24Oktober2017

Tanjung Malim – Malaysia's next boom town

Tanjung Malim, home of national car maker Proton, is set to become Malaysia’s next boom town, thanks to the recent acquisition of virtually half of its equity by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group.

Thousands of new jobs are expected to be created with the economic spillover effects transforming the quiet Perak town and beyond as Geely, backed by its world class research and development and design centres, is targeting to produce 500,000 cars for the Southeast Asian markets alone by 2020.

Malaysia will by then become the right-hand drive production hub for Geely in the ASEAN region, thus allowing Tanjung Malim to run its maximum capacity, including the assembly of Volvo cars.

Yet another bonus for Proton following its tie-up with Geely that was sealed recently is getting the exclusive rights to Geely’s products and latest technology and access to markets beyond Southeast Asia and China, the world’s largest car market with annual sales at a staggering 28 million.

Some 2.1 million cars were sold in ASEAN countries in 2016, up 85 per cent from 2006.

One man grinning from ear to ear about Tanjung Malim’s prospects in the near future is Mohd Syukri Azaari, the President of the District Council, who said when Proton set up its plant here in 2000, it led to the creation of Proton City and the new 320-hectare campus of Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris, the university which produces graduate teachers.

Proton is the biggest employer here with over 2,000 jobs, half of them locals and with tremendous impact on Tanjung Malim’s economy.

” This led to the Slim River sub-district to be upgraded to the new Muallim district last year and new municipalities like  Bandar Behrang 2020 and Kota Malim Prima,” he told Bernama.

Mohd Syukri was most pleased with the revenue collection of his district council before and in the post-Proton era. In 1999, its collection was a mere RM4 million but so far this alone, it has gone up to RM15 million.

” When we at the council heard about Proton going into strategic partnership with Geely of China, we can already visualise that an economic tsunami will happen in Tanjung Malim,” he added.

On another front, the number of landed property here has doubled to 20,000 after Proton’s existence here.

He expected the Tanjung Malim District Council to earn a revenue of RM20 million in the near future with the population rising to 100,000 once all of Proton’s expansion plans got under way, compared with 70,000 now and 40,000 prior the emergence of the auto industry here.

“It is even possible to upgrade the District Council status to that of a Municipal Council and this will facilitate the government’s plan to create the proposed 1Malaysia Youth City here,” he said.-24/7/2017

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