Postponing of HSR ‘Little Impact’ on Property Development in Iskandar Malaysia

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First there was a lot of excitement and mixed reviews pertaining to the highly anticipated High Speed Rail (HSR) project from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in 90 minutes, but when the newly minted government under the ruling of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that he is postponing the project, eyes were watching as to what impact it would cause on the property market and developments in Iskandar Malaysia region particularly in Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

It was reported that the postponing of the HSR project will have minimal impact on property development in Iskandar Puteri in the medium term, as it is only a plus point to upcoming projects in the region.

UEM Sunrise Bhd Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said the region was close enough to Singapore, adding that there was already a second link connecting Malaysia and Singapore.

“There are other plus points such as Nusajaya Tech Park, Puteri Harbour, FASTrack City, LEGOLAND Malaysia and many more”.

According to Anwar, the take up rate for Iskandar Puteri’s mixed development projects, Bayu Nusantara and Denai Nusantara, comprising 10,000 units of affordable housing, had been positive.

“The postponing of the HSR project for now will have a minor impact on the take up rate, but we strongly believe that Iskandar Puteri will continue to be developed vibrantly, with or without the HSR,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anwar said that the masterplan for the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project in Iskandar Puteri would be put on hold pending a study on the impact of the HSR postponement for now.

According to UEM Sunrise’s 2017 annual report, the detailed masterplan of the TOD project, which involved 121.4 hectares, was supposed to be revealed by the second half of this year.

Under the plan, 28.32 hectares would be allocated for the HSR station in Gerbang Nusajaya.

The remaining lands will be developed into mixed residential and commercial developments via a joint venture with Leisure Farm Corporation Sdn Bhd.

The gross development value for Gerbang Nusajaya, the new township developed by UEM Sunrise, stood at about RM45 billion.

The 330-kilometre HSR project, announced in 2010, dubbed as a game changer by both Malaysia and Singapore leadership before, was expected to cut time travel to just 90 minutes from five hours by road.

Although on 28th May 2018, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad initially announced that the KL-Singapore HSR would be scrapped as it would not benefit Malaysia but now it’s been revealed by Putrajaya that the project is merely postponed as the government needs time to study this multi-billion dollar rail project.