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The Iskandarian ISSUE 63 | NOV 2017


KDN : PP17797/06/2012(032765) | Singapore MICA : MCI (P) 095/11/2016





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The Iskandarian

KDN : PP17797/06/2012(032765) Singapore MICA : MCI (P) 095/11/2016

ISSUE 63 | NOV 2017 FREE COPY Official Newspaper

The Iskandarian Iskandar Malaysia’s Official Newspaper, is a synergistic product by True Soul Media PLT & IRDA’s Social Development Division



The Iskandarian Monthly Drill

We interview CEOs & Chairmen with drilling questions

pg 9

It is crucial to ensure that projects are built with proper concepts, with a basis of protecting customers and the environment - Alvin Ong Chief Financial Officer, Country View Berhad


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(RTO) Rent-to-Own Houses for Johorians Read on pg6

Read on pg6

November 16th IKEA Tebrau Opening

BCB Berhad (BCB) Launched Versis @ Medini - More than 50% of Phase 1 was sold on the launch night itself

Read on pg24


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Iskandar Malaysia To Look At Millennial-Driven Economy New ideas at the second edition of Invest Iskandar Malaysia Symposium 2017


ommemorating the 10th year celebration of Iskandar Malaysia was the successful second edition of the Invest Iskandar Malaysia Symposium 2017 which drew over 600 delegates from the public and private sectors as well as international delegates congregating in serious dialogues and knowledge sharing sessions. The symposium featured a line-up of prominent speakers who shared the latest updates of Iskandar Malaysia, latest government policies and strategies while learning from foreign and local experts on transformative strategies that can change the region’s economic landscape. “Iskandar Malaysia must be ready to facilitate new transformation, which means taking into account the new economy


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driven by millennials,” said Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin during the officiating ceremony of the symposium. Khaled, who is also the CoChairman of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), said Iskandar Malaysia should bring in new investments that would venture beyond the conventional industry, not only in property, but also in science and technology. He added that millennials were progressive, unafraid to embrace changes, innovations and new ideas. “Iskandar Malaysia is also seeking investments from driven millennials and understand them better so that we can work together in achieving success of the region as guided under Comprehensive Development Plan ii 2014-2015 (CDPii). As of August this year,

MoU between IRDA and MIMOS Snd Bhd in developing smart tech in ‘Smart City Solutions’

IRDA has clocked approximately RM19 billion worth of investment that contributed to the total RM242 billion of foreign and local investment since the start of the region,” said Chief Executive of IRDA, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim at the press

Johor Biodegradable And Biocompostable Roadmap Launched


ohor Biotechnology and Biodiversity Corporation ( J - B i o te c h ) introduced their Johor Biodegradable and Biocompostable Roadmap (BBJ) which highlighted alternative materials to replace polystyrene and plastic as well as reduce environmental pollution problems and r iver pollution in Johor. Present at the roadmap launch during Johor Berkemajuan Expo 2017, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin announced that the programme that will run until 2020 encompasses f i ve main thrusts namely maintaining and conservation of natural heritage, fostering prudent lifestyle, green economy preservation, improving governance system, and empowering communities. Meanwhile, the State Government will create and manage a BBJ trust fund that will distribute 40% for empowering and fostering communities with prudent lifestyle through

conference. He continued that the authority is working hard to achieve the investment target of RM25 billion within the remaining period of the year. - by Maressa Esa & Edey Suresh TI

Corporate Adoption for Johor Religious Schools

J-Biotech geared up for Johor Sustainability Agenda

Johor Islamic Religious Committee Chairman Abd Mutalip Abd Rahim and Abd Razak Mohd Yusoff, Chief Executive Officer of KPRJ with representatives of the Sekolah Agama Angkat programme

Khaled Nordin with CEO of J-Biotech, Asman Shah Abdul Rahman (second from left) overlooking at several biodegradable garbage bags

awareness programmes and CSR promotional campaigns, 20% for scientific programme purposes such as research and development, 20% towards business development and BBJ entrepreneurship, while the remaining will be channeled for BBJ promotional campaign. As a start, RM200,000 was given by J-Biotech Group for initial capital purposes and throughout the entrepreneurship programme, it is projected that RM500mil in revenue

will be generated and while attracting RM200mil in investment over a three year period apart from contributing 0.6% to Johor’s GDP, 1000 new entrepreneurs in the field and creating 20,000 more job opportunities. During the launch, J-Biotech disbursed 10,000 biodegradable food packaging, 5,000 oxobiodegradable garbage bags. 64,000 more bags will be distributed to all local authorities in Johor by year end. - by Maressa Esa TI


umpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn. Bhd. (KPRJ) launched the Sekolah Agama Angkat programme, under KPRJ-HOPE, a rebranded CSR wing of the corporation. Ten Johor State Religious Schools (SAKJ) from each district in the state were chosen to be the adopted schools under the pilot programme. Aiming to create a cheerful and conducive learning atmosphere in religious schools, KPRJ-HOPE will also provide support in enhancing the intellectual aspects of the students to apply with the practice of pure values and good morals. “After delivering

the best infrastructure, we are taking the initiative to continue encouraging growth with the soft skills equivalent to the infrastructure that has been built,” said Abd Razak Mohd Yusoff, Chief Executive Officer of KPRJ. KPRJ also handed over RM150,000 to the schools to help organise learning and teaching activities more effectively in the schools. “Each of the 10 schools will receive RM15,000 and they will carry out various activities involving academic and co-curricular aspects,” said Johor Islamic Religious Committee chairman, Abd Mutalip Abd Rahim who was there to officiate the event. by Hakim Malik TI

Published by True Soul Media PLT [No.51-B, Jalan Impian Emas 5/1, Taman Impian Emas, 81300 Johor Bahru] Printed by Twinstar Synergy Sdn. Bhd. [Lot2A, Jln 13/2, Seksyen 13, 46200, Petaling Jaya, Selangor] Copyright of articles, contributions and photos which are published by The Iskandarian is the property of True Soul Media PLT. The Iskandarian does its best to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of its contents, the publisher cannot accept any responsibilities for errors, mistakes and inaccuracies. The publisher reserves the rights of this product and no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the permission of the publisher.


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Coca-Cola KU Empowers Women 2,000 students and female entrepreneurs from Johor joined the Coca-Cola KU programme in UTM


inister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism ( K P D N K K ) , D a t o’ Seri Hamzah Zainudin recently officiated the ‘Coca-Cola KU Programme via KPDNKK,’ a partnership between KPDNKK and Coca-Cola Malaysia in providing entrepreneurial training at Dewan Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai. About 2,000 Coca-Cola KU

students from UTM and female entrepreneurs from Johor were given the opportunity to discuss various aspects of entrepreneurship at a special town hall session with the Minister. Launched in April this year, the Coca-Cola KU (Entrepreneur Community) programme aims to provide training to students at 13 public universities throughout the country in 2017. “Coca-Cola KU acknowledges

the importance of continuing to empower women, as well as male entrepreneurs, to maximize their income, which will also strengthen and positively impact the community as a whole,” said Belinda Ford, Coca-Cola MalaysiaSingapore-Brunei Public Affairs and Communications Director. To date, the programme has trained more than 5,000 entrepreneurs in Malaysia and is part of Coca-Cola’s global

Impiana Senai Now in Operation

Impiana officially launched by Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee Chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong


mpiana Hotels, Resorts and Spas opened the first business-class hotel in Senai, offering various facilities to customers during their stay.

Strategically located 10-minutes away from Senai International Airport, the hotel has a club lounge, three restaurants, a grand ballroom, three meeting

rooms, a gymnasium, reflexology treatments and meeting facilities that could accommodate up to 400 people as well as Impiana’s signature infinity swimming pool. I mpiana Hotels, Resorts and Spas group General Manager Stephan Gnagi said Impiana Hotel Senai had 172 guest and clubrooms as well as six exclusive suites. “ The rooms are equipped with dedicated workspace,high-speed Internet access and modern amenities such as satellite television, electronic safe and a mini bar,” he said. - by Edey Suresh TI

Inculcating Road Safety at Early Age Using technology as part of the discipline


K Taman Cahaya Masai took the lead in inculcating safety for its students who cycle to school by introducing a special cloud-based tag and merit system (community reward system) as part of ‘Safe Cycle Community ’ initiative under the intersectorial between IRDA, Pasir Gudang Education District Office, Students of SK Taman Cahaya Masai flagged off to UiTM Pasir Gudang, McDonalds Taman Cahaya Masai M c D o n a l d s Ta m a n Cahaya Masai, Petronas, Happy Riders System Sdn Bhd created a cloud based system that tags a QR code on each Connect, and SOR Sytem Sdn Bhd. The initiative focuses on educating bicycle embedded with students’ details, students on the importance of road safety emergency contact and also merit points and regulations using helmet, installing if students cycle with complete gear. The bicycle lights and brakes since 80% of the students can use the system for free. Stephen Ngu, CEO of SOR System school student population cycles daily. “We highly support the initiative as Sdn Bhd who is also a Marshal for Happy SK Taman Cahaya Masai is the first school Riders Connect, explained that the school in Pasir Gudang to have our students teachers and staff of McDonalds Taman geared safely before cycling to school and Cahaya Masai can scan each bicycle using monitored through the special system,” said the unique codes and add points while Principal of SK Taman Cahaya Masai, Zainon reaching at certain limit, students will be awarded such as free ice cream and more. Omar when interviewed. To compliment the initiative, SOR by Maressa Esa TI

The puzzle as a symbol of the Coca-Cola KU Programme launch

commitment to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs along the Coca-Cola value chain by 2020 through the ‘5by20’ initiative,

where Coca-Cola aims to empower 20,000 local women entrepreneurs towards year 2020. - by Hakim Malik TI

10,000 Steps @ Seri Austin 800 participants took 10,000 steps to a healthy lifestyle with TM and UMLand Seri Austin


lmost 800 participants walked 10,000 steps around Seri Austin township in the “10,000 Steps @ Seri Austin” event co-organised by Telekom Malaysia Berhad ( TM) and UMLand Seri Austin. It was held at Taman Seri Austin in support of Hari Sukan Negara 2017 which was celebrated nationwide. Speaking at the event, State Vice President of TM Johor, Ahmad Nasri Mohamed commended UMLand Seri Austin on the initiative towards promoting healthy lifestyle and environmental conservation. “Not many people are active in sports, hence walking is perhaps one of the easiest ways to start exercising. I am glad that we have collaborated with TM to bring this event to the people of Seri Austin,” said Chief Executive Officer and Acting Group Director of UMLand Townships, K.K. Wong. ”We are also proud to introduce Poesy Liang,

KK Wong along with guests throwing Effective Microorganism (EM) mudballs into the Seri Austin Lake

a design entrepreneur, multidisciplinary designer, humanitarian and motivational speaker. Apart from her volunteer causes that seek to serve the marginalised, Poesy also takes climate change and green matters seriously as she sees the importance of preserving Mother Nature. At Seri Austin, she introduced her signature Rooftop Cats (RTC), Harry Putter on a zero carbon flying broom. Through her artworks, Poesy employs a whimsical approach to encourage people to strive to be more energy efficient

