22 November 2007

AGENDA TERSEMBUNYI DI SEBALIK WILAYAH PEMBANGUNAN ISKANDAR (WPI)

Bahagian Empat

Secara kasarnya niat asal mewujudkan WPI sememangnya murni yakni bagi menarik dana pasaran modal dan pelaburan luar negara, terutama dari Singapura.

Tetapi niat yang murni itu telah setakat ini terbukti jelas dan nyata satu percaturan atau muslihat untuk menjadikan koridor pembangunan di selatan tanahair itu sebagai sebahagian dari rancangan halus pemerintah di negara republik pulau itu – dikenalpasti sebagai negara satelit utama Barat di rantau ini – untuk mewujudkan Singapura Raya atau Greater Singapore; suatu muslihat yang jelas berbau neo-imperialisme Barat.

Usaha untuk menutup agenda sulit Singapura ini menjadi begitu rancak sejak akhir-akhir ini dan melibatkan peranan yang dimainkan oleh kalangan tokoh pucuk pimpinan negara di Malaysia sendiri.

Sebagai misalan, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak rancak mengadakan pertemuan dengan para pelabur Singapura kononnya untuk menarik pelaburan mereka di WPI.


Najib ke Singapura bertemu pengurus dana dunia


KUALA LUMPUR 26 Mei – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata, lawatan pelaburannya ke Singapura Selasa ini bertujuan menggalakkan pengurus dana utama dunia membuat pelaburan dalam pasaran saham dan modal negara serta membawa masuk pelaburan asing langsung (FDI).

Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata, selain itu, beliau akan turut menerangkan dasar-dasar terkini kerajaan kepada pembuat keputusan itu dan mendapatkan reaksi mereka.

Ini, katanya, akan dapat dilakukan melalui pendekatan berupa perjumpaan tertutup dan melibatkan kumpulan peserta yang kecil.

‘‘Dengan ini kita akan mendapat maklum balas yang lebih berterus terang kerana kalau besar-besaran mereka mungkin akan lebih berhati-hati dalam memberikan pandangan dan reaksi mengenai perkembangan di Malaysia,’’ katanya pada sidang akhbar di Angkasapuri di sini hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas lawatan pelaburan dua hari anjuran ECM Libra Avenue Bhd. dan Credit Suisse bertemakan ‘Penstrukturan Semula Malaysia dan Kesediaannya’ yang akan diketuainya itu.

Kelmarin, Pengerusi Eksekutif ECM Libra Avenue, Datuk Kalimullah Hassan berkata, lawatan itu tertumpu kepada empat bidang iaitu penstrukturan semula syarikat-syarikat milik kerajaan (GLC), Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI), nilai ringgit yang semakin kukuh dan kelonggaran kawal selia.

Seramai 50 pengurus dana dari Amerika Syarikat, United Kingdom, Hong Kong dan Singapura yang menguruskan separuh daripada nilai dana dunia dijangka menyertai pertemuan itu, katanya.

Selain dari itu Perdana Menteri Malaysia Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, merangkap Menteri Kewangan I, ada mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa pelabur luar negara diberikan keutamaan dalam perlaksanaan program pembangunan di dalam WPI.


Dipetik dari Utusan Malaysia 29 Mei 2007:


Pelabur asing digalak labur di WPI


PUTRAJAYA 29 Mei – Malaysia mengalu-alukan kemasukan pelabur asing ke Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI) di Johor namun ia perlu melalui saluran yang betul, kata Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Perdana Menteri yang juga Menteri Kewangan berkata, ini kerana pembangunan di wilayah berkenaan telah menarik banyak perhatian yang merupakan petanda kukuh akan berlaku pelaburan yang aktif di situ.

“Kita mempunyai struktur berasingan untuk tujuan itu (pelaburan) iaitu pihak berkuasa Johor Selatan, mereka akan melihat kepada perkara itu. Saya telah pun mengumumkan pelbagai insentif dan mereka (pelabur) sentiasa dialu-alukan.

“Sambutan ke atas WPI ketika ini adalah menggalakkan. Saya telah memberitahu supaya segala proses permohonan hendaklah dipercepatkan, semua pertanyaan dan surat mesti dilayan secepat mungkin, jika boleh dilakukan dalam masa sehari lebih baik,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika berucap pada Majlis Konsultasi Bajet 2008 yang diadakan di Kementerian Kewangan di sini, hari ini.

Hadir sama ialah timbalan-timbalan Menteri Kewangan, Datuk Dr. Ng Yen Yen dan Datuk Dr. Awang Adek Hussin.

Majlis tersebut dihadiri pertubuhan dan individu, sektor perkilangan, perkhidmatan profesional, pendidikan, telekomunikasi dan pengangkutan, pembinaan, perdagangan runcit dan hospitaliti, perkhidmatan insurans, kewangan serta perakaunan, sosial dan agensi-agensi di bawah Kementerian Kewangan.

