Johor's Fastrackcity an example of Singapore and Malaysia's 'new spirit of brotherliness'
The bilateral agreement between Singapore and Malaysia for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail will be signed next week.
Days before pen is put to paper on that ambitious project, Singapore and Malaysia have made moves into what Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called a "new spirit of brotherliness", with organisations from both sides of the Causeway coming together for Johor's motorsports hub, named Fastrackcity.
The 121.4 hectares (about the size of 175 football fields) RM3.5 billion (S$1.1bn) hub is a joint venture between FASTrack Autosports, the majority-owned company of Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim in partnership with the Johor royal family and Malaysia's state-owned UEM Land.
Approximately 10 minutes away from the Tuas Second Link Checkpoint, the development will feature a 4.45km state-of-the-art Grade 1 FIA and Grade A FIM international circuit.
It will include a high-security parking facility for supercars, a cluster of automotive workshops, hospitality facilities and a four-star hotel.
Speaking at the unveiling of the design for Fastrackcity at Johor Baru's Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios yesterday, PM Najib pointed to the project as an example of a bilateral partnership that breaks down silos.
"What we can achieve together benefits both our peoples and we are determined to nurture and celebrate that new spirit of brotherliness," he said.
"It is anticipated that 1,200 jobs will be created from the development of Fastrackcity, and that it could lead to up to 350,000 more tourists coming to (Malaysia) every year."
The proximity of the motorsports hub to the Tuas Checkpoint suggests that jobs could also be available to Singaporeans and, with the hub targeting the average motorsports fan, Singaporeans would have an avenue to live out their own racing dreams on its various circuits.
FORMULA ONE, A POSSIBILITY
While Fastrackcity's business is aimed at the public, it did not discount the possibility of hosting premier races like a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the future.
"Our plan is to build a facility that will appeal not only to professional racers but also to a much wider community of motorsport enthusiasts," said Barry Kan, director of FASTrack Iskandar Sdn Bhd.
"However, if the opportunity to host an F1 race comes up, we will definitely consider it."
Fastrackcity was designed by Hermann Tilke, who also worked on Singapore's Marina Bay Street Circuit as well as circuits like Sepang in Malaysia and Germany's Nurburgring and Hockenheimring.
"This is one of the most exciting motorsports concepts I have been invited to work with," said the German Tilke.
"I truly believe we can build a unique track for motorsports entertainment."
It will also feature a 1.5km Commission Internationale De Karting kart circuit, a hill climb track, a 4x4 park with obstacles for off-road, four-wheel drive vehicles, as well as an advanced handling park for road-safety training.
In addition to providing a platform for grooming engineering crew, technicians and designers in Singapore and Malaysia, Fastrackcity could well drive the region's presence in international motorsports.
"This new development will also provide new opportunities for aspiring racers, which will ultimately create a bigger pool of talent for Asia and for Asean in particular," said PM Najib.
Expansion plans are already underway to create a self-sustaining automotive ecosystem, complete with business, commercial and leisure facilities.
Fastrackcity will offer Asia-based motorsports R&D facilities and a host of quality industrial spaces for the automotive industry.
It is targeted for completion by 2019.