- in line with Seri Austin as the First Smart Healthy City and Communities in Iskandar Malaysia. Those efforts are part of UMLand’s strong advocacy on providing sustainable and green living.,” added Wong. At the event there were more than 10 booths showcasing healthy products, and health consultations were offered including blood pressure test, sleeping test and mental health status test and in addition, there were meals on wheels for the public to enjoy with a range of food trucks selling tasty treats. - by Hakim Malik TI

Artist Poesy Liang introducing her signature - Rooftop Cats (RTC), Harry Putter on a zero carbon flying broom wall mural


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Projecting a Progressive Johor Ekspo Johor Berkemajuan 2017 (Progressive Johor Expo 2017) had over a 100 exhibitors


or the first time ever, the state government held an enormous ‘Progressive Johor Expo 2017 ‘ or ‘Ekspo Johor Berkemajuan’ in Dataran Mahkota, Kota Iskandar that exhibited the progress of the state, community engagement, projects and initiatives that were run by government agencies and private bodies throughout the years. Over 100 exhibitors from public and private sectors and representatives from 16 local authorities and government-linked companies took part in the nine-

day expo which saw heavy footfall from the public. The expo was officially launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak who commented that Johor has the potential of becoming Malaysia’s new economic power house in the future with its rapid development of the oil and gas industry, upcoming High Speed Rail and Rapid Transit System and other economic growth that helps. D ur ing the launch, Najib announced an allocation of RM2.56billion for the implementation of Bus Rapid

Transit (BRT) for Iskandar Malaysia which is poised to begin operations in 2021 while a RM100million technical and vocational education training centre (TVET) will be built in Kulai, Johor. “The BRT project is almost similar to the Light Transit System but it will operate on high quality bus transit system that will cover 90% of areas in Iskandar Malaysia, spanning over 51km routes with 39 stations and 3 hubs,” said Najib. Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin also launched 1830 units of People’s Housing Project (PPR)

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin launched Ekspo Johor Berkemajuan 2017

that cost RM360million which will be developed in Ulu Tiram, Permas Jaya, Masai, and Bandar

Tenggara, Johor, that will roughly be completed in three to four years’ time. - by Maressa Esa TI

1000 Strong for Collective Contribution Fundraising for Rotary Haemodialysis Centre and Palliative Care Association of Johor Bahru


he inaugural RCJBOCBC Charity Walkathon attracted more than 1000 participants and managed to raise RM500,000 for charity. The event was organised by Rotary Club of Johor Bahru (RCJB) in partnership with OCBC Bank, with the donation being channeled to two RCJB community projects, namely The Rotary Haemodialysis Centre in Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and the Palliative Care Association of Johor Bahru. Held at Dataran MBJB, the event brought together participants from as young as 10 years old to 60 years old, and even included guests from as far as Kluang, Johor who walked along the 3 and 6km routes. Flagged off by YB Datuk Seri Ir. Wee Ka Siong and witnessed by OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Ong

Eng Bin along with Rotary Club of Johor Bahru, President Datuk Teo Shiok Fu JP, the walkathon raised funds for the two community projects in Johor Bahru whilst promoting a healthy community event. “The Rotary Haemodialysis Centre, which was officially opened in 1992, has 16 dialysis machines and 17 staff members providing subsidised dialysis treatments


for 72 patients and the Palliative Care Association of Johor Bahru (PCAJB), which has 4 staff including a parttime doctor providing home visits and medical support for terminally ill patients, helping 350 patients a year,” said Shiok Fu, adding that he hoped these fresh funds will pave the way for a greater impact on the community in the years to come. - by Hakim Malik TI

Dato’ Ong Eng Bin along with Rotary Club of Johor Bahru, President Datuk Teo Shiok Fu (right) at the cheque presentation ceremony

More than RM30,000 for Selected Beneficiaries Golf resort never missed in giving back to the society


or over a decade, Tanjung Puteri Golf Resort has continued to host its annual Chairman Charity Golf and this year, they raised funds for three welfare homes and 30 lower income families in Pasir Gudang. 120 golfers participated in the charity sport and also celebrated the resort’s upcoming 25th anniversar y on 15th November 2017 after their 18-holes tee off in the afternoon.

“It is especially meaningful this year as the resort turns 25 years old and we would not have made it this far without your support and generosity. Over the past 15 years, many underprivileged children and senior citizens have benefited from the annual charity golf,” said Tanjung Puteri Golf Resort Chairman, Ho Kian Guan during the charity golf dinner. The three selec ted

welfare homes this year were Pusat Kebajikan Orang Tua Ceria, Pusat Kebajikan Elijah Misi and Pertubuhan Sosial dan Kebajikan Sari Saujana which benefited RM10,000 each, while Pasir Gudang City Council Yang DiPertua Hasrin Kamal Hashim who represented 30 lower income families from Pasir Gudang received RM1000 aid per family from the proceeds. Ho also added that the

Tanjung Puteri Golf Resort Chairman, Ho Kian Guan presented more than RM30,000 of aid to various beneficiaries

resort looks forward to many more years of unwavering support from the club members and sponsors in

helping improvising the resort as well as contributing to the society. - by Maressa Esa TI


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RM261,505 Collected for Various Charities overall tightening financial situation, our 2017 effort was commendable as our collection this year ranks as the second highest on record among all the 8 years of the charity golf being played,” said Ivan Teo, General Manager Ivan Teo presenting bursary of RM1500 to student, of Ponderosa Golf & Country Resort. Norshawatie of SMK Tun Syed Nasir Ismail RM15,000 he 8th Ponderosa – for a Bursary Programme which Southern Lot Charity was to donate RM1,500 each to 10 Golf played over the secondary school students chosen weekend of 7th October and screened by the Lions Club of 2017 at Ponderosa Golf & Country Tanjung Petrie, Johor Bahru under Club generated total donations their FACE (Financial Assistance for amounting to RM261,505 including Children’s Education) Project. These a Dialysis Machine for one of the were secondary students who were high academic achievers but who four beneficiaries. The beneficiaries and their came from low-income families. The allocation of funds this year were; 5 students were from Foon Yew High RM93,010 donated to Persatuan School and 5 students were from Penjagaan Kanak-kanak Terencat Government schools such as SMK Akal Johor Bahru (Society for the SETA, SMK Tun Syed Nasir Ismail, Care of Mentally-Handicapped SMK Damai Jaya, SMK Dato Usman Children Johor Bahru), RM50,570 Awang and SMK Sri Rahmat, all in donated to The Palliative Care Johor Bahru. RM1,625 was given as Association Johor Bahru (for cancer patients), RM101,200 donated to bursary to the daughter of one of Persatuan Kebajikan Amal Lexin, Tun Ponderosa Golf Resort’s employee Aminah, Johor Bahru including the who was involved in a fatal value of a Dialysis Machine donated motorcycle accident on his way to work in May this year. - by The by the Koh Family. “Notwithstanding the Iskandarian TI



Lending a Hand for the Festival of Lights


n conjunction with Deepavali, Amari Johor Bahru and Maslee Express Sdn Bhd did their bit to help the poor and needy by contributing groceries and food items to nine less fortunate Indian students and their families from Sekolah Kebangsaan Senai Utama. Led by the hotel’s Director of PR and Communications, M.S. Bobby and the CSR Committee, the hotel donated items like rice, sugar, flour and cooking oil. Maslee Express Sdn Bhd also joined Amari by donating groceries and bottled drinks to the children and their families. Each child also received cash donation of RM105 courtesy of the hotel’s staff. Bobby disclosed

Amari Johor Bahru & Maslee send aid that the items and cash donation were contributed by the staff within a week and that it was inspiring and motivational for them to come together as a family to help the less fortunate. “Our sincere A group photo of the recipients with their appreciation t o families Maslee Express Sdn Bhd for graciously contributing Express Sdn Bhd has collaborated more items for the children to be with Amari Johor Bahru in their able to celebrate Deepavali with CSR activities since they opened their families,” said Bobby adding their doors mid this year. - by that this is the second time Maslee Hakim Malik TI

Little Doctors for a Day Kids venture into medical world at Gleneagles Medini

Kids performing Basic Life Support (BLS) techniques in the Emergency Room


leneagles Medini Hospital was taken over by ‘little doctors’ for a day when several school kids from Marlborough College Malaysia and REAL Kids Nusa Idaman

swarmed the medical centre for ‘Doctor for A Day’ programme. The inaugural programme was hosted to give an overview and experience of the medical world to 70 children aged 6 and 7 years old which is almost similar to the concept of KidZania Kuala Lumpur. Divided into several groups, the school kids got to learn and experience doctor and patient role play, basic life support (BLS) and hands-on Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in Accident & Emergency room, bandages and

dressing, apart from performing health screenings such as blood pressure, eye test, BMI, and hygiene subject. A 6-year-old from REAL Kids Nusa Idaman who was shy to be named said that she wanted to be a doctor so that she can save more lives of the unfortunate and also to support employment in hospitals. The five-hour programme ended with smiles on each child when they were treated with clown and magic shows. - by Maressa Esa TI


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Rent-to-Own (RTO) Houses for Johorians

Under the programme, prospective buyers will be able to own their own homes through a rent-to-own scheme


ohorians have the option to own residential and commercial properties under the newly launched ‘Jauhar Prihatin’ Rent-to-Own (RTO) scheme where they can buy the property after five years of renting. Th e p ro gr a m m e aims to resolve problems faced by prospective house buyers who qualify for the Johor Affordable Homes (RMMJ) initiative, yet have problems securing loans. “The Jauhar Prihatin programme provides an

alternative for this category of people seeking to buy their first property in the state,” said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin during the launching of the programme at Ekspo Johor Berkemajuan 2017. Khaled said that at the end of the tenure, 50% of the accumulated rental within the five years would be converted into the down payment, which would then help the house buyer secure a housing loan from the bank. “House buyers do not need to come up with

the deposit when the time comes for them to purchase the house via a housing loan as they have already accumulated the deposit,” he added. He said the rentto-own scheme star ts from RM260 per month up to RM600 per month, depending on the type of housing units. Inquiries fo r re gi s t r a t i o n a n d qualification for the Jauhar Prihatin scheme can be forwarded to the KPRJ office at Danga Bay or by contacting 07-2358377. - by Edey Suresh TI

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin launched the RTO scheme

Malaysia to Be Top Logistic Hub in Asia Malaysia aiming to be a top logistics hub before the year 2020 with the help of Jack Ma and Alibaba


he E- commerce industry is expanding at an i n c re d i b l e rate nowadays and traditional businesses have to adapt and embrace these changes in order to remain relevant in the new market. Realising the need for an intensive training for the e-commerce industry players in Malaysia, JOIS (Taobao International University Training Programme Malaysia Collaborating Par tner) organised the first Alibaba Global Course outside of China at Forest City. Attrac ting more than 500 SMEs and young entrepreneurs, the convention prepared Malaysian players with the proper skills and knowledge to excel in e-commerce. Minister of Transport, Dato’ Seri Liow Tiong Lai was happy with the development

