Stricter conditions for Bandar Malaysia’s RFP, says chairman

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN

Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd will only choose companies with “great experience” or listed among the Fortune 500 companies to lead the Bandar Malaysia development, according to chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

Mohd Irwan said such criteria will be included in the request for proposal (RFP) for the Bandar Malaysia development, which is expected to be issued this week.

Mohd Irwan said various parties have expressed their interest to develop the multi-billion ringgit project on the site of the former Sungai Besi air base.

“We are going to issue the RFP this week. We will put certain conditions this time around (in appointing the master developer) — only companies with great experience and maybe those in the Fortune 500 list are allowed,” Mohd Irwan told reporters after the inauguration of ColossusINNO 2017 in Subang yesterday.

Mohd Irwan, who is also TRX City Sdn Bhd’s chairman, declined to comment on whether Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH), the former master developer for the project, is among the interested parties.

He said firms with intent in the RM12.35 billion project need to meet the strict conditions stipulated in the new agreement.

“If they meet that criteria, only then can they participate,” Mohd Irwan added.

On Dec 31, 2015, TRX City declared it had entered into an agreement with a joint-venture consortium comprising IWH and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC) to co-develop Bandar Malaysia.

The Johor-China consortium won development rights to the project with a RM7.42 billion bid, following its RM12.35 billion valuation of the entire 196.7ha land.

Less than a week into the agreement, then-owner of TRX City, 1Malaysia Development Bhd, issued a statement to iterate that IWH-CREC was to pay a 10% deposit of RM741 million upon the completion of the deal. It was reported that the consortium had deposited RM150 million when it was nominated to partner TRX City. However, the account was never made clear.

Two years on, TRX City announced that it was seeking fresh bidders to be the new master developer for Bandar Malaysia, following a lapsed arrangement with IWH-CREC.

TRX City claimed that the consortium failed to honour its payment obligations under the share sale agreement, despite being granted repeated extensions. In response, IWH-CREC said the group had pursued legal advice as the content of the termination notice issued by the former “did not reflect” the circumstances and conduct of the parties in the matter.

Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd — controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin — was reported to be in the lead position to be Bandar Malaysia’s new master developer.