NSI may help Iskandar Malaysia in new sports project

The National Sports Institute (NSI) has been invited to play a part in making Iskandar Malaysia a sports hub.

Several ranking officials from the Youth and Sports Ministry and NSI chief executive officer Ahmad Faedzal Md Ramli visited the development in Johor over the weekend. The trip is seen as an initial step of the institute’s involvement before the stakeholders formalize the relationship by year-end.

Ahmad Faedzal: “We’ve just had conversations. Several other parties are involved, including Iskandar Regional Development Authority, EduCity (Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd) and Sports Johor (Sdn Bhd).”

EduCity, an education hub, is part of Iskandar Investment while Sports Johor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-linked Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor.

“The idea is to have sports-related facilities in Iskandar Malaysia and we are to collaborate based on our expertise.”

It is understood a rehabilitation centre is among the sporting initiatives.

While not wanting to get into the specifics, Ahmad Faedzal did not discount the possibility of NSI having some form of presence there.

“A boutique clinic, perhaps … it’s just one of the options,” he added.

NSI has opened its doors to the masses as it habours a long-term ambition of running a full-fledged sports hospital.

Injecting a sports theme into the Johor development will boost the confidence of investors despite some touting it as a “ghost town of the southern region”.

The controlled capital outflow by China and the change of policies in tandem with change in governments has somewhat hindered the progress of Iskandar Malaysia.

Some property experts, however, believe the development is ahead of its time and that investors remain confident as evident in the big names that have established businesses there.