Iskandar Malaysia: A structured and systematical annexation of South Johor

At the eve of this year’s Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) which will be hosted by Singapore, it is best that we Malaysians strategically relook into Iskandar Malaysia and what it stood for. Especially in the context of ‘prosper thy neighbour’, particularly Singapore.

Iskandar Malaysia II

Iskandar Malaysia evolved from Iskandar Development Region, which originally was planned as South Johor Economic Region. IDR was launched by PM ‘Flop-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi exactly three years ago, amidst a controversy of rejection by majority of Johoreans. Despite being a Federal Government initiative in Johor, the Johor state via UMNO Johor and the Johor Civil Service were ‘forced down the throat’ a Khazanah led plan which later became the IDR Act, passed in Dewan Rakyat late 2007. The draft which was recycled over eight times before JCS reluctantly agreed.

Like other corridors which were designed for the ‘Federalisation’ all state economic development function, SJER was initiated by then the ‘Level Four Boys’. Political Secretary Dr. Vincent Liew aspire that South Johor to be ‘serving’ the high growth Singapore economy and argues that Johor could benefit from the ‘spill over effect’. In actual fact, South Johor were to ‘serve’ and ‘facilitate’ for the Singaporeans to concentrate on the high value industries and sectors and leave all the low value, ‘dirty and smelly’-backyard and potential hazard to the environment industries all over South Johor. In short, South Johor is the wet-kitchen for the Singapore’s gourmet economy serving premium dishes and goodies.

Of course investments will start to pour in. One would argue that Johor has had ten of thousands of Singaporean investments and businesses incorporated all over South Johor for over thirty years which created so many jobs, increased in aggregate demand and spur sales of properties, especially high end and commercial and all the benefits from the ‘Singapore catalyst’ to the Johor economy. However, there were never once it was done in a strategic, structured and intensified effort to woo the Singaporeans into Johor.

How will this economy, which is 69% dependent on service sector, providing a GDP per capita of USD 37,500, and having a foreign reserve of USD 174 billion ‘help’ the economy of South Johor?

It is obvious that Singapore would not ‘extend’ her high value industries with Johor. In fact, if there is any effort to develop similar programs within Malaysia which include Johor, the Singaporeans would do all they can to ensure that they will do better at the same time ‘kill’ their competition of. This ‘kiasu’ness of the majority Chinese with the Western flavour for greed and colonialisation aptitude. Even mainland Chinese regard Singaporean Chinese as ‘Banana’ (yellow on the outside, ‘white’ in the inside).

Many people believe that a lot of these services are ready to be out sourced to South Johor, thus creating jobs all around Johor Bahru. In actual sense, these jobs created for the people of South Johor are not high value operations for the service industry they support. On the paper, these jobs created might portray an impression of high value of nature such as project management, design and R & D, investment banking and co-operate advisory or consulting being the focul point of the exercise for Singaporeans to relocate their ‘support’ services and industry of their high value economy. Reality, only menial jobs such as call centres, customer service or out sourced services such as printing of bills and statements.

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Having  a large middle income and professional workforce is a very important ingredient for Singapore to sustain their high value industries growing at the pace that they planned. Officially, Singapore reached its 5 million population mark recently. Majority of them are the middle class and income bracket workforce. Most of the Singaporeans who migrate abroad are persons in this category. The rising cost of living and slowly becoming unbearable is usually the cause.

Hence, there is  strategic effort to make Singapore a city-state where only persons wih high value income live. It is suspiciously that the Lees intend to make Singapore like Lichtestein, Luxembourg and Monaco. The middleclass an working class to support these high value incomers should be residing outside of Singapore. What better than make South Johor the new habitat for  the Singapoean middle class. They live in Johor, shop all around JB in lower cost that Singapore, afford a high end lifestyle with middle income Singapore earnings and not loosing all their rights as Singaporeans. This makes sense as Singapore HR consulting groups are busy establishing themselves all over JB, for this ‘relocation program’.

As such, Singaporean developers are now making inroad into Malaysia, specifically South Johor. Iskandar Malaysia provide a perfect opportunity for Singaporeans to ‘invest’ in properties.

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There are already plans for Singaporeans to set up nursing and old folks homes within South Johor. Naturally this  seen by many as a business opportunity. In reality, this ‘dumping program’ is nothing but Singapore’s dirty laundry is being processed in Malaysia. This a perfect cover for Singaporeans to shift their ‘problems’ into other peoples’ hands and only the fit and productive is left as wanted and appreciated people. Soon, South Johor will be made to process Singapore’s physical garbage and industrial waste.

It is obvious that the Singaporeans are envious of the Malaysian oil and gas success story, especialy Petronas. Of course, it is natural that they would want to carve part of the very lucrative pie of the Malaysian economy. Since the support for the oil and gas service industry is based in Singapore, mainly because of the history of the shipping industry, ship maintenance and building infrastructure, they are seriously eyeballing the most productive industry in Malaysia.

