Malaysia's Infrastructure Investment
By Roxanne James

Malaysia's 18bn Euro Infrastructure Investment to Boost Property Market

Malaysia has allocated €18bn of public money for road and rail projects aimed at unlocking housing potential.

Iskandar Mansor, president of the Malaysian Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) believes the infrastructure improvements will spur development of affordable housing projects.

"We are thankful that the government is spending on highways and public transportation. This will make a lot of areas more accessible and cut travel time. I believe a lot of developers will be looking at potential development sites along those corridors and focusing on affordable housing," he said.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk announced the improvements at the tabling of the 2015 budget last week, confirming that several new highway and railway projects would be implemented next year.

Topping the list of new projects is Line 2 of the Klang Valley My Rapid Transit (KVMRT) from Selayang to Putrajaya, the €6.5bn Pan-Borneo Highway in Sabah and Sarawak and Line 3 of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) linking Bandar Utama to Shah Alam and Klang.

Several projects are also in the pipeline for Klang Valley, an area in Malaysia comprising Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs, and adjoining cities and towns in the state of Selangor. These include the 59km Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway, the 276km West Coast Expressway from Taiping to Banting, the 47km Damansara-Shah Alam Highway and the 36km Eastern Klang Valley Expressway.

Iskandar commented that in order for Kuala Lumpur to be considered a world-class city, the percentage of public transportation usage should be above 60%. The percentage of usage in Kuala Lumpur is currently less than 20%, compared with more than 80% in Hong Kong and Singapore.

"We need good public transportation for better connectivity. The feeder services must be there while there should also be a proper enforcement for taxi services. If all these can be fixed in an holistic manner and new houses built close to highways and railway stations, then I think dependence on cars will drop thereby reducing traffic on major roads."

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