Hopes up for Malaysia's Johor state following $1.9B property venture

Malaysia's southern Johor state received its largest foreign investment in the Iskandar Malaysia growth corridor since Covid-19 when Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) inked a deal with Metallurgical Corp of China Ltd (MCC) on Monday to develop 60ha of prime commercial land in the Skudai suburb.

IWH’s subsidiary Danga Heights Development (DHD) and MCC Singapore, a subsidiary of the Chinese company, have formed a joint venture to develop the area over the next 10 years. It is expected to yield a gross development value (GDV) of eight billion ringgit ($1.9 billion).

IWH is controlled by businessman Lim Kang Hoo.

Johor chief minister Hasni Mohammad said the investment was significant as it proved the state was still attractive for investors.

The state government, he said, was hopeful the project would spur economic development in Johor again.

“There are many challenges and the government is prepared to help any sides, including developers, in the state.

“This investment is a breath of fresh air for us,” he said after witnessing the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two companies on Monday.

The virtual land-sale signing ceremony was conducted simultaneously in Malaysia, Singapore and China through video conferencing.

During the virtual signing ceremony, IWH director Mohd Noorazam Osman and MCC Singapore CEO Tan Zhiyong inked the agreements in Johor and Singapore respectively while viewing a live cast from the other countries through a private Zoom link.

Also present were IWH’s executive vice-chairman Kang Hoo and group executive director Lim Chen Herng.

Since 2010, MCC Singapore has developed and project-managed 15 residential projects in Singapore.

Currently, it is also developing JKT Living Star, a 3,648-unit condominium with an adjoining commercial zone in Jakarta and Sky Villa, a 256-unit high-end condominium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

It registered MCC Land (Cambodia) Co Ltd with the Ministry of Commerce, which was incorporated on August 30, 2019, with MCC Singapore general manager and chairman Zhu Jianguo listed as director and board chairman.

The joint venture marks its first major foray into the real estate industry of Malaysia.