Bandar Malaysia to depend on private funds, says Azmin

PETALING JAYA: The Bandar Malaysia urban development project will be driven by the private sector and not through government funds, said Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today.

He said Putrajaya did not set aside any federal government allocation to revive the project, which consists of a massive commercial centre and transport hub on land at the former air base at Sungai Besi.

According to Bernama, Azmin said: “This project is not only a commercial and residential property development, but it is a strategic development that can attract investors from overseas multinational companies especially in the financial sector.”

The Bandar Malaysia project was conceived as a mixed-use commercial development as well as a transport hub connecting the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project with the Mass Rapid Transit, KTM Komuter, Express Rail Link and 12 highways. The estimated cumulative gross development value of the project is RM150 billion.

It was suspended two years ago in the wake of the 1MDB scandal.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the government would resume the project, after the Cabinet decided it 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”.

Payments to Felda settlers to continue

On a separate matter, Azmin said the cost of living allowance and advance loan payments for Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) settlers amounting to RM1,500 will continue.

He said this was decided by the government recently, adding that the Felda board of directors had proposed that such payments be reduced in view of the agency’s critical financial situation.

“But as a government that cares about settlers, I along with Deputy Minister (Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin) had met four times with the prime minister before the white paper was tabled (in the Dewan Rakyat).

“The prime minister disagreed with the proposed payment reductions, especially under the current economic situation.