Dato’ Seri Liow Tiong Lai with Datuk Tee Siew Kiong at the launch of the event at Forest City

of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), as Malaysia will be able to become Asia’s logistic hub for Asia, especially ASEAN country earlier than planned. “With the cooperation from Jack Ma and Alibaba, the hub will be made possible to be realised earlier than initially planned

in year 2020,” said Liow adding that the hub will also act as a platform to market local products to China and the rest of the world. He also disclosed that RM29.5 million had been allocated to the expansion and development of KLIA’s Aeropolis for that purpose. by Hakim Malik TI

Ikea Tebrau Opening its Doors on November 16th


o you smell the nice aroma of Swedish meatballs and furniture? The long wait is finally over as IKEA Tebrau will be opening its doors to the public on 16th November 2017, benchmarked as the biggest IKEA store in Southeast Asia. The announcement was made during IKEA

Tebrau Roof Capping with the media by IKEA Southeast Asia Retail Director, Mike King and IKEA Tebrau Store Manager, Annie Chandler. This third store in Malaysia has over 300 co-workers since its initial development. “The store spans 502,815 square feet and is equipped with solar

panels which translates to more than 45% reduction in electricity usage. Later, Johorians will be able to enjoy over 8000 home furnishing products, 54 Swedish inspired showrooms, 750 seats at our IKEA Restaurant and the convenience of 1771 indoor and outdoor parking bays,” continued Mike.

There are also additional convenience for consumers to enjoy which are courtesy buses that will operate directly from Komtar JBCC to IKEA and flexible payment options (full or installment). IKEA Te b r a u operation hours will start from 9.30a.m till 11p.m daily. - by Maressa Esa TI

(L to R) IKEA Tebrau Store Manager, Annie Chandler, IKEA Southeast Asia Retail Director, Mike King and Deputy Store Manager, IKEA Tebrau Charles Sathis Nair announced the official opening date of IKEA Tebrau


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Malaysian Hospitality and Diversity


heir festival of light was indeed meaningful to 45 students of SJK(T) Ladang Rini, Taman Mutiara Rini when Thistle Johor Bahru in collaboration with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) hosted a Deepavali celebration. Thistle Johor Bahru General Manager Rayan Komatt said, “Today’s celebration embodies true Malaysia hospitality as we embrace diversity in peace and harmony apart from playing an important role by supporting the community and building goodwill.” The selected students were treated with a spread of Indian lunch menu including spiced chickpeas, lamb masala, briyani, several vegetarian dishes and assorted Indian traditional desserts such as payasam and murukku. “I am so excited when the teacher said that we were going to the hotel for lunch to celebrate Deepavali especially alongside my friends. This is also my first time dining in a hotel and I hope that there are more

Sponsorship of 300 ACCA GBS Diploma will increase graduate employability in the GBS sector for the Iskandar region

Students of SJK(T) Ladang Rini with staff of MRCS and Thistle Johor Bahru

invitations like this next year,” said 11-year-old Dashwini Suresh when interviewed. The celebration ended with each student taking home a goody bag with snacks and a tumbler courtesy of MRCS. - by Maressa Esa TI

Exclusive Pick by Vacation Club

Indonesian delegation and Le Grandeur Palm Resort staff


n Indonesian travel a g e n c y, G o o d w i l l Vacation Club (GVC) inked a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with local 4-star resort, Le Grandeur Palm Resort, establishing

news Nurturing Global Talents Right at Home

it as the Vacation Club’s third home base for Indonesian tourists. The MoU provides Goodway Vacation Club members with preferential room rates and other unique benefits such as complimentary pick-up and dropoff from Senai International Airport, F&B and spa discounted rates, free usage of the resort’s Sports & Leisure facilities and many exclusive offers in near future. “Le Grandeur Palm Resort is our first international home base and we are also planning to create two more to be based in Singapore and Thailand by next year. With our strong membership of more than 7000 people, we believe the MoU

will benefit both parties apart from giving the Indonesian tourists a ‘feels like home’ experience,” said Chief Operation Officer of GVC, Andrew Soejanto during the press conference. General Manager of Le Grandeur Palm Resort, Jef Kong said that Johor Bahru is a vibrant business and leisure destination and ideal location where Singapore is just across the straits while the resort’s wide range of complete recreational facilities including 54 holes golf courses with 330 rooms would attract more tourists to visit the local town apart from projecting incremental revenue in the long term. - by Maressa Esa TI


CCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and i2M Ventures signed a Strategic Partnership to create a ready pool of Global Business Service (GBS)-skilled talents equipped with GBS qualification and expertise. The partnership involves Nusajaya ADUN, Dr. Zaini Abu Bakar a sponsorship of 300 i2M witnessing the partnership signing Ventures ACCA GBS Diploma between Stephen Shields, ACCA Director in support of growing the of Strategic Partnerships and i2M Ventures GBS investment in Iskandar Managing Director, Zulfiqar Zainuddin Puteri. acumen and analytical capabilities Signing the agreement on behalf of i2M as well as to support the GBS Ventures was Managing Director, sector’s need for suitable talents, Zulfiqar Zainuddin while ACCA was pipeline and upskilling of existing represented by Stephen Shields, talents,” said Stephen adding that ACCA has long supported the GBS Director of Strategic Partnerships. Stephen e x p r e s s e d through extensive research and his delight for the creation of insight programmes. Also present at the event to specialised GBS talents to meet the growing GBS industry needs in witness the signing was Nusajaya ADUN, Dr. Zaini Abu Bakar. GBS Malaysia and Iskandar Puteri. “Our qualifications have sector in Malaysia is expected to been developed in consultation grow between 10% and 15% over with over 50 major employers the next three years, with more and are designed to help your companies striving to run their employees develop their technical businesses more effectively and skills, industry knowledge, business efficiently. - by Hakim Malik TI


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Monthly Drill Interview By Editor Alvin Ong Seng Piow or better known as Alvin Ong joined C o u n t r y View Berhad on 21 June 2007 as the Senior Manager, Accounts & Services. He is responsible for and oversees the Group’s finance and Human Resource Department. He assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer on 1 February 2013. Alvin graduated with a professional degree in Management Accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK in 1993. He was registered as a Chartered Accountant with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants in 1997 and also as a Chartered Global Management Accountant with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK.


Country View Berhad engages in property development, investment holding, and property investments. How challenging is it overseeing such diverse portfolios? Every job would no doubt come with its own unique set of challenges, more so in today’s business environment that is constantly evolving. The respective elements of an organisation have to be coordinated and evolve in tandem with the changing business environment and industry it operates to stay current. The emerging business and consumer trends, from the accelerated pace of change and disruptive innovations, team building/ support and regulatory compliance demands have indeed intensified and calls for widerranging knowledge. I’m indeed fortunate to have the support and valuable input from both top management and dedicated, long-serving colleagues who helped to shape the success of the company. When we employ the right perspec tive, challenges presents opportunities for growth and fulfilment. A quote from Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder and CEO of Facebook says “My hope was never to build a company. I was driven by a sense of purpose to connect people and bring us closer together”. Thus, when we have a sense of purpose to add value to the company, our colleagues, our customers, our surroundings, the challenges would soon turn

Alvin Ong Chief Financial Officer

Country View Berhad into milestones of achievement and inner fulfilment in our journey of advancement.

receive any negative feedback from guests thus far.

Incorporated in 1981, Country View Berhad has been in the industry for a long time. How has your 10 year tenure been with the company and what advancements have you witnessed?

Your thoughts about the Iskandar property market as a whole?

These 10 years have been extremely rewarding as the Group has progressed and keeps progressing. Significant milestones during the 10 years are improved performance and financials whereby the Group has turned around since I joined and achieved a record revenue and profit in 2013. The current gearing of the Group is low at 0.22 times as at 30th November 2016 whilst shareholders’ funds have also increased. In terms of development, the Group has successfully completed and handed over Taman Nusa Bestari Jaya, Taman Nusa Indah and Residence at the Peak Bungalows. Certain phases of residential and commercial properties at our ongoing Taman Nusa Sentral were also completed and handed over. Our maiden foray into serviced apartments was well received and has become an iconic landmark at Taman Nusa Sentral. The Company was also awarded the runner-up for Best Dividend Yield by the Focus business magazine for the Best Under Billion Awards category in 2015. The Company obtained the Asia Responsible Corporate Award (ARCA) under the category of “Environmental Conservation Award” in 2016.

Iskandar Malaysia has the potential to become one of South East Asia’s leading smart cities and an Asian international hub for manufacturing, commercial and services over the next decade, supported by the right government policies. Catalytic projects in Iskandar Malaysia such as Legoland theme park, Educity, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia and the future High Speed Rail (HSR) are part of the government’s initiatives to spur various industries like education, healthcare, tourism and creative content. This will augur well for the property industry as locals and foreigners need accommodation or homes in the Iskandar region. While the flow of investment into residential and commercial property construction has surged in recent years, investment in manufacturing has also been strong, driven by multinationals seeking to relocate production facilities from Singapore due to the very high operating costs in the city state. This will benefit the industrial properties and indirectly has a spill over effect on other types of properties and investments. The long term weakness of the ringgit against the Singapore dollar is another factor driving the flow of people and investment across the Straits into the property market here.

Has the recent implementation of the tourism tax affected your business?

How competitive is it to sell properties in Iskandar currently from an economic point of view?

We have yet to see any significant impact or

In our opinion, it takes strength to be a

resilient developer to withstand the waves of the property industry’s ups and downs as well as face the challenges that are present in the market place. A developer has many responsibilities. It is crucial to ensure that projects are built with proper concepts, with a basis of protecting customers and the environment. In Country View, we are always mindful of our cost structure, the right landbanks, the right kind of property products and understanding the customers’ requirements in order to be competitive in the industry. Competition is definitely greater moving forward, thus, we need to utilise price competitive building materials that are of reasonably high quality whilst staying innovative with our product offerings with the competitive edge in the market place. Our customers must benefit from a product/property that provide greater value and enhanced with great features with practical layout and functional designs, which is a must in the challenging market that the property industry is currently facing.

Many people are not aware that Taman Universiti is a product of Country View. Care to inform the readers about all your developments in Johor? Taman Universiti covers an area of 1,080 acres of self-contained mature township with a population of close to 60,000. The recent township developments of the Group are located in Iskandar Puteri area compromising Taman Nusa Bestari Jaya, Taman Nusa Indah and currently at Taman Nusa Sentral which is being developed as a fully integrated mixed development. The Group also entered into the high-end luxury bungalows with its development of Residence at the Peak, Straits View.

