JOHOR BARU: Johor Baru’s coastline fronting Singapore is in for a major transformation that will have a gross development value (GDV) of some RM80bil and led by a joint venture between the Johor state and businessman Datuk Lim Kang Hoo.
A new vehicle called Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd (IWH) is being created and it would be injected with massive landbank hitherto mainly owned by the Johor state and Lim. As a result of these injections, Lim would have 60% of IWH while the Johor state, through its vehicle Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ), would hold the remaining 40%.
The straight-talking Lim, who granted StarBiz an interview after numerous calls were made to his office, also didn’t rule out the listing of IWH.
“We are still preparing for it … One day it will be listed,” he said at his modest office in downtown Johor Baru.
StarBiz interview with Lim: ‘The partnership we have entered into is driven to enhance the development of the southern tip of Johor which is the gateway to Malaysia from Singapore.’ – By ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG/Starpic
He said the development would be undertaken over several years and would become a major economic engine of growth for the state.
IWH will oversee the development of the valuable landbank stretching 3,000 acres from west to east of southern Johor Baru to be transformed into an integrated waterfront city.
One of the assets being acquired by IWH was a 33.15% stake in Tebrau Teguh Bhd held by KPRJ. This led to concerns that the state was hiving off its assets to Lim.
“It’s a misperception. This is a consolidation exercise to put all the landbank into the holding company. In the end, what KPRJ will have is joint ownership of a much larger pie than what it had before,” he said.
“We and KPRJ are the master developers and we will take charge of the development of Danga Bay, Iskandar Waterfront, Tebrau Coast and the central business district development in Johor.
“To have a project of this size, the need for a strategic partnership with the state is necessary,” Lim said.
The entire waterfront project is part of flagship A of the massive Iskandar Malaysia development, which is spearheaded by Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
“The partnership we have entered into is driven to enhance the development of the southern tip of Johor which is the gateway to Malaysia from Singapore,” Lim said.
A key component of the project is for IWH to attract established world class developers to undertake different parcels. These parties are also expected to part fund the entire development, bringing in the much needed foreign direct investment, said Lim.
“We are aggressively trying to attract more local and foreign developers to invest in Johor. We are not into building townships but we want property developers to be our clients to develop the landbank we have,” he said.
The company has attracted developers such as Dijaya Corp Bhd, Singapore’s Azea Residences, Plazzo Hotels & Service, Waz Lian Group, Tune Hotel and Australia’s Walker Group.
It has been reported that Dijaya has committed to invest RM3.8bil to build a high-end mixed development while Singapore’s Azea Residences will work on four blocks of high-end apartments at a cost of over RM500mil. Australia’s Walker Group has also partnered with IWH to develop Senibong Cove into a high-end residential development modelled after the Hope Island project in Australia’s Gold Coast.
Lim said the project had received enquiries almost on a daily basis from both local and foreign developers.
“The interest level we see now is nothing like what we have seen in the past 15 years. We are swamped with serious enquiries and over the past year we have seen every developer from Malaysia going to Johor Baru and also some very big names from abroad,” he said.
The grand agenda of taking the wholesale of property market within the Greater Johor Bahru area is very clear. Judging by the tone and content of annoucements and statements made, Lim behaved as if he was above the authorities in the State of Johor. Even in the JCorp restructuring of QSR-KFC, he was conveniently brought in by the design of the ‘Level Four Boys’ into the game with real property gains as the end game.
The fact still remain where questions lurk amongst so many skeptics and observers of the Triple Platform Sdn. Bhd.; Why the need for JCorp to bring in IWH in their scheme of corporate restructuring?
The super-rush restructure exercise of IWH and continuous injections of more assets is like it was an unstoppable train which is peaking up speed and the sheer momentum is overwhelming. Probably in principle the Federal Government would welcome any corporate exercise to public list asset-backed corporations and add value to the market capitalsation of the Bursa Malaysia.
However, the cost of the exercise which include the opportunity cost should be a major concern, especially strategically it would have a political and socio-economic implications. An exercise this huge is eventually irreversible.
The subliminal messages are very clear. The Star’s story over the last weekend:
Persuasive: According to his face, Lim’s good fortune is here to stay.
All signs indicate a good outcome for IWH’s impending IPO.
