It appears that the Federal Government is struggling to appoint a new master developer for the highly-anticipated Bandar Malaysia project, claimed Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.
The lawmaker noted that four months have already passed since the authorities launched request for proposal (RFP) for major global companies interested in taking up the said role, but sadly there is zero fresh updates on the matter.
“All we have from the media and parliamentary responses is that there are six to eight companies that are, perhaps, interested in the project,” he said.
Previously, a consortium consisting of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) was appointed as the master developer of Bandar Malaysia.
In December 2015, the joint venture IWH CREC Sdn Bhd agreed to buy a 60 percent stake in the mega development for RM7.41 billion (US$1.7 billion), and forked a 10 percent down payment or RM741 million.
The deal was hailed by Prime Minister Najib Razak as it would help solve the debt woes of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the former landowner of Bandar Malaysia.
However, the Federal Government scrapped the deal last April after the consortium failed to meet its financial obligations despite repeated extensions. It also returned the RM741 million down payment.
“Bandar Malaysia is not any closer to finding a new ‘suitor’ than when it terminated the failed agreement with the IWH consortium,” said Pua on Tuesday (14 November).
“The so-called ‘interested parties’ were either not that interested or were unwilling to offer anything close to the Finance Ministry’s overpriced valuation for Bandar Malaysia.”
Pua claimed that the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) recent parliamentary reply indicates that the new bidding process for the mammoth development is not proceeding smoothly.
“In the Finance Minister’s answer to my question, he only stated information, which was already made known to the press for months. He said that the RFP process had been completed and listed out the same criteria that had been said before.”
“He added that eight companies had met these criteria and that a final decision will be announced soon,” he noted.
Previously, the Federal Government expected to appoint a master ?developer this quarter, with firm agreements targeted to be inked before the next General Election in mid-2018.
However, Pua doubts whether Putrajaya can obtain the bid price it hopes for.
“MoF should stop daydreaming and start getting real. The previous Bandar Malaysia ‘open tender’ resulted only with the IWH consortium winning the bid but failing to secure the necessary financing for the valuation to complete the transaction.”
“It raises the question of why would any global company in the right mind, offer anything more for Bandar Malaysia especially when they also know that MoF is rather desperate to make the sale.”
Image sourced from NST.
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