Bandar Malaysia project reinstated – Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 19 (Bernama) — The government reinstates the Bandar Malaysia project with an expected gross development value (GDV) of RM140 billion after it was abruptly terminated in May 2017, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

The Prime Minister said the decision was made after due deliberation during the Cabinet meeting on April 17 and IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd, the Malaysia-China consortium, the master developer for the project, would resume works on Bandar Malaysia.

He said Bandar Malaysia would have a significant impact on Malaysia’s economy and would serve as a global hub to further attract high impact global finance, technology and entrepreneurial firms.

“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 (information and communications technology) centres,” he told a news conference at Yayasan Al-Bukhary, here today.

The project, he said, is expected to generate tremendous impact on urban development for Malaysia, drawing foreign direct investments and generating an expected GDV of RM140 billion.

“We were (initially) under the impression (that) it was given entirely to (a) Chinese company. When we investigated, the company that was doing the preliminary work on Bandar Malaysia actually is a not a Chinese company,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the IWH-CREC consortium, which had won the tender to develop Bandar Malaysia, was in fact a Malaysian company in which the Malaysian government holds a 40 per cent stake, while the Chinese company has only a 24 per cent interest and the remaining shares belonged to foreign companies.

“Practically, it is a government company. Because of that, we’ve changed our stance, and we want to reinstate Bandar Malaysia to the company that first won the bid (IWH-CREC),” he said.

The Prime Minister said when the government terminated the IWH-CREC’s contract, it had paid back about RM800 million in deposit to the consortium.

“Now they have to pay back the government. The government welcomes (a) commitment by 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,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the original plan of the project has also been changed to include the development of 10,000 affordable home units, Bumiputra participation, and priority on the use of local content in the construction process.

This, he said, would ensure such development is people-centric and add substantive value to the economy.

“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 (small and medium enterprises) up the value chain and stimulating demand for Malaysian produced construction materials, technology and home-grown talent in advancing sustainable urban growth,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that the East Coast Rail Link and Bandar Malaysia projects should be viewed within the larger context of fostering and cementing long-term bilateral relations between Malaysia and China, while ensuring that such projects add maximum economic value to the country.

He said these two major projects would also be a significant contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative which Malaysia expects to be able to tap into and exploit its multiplier effects along the value chain.

Dr Mahathir also sent a strong message to those who try to take advantage of the projects.

“It should be stressed that the principle of integrity, accountability and transparency will remain paramount at all times. No corruption or any form of shady deals will be tolerated.

“This approach will prevent leakages, questionable dealings and abuse of power and will translate into massive savings for the government,” he added.


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