Mengenai Singapura, Perdana Menteri berkata, tidak ada sebab kenapa penyertaan negara itu tidak boleh dialu-alukan sedangkan Singapura mempunyai keupayaan dan wang untuk melabur serta kepakaran bagi memastikan pelaburan mereka berjaya.

“Saya telah mengadakan perbincangan yang baik dengan Lee (Perdana Menteri Singapura, Lee Hsien Loong) di Langkawi dan tentulah Singapura ingin mengambil bahagian,” katanya.
Berikut pula kenyataan Pengerusi Panel Penasihat WPI, Tun Musa Hitam, yang juga Pengerusi Majlis Perniagaan Malaysia-China, berkenaan isu menarik pelaburan luar ke dalam koridor pembangunan wilayah di Johor itu.


Dipetik Utusan Malaysia pada 12 September 2007:

MCBC rancang penerangan bergerak WPI tarik pelabur China

BEIJING 12 Sept. – Majlis Perniagaan Malaysia-China (MCBC) merancang menarik pelabur China ke Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI), hab pembangunan ekonomi selatan berbilion dolar Malaysia, melalui majlis penerangan bergerak awal tahun depan.

Pengerusi Bersama MCBC Tun Musa Hitam berkata, rancangan yang diatur itu membabitkan majlis di Beijing, Shanghai dan Guangzhou.

“Ini merupakan susulan selepas mesyuarat agung tahunan MCBC baru-baru ini di Johor Bahru.

Kita perlu meningkatkan usaha menarik pelabur China yang kini mengetahui mengenai WPI dan MCBC boleh membantu dari segi ini,” katanya pada majlis penutup misi perniagaan dan kebudayaan Johor-MCBC ke Xinjiang.

Delegasi Majlis Promosi Perdagangan Antarabangsa China juga mengakui pentingnya WPI ketika mesyuarat MCBC di Johor.

Minat melabur China di Malaysia juga ditunjukkan melalui misi pelaburan yang diketuai oleh Gabenor Wilayah Guangdong Selatan Huang Huahua ke Kuala Lumpur pada minggu lepas.
“WPI telah menganjurkan majlis penerangan yang mensasarkan pelabur yang telah dikenal pasti dari seluruh dunia.

“Bagi pelabur China, banyak sudut boleh diberi perhatian kerana adanya pelbagai industri perkhidmatan,” kata Musa.

Musa juga merupakan anggota panel penasihat khas WPI yang termasuk hartawan terkenal Robert Kuok.

WPI yang terletak di bahagian selatan Johor sedang dibangunkan sebagai hab ekonomi terbaru rantau ini bagi industri kewangan, perundingan, logistik, pelancongan, pendidikan, penjagaan kesihatan dan kreatif.

Bulan lepas, ia mengumumkan pelaburan RM4.1 bilion dari konsortium Timur Tengah.
Butiran terperinci insentif bagi WPI akan diumumkan pada akhir bulan ini.
– Bernama


Bagi meredakan kontroversi ekoran penubuhan Jawatankuasa Bersama Peringkat Menteri Malaysia-Singapura mengenai WPI, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi telah memberikan penjelasan berikut:

Dipetik Bernama pada 26 Jun 2007:


Joint Panel Meant To Expedite IDR Development, Says Abdullah



KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the creation of the Malaysia-Singapore joint ministerial committee is meant to facilitate the implementation of development plans for the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in Johor.

The prime minister said the committee, formed on May 15 following approval by the two countries, would only play the role of facilitator to expedite the implementation of government decisions on IDR.

"It's not an adviser or a body that formulates policies or a consultant for IDR development," he said in a written reply to Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian) at the Dewan Rakyat Tuesday.

Salahuddin enquired about the authority of the special committee in monitoring development initiatives in the IDR.

Abdullah said the committee, among others, would discuss ways to enhance transportation between IDR and Singapore.

Co-chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Effendi Norwawi, the committee is also tasked with identifying measures to quicken immigration procedures in Johor and Singapore and promote tourism.

It is also to specify other potential areas for bilateral cooperation that can further develop the IDR and coordinate discussions and the implementation of activities involving the related agencies with regard to suggestions put forward by the committee.

However, Abdullah said, the committee would not make any investment decisions as the matter is under the jurisdiction of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

"IRDA is responsible for IDR's overall development and is the decision-making body on all issues pertaining to foreign investments," he added.

IDR will be developed on a 2,217sq km site covering five local authorities -- Johor Baharu, Johor Baharu Tengah, Kulai, Pasir Gudang and Pontian.

