international investors.
The region is expected to flourish even further in the next ten years. GDP is projected to increase by 8 per cent, totalling US$93.3 billion by 2025, and GDP per capita is set to reach US$31,100 in the same timeframe. With a total of one million new jobs anticipated for an expected population of three million by 2025, Iskandar Malaysia’s goal of becoming a ‘strong and sustainable metropolis of international standing by 2025’ is firmly on track, and Malaysia’s strategic developer, Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), is a key player to achieving this future.
Catalyst of change
Incorporated in November 2006, IIB considers itself to be a Catalyst of Change: a strategic developer of catalytic projects aimed at stimulating and securing the long-term development of Iskandar Malaysia. The company’s shareholders consist of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (KNB), an investment holding arm of the Malaysian Government; Malaysia’s Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF); and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ), a Johor state investment arm. IIB focuses on high impact projects in the education, tourism and leisure, creative, and health and wellness sectors in Iskandar Puteri, the administrative capital of the region.
Since its inception, the company has developed and successfully delivered a number of strategic projects that have laid the foundation for Iskandar Malaysia’s trajectory into an attractive investment destination and a vibrant liveable region. One such accomplishment is the creation of EduCity, a groundbreaking, international, integrated education hub. Other notable achievements include the development of LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort, the first of its kind in Asia; Medini Iskandar Malaysia, a MYR62 billion township development; Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, a high-tech media production studio; and numerous infrastructure projects under the country’s Ninth Malaysia Plan.
In November 2016, IIB saw a transition in its leadership, with company veteran Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad taking on the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. With more than 30 years of experience in engineering, construction and property development, Datuk Ir. Khairil began working at IIB in 2007, and was part of the team that brought the initial wave of development into the region. Before assuming the position of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Medini Iskandar Malaysia, Datuk Ir. Khairil was IIB’s Chief Operating Officer, and personally lived through some of Iskandar Malaysia’s signature developments and iconic milestones. Now having returned to IIB, he is set to take the company to even greater heights as it celebrates its own ten year anniversary, and remains committed to continuing the Iskandar Malaysia narrative.
Catalytic projects are typically defined as those that will jumpstart positive, complementary social and economic developments in the surrounding space. IIB holds an outstanding track record of delivering catalytic infrastructure projects under Malaysia’s Ninth Malaysia Plan that have benefited society. One such success story is the Lebuhraya Pesisir Pantai Johor Bahru-Nusajaya, popularly known as the ‘Coastal Highway’, and the Medini North Interchange project (MNIC). These initiatives, which both opened to the public in January 2014, helped to galvanise economic development in the country.
IIB’s latest development project is the construction of the Coastal Highway Southern Link (CHSL), the final stretch connecting the Coastal Highway to the Second Link Expressway. The new 5.2km highway, expected to be completed in March 2017, will reduce travelling distance from the Sultan Abu Bakar Custom Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) checkpoint at the Second Link, which connects Singapore and Johor, to Medini by approximately 10km, reducing the journey to 5 minutes. This venture marks the successful collaboration of IIB with major players UEM Sunrise Berhad, Sunway Iskandar Development Sdn. Bhd. and Mulpha International Berhad. With the enhanced road network connectivity, the CHSL Project is expected to be another impetus to attract more investment into Iskandar Malaysia.
As the Central Business District (CBD) of Iskandar Puteri, Medini is Malaysia’s largest single urban development to date. It is the culminated vision of the state of Johor and the Malaysian Government, along with IIB’s strategic partners from the Middle East. IIB is consistently eager to develop Malaysian companies, and as such the company has welcomed investment from Johor-based publicly listed companies as well as property giants from Kuala Lumpur, which have given rise to a total of MYR4.4 billion in investment. Medini, which lies at the heart of Iskandar Malaysia’s largest property development market, aims to become the icon of city living for the future.
Developing future leaders
A firm belief in education as the cornerstone of innovation and growth led IIB to carry out another iconic project: EduCity Iskandar Malaysia. This groundbreaking development driven by IIB encompasses a fully integrated education hub that is expected to be a feeder of talent to support Iskandar Malaysia’s various economic activities while preparing future generations of leaders. Partnering with luminaries in education from around the globe, EduCity is undoubtedly a first in Asia with its institutes of higher education, student accommodations and recreational and sporting facilities.
Officially launched in January 2014, EduCity today has nine education partners: University of Southampton Malaysia, Multimedia University, University of Reading Malaysia, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology, Management Development Institute of Singapore, Raffles University Iskandar Malaysia, Marlborough College Malaysia and Raffles American School.
The success of EduCity has prompted business clusters to emerge around the growing numbers of students and educational institutions. For example, new cafes and eateries in nearby areas such as Anjung Nusajaya, Puteri Harbour and Bukit Indah are now accommodating the influx of students as well as teachers and university support staff. The thriving education sector is a key contributor towards the development of the ecosystem.
Education has been defined by the Malaysian Government as one of 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs), and EduCity is recognised as an Entry Point Project (EPP) under the NKEA, targeted to play an integral role in the success of Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme. IIB staunchly supports this vision to invest in the future of Malaysia through continuous developments in EduCity and that of its citizens.
IIB is committed to the tenets of equitable growth, ensuring economic expansion progresses alongside value creation for communities in Iskandar Malaysia. In this endeavour, the first major social inclusion project for IIB was the relocation of Kampung Sungai Pendas. This initiative involved the resettlement of villagers living in dilapidated houses in Kampung Sungai Pendas to a new, modern settlement area on 40 acres of land, complete with upgraded infrastructure, a school and a community centre, while maintaining the village’s natural green landscape. The second phase of the development, slated for completion by 2018, will include more housing units, a retail centre, two restaurants, an open market and a new pier. It will also seek to help the villagers shape their respective trades into businesses aligned with tourism activities, enabling them to venture into eco-tourism businesses such as fishing trips, boat excursions, guided tours and homestays.
Collaborations with major organisations also form the foundation of IIB’s social inclusion projects. Through partnering with the PINTAR Foundation, a social responsibility initiative under KNB, IIB has adopted eight under-served schools in and around Iskandar Malaysia. This three-year adoption initiative empowers IIB to give back to the local communities by providing programmes and promoting positive values among schoolchildren; fostering better academic performance; and strengthening their development of creativity and innovativeness. Creating a culture of educational excellence has become the bedrock for the development of a sustainable pool of competent and high-calibre human capital within the economic region.
Securing future growth
A little over ten years after its inception, IIB continues to be the catalytic driver of Iskandar Malaysia, keeping true to its vision of ensuring the economic region’s goal of becoming a world-class liveable city of international standing is firmly within grasp. Under new leadership, IIB will continue to deliver sustainable value to its stakeholders through excellence in the execution and delivery of its catalytic and sustainable projects, ensuring Iskandar Malaysia continues to grow into an attractive investment destination, benefitting the nation’s economy and transforming the quality of lives of the communities. That is IIB’s promise, for the future of those who live, work, visit and invest in Malaysia’s exciting city of the future.
KHAIRIL ANWAR AHMAD
President & Chief Executive
Iskandar Investment Berhad
#G-12, Blok 8, Danga Bay
80200 Johor Bahru,
+ 607 233 9000