OFTENTIMES we forget that our past inspires what we achieve in today’s world. From ancient Muar to Tanjung Puteri, our history is dotted with legendary places we should explore. Johor Darul Takzim is one such historical state which has so much to offer.
Interestingly, this Land’s End of our peninsula is the southernmost point of the EuroAsia continent and was known as Hujung Medini or Ujong Tanah to sea-worthy captains and sailors who traversed our waters for hundreds of years, if not, a millennium.
Thus, the southern tip of the peninsula was known as “Ujong Medini” to the locals. The history of this place continues to enthral to present day.
After Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim gained sovereignty over the territory of Johor in 1855, it was called Iskandar Petrie, which was renamed Johor Bahru in 1866.
At that time, Iskandar Petrie was surrounded by jungle and mangrove forests while its often romanticised capital, Tanjung Puteri, was situated at a coastal site with a direct pass to Singapore.
(Macrolink’s modern high-rise buildings.)
Fast forward to today, the modern-day Iskandar Puteri is filled with glistening towers, attractive promenades and grand government buildings. Medini, reminiscent of its namesake’s past, is now poised to be the most dynamic zone in present-day Iskandar Puteri. Medini Iskandar Malaysia (MIM) was initiated to support catalytic developments of the 930ha of land identified as Medini City.
One key aspiration for Medini City was to imbue it with the latest, integrated, connected and smart city initiatives.
Under the umbrella of Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB), MIM builds iconic developments which contribute to the growth of Medini City, aiming to put it on the map as the new destination in the region — The Icon of Future City Living.
Future City Living
With a name inspired by ancient legend, how will this inspire the vision of future city living? A smart city is the answer. We should look towards this approach for our new cities of the future — honouring our past while ensuring smart infrastructure with the aim of becoming one of the first smart cities in the world.
Not to forget sustainable “Green Living” of international standards bringing quality environment, biodiversity and green spaces. Greeted by a holistic and harmonious environment, Medini is a juxtaposition of modern residential areas not too far away from green lungs and birds’ paradise.
Birds of Medini introduces us to the multifarious beauty and charm of South Johor’s migratory birds. The Pied Kingfisher, previously considered rare in Malaysia, has been seen in Medini.
Some other types of migratory birds spotted in this vicinity are the Grey Heron and Baya Weaver. We have heard so much about Legoland in Medini North.
(Flameback Woodpecker — among migratory birds spotted in Medini.)
In addition, Medini Business is poised to be the leading business centre in Southeast Asia. Medini Central, on the other hand, aims to lift the lifestyle quality of Medini; and Medini Living is an enclave overlooking the Straits of Johor and Singapore with beautiful villas, a golf course and health and wellness village.
Boasting superb connectivity with easy access to key attractions and developments, Medini is strategically located in the heart of Iskandar Puteri, 20 minutes away from Senai International Airport and the city of Johor Bahru, 35 minutes from Singapore’s central business district and 50 minutes from Changi International Airport.
Visitors to Medini and Iskandar Puteri will certainly not be short of places to visit and things to do. Its diverse landscape, coupled with key iconic tourism products is certainly a boost to the Johor state tourism industry as a whole.
Many tend to forget that the famed Legoland — Asia’s first-ever LEGOLAND and Johor’s leading crowd-puller is actually located in Medini.
Stretching over a sprawling 30ha, LEGOLAND Malaysia is the catalyst to spur Iskandar Puteri’s tourism industry.
The theme park attracted more than one million domestic and international visitors annually. Visitors can enjoy more than 40 shows, rides, and attractions with “hands-on” experience.
(Edible Park @ Medini.)
This lifestyle development also comprises a retail mall, themed hotel, business hotel as well as office and home areas.
For those who prefer the more adventurous and close-to-nature fun activities, the close by Kampung Sungai Melayu Ecotourism is one of the preserved and pristine villages with perfect spots to sight migratory bird, especially from December to February.
Here lies harmony with nature. Surrounded by mangrove trees and estuary, this hundred-year-old kampung offers more than a serene ambience and beautiful greenery. One can enjoy boat tours, bird watching and crab catching as well as opt to play traditional games.
In this vicinity, the river calls and the charms of the kampong are never-ending — just imagine going on a fishing outing with local fishermen or enjoy the unhurried traditional Malay lifestyle while foodies can enjoy their fresh seafood and famous local attractions, like Asam Pedas and Keropok Kupang — all the best the kampung life has to offer and more.
In keeping with its promise for a healthy and harmonious lifestyle, Medini offers 44 public parks as well as a ‘park living’ environment throughout its open spaces to create a holistic green experience.
(Kampung Sungai Melayu is a perfect spot to sight migratory birds.)
To experience one such unique park, head over to the Edible Park especially during weekends to the farmstand market, gardens and organic urban farms.