-- BERNAMA





Selain dari itu, sebuah bank Malaysia yang dikuasai Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KUWASA) telah turut menawarkan kemudahan sebagai fasilitator dan mempermudahkan bagi kemasukan pasaran modal, dana dan pelabur dan perniagaan Singapura kedalam WPI.

Dipetik dari Bernama, 2O Julai 2007 :

RHB Bank mampu bantu firma Singapura melabur di WPI




SINGAPURA 20 Julai – RHB Bank Singapore, yang giat menyokong perusahaan perniagaan di republik ini, berkedudukan baik untuk memudahkan pelaburan syarikat-syarikat Singapura di Malaysia, terutamanya di Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI).
Sebagai bank Malaysia yang bertapak kukuh di kedua-dua negara, RHB Bank mempunyai kelebihan berada dekat dengan pasaran, kata Timbalan Ketua Negara RHB Bank Singapore, Jason Wong Hon.

“Mereka (komuniti perniagaan di Singapura) sedar bahawa kami sebuah bank Malaysia dan mempunyai kedudukan mantap di Malaysia,” katanya kepada Bernama dalam satu temu bual.

Menurut Wong Wong Hon, pelanggan sering bertanya mengenai peluang perniagaan yang tersedia dalam projek WPI.

“Kami memerhati minat yang ditunjukkan pelanggan kami untuk mengetahui lebih lanjut mengenai WPI, dan juga di kalangan komuniti perniagaan Singapura. Kami memerhati pertambahan minat terhadap projek mega ini yang berlaku hampir dengan Singapura,” katanya.

Semalam di Bluesky Finance Fair 2007, RHB Bank dan Nusajaya Development Sdn. Bhd. bekerjasama untuk memperkenalkan WPI, terutamanya Nusajaya, yang merupakan pembangunan utama bagi kawasan seluas 2,217 kilometer persegi itu.

“RHB Bank membiayai perusahaan perniagaan bagi pelaburan mereka di Malaysia. Jika pelanggan melabur dalam WPI, RHB Bank boleh membantu mereka dalam keperluan pembiayaan mereka,” kata Wong.

“Saya merasakan ia suatu yang baik kepada kami untuk membawa maklumat yang komuniti perniagaan mahu mengetahuinya dengan lebih lanjut lagi dan itulah sebabnya mengapa kami menyediakan maklumat mengenai WPI serta Nusajaya kepada komuniti perniagaan di Singapura,” katanya.

“WPI membuka peluang yang luas kepada komuniti perniagaan di Singapura untuk melabur di Malaysia dan juga bagi RHB Bank untuk memainkan peranan memudahkan dan membiayai pelaburan di Malaysia,” katanya.

RHB Bank, yang merupakan bank berlesen penuh di Singapura mempunyai rangkaian tujuh cawangan.

Ia juga diiktiraf oleh SPRING Singapore sebagai agensi bagi pembangunan perusahaan dalam menawarkan Skim Pembiayaan Perusahaan Tempatan dan program pembiayaan kadar tetap bagi perusahaan kecil dan sederhana.
– Bernama


Yang nyatanya, perancangan strategik halus Singapura untuk melaksanakan cita-cita Singapura Raya melalui WPI itu mula terserlah atas minat luar biasa mereka terhadap wilayah pembangunan di selatan tanahair itu.

Negara republik pulau itu langsung tidak menyembunyikan hasrat mereka untuk memberikan tumpuan khusus kepada industri bernilai-tambah tinggi (high value added) dan modal insan/intelektual seperti bio-teknologi, ICT, perisian, pembangunan teknologi, kewangan dan pasaran modal dan perundingan.

Dalam masa yang sama, strategi Singapura adalah bagi memindahkan dengan mudah industri sokongan, industri kecil dan sederhana (IKS) dan nilai tambah rendah yang menampung keperluan ekonomi mereka ke seberang Selat Tebrau.

Muslihat ini dapat jelas dilihat melalui kenyataan oleh Menteri Mentor Singapura, Lee Kuan Yew yang menyatakan kononnya Singapura dikenakan ‘tekanan’ untuk terlibat dalam WPI.

Dipetik dari The Straits Times (Singapura) Julai 2007:

Malaysia’s IDR Project under the spotlight


Malaysia’s Iskandar Development Region (IDR) project came under the spotlight this week with Malaysian politicians criticising Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s remarks that Singapore’s businessmen would not be welcomed in the same way as Hong Kong businessmen in Shenzhen.

Lee pointed to comments made by PAS and UMNO Johor politicians who warned that Singapore might have an ulterior motive in investing in Johor.

However, Lee concluded, “But we believe that, from a broader perspective, it is better for both countries that Malaysia benefits from Singapore's economic growth, and vice versa….. Hence Singapore supports the IDR, on a win-win basis.”