THE impending listing of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) is probably one of the most anticipated initial public offerings (IPO) of the year.
The man behind IWH is none other than the very savvy and astute businessman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, who is undeniably one of Johor’s most influential figures at the moment.
Lim owns some 60% of IWH via Credence Resources Sdn Bhd, while the Johor government, through Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor, holds the remaining 40%.
Sources say the listing of IWH is looking to raise between US$800mil (RM2.48bil) and US$1bil (RM3.11bil) for an IPO which is targeted in June or July.
IWH is the master developer of Iskandar Malaysia, a big city with 1,600 ha of prime waterfront land in the southern tip of Johor. IWH is developing its land into a waterfront city fronting Singapore in a development that is likely to take between 30 and 50 years to be fully completed.
The land bank includes 800ha in Danga Bay and strategic parcels within the Johor Baru city centre, the Tebrau coast in the eastern corridor of the city and Desaru in the east coast of Johor.
IWH’s waterfront project will have a reported gross development value of about RM80bil.
Currently, IWH is vigorously looking for strategic local and foreign partners to develop high-impact projects and create new business and tourist destinations within its land.
So here’s the deal so far… Lim has managed to pull in the big names to invest in IWH.
Together with IWH, CapitaLand Malaysia Pte Ltd and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Ltd, they have signed a ‘heads of agreement’ to jointly acquire and develop parcels of land in Danga Bay for a planned RM8.1bil mixed integrated development. This deal is considered the biggest entry into Iskandar Malaysia by Singaporean investors.
Some 220ha have already been acquired by investors. They include Dijaya Corp Bhd, China’s Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, Australia’s Walker Corp and Brunsfield Group.
So the question to ask — should we buy IWH shares when it is eventually listed?
Can we bet on Lim Kang Hoo to pull off the biggest coup ever?
He’s basically listing an ambitious master development that is more vision than reality at the moment.
Goodness gracious me, Lim’s face is a wonderland for a face reader!
Can you see the double nose? The double Fa Ling (laughter line) and the double chin?
It is a goldmine of so many compelling features drawn on one single canvas!
However, let us calm ourselves down and evaluate this reasonably.
First of all, let us look at Lim’s current age point.
In 2013, he will be 58, thus in Chinese years he is 59. This age point is situated on the left side of the lower lip, before inching to the centre of the lower lip at 60 years. In Chinese, the age points ending with the number ‘9’ are always significant. They say that if one has the ability to cross that age point, and, in Lim’s case 59, then this assures another 10 years of good luck.
Nonetheless, based purely on Mian Xiang and the current age point, Lim’s entire lower lip is looking good and very favourable. The lips are fairly wide and the lower lip in particular is thick and luscious. It is also ruby red, which depicts Lim’s robust health. He is energetic and alert, and this implies that this is one of the best times of his life to reap everything he has patiently sowed in the past.
Thus, when evaluating the lips together with Lim’s intimidating strong eye qi, we would say that his 59th and 60th years are looking good. Based on the lips alone, it would appear that the listing of IWH will pretty much swing in Lim’s favour — which means a successful listing and a good many cornerstone investors to support the Danga Bay drive.
Now, how can we read Lim’s face without evaluating those eyes?
How do even we begin to describe it?
Menacing, shrewd, wily! You get the drift. This is already our first indication not to bet against Lim. His eyes are very long when compared to its height. What we see are only slits of the eyes.
When one’s eyes are very slitty, it alludes to high levels of strategic thinking and the ability to carry out psychological warfare extremely well.
This is a person who is very patient and will only strike when the time is right. Every move is thought through and has been analysed in his head. The eyes, with their huge eyebags, also show that most of his troubles and obstacles happened in his thirties. Yes, he has suffered and gone through a tsunami of troubles. Those are now a thing of the past.
You will notice that as the face goes lower, the features become more favourable in Mian Xiang terms.
This is seen in the fleshiness of the cheeks, the long and entrenched laughter lines, the wide mouth and the strong chin.
This is Your Property Man!
Lim’s eyes are further complemented by very high eyebrows. The eyebrows are one’s Siblings Palace, which signifies the power of partnerships. The higher one goes in life, the higher ones eyebrows.
