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23 February 2007


YAB Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and YAB Menteri Besar of Johor Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman had today co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (“IRDA”). IRDA is the statutory body responsible for determining the direction, policies and strategies in relation to development within Iskandar Development Region (“IDR”) and the meeting today marks another major milestone in the formation of the visionary metropolis at South Johor.

IRDA consists of Co-Chairmen, YAB Prime Minister and YAB Menteri Besar of Johor, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, and 5 other members – Secretary General of Treasury, Tan Sri Izzuddin Dali; Director General of the Economic Planning Unit, Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob; State Secretary of Johor, Dato’ Abdul Latiff Yusof; Director of the State Economic Planning Unit of Johor, Dato’ Hamsan Saringat and Managing Director Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Dato’ Azman Mokhtar.

During the first meeting, the members of IRDA have approved-in-principle the Comprehensive Development Plan (“CDP”) as a guideline for adoption by local planning authorities in IDR.

The CDP will help the State Planning Committee (“SPC”) and relevant local planning authorities co-ordinate development within the IDR area with regard to the general framework of national and Johor State policies.

The Chief Executive of IRDA, Dato’ Ikmal Hijaz Hashim acts as the Secretary to IRDA, and is responsible for the general conduct, administration and management of functions, activities and day to day affairs of the authority.

The members have also approved, in principle, the key areas of focus to be pursued by IRDA in 2007, namely on the regulatory, commercial and social development tracks towards realising the IDR vision.

YAB Prime Minister and YAB Menteri Besar of Johor had also today chaired the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Council of IRDA which was attended by the five eminent persons who will be advising IRDA on various matters regarding the future development of IDR. The council members appointed are Tun Musa Hitam, Tan Sri Samsudin Osman, Robert Kuok Hock Nien, Tan Sri Kishu Tirathai dan Dato’ Panglima Andrew Sheng.

Their reputation and experience is expected to help IRDA in realizing its vision.

Among others, IRDA members also agreed to establish an Approvals and Implementation Committee (“AIC”) as a one stop centre to primarily identify, monitor and co-ordinate the roles and activities of all relevant Government entities to expedite the implementation of major or strategic proposed development and investments within IDR.

AIC will comprise the Menteri Besar of Johor as chairman, the CEO of IRDA, a senior representative from the Ministry of Finance, a senior representative from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, a senior representative fro the Ministry of Home Affairs, a senior representative from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the State Director of the Department of Lands and Mines, the State Planning Director, the Commissioners, the President of every local authority within IDR and others deemed suitable by IRDA.

The IRDA Act 2007 came into effect on 17th February 2007 after being tabled in and approved by Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara on 13th December 2006 and 21st December 2006, respectively. The Bill was given Royal Assent on 12th February 2007.

The primary objective of IRDA is to realize the vision of developing IDR into a strong and sustainable metropolis of international standing. The authority will be mainly involved in:

  1. Establishing the national policies, directions and strategies that have a direct impact to development within IDR.
  2. Coordinating the performance of the activities carried out by Government entities in IDR.
  3. Promoting, stimulating, facilitating and undertaking development in IDR.

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