What are your latest product launches and what can we expect in 2018? Our up and coming product launch is 74 units of 3-storey Superlink XL Homes with a lot size of 25’x 80’ and a huge built-up area of 3,830 s.f. These Superlink homes come with 6+1 bedrooms & six bathrooms and the car porch can accommodate up to four cars. The whole precinct is gated and guarded with 24-hour security patrol, CCTV surveillance at the Guardhouse and access card system for the residents. It has been officially unveiled on 28th October 2017 and attractive promotion packages await the buyers of these homes. The selling prices start from RM849,000. We are also planning further launches of landed residential properties in 2018. TI


FREE COPY | The Iskandarian ISSUE 63 | NOV 2017 |

peggy loh

My johor stories

Our resident writer, Peggy Loh, actively writes in her blog about matters that are close to her heart. She can be reached at

Room for Improving Public Services

Façade of the Urban Transformation Center (UTC) in Galleria Kotaraya viewed from Jalan Duke


“I have.” He responded by pressing the button on the machine and passed me a docket number. A glance showed the time printed was just before 12 noon. So I prepared my Identity Card and old driving license and sat down, ready for a long wait. As the number-counter moved forward quite quickly, I was pleasantly surprised at the speed at which each transaction was completed for the 34 dockets ahead of me and in less than 30 minutes, I was holding my renewed driving license and walking out the door! While I had a relatively smooth experience, it was not the same for my sister who went to the UTC in an attempt to change the names on her utility bills from that of her late husband to her own. She went to the UTC armed with multiple photocopies of her husband’s death certificate to present to each utility company as the basis for the name change and soon discovered that it was not the one-stop centre for this particular procedure. She was instead, advised to go to each individual utility company to complete this process. I had the privilege of accompanying my sister on this quest and it was an eye-opening adventure where we experienced how our public services were still sadly lacking. To be fair, our experience with Telekom Malaysia, the My ticket number at the Road Transport telephone company, was handled Department outlet at the Urban Transformation with compassion and efficiency at Centre, Galleria Kotaraya Kedai Telekom. And the procedure

he Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) which provides a host of public services conveniently in a one-stop centre in the heart of the city is truly a boon to the public. The RTD had regulated the expiry dates of driving licenses to fall on the holder’s birthday to remind them that it was time for its renewal and with my birthday just a few days away, I went to Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan, (Road Transport Department - RTD) branch in the UTC at Galleria Kotaraya to renew my license. In spite of the crowd there, I made a beeline for the uniformed staff standing next to the docket machine and told him I wanted to renew my driving license. His questions were brief: “Ada IC? Ada lesen?” Translation: “Have Identity Card? Have old license?” to which I answered, just as briefly, “Ada” meaning,


was completed without a hitch. My sister, who had earlier gone to the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) or National Electricity Company outlet at UTC for this namechange process, was given a set of forms to complete but the staff was not only vague in his instructions, he was also impatient. Entrance to the Johor Bahru City Council One-Stop Service She was also told to Centre go to the main TNB office for this transaction. authorities should make a list of With forms completed, we arrived at requirements and attach it to the forms the main TNB office at Jalan Yahya Awal and to be completed for each transaction. saw a queue in front of the Information and This list would be a helpful reference Enquiries counter. for customers to come with the Instead of just joining the queue, complete list of requirements and not I asked the staff if it was the queue to join be subjected to running back and forth because we already had completed the getting documents or details like the forms for the name-change procedure. She last metre-reading! insisted that we must join the queue for I observed the conversation them to check if the forms were completed between the staff and my sister and saw correctly. something was amiss. I didn’t have long Only one staff was dealing with each to guess what was happening because enquiry and in the next few minutes, the the staff raised his voice, quite adamant expanding queue was blocking the main that he could not help if she did not door. As there was no room for a straight provide the last metre-reading. line, the long queue had to snake to the side! If only there was a list of When it was finally my sister’s turn, requirements provided, the customer I could understand her exasperation as – in this case, my sister who is a widow the staff told her that she should do this – need not suffer further heartache. transaction at the UTC. But (she told them) So we had no alternative but to drive their staff at UTC had instructed my sister to home to read the metre and submit complete the forms and come to the TNB the reading to them before this process main office! could proceed. When this staff explained how As advised, we returned to these documents would require Revenue the main SAJ office at Jalan Garuda. Stamping, which should be done at the UTC, My sister was hopeful she should be we had no alternative but to head back to able to complete this transaction the UTC. smoothly here. But she was again left I did the driving and we were back disappointed. in the UTC again. But we imagined how This process included closing the challenging it would be for customers who previous account in her late husband’s depended on public transport and the name but they were adamant that heartache, extra time and expense incurred she produced her marriage certificate for this run-around! before they would refund the deposit Back at the TNB outlet in the UTC, we to her. Tired with the day’s run-around, had the misfortune of encountering a staff she appealed to the staff to accept her who was not only unsympathetic but also word but to no avail. tactless. So once again, I drove my sister We had already shuttled between home to get her marriage certificate as the stamping office and the TNB outlet proof before she received the deposit because we were unsure which part of the refund of a measly RM41.45! procedure should be done first. But finally this transaction was completed. At Syarikat Air Johor (SAJ) or the Johor Water Company, my sister was put through yet another humiliating The long queue at the Information and Enquiries counter at experience. T h e the Tenaga Nasional Berhad or National Electricity Company

N O V 2 0 17


ies v o m citing this x e o Tw t for u o k to loo ! month

NOV 2017 | Page 2

The Iskandarian | WAVES Lifestyle

editor’s T note

he 4th Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards 2017 once again recognised deserving individuals and organisations for their valuable contributions to the society. It’s always reassuring that the good guys still exist and are being celebrated for their selfless acts. Post Malone is currently the biggest artist of 2017. He has officially emerged as Hip-Hop’s biggest bona fide “rockstar” with his new single hitting the number one spot globally! In Disney.Pixar’s “Coco”, aspiring musician Miguel teams up with charming

Priya Manikam

trickster Hector on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead. Also, “Frozen” fans will be in for a treat as well, as Olaf is back with his short adventures set to be featured before Coco for a limited time from 23rd of November 2017. Tantalise your taste buds with some authentic Japanese fine dining experience at Fukuzushi Japanese Restaurant in Taman Sentosa. As for our travel tales, we bring you a quick local getaway to Millesime Hotel this month. As always, for those wishing to share their fashion collection, travel tales, or like


By Universal Music Singapore

New single “rockstar” featuring 21 savage debuts #1 across all streaming platforms with 65 million streams first week


ost Malone has officially emerged as Hip-Hop’s biggest bona fide “rockstar!” The new single from the multiplatinum charttopping Dallas, Texas, USA, artist —“rockstar” featuring 21 Savage (produced by Tank God & Louis Bell) is the “#1 Song Worldwide,” setting a new streaming record. It shattered Apple Music’s one-week record total for a single song with 25 million streams worldwide and 22.5 million U.S. streams. As the biggest single debut of 2017, “rockstar ” skyrocketed to #1 in more

than 20+ countries worldwide. Among its many accolades, “rockstar” holds down #1 on US Spotify, Global Spotify, US Spotify Viral, and Global Spotify Viral charts. It debuted #1 on the iTunes Overall Top 200 and Top Hip-Hop/Rap Songs Chart in addition to trending #1 in search. At Apple Music, it’s #1 Overall and #1 Hip-Hop/Rap. Moreover, it remains #1 on US Soundcloud and Global Soundcloud. In just one week, it generated 65 million streams. With no radio airplay, it debuted Top 10 on the Shazam US Charts.

Internationally, it continues to break records. Post joins a prestigious group of “only six artists to hit #1 on the UK Spotify Chart in the first 5 days during 2017.” In Canada, “rockstar” has achieved “the all-time highest first-week streaming debut in Canada with 4.7 million streams.” As “rockstar” takes off, his RIAA Platinum-certified fulllength debut Stoney achieves a 24% sales increase and vaults back into the Top 10. This marks its 41st week in the Top 25 of the Billboard Top 200 and 41st consecutive week as a Top 10 Streaming Album since its December 2016 release. “rockstar” is available on all digital platforms: https://lnk. to/PMrock Post is currently on the road, headlining his sold-out Stoney Tour which features Smokepurpp as suppor t. Post’s debut album, the 2016 powerhouse RIAA Certified Platinum debut Stoney, has made Post Malone the MOST STREAMED NEW ARTIST with over 3 Billion Streams globally. Tracks include his first Hot 100 Top 10 entry “Congratulations” [feat. Quavo] (5x-Platinum), the breakout “White Iverson” (4x-Platinum), “Go Flex” (Platinum), and “Too Young” (Platinum). Moreover, the multiplatinum Dallas maverick continues to consistently hold down a spot in theBillboard Top 200.

us to review your restaurant/hotel for a staycation, drop me an e-mail at waves. and be featured. For more news, do access www.theiskandarian. com


NOV 2017 | Page 3

The Iskandarian | WAVES Lifestyle

Why Blame Shouldn’t Be Your Voice – Part 1

B Rose Osman has intuitive skills in hacking potentials in human energy for success and healing. She coaches through One-toOne sessions, group sessions and via E-courses on

yourpersonalmotivator BucketOfRoses

lame is one of the many emotions we have as a human being. As an emotion, it needs a channel to express the energy. Communication is a common channel for blame to be heard. In the ‘Map of Consciousness’ discovered by Dr. David R. Hawkin, it states that blame is the emotion that represents the consciousness level for guilt which is the second lowest level in the scale of human consciousness. In this level of consciousness, our bodies weaken. Communication filled with blames only brings destruction to the relationship. To shift blame into love, whether in individual or relationship, it is essential to recognise what blame really is.

Taking responsibility for own mess When we begin a relationship, we bring with us hope, love, pain and past trauma into the relationship. Sooner or later something is going to trigger the pain and guilt emerges. It takes awareness to realise that each of us own our pain. Being responsible reduces blame and increases the potential to heal. Blame reduces Love Just like love, blame affects two people and not just one. When one or two people uses blame to communicate, the frequency of love reduces and eventually fades in our awareness. If you feel that your relationship lacks of love; try observing the

way you communicate and whether blaming is part of it? Blaming is a sign of victimisation Victims have no power. Two victims in a relationship take away all the power to love. It doesn’t just weaken the bodies but moments together are usually filled with dramas and negativity. We must realise that wanting to blame indicates there is a pain (e.g. guilt) within our energy field that hasn’t heal. It needs to express itself through our emotions and we can allow it to speak without the voice of blame. In the next issue, I’m going to explore the healing and solutions

An Energy Coach and A Personal Motivator. Rose Osman uses her knowledge and intuitive skills in energy to coach people to live a joyful life through her coaching programmes on personal & career growth, relationship, love and health.


