Sime Darby Property to develop Malaysia’s First Multi-Varsity Education Hub in Pagoh, Johor
Pagoh Education Hub to be developed as a Private Finance Initiative
Kuala Lumpur, 7 November 2012
– Sime Darby Property Berhad through 4 Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVS), has signed concession agreements with the Government of Malaysia and 4 higher learning institutions to build the country's first Multi-Varsity Education Hub in Pagoh, Johor. The SPVs are subsidiaries of Sime Darby Property Selatan Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture between Sime Darby Property Berhad and Tunas Selatan Construction Sdn Bhd.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Y.A.B. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Y.B. Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister of Higher Education Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Second Finance Minister Y.B. Dato' Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah. Sime Darby Group was represented by Y.A.B. Tun Musa Hitam, the Chairman of Sime Darby Berhad, YBhg. Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman, Chairman of Sime Darby Property Berhad, and YBhg. Dato' Mohd Bakke Salleh, the President and Group Chief
Executive of Sime Darby Berhad.
The Government of Malaysia was represented by Y.Bhg. Datuk Ab. Rahim Md. Noor, the Secretary General for the Ministry of Higher Education. Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia was represented by its Vice Chancelor, Dato' Dr. Mohd Noh Dalimin and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia by its Vice-Chancelor, Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang. Signing for the International Islamic University of Malaysia was its Rector, Prof Dato' Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin while Datuk Ab. Rahim also signed for Politeknik Pagoh.
Sime Darby Property Selatan was represented by the Managing Director of Sime Darby Property Berhad, Dato' Abd Wahab Maskan, who is also the Sime Darby Group Chief Operating Officer.
The Pagoh Education Hub is a unique development as it will have four institutions of higher learning having shared facilities such as a library, convention centre, multipurpose hall, sports complex, data centre and guest house.
The project covers an area of about 506 acres and will have sustainable features that will raise the quality of life for students and staff alike. It will be a pedestrian-friendly area with restricted vehicle access, bicycle lanes, covered walkways, a centralized parking area and shuttle bus services.
Dato' Abd Wahab Maskan said the hub will set a new milestone for the property industry and reinforce Sime Darby Property's reputation as a quality developer of sustainable communities and townships.
The education hub is an important component of Bandar Universiti Pagoh, a new themed township being developed by Sime Darby Property on approximately 4,100 acres of former plantation land, and will act as the strategic growth catalyst for the area. The Bandar Universiti Pagoh will be developed in stages to cater for the student, teaching and administration population and the other consequential residential, commercial and industrial demands.
Pagoh is strategically located along the North-South highway, in between Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. Its development will help to spur the local economies of nearby towns like Muar, Parit Sulong and Yong Peng.
"Sime Darby Property is not just Malaysia’s biggest township developer but a specialist in thematic developments. Strategic thematic developments such as Bandar Universiti Pagoh with the Pagoh Education Hub as a catalytic component will be a growing part of our business."
"Pagoh Education Hub is also our first PFI (Private Finance Initiative) project and as such, we have taken great care to ensure it will be a unique and sustainable development. Its green features will ensure an environmental and user friendly built environment and an interesting place for studying while its common facilities will encourage students to have greater interaction and creativity," he said.
The construction of Pagoh Education Hub is expected to take some three years to be completed. The project is significant for Sime Darby Property as it will be a good source of recurring income. Currently, only 5 per cent of Sime Darby Property’s income comes from its Property Investment Division. The company has a 5-year target to grow this to 20 per cent.
Under the PFI concept, Sime Darby Property Selatan will fund the construction of the 4 institutions with shared facilities for the Government. In return, it has been granted concessions for 23 years to construct and maintain the facilities.
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