Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Treasurer-General Tan Sri Irwan Serigar’s continued stalling over decision to appoint Bandar Malaysia master developer exposes that Ministry of Finance has not received any firm bids for the project

Ministry of Finance (MOF) Treasurer-General and Bandar Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Irwan Serigar continued to ask Malaysians to wait and see for the outcome of Bandar Malaysia’s call for a new master developer. When launching online radio station eFM yesterday, Irwan told reporters to “wait, the time will come,” when asked about the status of Bandar Malaysia’s call.

The call for a master developer followed the collapse of the RM7.41 billion deal with a consortium led by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) to acquire a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia. Following that collapse, Bandar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., the wholly-owned MOF Inc. company and former 1MDB subsidiary, announced that it was going to be opening a tender for a master developer for the Bandar Malaysia project.

The new tender was going to include more stringent criteria including that the developer needed to be an affiliate of a Fortune 500 company and needed to have cumulatively generated RM50 billion in revenue in the last 3 consecutive years.

When the RFP was first announced in May, the new Bandar Malaysia chairman and MoF Secretary-General Irwan Serigar Abdullah said that the RFP deadline would close on June 30 and the final decision would be made by July 14.

On August 23, Tan Sri Irwan said that 6 companies had ‘expressed interest’ and had visited the site. “We took them for a site visit and they need to submit their proposal by the end of this month,” he said.

The Malaysian Reserve then reported on October 31 that Tan Sri Irwan said the announcement for the master developer would be “coming soon, coming soon”.

On November 8, I had asked the Minister of Finance to state how many companies had submitted finalised proposals for the re-tender of the Bandar Malaysia project, how many of those companies were Fortune 500 companies and when the tender decision would be announced.

He again merely responded that 8 companies which had met the criteria had “expressed their interest” in becoming the master developer.

It has now become quite obvious that since June this year, the only progress we have made is purportedly 6 to 8 companies have “expressed interest” in Bandar Malaysia despite a decision which was to be “made by July 14”.

We call upon Tan Sri Irwan Serigar to confirm if in fact, there have been no firm bids tabled by any so-called Fortune 500 company to acquire and develop Bandar Malaysia, especially not at the astronomical price demanded by the Ministry of Finance.

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