KUALA LUMPUR: In a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the government decided to revive the Bandar Malaysia Project after it was abruptly terminated in May 2017.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the project is expected to generate tremendous impact on urban development for Malaysia, by drawing foreign direct investments and generating an expected gross development value (GDV) of RM140 billion.
“It will draw major international financial institutions, multi-national corporations (MNCs) and Fortune 500 Companies to locate their regional headquarters in Bandar Malaysia. In addition, tech giants such as Alibaba and Huawei have also manifested interest to establish their ICT centres,“ he said at a press conference at Yayasan Al-Bukhary today.
He also said the project will include the construction of a People’s Park, 10,000 units of affordable housing, bumiputera participation throughout the project, and priority for the use of local content in the construction process in line with the government’s policy of a people-centric development.
“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,“ he said.
He added that the government welcomes the commitment by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corp Sdn Bhd (IWH-CREC) to make an advance payment of RM500 million, in addition to the original deposit sum of RM741 million to be paid within 60 days from the date that the government officially reinstates the project.
The project was awarded to IWH-CREC because the previous administration had been unfair to them by terminating their agreement.
“The contractor to develop Bandar Malaysia is partly government, so if we do an open tender we may not get it,“ he said.
He also said IWH-CREC will be given a chance to develop Bandar Malaysia as CREC only owns 24% stake in the consortium, with the rest belonging to IWH.
“Bandar Malaysia will be a trailblazer in urban planning, being a transit-oriented development that will optimise the amount of residential, business and leisure space and contribute towards a greener environment by facilitating and incentivising the use of public transport over private vehicles,“ he said.
The 486-acre integrated property development project was shrouded in controversy as it was previous linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd and was supposed to host the terminus of the now terminated Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR).
When asked if this means the HSR project will be revived, Mahathir said they will keep that in mind as they will ensure there is sufficient room to accommodate the terminus.
He also said that the government has saved a lot of money by solving all the problems of the East Coast Rail Link, Felda, Tabung Haji and Bandar Malaysia.