KOTA ISKANDAR, Johor: Johor’s new chief minister Osman Sapian on Monday (May 28) said that he welcomes Singaporeans shopping in Malaysia on Jun 1 - the day the country’s 6 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be effectively abolished.
“When more people come visit us, we will of course welcome them,” said Osman, who was elected as menteri besar, or head of the state government, after Johor fell - along with all of Malaysia - to the opposition in a historic general election earlier this month.
“Whatever we offer to local Johorians, if it is also offered to Singaporeans, why not?” said Osman.
“It will help boost our economy. We have no objections. We are open to it. We are an open country.”
The assemblyman for Kempas, whose portfolio includes land revenue, finance, planning and economic development, also revealed that popular Singaporean shopping mall Mustafa Centre had expressed interest in opening a branch in Johor.
“It’s a very good company. They’re keen to come to Johor. But currently there isn’t a suitable place for them to open their business yet,” said Osman.
“They want to discuss with me to find a suitable place. I want to maybe redevelop the Pekan Rabu area in Tampoi for this purpose.”
The Tampoi suburb also houses the upcoming Capital 21 mall, scheduled to open in August and boasting what’s been touted as “the largest indoor theme park in Southeast Asia”.
“This is just one of the early, small steps,” Osman added. “This is a successful company in Singapore, and a lot of Malaysians love to go to Singapore to shop at Mustafa. If there’s Mustafa in Johor, it will reduce congestion.”
When approached by Channel NewsAsia, Mustafa founder Mustaq Ahmad said that he has not met the Johor chief minister on the matter.