The government of Malaysia has said it plans to resurrect Bandar Malaysia, the country’s biggest ever real estate development, which it terminated in May 2017 after a dispute with a consortium made up of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC).
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday that his cabinet had agreed to reinstate the $34bn scheme, which will give Kuala Lumpur 200ha of shopping mall, canals, 10,000 affordable homes, theme parks, cultural villages, a financial centre and CREC’s own $2bn regional headquarters.
He added that it would be "a significant contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative, which Malaysia expects to be able to tap [into] and exploit its multiplier effects along the value chain".
It was originally designed to house the northern terminus of the high-speed rail line connecting Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, which would cut travel time between the cities to 90 minutes, but that project remains suspended.
Mahathir said Bandar Malaysia, which is 40% owned by the government, would be developed with the same consortium partners, and would boost urban development and attract companies working in finance and technology.
The scheme was started by state investment fund 1MDB in 2011. It later sold a 60% stake to the consortium, after which the Malaysian government took over 1MDB’s stake.
It comes a week after Malaysia reinstated the China-backed East Coast Rail Link project after the Chinese contractor agreed to cut the construction cost by one third to $11bn.
Image: Artist’s render of the planned 200ha Bandar Malaysia business district in Kuala Lumpur (TRX City)