• Johor Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi highlighted that the initiative stemmed from concerns expressed by diverse stakeholders, including the state's residents and external investors, regarding the speculation surrounding escalating property prices amid the ongoing development plans for the special economic zone.

ISKANDAR PUTERI (May 12): The Johor state government is considering implementing policies to curb the property price speculation associated with the establishment of the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ).

Johor Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi (pictured) highlighted that the initiative stemmed from concerns expressed by diverse stakeholders, including the state's residents and external investors, regarding the speculation surrounding escalating property prices amid the ongoing development plans for the special economic zone.

He noted that property speculation has led to significant increases in land and residential prices in several areas, necessitating government scrutiny and control.

"Johor requires new policies to curb the escalating property speculation," he said, addressing the supplementary question by Datuk Pandak Ahmad (BN-Kota Iskandar) during the state assembly sitting at the Sultan Ismail Building here on Sunday.

Pandak inquired about the Johor government's assurances regarding the welfare of residents, particularly the local fishermen's safety at sea, and the anticipated increase in property prices in Iskandar Puteri following the implementation of JS-SEZ.

Onn Hafiz, who is also the Machap state assemblyman, emphasised the state government's commitment to preventing property price hikes that would overburden Johor residents, making it difficult for them to afford property in the state.

"There may be certain premiums that can be introduced. The Johor government will also discuss the construction of more affordable homes in the JS-SEZ areas with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing," he said while emphasising that any proposals regarding the JS-SEZ would prioritise locals.

On the matter of fishermen's safety at sea, Onn Hafiz clarified that his recent meeting with fishermen's associations discussed various initiatives and incentives by both the state and federal governments.

"Their safety also needs to be raised in joint management dialogues with the relevant ministries. There are 18 ministries engaged in discussions to ensure that the concerns raised by all parties are taken into account," he said.

In January, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, witnessed the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding on JS-SEZ between Malaysia and Singapore.

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