Lee’s remarks were given prominence in the Malaysian media with responses from several local (Johor) and national politicians. Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said, “To accuse that we (Johor Umno leaders) do not welcome (Singapore's investment in WPI), I feel is purely his personal perception and his (Lee's) perception is influenced by history.”

Foreign Minister Syed Hamid responded similarly saying, “We want foreign investors in Iskandar. We acknowledge the need for foreign investment but we cannot give preference to any particular country.”

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak refuted Lee’s comments by pointing out that an assurance was given personally by the Johor Menteri Besar who is also the Johor Umno Liaison head, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, that Johor UMNO would support Singaporean investments.

Najib pointed out, “I just spoke to Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ghani and he said that Johor Umno fully supports Iskandar and will give its full co-operation to ensure its success….It's not true that Johor Umno is against it. I do not know how this came about as Abdul Ghani told me that they had indicated their support in two previous meetings. This, you must ask Lee Kuan Yew.”

To show that the IDR project has the highest political support (and therefore must succeed), Prime Minister Badawi has been visiting Johor regularly. He visited Johor again on 5th July to oversee the groundbreaking and naming ceremony of the Asia Petroleum Hub, an offshore oil storage and bunkering facility, but also taking the opportunity to make a sales pitch of the IDR to Chinese investors.

A delegation of Chinese businessmen led by Yu Ping, the Vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade is visiting Johor this week to find out about the IDR as well as to attend the Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC) annual general meeting.

In a key-note speech at the meeting, Prime Minister Badawi called on Chinese businessmen to use the IDR as a base for the ASEAN market. After the meeting, he also held an hour-long closed door meeting with the Chinese businessmen to understand their concerns and elaborate on how Malaysia is doing all it can to position itself as a premier investment destination in the region.

Interest from the Middle East on the IDR is also likely to increase (and investments facilitated) with opening of a branch of the world's biggest Islamic banking group, Al-Rajhi Bank in Johor. Its chief executive officer (CEO), Ahmed Rehman said “Al-Rajhi's presence in IDR will facilitate investors from Middle East as Arab investors are already familiar with our syariah banking products and procedures.”

However, Malaysia’s IDR project faces the prospect of increased competition from neighbouring countries particularly Indonesia. The publicity generated by the IDR has startled the Indonesians into moving ahead with its own much delayed project to convert the whole Bantam island into a free trade zone (FTZ) as well as expanding the special economic zones within the Riau Islands. If these Indonesian projects work out, they will in turn create competitive pressure on Malaysia.

Moreover, Malaysia’s own domestic policies might be a hindrance to more investment. For instance, Thierry Rommel, the European Commission’s envoy to Malaysia called Malaysia’s affirmative-action policy in favour of ethnic Malays, a form of trade protectionism. This sparked off a strong response from the Malaysian government.

In contrast, even though the United States called for ‘more transparency’ in the bumiputra policy, it has been careful in not criticising the bumiputra policy. Even so, there is no denying that some relaxation of the policy is needed to secure more investment. (6 July 2007)


Berikut pula kenyataan oleh Duta Besar Malaysia ke Singapura mengenai gesaan bagi pelabur dan pemilik perniagaan Singapura untuk merebut peluang keemasan ini dalam WPI.

Dipetik dari Bernama pada 1 September 2007:

WPI: Pelabur Singapura perlu rebut peluang


SINGAPURA 1 Sept. – Malaysia menggesa firma perdagangan Singapura yang berhasrat melabur dalam Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI) di Johor supaya berbuat demikian dengan segera dan tidak menunggu terlalu lama untuk mengambil keputusan.

Pesuruhjaya Tinggi Malaysia ke Singapura, Datuk N. Parameswaran, berkata wilayah WPI sudah bersedia menerima pelaburan untuk kawasan seluas 2,217 km persegi dan kira-kira tiga kali ganda saiz Singapura itu.

“Tempoh pembangunan WPI adalah untuk lebih 20 tahun. Tidak guna untuk tunggu dan melihat siapa yang melabur dahulu. Saya ingin memberitahu sahabat saya di Singapura, jika anda memang mahu melabur, buatlah sekarang dan jangan tunggu,” katanya.

“Saya rasa kita sudah lama menjadi rakan kongsi dan kita harus gunakan kesempatan ini,” katanya kepada pemberita pada majlis sambutan sempena perayaan kemerdekaan 50 tahun Malaysia di pulau peranginan Sentosa di sini malam tadi.

Seramai kira-kira 600 orang, terdiri daripada anggota diplomatik, pemimpin perniagaan serta rakyat Malaysia yang bekerja di republik itu, menyertai acara itu.
Menteri Perdagangan dan Perindustrian Singapura Lim Hng Kiang turut hadir pada majlis itu.

