ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor government, through a joint venture with the private sector, plans to develop a desalination plant near Forest City as an alternative water resource, said state Public Works, Rural and Regional Development committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

It will be the largest desalination plant in the nation if implemented, he said in reply to a question from Hamimah Mansor (BN-Penawar) at the state legislative assembly in Kota Iskandar here today.

He said the state needed to explore more water resources like rainwater harvesting and ground water to alleviate the water crisis that has affected the state for the last few years.

The Johor Water Regulating Body has suggested that four tube wells be built in Mersing and Kota Tinggi districts next year to ease the water crisis, he added.

Earlier, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin told the assembly that water resources projects will be the main focus of next year's budget.

"We have completed the Johor water resources study 2010 to 2060, but the implementation also depends on the approval from the Federal government," he said, and urged the people to adopt the right attitude when using water.

Meanwhile, Bernama quoted Khaled as saying that Johor continues to record commendable economic growth and is among the highest compared with other states in the country amid the challenging regional and global economy in recent years.

He said the state recorded an average gross domestic (GDP) growth of 6.1% for the 2011-2014 period, 0.7% higher than the 5.4% achieved at the national level.

From 2010 to 2015, Johor was far ahead of other states such as Selangor and Penang when it brought in investments in the manufacturing sector of close to RM86.3 billion, he said.

"Since 2013, Johor has taken the top spot with the highest investment in the manufacturing sector. Cumulatively, including the services sector, investments in Iskandar Malaysia alone hit RM208 billion, out of which 51% have been realised," he said.

Low Sock Ken

newsdesk@thesundaily.com

Source: The Sun Daily