Irwan appointed TRX and Bandar Malaysia chairman

KUALA LUMPUR: Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (pic) has been appointed chairman of both TRX City and Bandar Malaysia.

Among Mohd Irwan's new duties include heading a team with overall responsibility for these projects, as well as the monetisation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) remaining real estate assets.

TRX City Sdn Bhd and Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd will shortly be announcing the request for proposal (RFP) process, inviting expressions of interest for the role of master developer of Bandar Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said on Wednesday.

"Furthermore, to ensure that the nation and the people benefit to the greatest extent possible, the Finance Ministry will retain 100% ownership of Bandar Malaysia," he added.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said contrary to some erroneous reports, the termination of the previous agreement with IWH CREC Sdn Bhd is final, and will not be reinstated.

"The selection process for the master developer will involve very strict criteria, including a proven track record, speed of delivery, content creation, and the financial capability to deliver a project of this scale. The highest possible value will be sought to ensure the best deal for the taxpayer is obtained," he added.

Najib said such strict criteria is crucial as Bandar Malaysia is key to reshaping Kuala Lumpur as a leading capital of the world, driving forward Malaysia's national transformation.

"The biggest development site in Malaysia, in a key strategic position in our capital, it will become a new city centre for Kuala Lumpur and a vibrant new community for young people and families to live in, a thriving new centre for businesses both big and small, and a truly exciting new destination for those, including tourists, looking to enjoy the arts, culture and all Malaysia has to offer," he added.

He said rather than just office and residential towers, the government wants Bandar Malaysia to be a catalyst for fast-track economic development and employment, including the new KL Internet City - the key hub of the world's first Digital Free Trade Zone.

"We want to create an iconic development to drive tourism. We also want to create a transport nucleus for Malaysia, with Bandar Malaysia set to host the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore high speed rail, Mass Rapid Transit lines, KTM Komuter, Airport Express Rail Link and twelve highways," Najib added.

He explained that given the importance of this project, it is critical that Bandar Malaysia has the right leadership, the right partners and right ownership structure to ensure its full potential is realised, to serve the people and the national interest.

"I have full confidence that under Irwan's leadership, the prospects for and development of Bandar Malaysia, will go from strength to strength," he said.

The Prime Minister also said that with these developments, the work of the Budiman Committee, established in 2015 to oversee the rationalisation exercise of 1MDB , would come to an end.

On May 3, TRX City announced that the share sale agreement with IWH CREC involving the sale of 60% of the issued and paid-up capital of Bandar Malaysia, had lapsed due to the failure of the purchasing parties to fulfill payment obligations.

IWH CREC is a 60:40 joint venture between Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd.

During his recent visit to China, Najib said Chinese multinational conglomerate, Wanda Group and the Malaysian government, had discussed the possibility of it becoming the master developer of the ambitious and mammoth Bandar Malaysia project.

He said this after meeting Wanda Group's owner and China's richest man, Wang Jianlin.

Najib believed the Wanda Group was in a position to create Bandar Malaysia and was willing to discuss the possibility of developing it with the conglomerate.

"We (have) not gone into the details or the agreement," he added. - Bernama