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Friday, 5 May 2017

(The Edge) Irda focuses on infrastructure in Iskandar Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) is focused on infrastructure development in Johor’s Iskandar Malaysia, as it is the key to attracting greater investments and reaping economic benefits in the long run.

Chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said Iskandar Malaysia is a region that can help Malaysia realise the vision of achieving developed nation status by 2035.

“Infrastructure development is a two-pronged endeavour. Firstly, it involves building airports, seaports and roads to facilitate connectivity with the world.

“Secondly, there is the ‘soft infrastructure’ such as telecommunications, energy, water and even education for the masses. Indeed, education will open up opportunities for the people and make them compete in various fields, including entrepreneurship,” he told Bernama.

The infrastructure budget for Irda over the past decade — it was launched in 2006 — was earmarked mainly for “catalytic projects”, meaning those relevant to economic growth. Ismail said about RM10 billion was used for building coastal highways, cleaning rivers and port development among others.

“The government has been providing funds because we have been able to deliver. During the last decade, we have also been able to attract investments from the private sector.

“For every ringgit received from the government, the private sector matches it with RM20. There have been investments in manufacturing, services, real estate and infrastructure as such,” he added. — Bernama