By NG MIN SHEN & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN
Bids for the multibillion ringgit Bandar Malaysia project will be evaluated by the board of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) soon. Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said the committee is expected to meet within the next couple of weeks to assess the offers made by eight separate entities.
“I was informed by the Treasury secretary general that there are eight companies who have expressed their interest. At the end of this month or early next month, the committee will have to sit down and go through the submissions individually,” Johari told reporters on the sidelines of Invest Malaysia 2017 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He, however, did not specify a deadline for the evaluation process, stating that the valuation committee needed time to look into the proposals.
The Singapore Straits Times reported that Putrajaya had received nine pitches from various Chinese and Japanese corporations, valued between US$7 billion (RM30 billion) and US$10.5 billion.
Those believed to be in contention include Tokyo’s Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd and Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd, as well as Beijing’s China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd, China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd, Greentown China Holdings Ltd, China Resources Holdings Co Ltd, China
Vanke Co Ltd and Australia’s John Holland Pty Ltd, which is owned by CCCC.
No local companies have been mentioned yet, despite claims of interests by Malton Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH). The latter has been heavily tipped to get a second chance at developing the 486-acre (196.7ha) land situated at the old Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Sungai Besi.
Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd — controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin — is also a noteworthy omission from the purported list, as it was considered as a frontrunner for the job.
Following the fallout of its initial deal with joint consortium IWH and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC), the government issued a request for proposal to seek a new master developer for Bandar Malaysia earlier this month.
The government had stressed that Bandar Malaysia’s master developer must be “a Fortune 500 company” with experience and a cumulative revenue of more than RM50 billion in the past three years.
In May, TRX City Sdn Bhd terminated the proposed 60% stake sale in Bandar Malaysia to IWH-CREC after it was reported that IWH-CREC failed to meet the payment obligations under the share sale agreement.
However, IWH-CREC have since denied the claim and said it had fulfilled all the required payment obligations under the agreement.
The Johor-China consortium won the development rights with a RM7.42 billion bid in 2015, following its RM12.35 billion valuation of the land.