Dr M announces revival of Bandar Malaysia project (updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has announced that the Bandar Malaysia project will be revived but with some changes.

The Prime Minister said that the government "changed its stance" about the project, which had been previously put on hold.

“The project is expected to generate tremendous impact on urban development in Malaysia.

"It will draw major international financial institutions, multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies,” he said at a press conference at Yayasan Al-Bukhary near here on Friday (April 19). 

He said the original contractors, which is a consortium consisting of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corp Sdn Bhd (IWH-CREC), have 60 days to pay the original deposit sum of RM741mil with an additional RM500mil. 

The original plan will also be changed, he said, as it will now include 10,000 affordable housing units, a people’s park, bumiputra participation throughout the project, and priority for the use of local content and materials. 

When asked if it will also house the terminus for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, Dr Mahathir said “we will keep that in mind. If we do build the HSR, there will be sufficient room for the station".  

He said under the previous deal, only 24% of the project would have belonged to the Chinese company, China Railway Engineering Corp while the rest will belong to Malaysia. 

Sin Chew Daily had earlier reported that the Pakatan Harapan government will be reviving the stalled project.

The daily quoted a source saying the Cabinet had discussed the matter on Wednesday (April 17) and that negotiations with China were at the final stage.

The project was announced under the administration of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2011 and had an estimated cumulative gross development value of RM200bil.

The 486-acre integrated property development project was previously linked to the controversial 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), and was supposed to host the terminus of HSR.

In December 2015, the Finance Ministry sold off a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia to a consortium consisting of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corp Sdn Bhd to be the project's master developer.

In May 2017, however, the government called off the deal to sell the stake to the consortium over the failure of purchasing parties to fulfil payment obligations.

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