The 2ha edible landscape park was designed and themed to build a community around conscious and sustainable living.
As part of MIM’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, the Edible Park hosts a series of nature-related workshops every weekend, and a green market held on every first Saturday of the month selling fresh green and organic produce, plant-based food and products.
World-class Destinations, Within Reach
For world-class education and potential edu-tourism, our younger generation can benefit from one of the key attractions on the outskirts of Medini — the one of a kind City of Campuses — EduCity Iskandar, a world-class integrated education hub established since 2011 in Iskandar Puteri.
EduCity offers quality and affordable higher education for locals and foreigners. There are nine colleges and universities in EduCity including Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, University of Southampton Malaysia Campus, University of Reading Malaysia, Raffles University Iskandar, Kolej MDIS Malaysia, Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology, Multimedia University, Marlborough College Malaysia and Raffles American School.
Puteri Harbour pays homage to Medini’s past as a key waterway landmark Hujong Medini and is today a prestigious world class waterfront development in Iskandar Puteri with its panoramic ocean views. The pride of Malaysia’s film industry, the Iskandar Malaysia Studios is located on a 20ha site in Iskandar Puteri, adjacent to Medini — a world-class integrated studio facility which currently offers filmmakers 100,000 sq ft of film stages, 24,000 sq. ft of television studios, post-production facilities and complete support services, including production office space, dressing / make up rooms, workshop and backlot.
Another sure bet attraction, shoppers from all over the country usually never fail to visit the Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) for its branded goods.
An iconic landmark, the JPO is the first luxury premium brand outlet in Southeast Asia — only 20 minutes’ drive from Iskandar Puteri.
(Iskandar Investment Bhd President/CEO Datuk Ir Khairil Anwar Ahmad, the visionary leader tasked with catalysing the strategic development of Iskandar Puteri.)
Sports & Leisure
World-class sports and leisure activities are important to complete the holistic lifestyle at Iskandar Puteri, especially at Medini. Attractions for sports enthusiasts and the whole family include:
• Velodrome Johor designed for regional and international championships, is based on the highest standards as per the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) specifications.
• EnergX Park Sunway Big Box — an indoor amusement park in Sunway Big Box.
• Laser Battle is the most advanced Laser Tag arena in Southeast Asia, using the latest Laser Tag Gaming Technology, with Indoor laser tag and 100 per cent Laser Battle.
• VRinity (Virtual Centre of Excellence) — an interactive entertainment centre that fully utilise Virtual Reality technology and is the first of its kind in Malaysia.
• Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club is an award-winning golf development located in the residential and leisure development of Horizon Hills in Iskandar Puteri. Designed by master course architect Ross Watson, and sprawled over 80ha many holes have large elevation changes from tee to green.
• EduCity Sports Complex consists of the main stadium, an indoor arena, gymnasium, outdoor courts and aquatic centre. The main stadium is a 6,000-seater stadium which include a running track and football pitch. The indoor arena features a multi-function court, suitable for basketball, badminton, table tennis, and martial arts type events.
EduCity Aquatics Centre consists of a 50m-long swimming pool, with 488 seating.
All these offerings of Medini were developed under a special incentive scheme covering 2,300ha of land to bring in large- and medium-sized enterprises from various industries to set up operations in Medini.
The Medini Lease Scheme has contributed significantly to the growth of the area by, among others, creating job opportunities, attracting local talents, catalysing the birth of new, small businesses, that eventually will support future economic growth in Medini and surrounding areas in Iskandar Puteri and beyond.
Chao Vicky, deputy chief executive officer of Macrolink International Land Sdn Bhd, an investor in Medini has this to say, “Our company decided to take an active part in Medini development as a co-developer because of its projected international image for foreign corporate and customers.
There are well-established international schools and universities, corporates, medical centres and impressive international standard of township planning.
There are numerous incentives offered where the decision to set up operation here in Medini was made easier.
“This is echoed by Takeshi Matsukata, CI MEDINI chief executive officer who says that the direct access to Johor and Singapore via Coastal Highway Southern Link (CHSL), as well as easy access to the international airports and seaports, is a major boost.
“We have started development in Medini in 2013 and have completed five phases, namely ION 1, ION 2, ION 3, ION 4 & ION Axxess.
We have built a diverse selection of commercial spaces ranging from two-storey commercial shops, three-storey commercial shops and multi-level drive-thru commercial hubs to meet and satisfy every business and commercial need in MEDINI.”
Medini City is truly a marvel, brought back to life from ancient times. Guided by its aspirations of catalytic development, IIB worked towards building a holistic, healthy and harmonious development that is also a tourism destination to be proud of.
With so much to offer investors, visitors and homeowners alike, Medini Iskandar Malaysia deserves to be on your bucket list to visit soon — you will not regret it!