Source: Walt Disney Company Malaysia

COCO Genre: Animation Release date: 26th October 2017 Voice Cast: Gael García Bernal, Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt, Renée Victor Director: Lee Unkrich


espite his family’s baffling generationsold ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Co-Director: Adrian Molina Producer: Darla K. Anderson

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure


alt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) and Pixar Animation Studios are teaming up this holiday season when WDAS’ new featurette “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” opens in front of Disney•Pixar’s original feature film “Coco” on 23rd November 2017. Featuring four new original songs, the 21-minute featurette welcomes the original cast and characters back to the big screen. It’s the first holiday season since the gates

Source: Walt Disney Company Malaysia

reopened and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realise they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends. “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” will be in cinemas for a limited time beginning 23rd November 2017.

Genre: Animation Release date: 23rd November 2017 Voice Cast: Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Director: Kevin Deters and Stevie WermersSkelton Producers: Roy Conli Screenplay: Jac Schaeffer Original Songs by: Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson

NOV 2017 | Page 4

The Iskandarian | WAVES Lifestyle

Of Calendar



JB, 3rd Nov TRANS Glow Run 2017 @ UTM

JB, 3rd - 5th Nov Johor Furniture Fair @ Pesada Johor MAPEX Johor @ City Square Johor Bahru

JB, 3rd - 18th Nov


14th JB Arts Festival 2017

JB, 10th - 11th Nov 2017 Perspective The Runaway 2017 @ Raffles University Iskandar

A Getaway to Millésimé Hotel, Iskandar Puteri

Vintage at its elegant class Merlot Hall for functions and events

JB, 11th November Sundown Marathon Iskandar 2017 @ Educity

S’pore, 17th - 19th Nov Affordable Art Fair @ F1 Building, S’pore

JB, 24th - 25th Nov Mood Republik Johor Year End Sales @ Pesada Johor

S’pore, 24th – 26th Nov Anime Festival Asia @ Suntec S’pore

JB, 25th November K-Car Colour Run @ Bukit LayangLayang, Pasir Gudang

S’pore, 25th - 26th Nov British Boarding Schools Show @ Mandarin Oriental S’pore

By Maressa Esa


perfect getaway starts with a strategic location which is nearby to your selected pit-stops for holiday activities and Millésimé Hotel in Iskandar Puteri is the place that fits the bill. Nestled next to the integrated Secondlink Highway and within 15km radius to available theme parks in Iskandar Puteri, Millésimé reflects the grandeur of old French aristocracy that houses 160 rooms including 2 designated rooms for handicapped or wheelchair bound guests for their stay. As I had work within Iskandar Puteri for two days, I checked-in here in the middle of the week and upon arrival on a sunny afternoon, a refreshing cold fruit punch as a welcome drink awaited me near the entrance of the hotel’s Fondue Lounge for guests’ convenience. Going up to the 14th floor and into my spacious Deluxe Room, two room numbers appeared on the same door. Don’t be surprised as it’s called the ‘dual room’, designed especially for families that favour separate rooms without a connecting door and these rooms are available in almost all floors. Unlike many other hotels in town,

Perfect afternoon meal of Grilled Salmon at the Café

Block your dates for this month!

If you need more information on the above mentioned events, drop us an email at:

Millésimé Hotel treats their guests with Internet-connected smart TV in every room and I immediately scribbled down several TV shows for tonight’s binge-watching session from YouTube! Just before dusk, I decided to venture around the hotel’s facilities by hitting the gym for a 30-minutes workout and went dipping at the pool, both located at Level 7.

Deluxe Room with King bed and internet connected smart TV As the sun set, my stomach was already rumbling, and I headed down to the Fondue Lounge for dinner. I was served their signature ‘Millésimé Kampung Fried Rice with Satay’ and the level of spice left me ordering more cold drinks!

A chic 4m deep swimming pool

to the test for their signature dishes. I was lucky enough when the café’s Sous Chef Khamarudin M. Yusoff prepared several plates including ‘Ayam Kuzie’, ‘Salted Egg Yolk Prawns’, ‘Chicken Cordon Bleu’, and ‘Grilled Salmon’. Johorians are usually familiar with ‘Lamb Kuzi’ but Chef Khamarudin made a twist in his preparation by replacing it with chicken while the other ingredients that were cooked fresh, gave it an aromatic flavour of its Arabic origins. If you fancy Western cuisine, the Grilled Salmon would be perfect for your afternoon meal despite of its big portion. Sided with Lyonnaise potatoes, sautéed Kailan and topped with apples, the salmon had a good mix of flavours and definitely stomach filling. It was time to say ‘Au Revoir’ and I commend the hospitality of the bell boy who stored my baggage safely while I was finishing my lunch. Book your stay with a starting price of RM228 nett by calling 07-5098866 or log onto Complimentary parking is also available for guests. TI

Before settling to bed, I enjoyed several performances by the hotel’s live band at the lounge while sportive guests are welcomed to enjoy singing with them. Next morning, I woke up to a misty view of Afiat Health Park and started my day with a big breakfast at Millésimé Café on Level 2. As a big fan of scrambled eggs, I wanted to stick to a Western breakfast but the café’s ‘Char Kway Teow’ looked delish and irresistible. Well enough, it receives my two-thumbs up! Cereal, fruit cutlets, local Nasi Lemak and other breakfast menu is also available for guests’ to spoil themselves and meals are served with hot or cold beverages to get their day going. By lunch time, I returned back to the hotel and requested a late check-out. Although not many guests prefer to dine here at noon, I decided to put the café Signature dish of Ayam Kuzie at Millésimé Café


The Iskandarian ISSUE 63 | NOV 2017 Advertisement


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A Decade of Training Doctors The Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences celebrate ten years of establishment in the country


he Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences (JCSMHS) celebrated their tenth-year anniversary since its establishment in Johor and Selangor in 2007. JCSMHS, a research-intensive medical school involved in major research in the areas of public health, brain research, dengue virus infection, diabetes, obesity as well as cancer has throughout the years, gained accreditation from the Malaysian Medical Council, as well as becoming the first medical school outside of Australia and New Zealand to be accredited by the Australian Medical Council. “We have recruited excellent staff, enrolled highly talented students, and are progressively increasing our research output,” stated Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group adding that the focus on research is one of their widely acknowledged attributes. Using a holistic approach to education and providing students exposure to international, public and private healthcare systems, JCSMHS is one of the first medical schools to include postings in highly regarded private hospitals in Malaysia such as Sunway Medical Centre (SMC) and Tropicana Medical Centre, including postings to rural and

public hospitals for students’ preinternship. Additionally, all students also spend a compulsory 12-week clinical posting in Australia, gaining invaluable international exposure and experience. “Nearly 200 of 600 graduates over the last ten years have obtained internship positions in Australia and the year-long internship in Australia allow students an earlier start to their specialist training,” said Dr. Shajahan Yasin, Head of School for JCSMHS. In conjunction with their 10th Anniversary, JCSMHS will

be hosting a range of workshops including research training programmes which are open to the general public as well as to researchers. To mark its 10th year, JCSMHS launched two books — a commemorative book, celebrating its milestones, as well as ‘On Becoming a Doctor’, which contains a collection of stories and musings of alumni, who are now doctors and specialists. Proceeds from sales will go to a designated charity. - by Hakim Malik TI

Professor Shajahan Yasin, Head of the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Professor Andrew Walker President and Pro Vice Chancellor, Monash University Malaysia accompanying Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Jeffrey Cheah AO, Chairman and Founder, Sunway Group, in presenting the ‘On Becoming a Doctor’ book to Dr. Rooshaimi Merican, Director of Johor Health Department.

live ECMO Therapy Launching and World Heart Day at Regency

Launching of ECMO service by the attending VIPs


ver a thousand cyclists and runners gathered at Regency Specialist Hospital to participate the ‘Regency World Heart Day 2017 – Pedal Quest 3.0 & Fun Run’. Regency has been collaborating with Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd and other organisations in Bandar Seri Alam under the ‘Smart Healthy City and Community Program’ consistently over the years to bring lifetsyle events to the community. The highlight of the event was Regency’s ECMO Therapy launching. Regency is the first private hospital in the Southern region of Malaysia offering ECMO Therapy. ECMO (Extracorporeal

Membrane Oxygenation) is a therapy that has been widely used clinically in advanced economies to temporary support and substitute the function of heart and lungs, while allowing time for heart and lungs to rest and heal. Among the attendees of the fun filled day was Representative of Yg Bhg Datuk Ismail Bin Ibrahim (Iskandar Regional Development Authority) Cik Suhaili binti Abdul Hamid, Head of Social Department of Iskandar Regional Development Authority, Mr. Rajpal Singh, Consul General Consulate of Singapore, Gan Boon San, Chief Executive Officer of Regency Specialist Hospital, Representative of Consulate of Indonesia, Encik Zainul and Dr Wong. - by The Iskandarian TI


FREE COPY | The Iskandarian ISSUE 63 | NOV 2017 |


The Hotelier’s Story


S Lim is the Finance Director of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort and he is also the National Vice Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysia, who has played a major role in representing the state and highlighting hospitality issues on the central level. We had a little chat with him about his background and inspiration for new entrants into the hospitality industry. Brief background I have 24 years of hospitality tucked under my belt and although a certified Accountant, I ended up in the excitement of the hospitality industry! It could be when I joined a boutique hotel chain based in Hong Kong as Regional Internal Auditor that took me travelling from Australia to French Polynesia; or the part of my duties that required sitting at the bar with a drink to observe the staff members and ensure procedures are complied with; the good life stuck and I realised there should be more to my chosen career. I clipped my wings and settled back in Kuala Lumpur where I decided to tackle the hospitality industry with Gusto! From Financial Controller to Regional Financial Controller which opened my exposure to international standards in hotel management, policies, procedures and best practices, and then later to my stint at another international hotel company that moved me out from the Finance

discipline into Operations and Procurement. Here I am – and for two years now, I have been with LEGOLAND to oversee both the theme park and hotel. What inspired you to enter the hotel industry? I joined the industry by chance! All set to start a new job in a tobacco company when I received a call out of the blue to attend an interview for an exciting job that required travelling. Being young and adventurous, seeing the world that comes with the job was a dream come true. Lady Luck smiled on me as I realised that the interviewer was someone I knew and landed the job immediately, and I never looked back since. Relate ONE example of an incident that made you feel that being a hotelier is

the right job for you? On my first day of joining the hotel industry, I noticed that people in the workplace were so friendly, approachable and helpful, and I immediately felt so at home and liked the industry. It’s a “people industry” and you deal, meet and interact with people, and not with machines or virtual reality! What do you see as the future for a career in hospitality in Johor? The sky is the limit for a hospitality career in Johor. And especially when one is young like I was when I started out, it is an interesting option when you love to meet people, travel and be creative in your work. Johor is one of the fastest growing states in Malaysia especially in the vibrant Iskandar region and upcoming Desaru Coast. Now is the time when you can choose to grow – be it at the beach or golf resort, a

luxurious boutique hotel or in a special concept hotel along the lines of LEGOLAND or The Hard Rock. The potential is endless. In your current position, how can you ensure that there is a way forward for those wanting to venture into the industry and through your own hotel? I can say for certain that with the right attitude and passion, LEGOLAND has plenty of opportunities. There are openings in the Kitchen, F&B services, Housekeeping, Front Desk and Administrative departments such as Human resources, Sales and Finance. I have seen Management Trainees develop into heads of their own areas such as Chief of Concierge, Chef, F&B Director, Rooms Division Manager, Executive Housekeeper, Finance Director, and Human Resources Manager who graduated to become General Managers and Regional Vice Presidents. What are your personal words of encouragement for new entrants into the industry? Persevere and NEVER GIVE UP on your goals and ambitions. Behind every hard knock there is a gold nugget (not a lump!) of knowledge learned. Always remember the truth in the saying that “bersusah dahulu, bersenang kemudian (work hard first and enjoy later).” There is no short cut to success and always be passionate, strive and you will achieve your rewards! TI

Daddy is Entitled to Paternity Leave (too)? Ashikin Abd Rahim Legal Adviser MECA Employers Consulting Agency Sdn Bhd


new policy had been implemented by the CIMB Bank Bhd. (CIMB) whereby the Bank introduced paid paternity leave for a month to its employees. It was done with the intention to enable parents to spend more time with their family members and share the responsibility of welcoming a new birth. IKEA also introduced one month of paid paternity leave across its stores to enable new fathers to care for a baby.