“Kita boleh membina di atas kewujudan simbiosis semula jadi. Kita boleh duduk dan memikirkannya tetapi jangan berfikir terlalu lama kerana seperti anda melihat, WPI tidak hanya bergantung kepada Singapura,” kata Parameswaran.

Mengenai kebimbangan masalah jenayah di Johor, beliau berkata, pihak berkuasa di Malaysia sedang berusaha keras untuk mengatasinya.

“Kami juga mahu tinggal dalam persekitaran yang selamat. Saya kini boleh melihat kegigihan penempatan anggota polis, rondaan, balai polis dan sebagainya,” katanya.

Parameswaran juga ditanya mengenai isu-isu tertangguh antara Malaysia dan Singapura.
Katanya, ada isu-isu yang tidak sepatutnya dibiarkan tanpa penyelesaian untuk selamanya.

“Mengenai kesesakan setiap hari di Tambak Johor...adakah anda suka deretan kenderaan?

“Adakah anda suka semua lori yang membawa semua jenis barangan setiap hari ke Singapura tersangkut untuk beberapa jam kerana kesesakan?... Ianya pembaziran masa produktif,” jelasnya.
– Bernama


Namun begitu, perlu disebut bahawa program pengalakan pelabur dan perniagaan dari Singapura di WPI bukanlah merupakan usaha rasmi dan terus menerus Kerajaan, samada Malaysia maupun Singapura, malah adalah atas inisiatif swasta sepenuhnya.

Dipetik dari Utusan Malaysia 19 September 2007:

WPI: Swasta Singapura perlu buat keputusan sendiri


SINGAPURA 18 Sept. – Syarikat Singapura yang berhasrat untuk melabur di Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI) di Johor perlu membuat penilaian sendiri mengenai tarikan kawasan itu, kata Menteri Perdagangan dan Industri Singapura Lim Hng Kiang.

Katanya, walaupun kerajaan boleh memberikan galakan dan bantuan untuk memudahkan kerjasama dan hubungan ekonomi, sektor swasta perlu membuat keputusan pelaburan sendiri berasaskan pertimbangan komersial.

“Secara tradisinya, Singapura menjadi salah satu pelabur utama di Johor disebabkan kedudukannya yang rapat dan kefahaman syarikat kita dengan pasaran.

‘‘Dengan perkembangan pantas di Asia Timur, wujud banyak peluang pelaburan di Malaysia dan negara lain.

“Sedang WPI kian maju, sektor swasta kita, seperti pelabur lain, akan membuat penilaian sendiri tentang tarikan WPI berbanding dengan pelaburan lain dan mengambil langkah yang sepatutnya,” kata Lim dalam jawapan bertulis pada sesi persidangan Parlimen Singapura yang sedang berlangsung.

Lim mengakui wujud minat di kalangan syarikat Singapura untuk mendapatkan lebih banyak maklumat mengenai WPI dan melakukan penilaian sendiri.

“Mereka telah mengambil bahagian dalam pelbagai seminar dan lawatan ke WPI anjuran pihak berkuasa Malaysia dan dewan perniagaan kita sejak beberapa bulan lepas,” katanya.

Pada bulan Mei, Malaysia dan Singapura telah menubuhkan satu Jawatankuasa Bersama Peringkat Menteri untuk meneroka idea bagi dijalin kerjasama dua hala di WPI.
Lim berkata: “Berasaskan penilaian kita, adalah baik bagi Singapura jika WPI maju dan mencapai kejayaan.

Wilayah Johor Selatan yang makmur dan dinamik yang terletak bersebelahan Singapura akan memacu peluang yang lebih besar dan menarik lebih ramai bakat dan idea ke dunia sebelah ini. Ini baik bagi kedua-dua buah negara.”

Jawatankuasa itu dipengerusikan bersama oleh Menteri Pembangunan Negara Singapura Mah Bow Tan dan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Malaysia Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi.

Pada pelancaran mesyuarat sulung jawatankuasa itu Julai lalu, empat kumpulan telah diwujudkan untuk meneroka kerjasama dalam bidang imigresen, pengangkutan, pelancongan dan alam sekitar.
– Bernama


Kini pelbagai insentif, termasuk pelepasan cukai ditawarkan kepada pelabur, terutama dari luar negara bagi kegiatan mereka di WPI.

Dipetik dari Utusan Malaysia 10 Oktober 2007:

Pengecualian cukai antara insentif majukan WPI
Oleh Habibah Omar dan Amran Ahmad

PUTRAJAYA 9 Okt. – Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hari ini mengumumkan pakej insentif dan sokongan (ISP) dalam bentuk fiskal dan bukan fiskal bagi fasa terpenting atau Node 1 di Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI), Johor untuk menarik pelaburan lebih RM14 bilion ke wilayah tersebut.

