By A. Jeyaraj
With Perak sandwiched between Klang Valley and Penang, the state faces stiff competition in terms of investment with most investors bypassing Perak. Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir came up with a bright idea to overcome this problem. He initiated Pangkor International Development Dialogue (PIDD) meetings, where investors from around the world are invited to Perak to see for themselves the opportunities available. This has borne fruit and foreign investors are now setting up businesses in Perak. To start the new year Ipoh Echo is presenting here in this issue, a summary of new, planned and existing projects in Perak.
Exciting Developments Both Short and Long Term Augur Well for Perak
MB Inc, was formed under the Menteri Besar Incorporated Enactment 1951 and drives progressive changes in Perak through its principal subsidiary, Amanjaya Holdings & Ventures, which oversees seven specialist companies, each responsible for a focused industry including Natural Resources, Properties, Renewable Energy, Infrastructure, Leisure & Hospitality, Utilities and Trading.
Sustainable Mineral Development
Mining has been revived and The Perak Mining Blueprint up to 2020 has been prepared. Mining activities are being undertaken in eight types of minerals that are of economic value. These include, tin, limestone, granite, construction sand, silica sand and silica rock, kaolin, clay, earth minerals and sericite.
Perak is the only place in Malaysia producing sericite. The sericite is upgraded in Selangor and used in the cosmetic industry.
In 2012, Perak produced 3,181 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate, accounting for 85% of Malaysia’s total production of 3,725 tonnes with a production value of approximately RM200 million. Meanwhile, Perak is also a major producer of construction sand in the country with an output of 8.7 metric tons (30% of Malaysia’s production) worth RM96.7 million.
Indian Ocean Garnet Sands Company Pvt Ltd (IOGS)
An MOU was signed between MB Inc and IOGS that underlines a strategic collaboration in the areas of extraction of minerals from sand via river dredging and the mining of minerals for export. The partnership will involve IOGS processing sand from Perak to extract commercially valuable minerals. The MOU will ensure that mining is conducted in a more sustainable and responsible manner, governed by the best practices, abiding by world-leading environmental standards and underlining a firm commitment to safety and health of employees and surrounding communities.
IOGS is a leader in mining, processing and export of Almandine Garnet, the only eco-friendly abrasive mineral in the world. IOGS exports to over 40 countries around the world with a volume of 60,000 metric tonnes per annum.
MB Inc is a shareholder in Perak Hydro Renewable Energy Corporation Sdn Bhd (PHREC) to develop, operate and maintain all small hydroelectric projects. A total of 25 small hydroelectric project proposals by PHREC have recently been approved for development.
Leisure & Hospitality
MB Inc is evaluating a number of proposed projects including development of theme parks and retirement homes among others.
MB Inc is planning the development of 1,469 acres land in Bandar Tasik Amanjaya in Tronoh. A new integrated township will be built. When completed, Bandar Tasik Amanjaya will house residential, commercial and educational institutions, and is aimed at providing affordable homes to the people, generating business opportunities and employment for the people.
Advance Manufacturing Company Management Sdn Bhd (ADMANCO)
MB Inc will work with ADMANCO to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and local investments in the aerospace manufacturing sector with the development, promotion and maintenance of the proposed Green Asia Aerospace Technology Park (GAATP) in Seri Iskandar. The park is targeting to house some 135 companies and generate 10,000 jobs in the fields of aerospace manufacturing, assembly, raw material supply, support services, engineering consultancy and warehousing.
The park will be developed in five phases and is expected to generate revenue of RM200mil within the first two years, mainly from the sale of land in the integrated park and is expected to reach maturity within five years.
State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC)
SEDC is the key state agency entrusted to spearhead the economic development and socio-economic growth in Perak. Its primary goal is to spur continuous growth and elevate the living standards of the people.
Core businesses of SEDC are:
– Property Development
– Port and Logistics
– Hospitality and Tourism
– Property Development
The aim is to build affordable homes in the range of RM140,000 to RM300,000 in Ipoh and houses costing below RM150,000 in other towns. It was planned to build 2000 units in 2015 in both categories and construction is in progress and some are nearing completion. For 2016 it is planned to build 4000 units. The houses in Ipoh are in Meru Raya.
SEDC does not advertise the sale of the houses. Prospective buyers must apply through SEDC and allocation is based on salary and also whether it is a first home.