This issue of granting paternity leave for a period of time has become a trend all over the world including Malaysia. For instance, employees of AXA Group around the world will receive a minimum of 4 weeks paid paternity since 1st January 2017 and the implementation includes all the employees in Malaysia under the AXA Affin General Insurance (AAGI). Earlier this year, the issue of paternity leave has been the talk of the town. It started when the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) proposed that all employees should be provided with 1 month paid paternity leave. Some argued it was good that employees were granted such leave. It allows fathers to take care of their partners and new born during confinement

and reduces the instances of postpartum depression. On the other hand, there are also concerns on such paid leave which might leave a financial impact on the employers. The Malaysian Federation of Employers (MEF) objected the MTUC’s proposal on the ground that it affects operational costs and company productivity. Besides that, the MEF’s Executive Director stated that if the paid paternity leave is enforced, Malaysia would not be a lucrative choice for investors and it would burden the employers (Astro Awani, 26th March 2017). In Malaysia, it is clear that female employees are provided with maternity leave under the written law. However, it is not the same for fathers of the new born babies.

While there is no statutory paternity leave, in practice most companies allow fathers to take between one and 14 days off or even 1 month. However, there are also companies which allow new fathers to utilise their annual leave or unpaid leave. The mentioned period is not fixed and uncertain as it depends on the policies of the company. Since there is no law on paternity leave, the employers are free and have the option to provide such leave or not to do so. In deciding whether to have this particular leave or not within the company, employers need to consider several other factors before making a final decision. It is noticeable that many companies are moving towards the implementation of paternity

leave in order to show appreciation towards its employees by ensuring they have the support to achieve work-life balance. The other side of the coin is that it can cause other problems such as having shortage of workers when an employee is on paternity leave for a period of time and this will cause disruption on the operational side of the company. It is undeniable that this polemic issue is getting its desired attention, yet it appears so far that there isn’t any nearest future plans to amend the existing written laws so that this issue of paternity leave will be included. The right period of paternity leave will be questionable as long as the government is not planning to include or consider this leave to be part of the legislation. TI


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Accumulating Wealth Tips & Tricks

A Bullish October with Foundation


lmost all the world stock market indexes were bullish for October especially with the Dow Jones, S&P and Nasdaq keep breaking new highs. You might be asking, what makes the Bull Run sustainable with a number of uncertainties, such as the geopolitical tension of North Korea, Spain and some natural disasters in the US. Obviously, if the market can shrug off the above events and keep performing, some form of foundation must have supported it. For instance, the recent US factory data and the prospect of tax cuts have boosted the optimism of the economy. And not easily seen in the last five years, the world’s three strongest economy’s stock indexes – the US, China and Japan stood well above the MA50 line, showing strong signs of bullishness. The interesting thing though is, the KLCI has fallen below the MA50 and became the index that ‘bucked the trend’. Besides, you’d have noticed that there were more losers than winners in the last few weeks. With the Malaysian stock market that behaved ‘independently’ to the macro, how has our portfolio performed? Sold Superlon (5098) Superlon is engaged in the business of manufacturing of thermal insulation materials mainly for the HVAC&R industry and trading of HVAC&R parts and equipment. The 2018 Q1 results announced on 26th September 2017 was a disappointing one, with revenue falling to 19% from 32.5 million in 2017 Q4 to 26.3 million, whereas its net profit fell from 6.4 million to 3.6 million in the same period. According to the management, the decrease for both revenue and profit was due to lower volume of sales and higher cost of materials. Even though the board expects the company to achieve a satisfactory result for FY2018, I felt that more explanation should

Tey Bin Yuen Binyuen is the founder of BY Enrich Resources and the author of ‘Life beyond the Comfort Zone’ and ‘Profit from Share Investment’. His books are available in major bookstores in Malaysia, Singapore or online profitfromshareinvestment

be provided given such an unexpected poor performance. With the lack of clarity in the revenue drop, I decided to take profit and sold 50000 shares at 2.28. Bought Masteel (7235) Masteel is the manufacturer of steel billets and steel bars for the construction sector. Based on the last two quarters’ results, their combined earnings per share (eps) were RM0.096, or RM24.7 million net profits. If you annualised it, the net profit for FY2017 can easily surpass RM50 million or eps of RM0.2, which would give a fair price of RM2 based on a PE ratio of 10. However, the average steel selling price has been going up significantly in the last few months. According to The Star online, the steel bar surged to 7.8% in July followed by another 12% to RM2440 per tonne in the first two weeks in August, and peaked at RM2642 in September. With strong selling price, the quarter 3 results for steel companies are likely to go uptrend. For Masteel, its earnings per share (eps) for FY2017 can easily hit RM0.25, which translated to a PE ratio of 5.2 based on market price of RM1.31. With this in mind, we bought 80000 shares of Masteel (7235) at RM1.31 per share using the sales’proceeds from Superlon. Our new cash level is now increased to RM35,425.


at George & Dragon Cafe Parties, Dining & More

For your festive parties with friends and family enjoy one of George & Dragon Cafe's great Roast Turkey hampers with Chestnut stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. We will do the cooking and you take it home!

In conclusion, as you can see, in good times or bad times, your companies could perform well or give you a surprise. Therefore, with a clear understanding on their performance, you can make appropriate decision to sustain your portfolio’s performance. TI

Johor: Taman Tasek Branch No. 1 & 3, Jalan Glasiar, Taman Tasek, 80200 Johor Bahru, Johor (07) 2323761 Genting Highlands Branch

Johor Premium Outlets Branch Suite 204, Johor Premium Outlets, Indahpura, 81000 Kulai, Johor (07) 590 9268

Suite 1112, Middle Street, Genting Highlands Premium Outlets 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang (03) 6436 8009 Disclaimer: The companies or strategies mentioned in this article are meant for study purpose only. It doesn’t constitute any ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendation. Please consult your financial professional if you want to make any decision.


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he Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, has called for concerted efforts to create opportunities for the young people to study the English Language and take their place on the world stage. She said serious and urgent intervention was needed because of the “dramatic and drastic” decline in the proficiency of both written and spoken English among younger Malaysians in general. “We should not rely on the Government entirely to reverse this trend. We need English teachers, NGOs, and corporate entities to band together to take proactive

Dramatic and Drastic Decline in the English Language HM Raja Zarith calls for new initiatives to boost English proficiency action.” ”It can be done. English can still become the language of knowledge and communication among Malaysians,” Raja Zarith Sofiah told the Royal Press Office. Speaking in her capacity as the Royal Patron of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA), she urged all concerned to motivate and inspire students to speak and write in English.

“In schools now, students don’t speak the language for fear of being mocked for trying to be a “Mat Salleh”. The perception is that if you don’t speak Bahasa Melayu, you are not proud of being a Malaysian. So they retreat and don’t speak in English,” she added. “When I write articles in Facebook, most comments are in Malay. They have strong opinions but do not know

Educity Johor Rugby Carnival – Iskandar 7’s Comes to a Winning Close

The teams will get ready for the 2018 tournament in Iskandar Puteri

The successful EduCity Johor Rugby Carnival 2017 teams


he EduCity Johor Rugby Carnival 2017 came to a close at the EduCity Sports Complex at Iskandar Puteri, after two days of intense matches between 48 teams from all over the country. Vying for three inaugural cups, namely the Iskandar Cup, EduCity Cup and the Iskandar Puteri Cup, the teams displayed the best of Malaysian youth talents in rugby, competing in the U-11, U-14 and U-16 categories. The carnival was a winning collaboration between Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) and the Johor Rugby Union (JRU). “We are 100% behind this initiative to maintain the prestige of the game, especially among the school children in Johor and the communities here in Iskandar Puteri,” stated IIB’s President and CEO, Datuk Ir. Khairil


Anwar Ahmad. “Having been a rugby player myself, I am keen to see rugby’s values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to become a part of these youth players’ culture.” Datuk Khairil was present at the final match of the EduCity Johor Rugby Carnival 2017 and gave away the prizes to the winning teams namely the Johor Rugby Academy for the U-16 category, English College for the U-14 and Pasir Gudang Wildcats for the U-11 category. “IIB is honoured to have the support of the Johor State Government for this carnival, especially YB Dato’ Zulkurnain Haji Kamisan, Exco, Sukan, Kebudayaan dan Warisan, JRU President, Haji Mohd Noorazam Dato’ Haji Osman, and Encik Mohd Gadaffie Abd Aziz, Pengarah

Majlis Sukan Negeri Johor. IIB will be hosting more interschool rugby competitions here at EduCity Sports Complex, to complement Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s Active IP initiative. IIB welcomes corporations in Johor to join forces to bring the Iskandar 7’S Rugby Carnival to the next level,” continued Datuk Khairil. The carnival offered one of the highest cash prizes for a school tournament and the public were also given a chance to show off their skills at the Drop Kick Challenge, with 10 school children walking away with prizes. The carnival also saw a good turnout on that day. IIB and JRU will be organising the tournament annually and look forward to more school teams competing in the coming tournaments. - by The Iskandarian TI

how to express themselves in English. That is why renewed efforts are needed to inspire and motivate our young to learn English seriously,” she said. “ We have lost more than a generation of people who simply have no confidence to write or speak in English. But it is not too late. There is still hope. Let us work with the policy makers to help reverse this trend,” she

The Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah (pic credit: Royal Press Office)

said. For young Malaysians to become relevant and be on par with other developed societies, priority must be given to the teaching of English in schools. In today’s increasingly inter-connected world, knowledge of the English language is needed

to keep up with technological developments, to move forward and to be noticed by others. The Permaisuri of Johor hopes the national education policy makers would consider placing more emphasis on English language classes in schools. TI

