KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) has started an initiative to develop mukim Sedenak in northern Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, with focus given to agrotechnology and high-tech industries, research and development, and low-carbon activities, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The prime minister said the development of Sedenak would speed up growth in the area and nearby districts for the benefit of the local community, as well as to strengthen the network of access between Johor and other states.
“Sedenak will become the sixth flagship of Iskandar Malaysia after Pusat Bandar Johor Baru; Iskandar Puteri; Tanjung Pelepas and Tanjung Bin; Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Langsat; and Senai-Skudai.
“This will contribute towards turning Johor into a food supply hub and international gateway into Malaysia," he said in a statement after chairing a virtual meeting of IRDA members in Putrajaya today.
The meeting was also attended by joint chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad, who is Johor mentri besar, and several Cabinet members.
Ismail Sabri said Iskandar Malaysia had implemented various initiatives to maintain or enhance the income and standard of living of those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Throughout this year, 5,000 members of the Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) in the region had received assistance in the form of salary matching grants, business start-up grants, training, and capacity development, he said.
“Through the Iskandar Malaysia Employment Grant (IMEG), 252 companies have retained or hired 1,811 new workers including women, the unemployed, persons with disabilities (PwD) and retirees.
“At the same time, 1,425 entrepreneurs have joined various training programmes while 117 small and medium enterprises (SME) have received grants to support their business operations under the Iskandar Malaysia Dynamic Entrepreneurs programme,” he said.
For the Iskandar Malaysia Urban Farming (IMURFARM) programme, he said, 140 participants from the B40 group had achieved an average income of RM2,800 for each harvest after joining while 730 participants of the IM Makmur programme recorded an average income increase of between 25 per cent and 65 per cent through the income generating scheme.
Ismail Sabri said IMRENT (rent payment grant), IMSTART (business start-up grant) and IMYES (youth entrepreneurs grant) were among various types of financial and training assistance given to specific groups under the inclusive economy agenda in Iskandar Malaysia.
To further intensify aid to the people, Ismail Sabri said, IRDA had suggested the need to continue building transit houses targeted at people who just started working, ventured into business or started a family.
He said in line with the trend of the present generation preferring to rent than buy houses, this house renting scheme enables them to stay in safe and affordable homes while they work to stabilise their resources for a better future.
He said this scheme had proven successful through Rumah Iskandar Malaysia in Gelang Patah, where almost all the 1,500 apartment units had been taken up.
Apart from this, IRDA has also agreed to speed up major initiatives such as Iskandar Rapid Transit; Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory; Iskandar Malaysia Smart City; Low Carbon Community; Green Community and Carbon Reduction Programme; and Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge to promote the approach of achieving comprehensive economic, social and environmental sustainability. — Bernama