Exciting news: Malaysia considering new casino in Forest City

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim recently held talks with two influential businessmen to consider establishing a casino in Forest City, according to a Bloomberg report citing internal sources. The possible opening of this casino could mark the issuance of only the second casino license in Malaysia’s history.

The deliberations, which were attended by Anwar, dignitaries and businessmen over a meal, focused on the feasibility of granting a new casino license to boost Forest City’s economic community. Prominent businesspeople who took part in these preliminary negotiations included Mr Vincent Tan of Berjaya and Mr Lim Kok Tai of Genting Group. Representatives of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar were also present, expressing their high interest and potential impact of the project.

Official response to Forest City’s second casino

Discussions are at an early stage and it remains unclear how serious the government is about licensing this new gambling venue, especially considering the only existing casino in Genting Highlands.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has refuted claims that the country is considering issuing a second casino license, calling such reports “false”.

The question comes in the wake of a Bloomberg article suggesting Malaysia may grant new casino licenses to boost the deteriorating prospects of a $100 billion housing project in Johor state known as Forest City. was raised with Anwar by local reporters on Thursday. The article also notes that the Prime Minister also spoke to Genting Group Chairman and CEO Lim Kok Tai (whose Genting Highlands Resort is the sole holder of Malaysia’s casino license) and Genting Group’s Chairman and CEO Lim Kok Tai regarding the proposal. He also mentioned that he had held discussions with Berjaya founder Vincent Tan.

In response to inquiries, a Berjaya spokesperson denied any current plans for a casino project in Forest City. The Prime Minister’s Office and Istana Negara have not yet commented on the matter.

Read more: Genting Casino Highlands, Malaysia: Your Guide 2024

Forest City’s new casino boosts Malaysia’s economy

The development comes after Prime Minister Anwar’s announcement eight months ago about the creation of a special financial zone (SFZ) in Forest City to revitalize Johor’s economy and revitalize the region. faced challenges such as declining interest from real estate buyers. This is due to the Chinese government’s crackdown on capital outflows and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Casino for revitalization of Forest City, Johor

Last week, Johor Chief Minister Ong Hafiz Ghazi highlighted that the SFZ was discussed at a meeting led by Mr Anwar, which covered various topics including the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone, investment prospects and potential incentives. did.

Project opposition and historical background

The proposed casino project is part of a broader effort to breathe life into Forest City, a development originally envisioned as a sustainable “green city” on an artificial island, a Chinese country garden. It was developed in partnership with a company associated with the Sultanate of Johor.

Former Malaysian leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who opposed the plan, had previously raised concerns that it catered to foreign interests rather than local needs. He specifically restricted foreign ownership in projects during his tenure.

Balancing interests and concerns: How new casinos will revitalize Malaysia's economy

Royal Involvement and Future Prospects

Sources have suggested that the royal family or their representatives could be invited to invest in the casino, indicating the possibility of high-profile support for the initiative. Further insight is expected from senior officials and the Prime Minister’s Office as these discussions develop.

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