More importantly, the space between the eyes and the eyebrows are the property palace. This is a supremely important feature for a master developer. To evaluate how much money a developer is able to generate from selling and developing properties, always evaluate the property palace together with the wealth palace — the nose.
A high property palace is one where we can put one finger comfortably in between the eyes and the eyebrows. Look at Lim’s property palace! I think we can easily put in two fingers in that space. When you evaluate this together with Lim’s long and fleshy nose, it is obvious that Lim’s property ventures will be very successful.
Notwithstanding that he has also invested a huge chunk of his money for his properties — this is seen in his wide and flared nostrils. Nonetheless, that investment will pay off manyfold. His properties will be moving. Investors will be equally besotted and buy into his waterfront vision.
Another extremely important feature he has is the nose. Do you notice how Lim has what we term the ‘double nose’?
It is as if he has a nose upon a nose. This is known as the Tiger Nose. This sort of nose denotes great wealth and immense power. He commands respect certainly. However he commands fear in even larger proportions. He is a chameleon who can be equally charismatic with a lethal ability to win people over.
Last but not least, another iconic feature he has are his laughter lines. Deep, long and two of them again. Can you see them forming from the nose and from the lips. This is the biggest market for insurance in his old age. This means his good forture isn’t a fly-by-night fad. It is stoically here to stay.
This Is The Tycoon To Watch!
So people, this is your tycoon to watch. He’s got two of everything — nose, laughter lines and even the chin! Moreover, he’s got those brutal eyes to continue expanding aggressively and protecting his turf.
The listing of IWH is not random and suddenly thought off. It is a culmination of a personal masterplan that has been in the works for quite a bit. Bet on him through his various listed Johor entities.
Apart from IWH, Lim is also a major shareholder in Tebrau Teguh Bhd via IWH, with a 47% stake.
What is baffling how and why did the Johor State Government saw only this one man for the solution to the issues of the state. Probably he was the only entrepreneur who was willing to resolve KPRJ’s accumulated debts which turned into non performing loans for the infrastructure projects with the objective to stimulate socio-economic growth in the rural areas, which the Johor State Government embarked in the mid 90s with borrowed funds.
However, post existence of Iskandar Development Region (later Iskandar Malaysia) Lim still benefitted as the most preferred enterprise for most of the projects which Johor State Government planned and approved. The recent acquisition of Tebrau Teguh Bhd and the rationalisation of all assets which include the premier parcels under Johor CBD and Khazanah Nasional Bhd. owned Iskandar Waterfront and Iskandar Coast are being streamlined for the listing maneuvres of IWH.
The IWH structure which Lim Kang Hoo proposed
A plantation PLC PLS Plantation Bhd. with a landbank of almost 100,000 acres was injected into IWH scheme of properties. In this structure, Lim via Credence Resources and IWH Sdn. Bhd. has full management control of IWHB. That is the power over RM 6 billion worth of much sought after premium properties in Greater Johor Bahru.
The fact still remains. Lim via several vehicles which started from Danga Bay, just amassed the land banks since twelve years ago. He has not develop any of it yet. What he undertook and delivered so far are all the infrastructure projects, which were Federal Government contracts and are paid through agencies such as IRDA. Example is the RM 850 million highway to Nusa Jaya.
Part of the most prized IWH land bank
Lim is nothing more than just a mere land bank wholesaler. He amassed land parcels, amalgamate, submit for development approvals, value add with infrastructure and conveniently flip them over for a handsome sum. Some of these parcels he did some earthwork, reclamation and beautification. No physical development and yet the returns are almost double from the initial cost of acquisition plus the value added programs invoked.
It is ether outright property flip or joint ventures. IWH need not even take lead role in these joint ventures.
It is baffling that Johor State Government didn’t any other enterprise, including Johor-0wned such as JCorp to do this work. Now that new executives are taking the lead and JCorp has been on the restructuring since two years ago, these land value-add land parcel Grand Master Developer role should have been done by JCorp’s own vehicles or joint ventures with stakeholders that carry the responsibility of the masses.
Partners of IWH; Credence Resources Sdn. Bhd. (Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo), Khazanah Nasional Bhd. (Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar) and KPRJ (Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman)
Indeed they are proven property giants which include GLCs which are calibre enough to be in this ‘Greater Johor Bahru Property Sale’ scheme of land-based enterprise.
