Penang Development Corporation (PDC) slammed reports that Temasek Holdings has withdrawn from its joint venture to develop the Business Processing Outsourcing Prime (BPO Prime) project in Bayan Baru, saying that it is in an “ongoing live discussion” with the Singaporean investment company, reported Malay Mail Online.
“We are not only reviewing the plans, we are looking at the costs and at the composition of the project,” said Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon who heads both the PDC and Invest-in-Penang.
He also underscored that the RM1.3 billion project was not “postponed indefinitely” but they are studying the whole project’s feasibility including its residential component.
According to Lee, there is a need to conduct to feasibility studies to determine the viability of the residential component, given the slowdown in the residential property market over the last 12 months.
“We have to look at the market conditions and secondly, look at the costs of construction as we want to make sure the building is world class and the costs is manageable.”
He made the statement in response to Penang Umno chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman’s question on whether Temasek had pulled out from the project following The Edge report that it was indefinitely postponed.
The local business paper reported that the BPO Prime projects had been deferred indefinitely, which could also lead to the delay of the PITP project as it was supposed to commence after the BPO Prime project.
In 2014, PDC inked a memorandum of understanding with Temasek Holdings Private Ltd and Economic Development Innovations Singapore Pte Ltd to establish a joint-venture company to develop said projects.
Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng explained that Temasek’s decision does not affect investments in Penang.
Lim noted that while the state is looking at prioritising the BPO industry, it will not compromise on it.
“We want to ensure that the industry is prioritised but since Temasek is not confident with the market, this is why this project was postponed,” he said.
Image sourced from The Malay Mail
Diane Foo Eu Lynn, Senior Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email email@example.com