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Plans to make Shah Alam international Islamic banking hub

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Points of Essence:

  • The Opposition-led State of Selangor in Malaysia plans to built i-City in its capital city Shah Alam as an international Islamic banking and financial center. This RM20 billion worth project will commence in the second half of next year provided the current financial crisis has subsided by then. The hub city  will be built on 72-acre freehold land with cutting edge infrastructure and facilities befit a banking and financial hub.
  • The announcement does not however clarify whether it will seek alliance with the MIFC, a BNM-led outfit to promote setting Malaysia as an international Islamic financial hub.

By LAW KAI CHOW

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government plans to turn Shah Alam into an international Islamic banking and financial centre, in the wake of slower growth in the state’s manufacturing sector.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said greater competition from lower labour cost countries had caused the state to make the services sector its leading engine of growth, with focus on information and communications technology (ICT), tourism and Islamic finance.

“We want Middle East investors seeking investment opportunity in Asia to consider Malaysia as the Islamic financial hub because we can fulfil their requirements in terms of technology and expertise in syariah-compliant banking infrastructure, accounting and legal framework.

“We will embark on the setting up of an Islamic banking and financial centre by the second half of next year if the world market volatility has subsided (by then),” he said after the launching of i-City International Park Shah Alam yesterday.

I-Bhd chairman Datuk Lim Kim Hong (left), Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (centre) and Multimedia Development Corp Sdn Bhd (MDeC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali (right) at the launch of the i-City International Park in Shah Alam on Monday. - Starpic by Raymond Ooi

A RM2bil project by I-Bhd, i-City sits on 72-acre freehold land in Shah Alam with state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities such as super broadband with 20mbps speed, dual source of power supply and high performance integrated data centres. It has been endorsed as a MSC Malaysia Cybercentre, tourist destination and now an International Park.

The first phase of i-City, involving 44 office units, has been completed and sold with 50% bought by Al Rajhi, a Saudi Arabian banking group.

i-City has also attracted tenants from Britain and Singapore.

Local Government, Research and Studies Committee chairman Ronnie Liu said to qualify for International Park status, the development had to be of international class, in terms of buildings and ICT systems.

Meanwhile, Khalid announced that I-Bhd had committed a RM10mil fund for the next three years to work with the Selangor tourism unit to establish i-City and Shah Alam as “the focal point for ICT-related tourism destination.”

Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the additional fund created a win-win situation because I-Bhd would be able to showcase its technology while the state government could attract investment and tourist into Selangor.

Source: biz.thestar.com.my

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 28, 2008 at 12:19 pm

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