With the exception Walkers Ltd of Australia and Tune Hotel from the list of the joint venture partners and potential developers which IWH has identified to develop the premier waterfront and coastal, Johor Bahru central business district (CBD) parcels and part of the ‘East West’ project within Iskandar Malaysia, all of them are either Malaysian, Singaporean and mainland China Chinese.
What was published on The Star on Saturday 16 March 2013 coupled with Chinese Chauvinist Emperorissimo of Middle Malaysia Lim Kit Siang’s announcement to contest in Gelang Patah Parliamentary seat in the very soon to appear 13GE, what is seemingly the prophecy of Sin0-nisation of Jauhar is very apparent and prevailing.
Anwar confirms Kit Siang gunning for Gelang Patah
MARCH 18, 2013
Lim will depart from his Ipoh Timur seat in a PR push for Johor. — File pic
JOHOR BARU, March 18 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced here today that DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang will be contesting in Gelang Patah in the upcoming 13th general election.
Anwar, who is also the de facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), made the announcement at an opposition ceramah in Taman Sutera here.
The current MP is Tan Ah Eng, who is also Johor Wanita MCA chairman.
Tan defeated PKR’s Zaliha Mustafa by 8,851 votes in the 2008 general election. — Bernama
The two Lims would be making a serious psychological mark in the most developed Malay heartland. Especially when the entrepreneur Lim’s domain is the premium properties within Greater Johor Bahru and the political Lim is targetting a constituency where the administrative centre of the Johor State Government, Kota Iskandar and the centre of Iskandar Malaysia’s and Federal Government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s prized development projects are conveniently situated.
On the eastern coast, the primary developer for Petronas RAPID project is Dialog Group.
In the past, there were suspicion amongst some skeptics about Iskandar Malaysia which was the crafted and designed by the ‘Level Four Boys’ and created for the inadvertent agenda for the ‘Annexation of Greater Johor Bahru’. Then chummy-chumy G-to-G relationship and attention towards Iskandar Malaysia plus RAPID provided by the Singaporean authorities all the way to the top added the evidence of the Sino-nisation of Jauhar Agenda is comprehensively right on the vector. In fact, the whole program is on the fast track.
Whether or not of all these Sino-nisation of Jauhar Agenda programs are by designed structured or out of convenience as the circumstances presented themselves, these programs are economically, politically and socially overpowering Greater Johor Bahru, stock, lock and barrel. It would inevitably have catastrophic effect to the majority.
The majority here is the power base for Malay led Federal and State Governments, which have proven to bring upon a balanced socio-economic growth, prosperity and a major global trading nation and ensure the majority is not left isolated far behind.
Artist impression of the premium prized parcels under Johor Bahru CBD and Iskandar Waterfront projects, in the heart of Johor Bahru city centre
Traditional Malay areas such as the combined parcels of 1,000 acres of Kg Bakar Batu, Permas Jaya and Senibong which previous owned by Tebrau Teguh Bhd. were hived off into IWH. So far in his series of grandstanding and corporate chest thumping media exercise, Lim has only been talking about realising the premium from luxury and super luxury housing and commercial development markets.
Nothing about the affordable housing for the lower and middle income majority.
What also very glaring from IWH’s property game radar is the systematical exclusion of proven Malay or Malay led property developers such as Sime Darby, Emkay Holdings, Al Bukhary Group (Tradewinds and DRB Hicom), Boustead, Glomac, Tabung Haji and the likes. Even Johor based such as JCorp and Pelangi Bhd. were never in the scope of this mega grand properly scheme.
This would eventually create a serious ill feeling of the Johor Malays towards the State and Federal Governments.
Writings on the wall: The only welcome signage into Puteri Harbour is an indication of the Sino-nisation of Jauhar has started
Not only Johor is a BN fixed deposit. Johor UMNO also has the largest number of divisions in the country. It is ashamed that the sovereign land where once stupid the glorious Johor-Riau Empire and the birthplace of UMNO and the custodian of Malay literature Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka is on the target of buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper gluttons.
He came. He saw. He conquered. And now it is a ‘they’ thingy.