The Iskandar Malaysia Special Economic Zone project is already benefiting the economy and people of Johor “profoundly”, said the state’s Menteri Besar (Chief Executive)¬†Abdul Ghani Othman. Since Iskandar’s beginnings just five years ago, it has delivered to the region increased demand, higher wages, greater business opportunities and a higher standard of living.

Special attention from the federal and state governments has helped too. Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) Johor state received RM6.83 billion (US$2.25 billion) in federal funds to improve infrastructure and other public amenities, while its current successor the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) has promised another RM1.39 billion ($459.9 million) between now and 2015. The state government responded with RM313.33 million ($103.5 million) of its own in 2010.

Almost all the funds went towards improving economic efficiency, accessibility and connectivity. Highway improvements alone took advantage of Iskandar Malaysia’s location between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, allowing it to attract big name and ‘prestige projects’ like the Legoland theme park. Ghani said the property sector in particular has seen a sharp increase in demand, restarting projects stalled after the financial crisis and creating higher-end development opportunities in locations like Danga Bay.

As another sign of its commitment, Johor state relocated its administrative functions to a new development at Kota Iskandar, Nusajaya City, in 2009. The federal government also located its local departments there as part of the Johor State New Administrative Centre (JSNAC), a 1.3 sq km development complete with public plazas, gardens and parks.

source & article: New Straits Times via CBC BNet