Perdana Menteri berkata, ISP berkenaan termasuklah pengecualian cukai pendapatan untuk tempoh 10 tahun bagi beberapa sektor yang layak iaitu kreatif, pendidikan, rundingan dan nasihat kewangan, penjagaan kesihatan, logistik serta pelancongan.

‘‘Pada masa yang sama, kerajaan menubuhkan pusat sehenti Lembaga Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (IRDA) yang bertanggungjawab untuk memberi perkhidmatan kepada para pelabur yang terbabit dalam pelbagai projek pembangunan dan pelaburan besar serta strategik di WPI,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang akhbar selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat Lembaga Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (IRDA) di sini, hari ini.
Turut hadir pada sidang akhbar itu ialah Menteri Besar Johor, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif IRDA, Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hisham.

Pada 29 Ogos lalu, empat firma terkemuka Asia Barat dari negara-negara Majlis Kerjasama Teluk (GCC) melabur RM4.1 bilion di WPI yang bakal menjadi pemangkin kepada pertumbuhan wilayah pembangunan itu.

Pelabur tersebut ialah Mubadala Development Company, Kuwait Finance House dan ahli kumpulan Saraya Holdings, Millennium Development International Company.

Pelaburan awal Node 1 oleh firma dari rantau Teluk itu melibatkan pembangunan tanah seluas 892 hektar, yang terletak dalam kawasan Nusajaya, antara Pusat Pentadbiran Negeri Johor dan jambatan kedua ke negara jiran, Singapura.

Mengulas lanjut, Abdullah yang juga Pengerusi IRDA berkata, penubuhan pusat sehenti IRDA itu juga selaras dengan langkah kerajaan untuk memastikan para pelabur asing dan tempatan tidak berhadapan masalah birokrasi dalam mendapatkan kelulusan pada kadar yang cepat.

Selain pengecualian cukai selama 10 tahun itu, syarikat berstatus WPI juga layak untuk mendapat pengecualian daripada cukai pegangan bayaran perkhidmatan dan royalti bagi bukan pemastautin sehingga 10 tahun dari tarikh mula operasi, katanya.

Di samping itu, menurut Perdana Menteri, pemaju yang mendapat kelulusan juga layak untuk mendapat pengecualian daripada cukai pendapatan sehingga tahun taksiran 2015 bagi pendapatan statutori atas pelupusan hak terhadap tanah di fasa atau node yang dibenarkan.

Tambahnya, bagi pengurus pembangunan yang mendapat kelulusan pula, mereka layak untuk mendapat pengecualian daripada bayaran cukai terhadap pendapatan statutori untuk peruntukan perkhidmatan pengurusan, penyeliaan dan pemasaran untuk pemaju yang mendapat kelulusan sehingga tahun taksiran 2020.

Jelas beliau, pekerja mahir asing di wilayah berkenaan juga dibenarkan mengimport atau membeli sebuah kereta bebas cukai untuk kegunaan peribadi.

Untuk maklumat lanjut, pemohon dan bakal pelabur boleh menghubungi pusat sehenti IRDA di talian bebas tol 1-800-88-3010 atau +607-218 3010 untuk mendapatkan maklumat lanjut termasuk proses mendapatkan status syarikat WPI.

Dalam pada itu, Abdullah berkata, kawasan pelaburan tersebut bukan sahaja menerima pelabur luar malah pelabur tempatan dialu-alukan untuk mengambil bahagian selain memberikan cadangan masing-masing.

‘‘Kita alu-alukan pelabur tempatan. Ada soalan yang ditanya bahawa mereka tidak dialu-alukan oleh WPI. Itu tidak betul, kita mahu mereka datang, kita telah bangkitkan isu ini secara spesifik.

“Dalam mesyuarat tadi, ada laporan menyebut pelabur tempatan mempersoalkan sama ada kita menyasarkan secara eksklusif pelabur luar, jawapannya adalah tidak kerana pelabur tempatan adalah digalakkan,” katanya.


Mengenai isu yang sama, berikut adalah petikan dari The Star 11 Oktober 2007:

IDR incentive packages unveiled
By DEVID RAJAH
devid@thestar.com.my

PUTRAJAYA: The Iskandar Development Region has unveiled its incentive packages for investors, which the Prime Minister said are not restricted to just foreigners.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that contrary to some claims, the IDR welcomes both foreign and local investors.

“It is not true that we are not keen on local investors. The corridor is not only for foreign investors.

“We hope they (local investors) will participate in the development plan of the IDR.

“We welcome them to come in and we will also take their suggestions into consideration,” he said, adding that the matter was raised at the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) board meeting and advisory council meeting yesterday.

