Following hot on the heels of LEGOLAND MALAYSIA’s opening in September this year, Iskandar Malaysia welcomed its second tourism attraction yesterday.
Costing RM110 million (US$36 million), Themed Attractions Malaysia said Puteri Harbour Family Theme park had already attracted some 35,000 visitors, including those from Singapore and overseas.
“The opening the Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park is an achievement as we have successfully clinched internationally renowned brands and cartoon characters that are popular and recognised in the whole world. We have also not forgotten Lat’s Place which represents our local brand to place it in the same standing as these international brands,” said Themed Attractions and Resorts managing director and CEO Tunku Dato’ Ahmad Burhanuddin referring to Hello Kitty, Bob the Builder, Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu and Thomas and Friends.
“I am confident and I believe our goals to make Iskandar Malaysia a competitive region and a high income economy by 2020 will be achieved. The rapid developments that we see today are proof that the economic transformation programmes (ETP) that have been planned by the Malaysian government is coming to fruition. In my opinion, these projects must continue to ensure our aspirations are achieved,” said Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, representing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The theme park, located in the narrowest Straits of Johor to Singapore, is part of the Malaysian government’s broader plan to encourage investments within Iskandar Malaysia and to enjoy the economic spillover from Singapore.
More things to do in Iskandar
For decades, the Malaysian state of Johor had been bypassed by Singaporeans and expatriates from Singapore for the more established city of Kuala Lumpur, where many perceive it to be the hub of commerce and entertainment.
By 2013, Puteri Harbour is set to be buzzing even more with the opening of Trader’s Hotel and CapitaLand’s Puteri Harbour Ascott Somerset.
Already, investors have snapped up condos within the vicinity such as Imperia which was priced at around RM650 per sq ft and is now fully sold.
More property launches are expected ahead with the commencement of ferry services to and from Singapore at the Puteri Harbour CIQ Facility.
Ferry services are expected to commence by November next year.
“Personally I would really like to go at least once just to check it out,” said Adlina Majid, a teacher and a self-confessed Hello Kitty fan, whose parents frequent Johor Bahru for grocery shopping.
Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, chief executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), said a total of 20,000 employment opportunities have been created to date.
“The spillover effect to tourism, business and others will also be significant and I urge investors to see this potential and grab the opportunity now,” said Ibrahim.
In July, Ibrahim revealed that Iskandar Malaysia has secured RM10.67 billion (US$3.4 billion) worth of a new committed investment.
The property sector alone has recorded RM29.80 billion (US$9.5 billion) worth of investments.
Iskandar Malaysia is expected to surpass the RM100 billion (US$37.73 billion) dollar mark by 2013.