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The property play is very important to the strategic interest of Singaporean tourism. The recent announcements  about theme parks such as Legoland in Iskandar Malaysia is a illustration more attractions are needed to complement Singaporean ambitious entertainment and tourism sector. With the upcoming Marina Sands Casino and Sentosa Genting Casino complexes and Universal Studio, the ambitious RM 750 million investment which 80% of it came from Khazanah Holdings Bhd. Legoland expect between 1.8-2 million visitors will pay RM 80.00/pax to throng the 40 acre park. Many doubt not many South Johorean families can afford to cough out that kind of money to sustain the 5-6,000 constant visitors daily.

The fact is that, Singapore economy has been ‘living of’ the reources of other lands. This is very much the cololianlist mentality that the Anglo Saxons and Europeans have, when they ‘own and live of the lands and resources of places far away’. They became masters and enslave the territories that they over power.

Now this ‘re-colonialisation’ is being seen in a different way. They set up menial operations elsewhere but make the head quarters being maintained within the city-state. They enjoy to fruit from the menial operations where else the real high value and ‘realisable control’ is captured as economonical and legal datas being  recorded in accounting terms at where the homebase is domiciled; the registered address. The high cost of production has now being shifted elsewhere. And yet, the Singaporean economy enjoy as these corporations are domiciled at home and pay taxes to the Singapore Government instead of where the bulk of the profits from these operations are derived from.

The fact is that Singapore were never interested in helping others, despite what other people did for them. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The issue of over 300,000 Malaysians who had but no longer serve the republic an never get to see their rightfully earned forced savings in the Central Provident Fund (CPF). And yet, till present the republic is still dependent on Malaysians to serve the menial workforce needs and exploit their RM2.40 to the dollar exchange rate.

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The ‘power of purchase’ of the Singaporeans is really enormous. The Singapore bourse has a larger market capitalisation as compared in Bukit Mahkamah, Kuala Lumpur. This high value market capitalisation stock market is remarkable a perfect tool of Singaporean ‘players’, with the joint effort of the financial services sector (which is funded by Wall Street and The City) to control the Malaysian bourse. The ability to control the bourse will have a coherent effect on the perception and confidence of Malaysians at large.

The clout of the Singaporean financial services sector is really far reaching. Despite starting later than Malaysia, Singaporean financial institutions have managed to develop better and larger syariah compliant instruments. It also managed to attract West Asian deposits. The fact that Singapore investment arm Temasek Holdings is involved with so many blue chips financial powerhouse (in cohorts with Wall Street and The City) demonstrate the financial prowess that they can ‘prey’ onto economies such as Malaysia’s.

Malaysian banking

Through control via commercial banks, at the moment Singaporeans already have their hands in 19% of the loan and debt market in Malaysia. This is a figure that should be concerned. This is ‘invisible hands’ of the Neo Con Jews, which have far reaching implications.

This ‘power of purchase’ from the higher value market capitalisation and excess of enormous source of Neo Con Jewish funds, coupled with the large middle class Singaporeans that would be ‘relocated’ all over Iskandar Malaysia and the strategic participation of Singapore officials in policy decision made for Iskandar Malaysia is a recipe of the ‘annexation’ of South Johor into the ‘little red dot’ republic.

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The ‘Annexation of South Johor’ is important for Singapore to develop herself into a high income and value market. The resources of Johor such as land, labour, raw materias, water and food supply are the lifeline ingredients for Singapore to survive. The strategic move to ensure these ingredients are protected is to ‘control’ at source.  The ‘control at source’ began when PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah reached an agreement with Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong in Langkawi, May 2007.

Singapore’s attitude of kiasuness is clearly non negotiable. Nor can it be compromised. The ‘Scenic Bridge Replacing The Johor Causeway’  is a very good example. The paranoia of the ‘seige mentality’ is very apparent and significant, despite their arrogance of the ‘supperiority complex’ and chest-thumping. The ‘Mas Selamat’ episode is the clear example of the system failure despite superiority power. To top it all,  Singapore is Israeli’s strongest ally in South East Asia, which in the past raised some senstivities to the Muslim majority region and immediate neighbours. In a nutshell, Singapore has never been a ‘good, trustworthy and dependent neighbour’. And now with an agenda to ‘Annex Iskandar Malaysia’, this is worrisome.

This year’s APEC theme is ‘Sustaining growth, connecting the region’. The theme basically says it all for the ‘Annexation of Iskandar Malaysia’ agenda in parallel on them ‘biting the bullet and embracing for hardtimes’. It is almost like Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has described that  the control-freak “The little emperor of the ‘Middle Kingdom'” who has the ambition to be the South East Asia superpower as according to him, the “Singapore hinterland extends all the way 6,000 miles radius”. His agenda is reflective of his last visit here, the Malay heartland of South East Asia.

*Original source of graphics: The Edge 9-15 November issue

*Article was updated noon Tuesday 1o November 2009

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 20:49  Comments (38)