Abdullah also launched a book detailing the incentive packages for the IDR.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the meeting, he said local investors would also enjoy incentives like the 10-year income tax exemption for certain qualifying activities, if they met the set criteria.

“We are also willing to customise incentives packages for the investors and allow them free access to human capital,” he added.

Under the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives announced yesterday, approved developers will enjoy:

 INCOME tax exemption up to 2015 on income from the disposal of any right in or over land within the approved node;
 
INCOME tax exemption up to 2020 on income from rental or sale of buildings within the node; and

 TAX exemption on payments made to non-residents for services, interest and royalties up to Dec 31, 2015.

The Prime Minister said managers working with the approved developers would be entitled to income tax exemption for management, supervisory or marketing services until 2020 and would also be given exemption from withholding tax on payments made to non-residents for services until Dec 31, 2015.

He said that with the clear fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, investors would be able to know what the IDR has to offer.

Abdullah said a total of RM40bil was needed over the next five years to fully develop the IDR. To date, the region has attracted RM4.1bil worth of investments. The planning for node one was going on well and by early next year some of the projects could be implemented, he said.

He said locals investing in six key service sectors – creative, educational, financial advisory and consulting; healthcare, logistics and tourism – would be allowed to enjoy incentive and support packages.

Berikut pula adalah artikel yang dimuatkan ke dalam majalah Biz Edge edisi 10 Oktober 2007 mengenai isu yang sama:


Govt extends IDR incentives for qualifying activities
by Surin Murugiah
Email us your feedback at fd@bizedge.com
PUTRAJAYA: The government yesterday announced qualifying activities that will enjoy additional incentives accorded by the Iskandar Region Development Authority (IRDA) that were earlier provided for investments in six targeted service sectors.

Under the incentive and support package (ISP) unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday, several fiscal and non-fiscal incentives packaged by IRDA were extended to include approved developers and approved development managers, on top of those granted to IDR-status companies and foreign knowledge workers originally last March.

Initially, the six areas in the services sector comprising creative, education, financial advisory and consulting, healthcare, logistics and tourism were identified as the key economic drivers in the IDR when the corridor was first launched but the scope of activities has been widened.

The ISP is now extended to qualifying activities including film and television production, online and mobile content generation and advertising, creative research and development under the creative services; universities, colleges and skills training centres under educational services; and hotels, theme parks and conference centres for tourism services.

Qualifying activities in the financial advisory and consulting services include Islamic financial services, business process outsourcing, and corporate consultancy and advisory services; hospitals, healthcare research and development, and integrated laboratory services under healthcare while activities like integrated supply chain services and solutions in logistics would also enjoy the ISP.

IRDA officials said the list was not exhaustive and would be reviewed periodically.

The latest ISP also includes a 10-year income tax exemption for certain qualifying activities.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Abdullah said the government also wanted greater local investor participation in the activities at the IDR as the corridor was not exclusive to foreign investors.

“We welcome local investors. There is a question that’s being asked that we are not keen on welcoming local investors for IDR. This is not true.

“We raised this matter at our meeting as there was a report that local investors were questioning whether they were exclusively targeting foreign investors.

“The answer is no. Local investors are also welcome,” he said.

Abdullah said local investors with activities in the six areas would qualify for and enjoy the benefits of the ISP, similar to foreign investors.

He said the government was targeting RM40 billion in total investments for Node 1 of the IDR, of which RM4 billion would come from the government.

Asked if the investments for IDR were on track as planned, Abdullah said: “We want to get as many as possible. Datuk Azman Mokhtar (of Khazanah Nasional Bhd) has already indicated to me the number of investors with whom he has already started discussions with on very specific investments that they would like to undertake.”

He said certain investors would receive customised incentive packages, adding that it was possible to address specific needs.

Abdullah, who is also chairman of the IRDA, said: “Since private investments will be the main catalyst of growth, there is a need to offer investors attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives like the ones being announced by the IRDA yesterday.”

He said the ISP had been designed to set in motion catalyst developments as well as encourage early investments in the region, and reinforced the government’s commitment to making the region a global success.

The IDR has started attracting investments, including a US$1.2 billion (RM4.08 billion) investment in land and infrastructure by three consortiums led by Mubadala Development Company, Kuwait Finance House and Millenium Development International Company.

General Electric Co has also entered into an arrangement with UEM Land Sdn Bhd to design a safety and security blueprint for the whole of Nusajaya, located in the IDR.



Hakikatnya, tiada program atau insentif khas diwujudkan untuk syarikat syarikat tempatan di Malaysia, terutama yang dimiliki Melayu dan lain-lain kaum bumiputra, untuk memajukan perniagaan mereka atau mengambil peluang dalam kerancakan pembangunan di WPI.

