Why did Putrajaya dither over Bandar Malaysia deal?

Why did Putrajaya dither over Bandar Malaysia deal?

NEWS that Putrajaya has moved to take control of the ambitious Bandar Malaysia raises a clutch of questions, chief among them: why did the Ministry of Finance or the finance minister wait so long to pull the plug on this deal with Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Cooperation (CREC) that has been going nowhere for a long time.

Government officials said the Sino-Malaysian consortium failed to pay RM7.42 billion for the 60% stake ?despite being given more than 10 extensions from December 2015.

The MOF or Finance Minister Najib Razak will be under pressure to explain the reason the consortium was given such leeway and why due diligence conducted before the deal with IWH-CREC did not raise flags over their financial ability to undertake such a massive property development.

IWH-CREC had signed the deal with project owner 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) on December 31, 2015, and was to complete the transaction by June 2016, which was the third and final rationalisation plan to settle 1MDB’s outstanding debt.

Troubled 1MDB embarked on a three-legged rationalisation plan that began in June 2015, beginning with a share swap deal with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and the sale of its energy assets Edra Global Energy to a Chinese firm in November 2015.

The share swap with IPIC resulted in a dispute that was settled last week.

But yesterday’s cancellation of the deal with IWH-CREC raises the question on the health of 1MDB’s rationalisation plan as well the potential fallout with the state government of Johor, a substantial shareholder in the consortium.

In the Bandar Malaysia deal, the IWH-CREC consortium had valued the 197ha land parcel at RM12.35 billion. IWH-CREC is a 60:40 joint venture between IWH and CREC with the Johor government owning 40% of IWH through Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd.

Will Bandar Malaysia’s owner, Putrajaya unit TRX City Sdn Bhd (TRXCSB), forfeit the consortium’s RM741 million deposit? Or return any portion back? Will the termination affect the consortium partners’ ability to bid for other government projects in Malaysia?

As it is, the IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd joint venture (ICSB) has said it is consulting legal opinion over the termination and would make further announcements if necessary.

Why did Putrajaya dither over Bandar Malaysia deal?
4 May 2017 – Malaysian Insight


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