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Call to revive JB’s abandoned malls

KUALA LUMPUR (June 10): The shuttered malls of Johor Bahru have become such an eyesore and a potential den for drug addicts and vandals that there is a need for some to be “revived”.

According to a report by The Star today, these malls are located along Persiaran Tun Sri Lanang in Kebun Merah, Jalan Storey, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Jalan Tampoi and Jalan Skudai.

Such an effort, however, would not be an easy one.

KGV International Property Consultants director Samuel Tan Wee Cheng explained that mall projects with strata titles “were complex because a party intending to buy out a mall would need to liaise with owners individually”.

Tan said agencies such as Iskandar Regional Development Authority and Johor Bahru City Council can help coordinate efforts to revive these malls.

“A task force should be set up to engage with stakeholders, including owners, to look into these issues,” he said.

“We should take the example of how a ‘white knight’ developer helped revive the old Kemayan City project in Skudai, which was abandoned for more than 10 years, and turned it into a major, sprawling complex that is now known as Paradigm Mall, ” he told the daily.

Meanwhile, Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar also concurs with the view that abandoned malls were “unsightly”, attract criminal activity and may even cause diseases.

“These huge dilapidated buildings can also become breeding grounds for mosquitoes which may cause a spike in dengue cases,” he said.

Sivakumar said government-linked companies such as Johor Corp or Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor could be “potential investors” for the abandoned malls.

“The malls can be turned into other projects such as private hospitals, colleges and international schools or even for housing or accommodation purposes,” he said.

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