Henley Business School Malaysia Launches Centre for Global Business Enterprise and Cloud Analytics


he Henley Business School Malaysia (HBS), which is part of the University of Reading, has launched the Centre at its campus in EduCity in Iskandar Puteri, with the aim of simplifying the ways big data is used, understood and analysed to solve business problems. The Centre is led by the Head of Henley Business School Malaysia and Professor of Business Enterprise & Analytics, Teck Yong Eng, who serves as the Director of the Centre for Global Business Enterprise and Cloud Analytics. The Centre comprises of a group of independent and non-partisan researchers who share an interest in solving non-trivial problems particularly those pertaining to big data in global contexts. “The vision of the Centre is to be a world leading centre for research on advancing methods and models for addressing societal, environmental and economic challenges including wealth creation and distribution, corporate social responsibility, logistics and planning, as well as transportation,” said Professor Teck Yong Eng Preparations are underway to launch a summer school in May 2018, which will be the first of many workshops and seminars to be run by the Centre. As part of its community service, the Centre will also host a series of business skills workshops which will be conducted

Centre for Global Business Enterprise and Cloud Analytics team from HBS

by Professor Eng, Dr Sunny Yang and experienced members of the Centre at Henley Business School Malaysia. The workshop is aimed at school-leavers who have been unemployed or have not been successful in securing employment. The pro bono workshops are intended to help unemployed youths in Malaysia to plan their career, and develop knowledge and new business skills including: organisational context, people and organisation, strategy, financial literacy, marketing and communication. The first of these workshops will begin in January 2018. Founded in 1945, Henley was the first business school to be established in the UK and is one of the oldest and most respected schools in Europe. - by The Iskandarian TI

A Mid-point for Middle Leaders


he Johor Trust School Middle Leaders (MidLED) Conference 2017 at M Suites Hotel, Johor Bahru had gathered 130 school principals, senior assistants and outstanding teachers or middle leaders from 18 trust schools in Johor Bahru, Pontian, Kulai and Kota Tinggi. The twoday conference was organised by Sekolah Menengah Pasir Gudang 3 in collaboration with Johor Education

Department (JPN), Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah (PPD) and LeapED with M Suites Hotel as the main sponsor. Providing a platform to share and discuss the challenges faced in school, the event also exposed MidLED to the best practices deployed by other MidLED, including a chance to create a better networking between Trust Schools in Johor. Also there to officiate the event was Datuk Ayub Rahmat, Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Exco representing the Menteri Besar Johor. There are currently a total of 83 Trust Schools in 10 states in Malaysia under Yayasan Amir. - by Hakim Malik TI


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Flight to Culinary Adventure at Dreamliner Airways Cafe


his is your Captain speaking and you will embark on a journey to another level of culinary experience in the Dreamliner Airways Café, Tebrau. Launched in September a year ago, Jonathan Lee Wen Fong made his dream a reality by opening a café furnished with the best in-flight interior impersonation to give customers an extravagant eating atmosphere in Johor Bahru!

Salted Egg Deep Fried Chicken Chop with Cheese Top Black Tea

RM26.90 Grill Salmon Lemon Cream

lemon sauce recipe spread on top of the huge chunk Norwegian grilled salmon went into our mouths, it was a perfect balanced zesty-milky flavour. Again, we just love to dip our French fries with the remaining lemon sauce compared to the traditional chili sauce. When it is time to stop eating, we ordered their special drinks to quench our thirst. We end our meal with a very unique drink, Cheese Top Black Tea. As unique as it can be, do follow the right way to enjoy sipping it by tilting your glass 45 degree so that the viscosity of both cheese top and black tea flows and blend together to kick

Greeted with their ‘stewardess’, you will be seated according to your preferences either in large or small groups. Bear in mind that your table number is located on the cabin compartment above your head when jotting down your meals on their ‘Boarding Pass’ menu chit. As the flight ‘departs’, it is time for fill up our empty stomach with their first meal on board, Salted Egg Deep Fried Chicken Chop. Whether you are eating for one or two, their big plates will test your dining experience prior to its big meal portion. As most diners out there offer Salted Egg cooked with seafood platters, give a go with chicken chop for a different taste here especially when served hot and let the creamy thick Salted Egg sauce satisfy Custom replica in-flight seats inside Dreamliner Airways your palate. Café Sided with French fries and salad, request for an extra Salted the flavours in. A couple of years back, we were Egg sauce as it can also be a good dip especially with its mixed ingredients of all crazy for the famous Klebang coconut Western spices that gives you a bit of milkshake and the café decided to retain the same menu. A full tall glass coconut hotness aftertaste. Another Dreamliner Airways Café milkshake won our hearts with its authentic signature dish is the Grill Salmon Lemon sugariness that came from the coconut Cream. At first, we bet the tingling sourly flesh and only blended with vanilla cream feeling at the back of our mind but to produce mild creamy tang. Have it as a surprisingly, as the chef’s homemade drink or a dessert as it definitely washes our palate and refreshing. Your journey now has reached to the end of the flight experience and if you are lucky enough, customers will be treated with an inflight announcement during your ‘take-off ’ and ‘arrival’ gastronomy moment. Food and beverages available in the café are price tagged between RM10 to RM50 while their business Dreamliner Airways Café at Jalan Harmonium 53/1, hours are from 11am to 11pm Taman Desa Tebrau daily. - by Maressa Esa TI



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Fancy Some Fine Japanese Food?

Fukuzushi Japanese Restaurant offers diners an authentic Japanese fine dining experience seasoned jellyfish (RM6) as appetizers. A different approach of preparing the infamous ingredient, the texture n taste of the sharksfin reminded us a lot of a local favourite snack – dried seasoned cuttlefish while the mild dressing of the jellyfish really accentuated the taste of the sea. It was then continued with their scrumptious Soft Shell Crab and Salmon Skin Salad (RM30/serving) served with

Salmon Spicy Maki is slightly braised for flavour


xperience new heights of fine dining at Fukuzushi Japanese Restaurant in Taman Sentosa. Offering patrons an authentic Nippon vibe to the establishment, the place is embellished with unique wood carving in Japanese motives, with natural colours creating a nice ambience to enjoy good food with good company.

Enjoy Fukuzushi’s take on the popular Caesar Salad, their Soft Shell Crab and Salmon Skin Salad

Utilising almost 30 years’ of experience in preparing Japanese cuisine in established names such as the Japanese Club in Singapore among others, Executive Chef Derek Wong wonderfully created a 350 items menu for Fukuzushi, and we were fortunate enough to be one of the lucky ones invited for a pre-opening preview of their best dishes. Chef Derek got the culinary ball rolling with a serving of E Hire or grilled Sharksfin (RM16) and Chuka Kurage or

Executive Chef Derek Wong with the captivating display of Sashimi

E Hire and Chuka Kurage, an excellent appetizer

sesame and mayo sauce. The crispy deepfried crabs can be eaten whole, and tastes best with the creamy sauce combination. Enjoy the light refreshing broth of the Negimak Mushi Soup or Fatty Tuna Soup (RM18) before being fascinated with a colourful spread of fresh Sashimi. We were served with top of the line imported Toro (Bluefin Tuna), Uni (Sea Urchin), Salmon Belly and Kampachi (Yellow tail Tuna) among others. If raw fish do not tickle your fancy, you might want to try their Agemono (deep fried) menu. First up was the Karei Karaage or Deep Fried Flounder (RM50), fried crispy to their bones, served with Ponzu, a citrus-based sauce. Grab a piece of Fuku Pizza (RM30), the Japanese cousin of your Italian family favourite. Made of crispy rice crust, it is topped with juicy salmon pieces and roe coupled with a sweet and savoury sauce. Their Yakimono (grilled) menu offers the Kaki Cheese Yaki or Grilled Oyster with Cheese (RM18), Hatote Mentai Yaki or Grilled Scallop with Cod Roe (RM20) and Unagi Kabayaki or Grilled Eel with Teriyaki Sauce (RM35) - All grilled to perfection. A more familiar sight was the Salmon Spicy Maki (RM20) and Unagi Cheese Maki or Eel rolled with cheese (RM30). Enjoy the freshness of the ingredients along with fragrance of the high quality Japanese short grain rice. To top it all off, have a go at their Black Sesame Ice cream with Red beans or Goma Ice Cream. The mouthful you spent to pronounce the name will be rewarded by the most unique nutty texture ever associated with the frozen dairy dessert in a very good way! For a take on Japanese fine dining, visit Fukuzushi Japanese Restaurant at 163, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, Johor Bahru. - by Hakim Malik TI


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It was reported that Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd has made requests to the authorities and stakeholders to build a Singapore-KL HSR station in Forest City pg 24



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BCB Berhad (BCB) launched Versis @ Medini 22 acres of commercial development area comprising of 189 units of shop-offices

pg 24

Read this article on our website

Mah Sing

Seri Alam

New Connecting Roads will Benefit Masai Community

Planted 1000 trees in the township as a continuous effort

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High Take Up at Versis Medini Launch Units are being taken up fast following a 70:30 ratio of local and foreign buyers


CB Berhad (BCB) launched Versis @ Medini, a 22 acres commercial development area comprising of 189 units of shop-offices. The first phase will include 57 units of 3-storey and 5-storey shop offices priced from RM2.28 million. More than 50% of Phase 1 was sold on the launch night itself, indicating a high demand for commercial spaces in Iskandar Malaysia. According to Tan Lindy, BCB Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, units are being taken up following a 70:30 ratio of local and foreign buyers. “Versis Medini is targeting seasoned investors both locally and internationally as we are giving guaranteed rental return (GRR)

of 5% per annum for four years,” said Lindy, adding that food and beverage (F&B) and other operators might obtain different packages if they do not require GRR. The Versis @ Medini is situated within the Medini Central Business District (CBD) and is expected to bring a gross development value (GDV) of RM520 million for BCB. Also there to launch the development was State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee Chairman, Datuk Tee Siew Kiong along with BCB Group Managing Director Tan Sri Dato’ Tan Seng Leong. BCB is a name synonym with development in Johor and its tagline, Building Communities and Beyond is a testament of its vision of

PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) 2017 Reveals Shortlist


h e Pro p e r t y G u r u Asia Property Awards (Singapore) 2017, presented by Kohler and supported by the country’s No. 1 property site, have revealed the official shortlist of nominees comprising the year’s best and most inspired projects that define the urban landscape in Singapore. More than 20 developments from 16 companies and joint venture firms have made the final stage of the country’s most prestigious real estate competition, with GuocoLand Singapore leading with 12 nominations – the most for any developer. GuocoLand’s projects inside the i nte grate d development Ta n j o n g Pagar Centre earn nods in multiple categories, including outstanding office, retail, hotel and condominium development and design. ‘Sustainable Development’ nominee EL Development is tied in second place with eight nods. Now in its seventh year, the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) returns to recognise the finest in Singaporean real estate, which despite slowing down in recent years due to government-led cooling measures and having a lower number of transactions or launches compared with previous years.

