It is worth noting that this is the 2nd time the name of the project has been changed since it was launched in July 2006, which was initially named "South Johor Development Corridor (SJER)". The frequency at which the name of the project has been changed reflects badly on our government and administrators for it serves to embed confusion amongst investors. In addition, it also reflects a leadership which is unable to make up its mind and stick with a decision, at least for a meaningful period, once it has been made. This reflection certainly does not bode well in breeding investor confidence for our projects.
At the same time, the Finance Minister has declared that Iskandar Malaysia is on target to reach its investment target of RM47 billion within the next 2 years as the project has already "secured" 70% of its investment target, or almost RM33 billion. If the figure announced reflects reality, then certainly, it is an impressive feat achieved by the Government.
Hence it is of utmost importance for the Finance Minister to announce the details of investments which have been committed to date for Iskandar Malaysia to establish the credibility of the Government. Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must declare:
- Of the [RM14 billion] of investments "secured", what is the breakdown between contractually-bound investment agreements, e.g., those with penalty clauses for termination; and those which are based on "memorandums of understanding (MOUs)" not bound by contract?
- Of the "secured" investments, what is the breakdown between the Government of Malaysia, local Malaysian private investors and foreign direct investors?
- Of the "secured" investments, how much of the committed funds have been invested, in Iskandar Malaysia?
It is hoped that in the light of the results of the 12th General Elections, the Government will adopt a new culture of transparency to allow for greater contribution by parliamentarians and Malaysians in general.
(Check out Wikipedia for more info on Iskandar Malaysia)