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Date [ 2014-02-20, 10:02 ]

The island-state prepares to take on a more dynamic role.

Iskandar Malaysia well on schedule.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by Ramani Rathir = On January 28, 2014 the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) met for its tenth working meeting at the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre in Singapore.

The meeting was co-chaired by Y.B. Dato’ Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and H.E. Minister Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore’s Minister for National Development.

Also present were the Menteri Besar of Johor, Y.A.B. Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Singapore’s Minister for Transport, H.E. Minister Lui Tuck Yew. Making up the rest of the delegates were senior officials from both countries.

Last year in February, at the Leaders’ Retreat, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak tasked the JMCIM to look into the details and modalities of a High Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to improve connectivity and linkages between Malaysia and Singapore.

The HSR Work Group has made good progress since its formation in December 2013 and discussions have begun with a working session in January 2014, where the Work Group identified matters for joint deliberations.

The Transportation Links Work Group (TLWG) also made progress in transport connectivity cooperation. The JMCIM noted the progress of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Singapore and Johor Bahru, and agreed to work towards a preferred and agreed option by the end of 2014.

The TLWG has also increased the quota for cross-border bus services from the current 16 to a total of 20 services, and is reviewing new landing points in both countries to enhance the cross-border bus network.

The JMCIM noted that the Industrial Cooperation Work Group (ICWG)’s four areas of collaboration in Advanced Materials Engineering (AME), Electronics, Creative Services and Food were gaining momentum.

For AME, the ICWG agreed to work together to build up a regional ecosystem of suppliers across Singapore and Malaysia to support the fast-growing Oil & Gas Industry in Asia. For Electronics, the ICWG agreed to deepen collaboration in building up the semiconductor ecosystem for both countries.

This includes collaborating on specific investment promotion projects and exploring skills development. For Food and Creative Services, the ICWG is exploring potential areas of synergies for further collaboration.

The JMCIM has continued to make progress in terms of facilitating cross-border movement of people and goods. For example, 127,012 new Malaysian Automated Clearance System (MACS) applications were made in 2013, bringing the total number of applications to 371,916 since its inception in 2009.

MACS was developed for fast-track immigration clearance for non-Malaysian investors, business persons and professionals.

The JMCIM noted that construction works for the Afiniti Medini urban wellness project have commenced and remain on track towards completion in end-2015. In addition, the first phase of terrace homes under the Avira resort wellness project is expected to be launched in the first half of 2014.

The Tourism Work Group (TWG) continues to enjoy a close working relationship. Over the past 2 years, five ecotourism-related workshops with participants from both Malaysia and Singapore were held.

The TWG also recently organised a joint site inspection to the three Ramsar Johor sites. Members of the travel trade from both countries were invited to explore further areas for collaboration in marketing and promotion regarding the wetlands.

Over the next two years, the TWG will continue to explore possible collaborations in events, MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Exhibitions) initiatives and student programmes.

The JMCIM noted the good collaboration in the sharing of expertise and experience by both sides in the areas of river clean-up and environmental management.

Most of the identified action plans for river cleaning in Iskandar Malaysia have been implemented and are well on track. The JMCIM agreed that the Environment Work Group (EWG) should further strengthen environmental cooperation, focusing on the Iskandar Malaysia region.

abc@koreanpress
For faster immigration clearance(

Pulua kukup - a Ransar site in Johor,

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