Published on March 25th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Langkawi Is Getting A World Class Racetrack
Open Road International Circuit and Integrated Resorts will be constructed in Bukit Malut, Langkawi.
The tax-free island of Langkawi has long been a safe space for multi-millionaires to park their supercars and avoid paying our high car taxes.
Now it looks as if they will have a real reason to drive their cars on the island itself. That’s because we’ve just received confirmation that a new International Race Circuit (NOT a Formula One Certified race circuit) will be opened in Bukit Malut, in the southern tip of Langkawi, just 8km from the popular destination of Kuah town.
We know this because we have just been invited for the signing ceremony in Kedah next month (perhaps interstate travel will be allowed next month or we will get permission to travel).
While the track will be FIA-certified, it will NOT be certified for F1 and instead be focused on GT racing. This would make sense, as it will open up more possibilities for high-performance brands to set up customer racing programmes and sell more cars here.
Funding for this Circuit & Integrated Resorts has not be shared with us and it might be private and also a Permodalan Kedah project.
Motorsport-related tourism and perhaps a slightly larger unskilled job market will expand. However, the bigger salaries will doubtless go to more skilled mechanics and technicians who are attached to big supercar brands.
The track will be designed by international track designers, probably not local talent. The construction crew, as usual, will probably consist of foreigners.
What’s more, it’s a tax-free island. Consumer spending there is barely going to benefit the state at all. It’s not like people who visit Langkawi are going to bother heading over to mainland Kedah to spend money. If anything, the ones who are going to benefit the most are the richest of the rich, who will now have a nice new playground for their automotive toys.
The circuit and resort will be managed by Open Road Asia Sdn Bhd – a private entity that is involved in automotive retailing, storage, financing and racing. We couldn’t really find much information about this company, but it has an office in Menara CIMB. Its founder is Dato’ David Goh.
While the company says it has experience in this sort of thing, it remains to be seen if they can execute on this impressive idea. This is a pretty complicated undertaking and their clients will be among the most discerning people.
There are currently 1600 high-powered vehicles sitting in Langkawi tax-free (as mentioned by the authorities). Without a doubt, brands like Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari and Lamborghini will see a surge of sales once this whole project starts up as more tax-free supercars will be sold and aged on the island.
Perhaps Porsche’s local-assembly of the Taycan will make more sense too with an all-electric racing programme.
You are cordially invited to the signing ceremony between Open Road Asia Sdn Bhd and Permodalan Kedah Berhad paving the way for the joint development of Open Road International Circuit & Integrated Resorts in Bukit Malut, Pulau Langkawi.
Open Road Asia Sdn Bhd is a specialist in automotive retailing, storage, financing and racing with collaborations with luxury automotive brands such as Ferrari, Bentley and Aston Martin, among others.
Permodalan Kedah Berhad is the state investment and development arm of Kedah with core businesses in real estate, mining, investment, construction, hotels, and services.
The signing ceremony marks the official partnership between Open Road Asia Sdn Bhd and Permodalan Kedah Berhad for the joint development of the multimillion-ringgit world-class project that seamlessly knit together luxury residential properties and amenities with a FIA-sanctioned motorsports circuit.
The event will be attended by:
- YAB Tuan Haji Muhammad Sanusi Muhammad Nor, Menteri Besar of Kedah
- Encik Abdul Rahman Haji Din, CEO of Permodalan Kedah Berhad
- Dato’ David Goh, Founder/Group Advisor of Open Road Asia Sdn Bhd
- State Executive Committee Members
- State Government Officials