Malaysia revives another Chinese-backed mega-project

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Malaysia Revives Another Chinese-backed Mega-project

The Malaysian government said it will reinstate an idling multi-billion-dollar property project in Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Malaysia, which is backed by a Chinese state company. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the Cabinet had agreed to reinstate the development – expected to cost $33.8 billion – as a contribution to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative

He said the project, in which the government owns 40 per cent, would be developed with the same consortium partners, Malaysian developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and China Railway Engineering Corp.

It is the second mega-project that is being revived under Mahathir after he announced the resumption of the $10.6-billion East Coast Rail Link project which has been substantially discounted by the Chinese.

Bandar Malaysia, planned on a 197-hectare former air force base on the southern edge of Kuala Lumpur, was abruptly terminated in May 2017 amid the scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The project was originally started by the indebted state fund in 2011, but it later sold a 60-per cent stake to the consortium. The government then took over the 1MDB stake due to its debt problems.

The project, which will include offices, a park and 10,000 units of affordable homes, is expected to draw foreign direct investments and generate an expected gross development value of $33.4 billion.

“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,” Mahathir said, adding that tech giants such as Alibaba and Huawei have also signaled their interest to set up their ICT centers there.

Bandar Malaysia was also slated to become the country’s biggest transport hub, with the MRT line, KTM Komuter intercity trains and the airport’s Express Rail Link line converging there. The original plan had included a terminus for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail, which has been put on hold by the Mahathir administration.

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The Malaysian government said it will reinstate an idling multi-billion-dollar property project in Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Malaysia, which is backed by a Chinese state company. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the Cabinet had agreed to reinstate the development - expected to cost $33.8 billion - as a contribution to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative He said the project, in which the government owns 40 per cent, would be developed with the same consortium partners, Malaysian developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and China Railway Engineering Corp. It is the second mega-project that is being revived under Mahathir after he announced the...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia Revives Another Chinese-backed Mega-project

The Malaysian government said it will reinstate an idling multi-billion-dollar property project in Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Malaysia, which is backed by a Chinese state company. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the Cabinet had agreed to reinstate the development – expected to cost $33.8 billion – as a contribution to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative

He said the project, in which the government owns 40 per cent, would be developed with the same consortium partners, Malaysian developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and China Railway Engineering Corp.

It is the second mega-project that is being revived under Mahathir after he announced the resumption of the $10.6-billion East Coast Rail Link project which has been substantially discounted by the Chinese.

Bandar Malaysia, planned on a 197-hectare former air force base on the southern edge of Kuala Lumpur, was abruptly terminated in May 2017 amid the scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The project was originally started by the indebted state fund in 2011, but it later sold a 60-per cent stake to the consortium. The government then took over the 1MDB stake due to its debt problems.

The project, which will include offices, a park and 10,000 units of affordable homes, is expected to draw foreign direct investments and generate an expected gross development value of $33.4 billion.

“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,” Mahathir said, adding that tech giants such as Alibaba and Huawei have also signaled their interest to set up their ICT centers there.

Bandar Malaysia was also slated to become the country’s biggest transport hub, with the MRT line, KTM Komuter intercity trains and the airport’s Express Rail Link line converging there. The original plan had included a terminus for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail, which has been put on hold by the Mahathir administration.

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