Barisan Nasional wants Johor to overtake Singapore as economic powerhouse with RM8 billion worth of theme parks

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark is being built at the newly revamped beach destination, where Mohamed Khaled said a new RM4.5 billion tourism centre is being planned.
Desaru Coast

Johor will aim to “catch up to the lion” to overtake Singapore as the next economic powerhouse if Barisan Nasional (BN) wins the election, Mohamed Khaled, the state BN chairman said on Saturday (Apr 14).

Speaking at the launch of the “Johor Hi-5” BN manifesto for the 14th General Election, Mohamed Khaled said that it was time for the Southern Tiger (Johor) to show its teeth and stripes, The Star reported.

“For us to catch the lion, we must upgrade our tourism sector with new attractions because if Singapore has Gardens by the Bay, we will build a new tourism centre at the Desaru Coast worth RM4.5 billion ($1.2 billion, S$1.5 billion),” he was quoted as saying.

The newly ravamped Desaru Coast is set to be complete by the end of this year, and will feature an integrated resort complete with big name hotels, golf courses and an adventure waterpark.

But that’s not all BN has set its eye on.

According to Mohamed Khaled, there are also plans to build “the world’s first science fiction theme park” near the popular Legoland attraction, as well as a RM2.7 billion eco entertainment park in Kota Tinggi.

The planned Johor Eco Entertainment Park would create 250,000 jobs, Malaysiakini reported.

According to The Star, these theme parks would be worth RM8 billion in total.

“Once all the projects are completed, I would not be surprised to see Singaporeans coming to world class facilities available here,” he was quoted by The Star as saying.

The “Johor Hi-5” manifesto presented was described by Mohamed Khaled as having five core thrusts.

These are:

  1. Economic growth
  2. Provision of comprehensive infrastructure
  3. Development of the mind, talent and skills
  4. High performance leadership
  5. Establishment of a sustainable, Islamic and cultured community

Malaysiakini quoted him as saying: “We will not let Johor to simply become a backyard for anyone, what more just merely being an observer to Singapore.”