What alarming is an allegation that the Iskandar development project attributes mostly to such a phenomenon although no official surveys or fact-findings could support it.
However, it is true that not many Malays could afford the price of land in Iskandar Malaysia but more Malay and Bumiputra companies are in joint-venture with non-Malays and foreigners to embark on new business there.
So, what has PM Najib and our experts have to say on this issue?KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — The Malay Chamber of Commerce (DPMM) claimed today Johor Malays are currently the country’s poorest community, a problem it blamed on Iskandar Malaysia.Its president Datuk Syed Ali Alattas said Putrajaya’s land privatisation programme and large-scale land sale to foreigners under the project had triggered massive inflation in the state.This had made it more difficult for the state’s Malay majority, which he described as poor, to cope with the higher cost of living.“During the 1800s, the Johor Malays were the richest in the country but they are now the poorest. This is caused by foreigners buying up land here (and caused inflation). We can no longer cope with the high cost of living,” he told a press conference here.“The development of Iskandar is pushing the Malays backwards, making them more marginalised economically,” he said, adding that the economic disparity between the Johor Malays and the non-Malays was one of the key issues raised at its recent congress.The Iskandar Malaysia project, situated in Nusajaya at the southern tip of Johor, was conceived during the Abdullah administration. It covers 2,217 sq km and is thrice the size of SingaporeInitially seen as competition, a Singapore paper had reported that the Iskandar project had swayed more expatriates into opting to live on this side of the Causeway, drawn by cheaper and bigger homes in Johor, while Malaysians are grappling to find affordable housing.
On the contrary, it is not fair at all to zoom in to Iskandar only in making such a 'shallow' summary of the poorest Malays in Malaysia.
I still believe the Malays in Kelantan, especially in the rural Gua Musang, Jeli, Tanah Merah and Bachok, and also some parts of Terengganu and Kedah are among the poorest in the country.
Why? Because they are years away from politics!
Another thing is, which political party is Syed Ali with?