KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya today said the Bandar Malaysia project once promoted by former prime minister Najib Razak would go ahead, some two years after it was abandoned.
The Prime Minister’s Office said the Cabinet had decided that the project would have “significant impact on Malaysia’s economy and will serve as a global hub to further attract high impact global finance, technology and entrepreneurial firms”.
“The project is expected to generate tremendous impact on urban development for Malaysia drawing foreign direct investments and generating an expected gross development value (GDV) of RM140 billion,” the statement said.
The announcement of the project’s revival comes exactly a week after the government gave its green light for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.
Putrajaya said both projects should be viewed “within the larger context of fostering and cementing long-term bilateral relations between Malaysia and China while ensuring that such projects add maximum economic value to the country”.
“These two major projects will also be a significant contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative which Malaysia expects to be able to tap on and exploit its multiplier effects along the value chain.”
Bandar Malaysia, with an estimated cumulative gross development value of RM150 billion, is planned on the site of the current site of the former Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Sungai Besi, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
The project was also planned as a hub for the now suspended High Speed Rail project linking Malaysia and Singapore.
The project was a joint venture between Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC), which made a bid of RM7.41 billion for a 60% stake via open tender.
In 2017, the deal collapsed after the finance ministry cancelled it, claiming that IWH-CREX missed a deadline to pay for their stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd which owns the 194ha site.
Putrajaya today said IWH-CREC was awarded the job to revive the project following an international open tender exercise participated by over 40 overseas companies.
The consortium would make an advance payment of RM500 million in addition to the deposit of RM741 million, within two months of the project’s reinstatement, it added.
“It should be stressed that the principle of integrity, accountability and transparency will remain paramount at all times. No corruption or any form of shady deals will be tolerated,” PMO said in the statement.
It said Bandar Malaysia will attract international financial institutions and major multinational corporations such as Alibaba and Huawei to set up their regional headquarters
The project would also now include a “People’s Park” as well as 10,000 affordable homes, adding that priority would be given for Bumiputera participation throughout the project.
“These measures will no doubt add further value to the economy via substantive job creation, acceleration of retail and institutional demand for commercial and residential space, moving SMEs up the value chain and stimulating demand for Malaysian produced construction materials, technology and home-grown talent in advancing sustainable urban growth.”