JOHOR BAHRU, Friday (June 5, 2015): One of JB city’s last remaining abandoned housing projects will be given a new lease of life under a RM65 million make-over plan by the State Government through public-listed Iskandar Waterfront City Behad (IWCB).
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who launched works to “rescue and revive” Taman Bayu Tebrau here, said the State’s approach and method to rehabilitate this sick project was a model for the whole country.
“I gave an undertaking during the last General Election to revive and redevelop this project. I am happy and proud to announce today that the Barisan Nasional Government is now very close to fulfilling that promise. This is what we mean by “Janji ditepati”, he declared.
Taman Bayu Puteri, which has been abandoned for over 10 years, is located in Permas Jaya, about 8km from the city here. It is within the Menteri Besar’s home State constituency of Permas.
Khalid said the State Government, conscious of the hardships and grief suffered by the 404 purchasers who never got to move into their dream homes, had adopted the Public Private Partnership or PPP model to redevelop the abandoned project.
“This is a shining example of what can be achieved under the PPP system involving State, Federal and private sector collaboration,” he said, adding that the PPP system was an ideal and cost effective way to provide better projects and services for the rakyat.
IWCB, previously known as Tebrau Teguh Berhad, is a subsidiary of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd – a PPP company whose shareholders include State and Federal government-linked companies and agencies and private corporate entities.
Under the rescue plan, IWCB will spend RM65 million over the next two years to revive and upgrade the partially completed four-blocks of five-and 10-storey medium-cost apartments.
Spread over a 8.8-acre waterfront site fronting the Sungai Tebrau and Sungai Plentong in Permas Jaya here, the housing scheme was started in 1999 with all 460 units supposed to have been completed by March 2004.
However, the developer was unable to complete the project as scheduled and construction was abandoned in stages, with the works coming to a complete halt by 2011. The overall status of construction by then was about 70-per cent.
The apartments which range in size from 988 sq ft to 1,023 sq ft, were originally priced at between RM100,000 and RM120,000 each. A total of 404 units had been sold. The abandoned project has since deteriorated terribly with thieves carting away scrape iron and other permanent fixtures. The site has also become a convenient hideout for illegals, drug addicts and criminals.
Oblivious to the safety and security problem, some 36 desperate families have since illegally taken possession of their partially completed apartments and are still living there under
IWCB chairman Datuk Ayob Mion said the company, in which state-owned Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor or KPRJ is a major shareholder, was happy to become the “White Knight” to rescue and complete the project.
“This is an initiative under our Corporate Social Responsibility programme,” he said at the launch of the rehabilitation works. “IWCB will immediately undertake to revive, rehabilitate, upgrade and complete Taman Bayu Tebrau to its original glory,” he said.
The upgrading works, he said, would include enhanced architecture, improved infrastructure, repair of all structural damages, installation of new equipment and facilities.
IWCB will also build a new direct access road from Permas Jaya, which will also be linked to the nearby SJK(C) Pei Hwa 2 for the convenience of parents and their children.
Datuk Ayub assured the purchasers that they would be delivered keys to their revived apartments by end 2017. “By then your property values would have escalated by double or triple their original price because of rapid real estate development in this area,” he said.