Bandar Malaysia is looking for a new master developer. Any takers?

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Non-Fortune 500 companies need not apply

Artist’s impression of Bandar Malaysia. Image credit: Tun Razak Exchange

The Malaysian Ministry of Finance opened yesterday a request for proposals (RFP) to develop the stalled Bandar Malaysia project, envisioned as the country’s new transport nucleus.

The project, which will cover the terminus of a 350-kilometre high-speed rail (HSR) line linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as well as numerous MRT lines and highways, calls for a new master developer following the pullout of China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) in May from the project.

Proposals are subject to a rigid set of qualifications, with one criterion stipulating that eligible companies must be part of the Fortune 500 list.

“They must have experience and the cumulative revenue of the company must be above RM50 billion,” Finance Ministry secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah revealed at the RHB Regional Conference 2017 on “One Belt, One Road, One Asia.”

More: 10 things to know about Transit Oriented Developments in Malaysia

The minister, who is also chairman of Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, disclosed that the RFP is open to foreign developers, provided they can meet a certain “local content” requirement.

“The proposer also must be able to demonstrate how their (plan) focuses and places emphasis on the key themes of serving people and the national interest of Malaysia,” according to a statement from the ministry issued in June.

Companies from China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea are likely to bid for the project, economist Hoo Ke Ping told Free Malaysia Today. ““Companies from the United States might not come in because of the civil action by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to recover money said to be from stolen from 1MDB. Singapore companies might not come in too because 1MDB’s dirty linen is being washed in Singapore.”

TRX City, the land-holding company previously known as 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd, earlier voided the planned 60 percent share sale agreement with IWH CREC, CREC’s consortium with Malaysian developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd, for its inability to meet payment obligations despite repeated extensions. The consortium has since disavowed the accusation.

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