Tycoon's firm invests $56m in Johor data centre

A COMPANY linked to one of Malaysia's wealthiest men is investing RM150 million (S$56 million) to expand its data and cloud computing facilities near Senai Airport in Johor state.

Puncak Semangat aims to attract firms in Singapore and southern Johor that are keen to lower their IT costs. Construction of the second phase of the Synergycloud Data Centre on 5.3ha at Senai Airport City will begin soon and is expected to be fully operational by 2017, the company said.

The project was launched yesterday by Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

The first phase of Puncak Semangat's data centre, also in Senai, costing RM30 million on 233 sq m of land, started operations in December last year.

When ready, the project will be the largest data and cloud computing centre in southern Malaysia, and within the fast-growing Iskandar Malaysia economic zone, company officials said.

A second data-centre hub is being planned in Sedenak, Johor - just north of Senai Airport - by the Malaysian government. Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled said yesterday that "international investors" will be involved in the Sedenak hub, but declined to give more details.

Puncak Semangat said yesterday that the Senai data centre will be its fourth integrated computer management centre. The three others are in Selangor.

The firm, an associate of a group controlled by Malaysian tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, is working with Japan's Fujitsu as its technology partner in the Senai project.

Puncak Semangat chairman Syed Azmin Syed Nor said the Synergycloud Data Centre is well-positioned at the crossroads of a global trading route "and its proximity to Singapore enhances its attractiveness to investors and (the) business community".

Mr Yuri Zaharin Wahab, who heads Puncak Semangat's Synergycloud subsidiary, said that for Singapore companies looking for data recovery centres (DRC) or cloud services, its Senai centre offers lower costs and is just next door to the Republic: "Our DRC will be a cost-effective offering and it is near Singapore, allowing the customers to easily check on their equipment if they want to."

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar is Malaysia's eighth-richest man. Forbes put his personal fortune at US$2.9 billion (S$3.9 billion) last year. Mr Syed Azmin is his younger brother.

Puncak Semangat and the Al Bukhary group are a mainstay in servicing the IT needs of Malaysian government ministries and arms, including the e-procurement unit that puts government procurement services online.

- See more at: http://business.asiaone.com/news/tycoons-firm-invests-56m-johor-data-centre#sthash.OPnUkvYy.dpuf
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