“Concept, design, pricing, green features, worldclass amenities, quality of construction, creativity and originality, plus unique selling points, are all considerations for the judges,” said Chairman of the judges and renowned architect Minkqee Tan, Chief Designer at MINKEE Architects Pte Ltd. All 25 competition and special awards shortlists were decided by the panel, with the exclusion of the 2017 Singapore Real Estate Personality of the Year award, which will be chosen by editors of PropertyGuru Property Report magazine and the winner announced before the gala dinner on 7th November 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. “This is an exciting time to celebrate the success of Singapore’s best developers as the market slowly rebounds due to increasing local and foreign demand,” said Hari V. Krishnan, CEO of PropertyGuru Group. The black-tie gala dinner and presentation ceremony is exclusive for shortlisted nominees, taking place alongside the two-day PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit (7th-8th November) and the PropertyGuru Asia Proper ty Awards Grand Final (8th November), where delegates and regional nominees from around Asia will gather to honour the best in Asia’s real estate sector. - by The Iskandarian

Quick Reads

S P Setia awarded Singapore Property Award 2017

Tan Sri Dato’ Tan Seng Leong, BCB Group Managing Director with Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee Chairman at the launching

building residences for communities amid greenery and other facilities. Recently, the developer also bagged the coveted Green Champions

Category – Innovative Urban Green Park awarded by the Institute of Parks and Recreation, Singapore. by Hakim Malik

New Connecting Roads will Benefit Masai Community

S P Setia won the coveted award for under the Sustainable Development category for its second development – Eco Sanctuary from FIABCI in Singapore. Based on sustainable design philosophy, Eco Sanctuary is a 24-storey that offers its residents of Singapore’s largest nature reserve. The development was inspired by nature and its designs emulate the ecology of its lush surroundings. All apartments enjoy minimum heat gain with maximum day-lighting and wind circulation. Moreover, the swimming pools and bio-ponds help to keep the development cool in the day while individual apartments are fitted with energy and water efficient appliances and fittings.

Forest City to be a possible station


ah Sing Group has awarded Kimlun Group an RM50 million design and build contract to build a connecting road into the Tanjung Langsat - Cahaya Baru Toll Connecting Highway, which forms part of the Senai Desaru Expressway (SDE). Benefiting Mah Sing’s Meridin East township and surrounding areas, the connecting road will shorten travel time to Tanjung Langsat and Pasir Gudang by 15 minutes to 45 minutes and also allowing easier access to the SDE as well as the North South Highway. This was announced during a press conference by both parties at Mah Sing’s Meridin East Sales Gallery and Show Village. In attendance were Mah Sing’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ho Hon Sang, Mah Sing’s Senior General Manager (Southern), Benjamin Ong, Kimlun Group’s Executive Director, Chin Lian Hing as well as Pasir Gudang City Council’s Secretary, Saipol Rahmat Bin Hj Amat. “We are pleased to award this contract to Kimlun Group for their excellent track record and expertise in road construction for almost 20 years,”

said Datuk Ho Hon Sang. The 2.5km long and two lanes wide connecting roads comprise of an egress and ingress into the Tanjung Langsat — Cahaya Baru Toll Connecting Highway and will allow traffic to commute between the Jalan Kong Kong and Masai area to Tanjung Langsat and Pasir Gudang. Construction on the connecting road was set to begin in the first quarter of 2018 with completion scheduled for end 2020. A principal approval has been obtained from the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) for the connecting road while pending approval by relevant authorities on the detailed design plans. In addition to the connecting road, Mah Sing has also started upgrading works to widen Jalan Kong Kong to a 40 metre, four-lane thoroughfare. The upgrading process is being done in phases and is scheduled for full completion by end 2020. Meridin East is a 1,313 acres integrated mixed development situated in Pasir Gudang, with a Gross Domestic Value (GDV) of RM5billion. - by Hakim Malik

It was reported that Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd has made requests to the authorities and stakeholders to build a Singapore-KL High Speed Rail station in Forest City. The possible station in Forest City would be the new transport hub for Johor Bahru. In the current alignment, the train will depart Iskandar Puteri and go towards the second causeway, then cross an overhead bridge into Singapore. But now the path may be diverted to Forest City before heading to the (second) causeway. The distance could be longer and will cost more for Malaysia.

Luxx Comes to SILC UEM Sunrise Berhad has inked a Sales and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) with Luxx Newhouse Furniture Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Luxx Newhouse Group (“Luxx Newhouse”), for the sale of close to 100,000 sq ft of land in Phase 3 of the Southern Industrial & Logistics Clusters (“SILC”) with an option of another 100,000 sq ft. SILC is a fully integrated 1,300-acre industrial park in Iskandar Puteri, Johor.


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CapitaLand Agrees to Buy Asia Square Tower 2 In largest office transaction in Asia Pacific this year, Singapore real estate company to purchase landmark office tower for S$2.09 billion


ingapore real estate company, CapitaLand, has agreed to buy Asia Square Tower 2, part of a worldclass commercial development in Singapore’s Marina Bay business and financial district. Real estate consultancy JLL advised on the transaction on behalf of the seller, BlackRock Asia Property Fund III. The sale represents the largest office transaction in both Singapore and the Asia Pacific region in 2017 and is the second largest office transaction globally this year. “The sale of Asia Square Tower 2 continues the trend of buyers being attracted to mega deals in Asia. The sales process generated strong interest from major global investors and sends a clear message about the continued recovery of the Singapore office market,” says Stuart Crow, Head of Asia Pacific Capital Markets, JLL. According to Greg

Hyland, Head of Capital Markets, Singapore, JLL, “The Singapore office market is really starting to gain pace and this deal is likely to spur further interest, both domestically and internationally. Investors will be aware that we are at a point in the cycle where there is still the opportunity to get good value, but we expect prices to pick up in the coming quarters as supply starts to taper down between now and the end of 2019.” The 46-storey Tower 2 has a net lettable area of 778,719 square feet. Asia Square Tower 1 was sold in June 2016 to sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority for S$3.4 billion (US$2.45 billion). The entire Asia Square asset, which comprises Tower 1, Tower 2 and the Westin Singapore, achieved a combined sale price of S$5.8 billion (US$4.3 billion). The three elements were sold in 2016, 2017 and 2014 respectively. - by The Iskandarian


Sustain Green, Sustainable Township Seri Alam Properties planted 1000 trees in the township as a continuous effort


he initiative of achieving Green Garden City by 2020 continues as UMLand’s Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd (SAP) planted another 1000 trees with joining hands from the town community in several different places. As part of the ‘Hutan Kita’ continuation last year, 30 Eugenia and Bucida trees were planted at Bandar Seri Alam Gravity Green, 200 trees in Vista Seri Alam, 200

Pasir Gudang Member of Parliament, Dato’ Normala Abdul Samad and Executive Director of SAP Sdn Bhd, Freddie Lee (2nd from left) officiated the tree planting at Gravity Green, Bandar Seri Alam

Students of MRSM Johor Bahru joined the tree planting event

more in Seri Alam Police District Headquarters, while the major remaining were rooted in MRSM Johor Bahru. Present at the event was Pasir Gudang Member of Parliament, Dato’ Normala Abdul Samad who said that it is a good cause to ‘replenish’ back greens in the township and suggested to allocate an area for gardens and landscaping purposes. “I am happy that SAP has

agreed to provide the trees as this will give our students the opportunity to appreciate and take care of the trees in line with our school Green project,” said Principal of MRSM Johor Bahru, Zabidin Bedut. Executive Director of SAP Freddie Lee said that the developer has created their own nursery with 25,000 trees to-date as part of an important elements of their township. - by Maressa Esa

More Affordable Homes, Stringent Policies for Developers Needed to Solve Housing Woes – Part One Opinion

Khalil Adis Khalil Adis was the former editor of Property Report and he has written for PropertyGuru,, Yahoo! Singapore/Malaysia and various newspapers. Renowned for his independent views and insights, Khalil has given talks at various expos and at property launches. He is also on the judging panel of the South East Asia Property Awards (Malaysia).


espite its commercial success, Iskandar Malaysia faces various challenges such as the lack of affordable homes and the availability of options that allow private developers to pay fines and surrender land rather than build social housing when it comes to housing policy and development. This is on top of the tensions between “bumiputra versus non-bumiputra” and “federal government versus state government”, according to a recently released study by ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. The study shows that Johor has the

Study by Singapore-based ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute shows a demand-supply mismatch with launches in the low cost homes segment declining while those in the luxury segment rising steadily

second largest stock of residential units in Malaysia with a total of 1,017,298 units, trailing just behind Selangor for 2016. In addition, Johor’s stock in serviced apartments at 116,106 units will closely resemble that of Kuala Lumpur at 116,356 units. “Like most of the highly urbanised cities within Asia, Kuala Lumpur suffers from land scarcity, so it is only sensible for a proliferation of high-rise buildings such as serviced apartments to take place. The same cannot be said for land-abundant Johor,” the study cites. With an incoming supply of 164,848 and 38,400 units of residential and serviced apartments, this “will in turn jack up housing prices if the supply remains constant.” Lack of affordable homes Citing data by NAPIC (The National Property and Information Centre), the study shows that terrace houses are by far the most popular residential types in Johor as of the

third quarter of 2016. Johor Bahru has the most active market in the entire state with a total of 1,706 transactions for such homes in the said period. This is followed by low-cost houses and low-cost flats. Additionally, the study, citing data from NAPIC, shows that new home launches between 2008 to 2013 within the RM250,001 to RM500,000 range saw the most number of launches with a total of 21,906 launched within the period. “Contributing about 40 % of total houses launched, this price range serves as a yardstick for home affordability of the majority of people,” the study cites. Meanwhile, homes priced between RM100,000 to RM150,000 and RM150,001 and RM200,000 has greatly declined. The former saw 1,522 (2008), 1,621 (2009), 320 (2010), 1,485 (2011), 84 (2012) and 0 (2013) units launched while the latter witnessed 1,120 (2008), 1,130 (2009), 1,071

(2010), 1,081 (2011), 810 (2012) and 528 (2013) units launched. This brings their total number of launches to 5,032 and 5,740 units respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, homes in the RM500,001 to RM1 million price range has increased significantly since 2010. For example, there were 496 (2008), 697 (2009), 693 (2010), 2,653 (2011), 5,078 (2012) and 2,186 units (2013) bringing their total number to 11,803 units. The study, citing data from Khazanah Research Institute, also showed that Johor has a median multiple affordability score of 4.2 and ranks amongst the “seriously unaffordable” category. “With about 40 % of house launches priced from RM250,001 to RM500,000 in Johor Bahru, private housing in southern Johor has certainly exceeded the state’s housing affordability cut-off point (i.e., median housing price) of RM260,000,” the study cites.


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