Image credit: The Star

JOHOR BARU: The Johor government is confident of surpassing last year’s investment total of RM43bil, based on the 200 investments approved by the state in the first quarter of this year.

Investment, trade, consumer affairs, and human resource committee chairman Lee Ting Han said this year’s number of approved projects is already 30% of what the state achieved last year.

“We are optimistic that we can go beyond what we achieved last year. In 2023, we approved 751 projects worth RM43bil, while in the first quarter of this year, we already approved 221 projects,” he said when met by reporters after conducting a visit to the Perling Mall Ramadan bazaar on Monday.

He added that the investments focus on four sectors: machinery and equipment, food processing, electrical and electronic, as well as chemical and petrochemical.

“Last year, we managed to create more than 19,000 job opportunities.

“We hope we can do better this year based on investment opportunities that we have already lined up, such as the Johor Singapore Special Economic Zone, and the Forest City Special Financial Zone.

“We are also looking forward to the Senai-Desaru Expressway expansion in September and the North-South Expressway expansion in June.

“Despite the global economic uncertainty, we are confident that Johor will continue to be able to bring in fast and steady investments,” added Lee.

Asked to comment on the Johor Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry’s preparations to welcome foreign vehicles during the coming Hari Raya holidays, he said there will be 200 enforcement officers conducting surveillance on 1,468 fuel stations in Johor.

“We wanted to ensure that there will be no cases of foreign vehicles filling up with RON95, and petrol stations are welcome to apply for any additional supply of RON97,” he said, adding that around 500,000 people crossed the Johor-Singapore border in the run-up to last week’s Good Friday.

On daily necessities, Lee urged members of the public to lodge reports on any shortages through formal channels, and not through social media.

“Comprehensive information will really help us in conducting investigations and taking action against offenders.

“So far, the state Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry has not received any reports regarding a lack of supply for necessities, and even if there were, we can help channel the needed items from other places that have low demand,” he added.