– Port and Logistics
A new port is being built in Bagan Datoh at a cost of RM9 billion. The work on the first phase costing RM3 billion will start this year. It would be a total port and when completed in about five years it would be able to handle containers, petrochemicals, edible and non-edible products and break bulk.
A railway line would be built from Teluk Intan to the port. Perak High Industrial Park, Bagan Datoh would be developed simultaneously to serve the port.
– Hospitality and Tourism
Meru Raya is to be turned into a tourism hub. Its first attraction, Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS), the first animation theme park in the region costing around RM450 million, is expected to be ready by March and is expected to attract 1.4 million visitors in its first year of operations of which locals would make up 80% and foreigners 20%.
The major part of the theme park will be indoor, air-conditioned, or under cover protected from the weather. The park will have Malaysia’s tallest drop tower, a thrilling live car stunt show and many more designed for families and people of all ages. There will also be a variety of themed food and beverage and retail outlets throughout a 52-acre site.
Other tourist attractions in Meru Raya include Bulatan 18, an amphitheatre in front of Casuarina Hotel which is expected to be completed this year.
Projalma Sdn Bhd
Projalma is a reputable Civil Engineering Contractor specialising in high quality precast technology and are building their plant in Batu Gajah which is expected to be completed by January.
The Company has pioneered in the Precast Concrete Segmental Bridge construction industry in Malaysia and is the first contractor undertaking match casting for precast concrete segment.
Biocare Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd
The Biocare plant is under construction in Seri Iskandar. The BioCare Group produces BioCare Pharma (formulations), Aspen (Health Care & Disposable) and BioCare Medical Supplies.
Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation (Perak SADC)
Dato’ Ahmad Rizal Bin Abdul Rahman, CEO of Perak SADC said that its role is to encourage and improve the development of the agricultural industry in Perak and boost the development of agro-related businesses. To avoid creating a welfare mentality, existing farmers and single mothers are encouraged to participate in the business.
Tilapia and Shrimp Breeding Project
SADC signed MOUs with two European companies in Brussels for export of frozen tilapia fillet and shrimp in 2015. The project in Tasik Banding has started exporting to Europe, United States, Singapore and other countries. No final numbers have come in but the value of exports in 2015 was expected to be more than RM30 million.
Vegetables and Fruits
SADC has set up a farm in Simpang Pulai which produces cabbage, lettuce, strawberry and grapes. A contract has been signed with Giant Hypermarket for five years to supply the produce to them.
Gaharu trees are grown in 200 acres of land in Kuala Kangsar and Gaharu Tea is produced.
Turmeric Leaf/Kesum Leaf Chips
Single mothers are encouraged to grow these plants for making chips and drinks.
Perak Agro Marketing Sdn Bhd (Perak Agro)
PEGRO is a brand developed and introduced by SADC through its subsidiary, Perak Agro Marketing Sdn Bhd (Perak Agro). Perak Agro acts as a ‘marketing subsidiary’ in promoting and marketing the products. PEGRO has a retail outlet in Silibin.
Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA)
NCIA is the authority responsible for development in the states of Kedah, Perak, Perlis and Penang. Despite many phone calls, this scribe could get no information on the projects in Perak. However, during the PIDD meeting held in October 2015, Datuk Redza Rafiq Abdul Razak, CEO, NCIA gave a presentation where the following information was gleaned.
When businesses moved out of Kamunting Industrial Estate a few years ago, the place was deserted. However, new industries are now moving in and occupying the empty factories.
Lumut and Pangkor
Redza spoke of new developments in Lumut and Pangkor but did not give details.
Flood Mitigation Projects
There are many flood prone areas in the state. Many places get flooded during heavy rain and monsoon season. Residential areas like Klebang, Pasir Pinji, Kampung Manjoi and Lim Garden are frequently flooded during heavy rain. Dato’ Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, Committee Chairman, Infrastructure and Water said that Perak needs RM2.2 billion to carry out flood mitigation projects. This year Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (JPS) has been allocated RM350 million for flood mitigation projects.
In summary, while the information presented here took two months of painstaking research, only time will tell if all of these will be successful as the year progresses. Ipoh Echo wishes MB Inc smooth sailing in its efforts to effect progressive change in Perak and in attracting foreign investment into the state.