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, 26/6/07)