PUTRAJAYA - The termination of the master developer for Bandar Malaysia will in no way derail plans to develop the area or the rationalisation of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), said Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Describing this as a temporary glitch, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said exciting times awaited the project despite what had happened.
“We were informed by the Prime Minister during the Cabinet meeting (on Wednesday) that a new company will be invited to be the master developer for Bandar Malaysia,” he said after meeting Japan’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii at his office here yesterday.
The Cabinet, said Abdul Rahman, who is in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, was also told that the new master developer had plans that were “far more attractive and comprehensive”.
“Let us move on from this episode. What is important is for the Government to show the people that Bandar Malaysia will be an economic catalyst – not only for Kuala Lumpur but the whole country,” he added.
Abdul Rahman said that while the Prime Minister had not announced the new master developer, it was possible that foreign companies, including those from China, would be involved.
According to TRX City Sdn Bhd, an entity under the Ministry of Finance Inc (MoF), the share sale agreement governing the development of the 197ha land in Sungai Besi had lapsed because ICSB – the prime movers – failed to meet the payment obligations despite being granted repeated extensions.
ICSB is a consortium comprising Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC). Following the termination of the agreement, MoF, through TRX City, owns 100% of Bandar Malaysia.
Bandar Malaysia is the country’s largest property project and an integral part of shaping the city.
It will be Malaysia’s transport nucleus, connecting the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR), MRT Lines, KTM Komuter, Express Rail Link and 12 highways.
The development of the land was initially given to 1MDB, which selected ICSB after a competitive process. However, as part of the restructuring of 1MDB finances, the land was returned to MoF.
Abdul Rahman also said that among elements which Malaysia would be looking for in companies bidding for the HSR project was how local contractors would be involved in its construction.
“We want to see companies have a plan to include Malaysia entities in sub-contractor works – whether this be civil, engineering or earth works at project sites.
“This is apart from the programme for human capital development and technology transfer because we want a win-win situation for all involved,” he said.
The minister said many icompanies from China, Japan, South Korea and even the United States and Europe were keen on the project, adding that bidding for the first package of the project would be at the end of the year.
The HSR project, currently at the concept design stage for infrastructure and system, is expected to be completed in 2026.
“Great interest shown by foreign companies reflect their confidence in the Government’s administration and the economy despite what our detractors claim.
“I have been approached, not only by companies but ministers to voice interest in HSR and this augurs well for Malaysia.”