Apa yang ada hanyalah sekadar gesaan agar kalangan para usahawan Melayu merebut peluang di WPI, sebagaimana yang dilaporkan Bernama pada 9 Oktober 2007:


Locals Are Welcomed To Invest In IDR, Says Abdullah



PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9 (Bernama) -- The Iskandar Development Region (IDR) is not meant only for the foreigners, and local investors should take the opportunity to invest in the development region, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

"This corridor is (also) for local investors. They should also participate. We also accept proposals from local investors," he told reporters after chairing a meeting on the progress of the IDR, the development project mooted by the government in the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

Abdullah, who is chairman of the Iskandar Development Region Authority (IDRA), said this in response to a question if locals were welcome to invest in the region.

"We welcome local investors. There are questions being asked that we are not keen on welcoming local investors for IDR.

"This is not true. We want them to come. We have raised this matter specifically at our meeting just now."

The prime minister also said that there had been reports of local investors saying that the government was exclusively targetting foreign investors.

The government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is spearheading the development in the region, and the IDRA was established to ensure the success of the project.

The IDR covers a 2,217-sq km area in southern Johor and is expected to be not only a regional but global hub for the services sector namely the creative, educational, healthcare, financial, tourism and logistics industries.

When asked whether there had been any proposals from the local investors to invest in IDR, he said: "Not specifically..., but some local investors felt that we are (only) luring foreign investors.

"This is not what it is. We are not just concentrating on foreign investors, we need local investors too," he explained.

Abdullah said the government expected the entire IDR project to come to RM40 billion.

He said the government would be coming up with RM4.2 billion and the rest will be from investments.

The government hopes to get many investors, he said, adding that many parties had shown interest to develop the Node 1 or phase one of the IDR.

Abdullah said that a number of investors had also started discussions on the investments.

IDRA would also continue to promote IDR to attract more investors, he added.


K
etika golongan usahawan Melayu tempatan mendapat layanan ajak-ajak ayam, para perancangan WPI sibuk mengatur strategi untuk menarik lebih banyak pelabur asing.

Layanan menganak-tirikan kalangan usahawan Melayu tempatan ini telah, antara lainnnya, jelas dipaparkan oleh akhbar The Straits Times (Singapura) pada 10 Oktober 2007 yang menyentuh tentang isu pelepasan cukai sebagai insentif pelaburan dalam WPI.

Apa yang paling membimbangkan, laporan akhbar asing itu turut menganjurkan agar diwujudkan zon khas di WPI yang terkecuali dari segala dasar afirmatif Kerajaan Malaysia untuk membela kepentingan orang Melayu dan lain-lain kaum bumiputera.



Perks for developers in IDR


Investors in special zone also exempted from bumiputera ownership quotas By Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief

PUTRAJAYA - HOPING to woo bigger investors after some major successes, Malaysia yesterday announced that developers investing in south Johor's economic zone will be given incentives that include a 10-year tax holiday.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced that existing incentives will be extended to developers, companies undertaking management and marketing for the developers, and expatriates in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).


The incentives include tax exemptions on income from the sale of land and rental and sale of buildings, as well as exemption on withholding taxes.


They are also exempted from bumiputera quotas in corporate equity ownership and property sales, and are free to source for capital globally and to employ foreign workers.


'Since private investments will be the main catalyst of growth, there is a need to offer investors attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives,' Datuk Seri Abdullah said after chairing a meeting of the Iskandar Development Region Authority yesterday.


The incentives were initially confined to companies involved in the creative, education, finance, health, logistics and tourism sectors.

Officials said only developers investing in an area called Node 1 located within Nusajaya will qualify for the perks. The area is about 30km west of Johor Baru and just after the Second Link at Tuas.


Node 1 is about 9 million sq m in size, and is a development comprising leisure, residential, financial and high-end industrial components.


A group of Middle Eastern investors recently signed deals to commit US$1.2 billion (S$1.8 billion) to the area.


Together, the deals make up the single biggest foreign real estate investment in Malaysia.

Recently, Dubai World and Malaysian group MMC also proposed to build a US$4.7 billion maritime park in the IDR.

Asked about fears that local investors were being left out, Datuk Seri Abdullah said the government wanted Malaysians to participate as well.


'This corridor is (also) for local investors. They should also participate. We also accept proposals from local investors,' he said.


The IDR aims to leverage on its proximity to Singapore. It has an area 21/2 times the size of the Republic and Malaysia has it targeted as its next fast-growth area by attracting foreign investors.


carolynh@sph.com.sg











1 ulasan:

anonymous berkata...

The Emperor with no cloth has done it again. While the whole country is laughing at his nudity, Emperor Bodollah is smiling gleefully like a bloody idiot that he is.