NAJIB DIGS IN: AMID ACCUSATIONS OF DIRTY DEALING, PUTRAJAYA RETURNS RM786 MIL BANDAR MALAYSIA DEPOSIT TO IWH-CREC
PUTRAJAYA has returned RM785.9 million to the IWC-CREC consortium on Tuesday for the aborted Bandar Malaysia share sale agreement, in a sign of finality after the deal’s shock collapse last week.
The Malaysian Insight has sighted a lawyer’s document on the return of RM741 million deposit for the Bandar Malaysia shares and RM44.883 million interim payment for the Pangkalan Udara Kuala Lumpur (PUKL) relocation and redevelopment.
The payment was acknowledged on May 9 by IWH CREC Sdn Bhd (ICSB), the 40:60 joint venture between Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corporation.
“That puts an end to that deal. The government is free to proceed with others now,” a source told The Malaysian Insight. Ministry of Finance unit TRX City Sdn Bhd, which owns Bandar Malaysia, had terminated the December 2015 deal last week, saying ICSB had not paid up despite numerous extensions.
ICSB had disputed the TRX City version of events, and said it reserved all rights for further action.
IWH boss Lim Kang Hoo flew to Beijing this week to meet CREC officials and get Chinese government help to reinstate the RM7.41 billion deal for the 176ha development in Kuala Lumpur.
In a sign of his fall from grace, the MoF moved to withdraw all the incentives it gave Danga Bay, the waterfront development controlled by the self-made businessman.
Also in the pipeline are a review of his projects with the government.
Despite the deal collapse, Putrajaya is looking at proposals from other Chinese companies, with Singapore’s The Straits Times reporting this week that Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda is in the lead to bag Bandar Malaysia.
The MoF said any new deal is for master developer rights, with its unit TRX City remaining as sole owner of the land. The aborted deal with ICSB gave the consortium a 60% share of the land.
Prime Minister Najib Razak will fly to Beijing tomorrow to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation there from May 14 to 15. He is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the summit and discuss the Bandar Malaysia project.
Bandar Malaysia is one of a slew of projects being done with China, with others including the East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) and several port projects.
The Chinese are also keen to bid for the high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The terminus for the rail is to be in Bandar Malaysia.