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Johor mulls property speculation curbs over upcoming Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone

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ISKANDAR PUTERI, Johor:Β The Johor state government is considering implementing policies to curb property price speculation over the upcoming Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi highlighted that the initiative stems from concerns expressed by diverse stakeholders, including the state’s residents and external investors, regarding speculation surrounding escalating property prices amid ongoing development plans for the SEZ.

He noted that property speculation has led to significant increases in land and residential prices in several areas, necessitating government scrutiny and control.

“Johor requires new policies to curb the escalating property speculation,” Mr Onn Hafiz said during a state assembly sitting on Sunday (May 12).

He was responding to a question on the Johor government’s assurances regarding the welfare of residents, particularly local fishermen’s safety at sea, and the anticipated increase in property prices in Iskandar Puteri following the implementation of the SEZ.

Mr Onn Hafiz emphasised the state government’s commitment to preventing property price hikes that would overburden Johor residents, making it difficult for them to afford property in the Malaysian state.

“There may be certain premiums that can be introduced. The Johor government will also discuss the construction of more affordable homes in the SEZ areas with the Local Government and Housing Ministry,” he said while stressing that any proposals regarding the SEZ would prioritise locals.

Singapore and Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January on the Johor-Singapore SEZ, which aims to boost cross-border economic connectivity.

Under the MOU, both sides will work towards boosting the cross-border flow of goods and people and develop a framework that will lead to a full-fledged agreement on the zone.

Both countries are also exploring other initiatives in the leadup, including a passport-free clearance system on both sides of the border.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has said projects such as the Johor-Singapore SEZ and the special financial zone in Forest City could could help Johor’s economy outpace other Malaysian states in the coming years. Source: Bernama/(ws)

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