1. Over the past decade, Kuala Lumpur has taken its rightful place as one of the leading capitals of Asia. It is a city that brings together people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures, which attracts tourists from around the world, and increasingly serves as a regional and international business hub.
2. This is a result of our unwavering focus on economic development, and the significant investments we have made across infrastructure and transport, that together have had a marked impact on Kuala Lumpur. While we can all be proud of the city it is today, I have a bigger vision – of a city that is one of the leading capitals of the world, driving forward Malaysia’s national transformation.
3. Bandar Malaysia is key to this.
4. The biggest development site in Malaysia, in a key strategic position in our capital, it will become a new city centre for Kuala Lumpur – a vibrant new community for young people and families to live in, a thriving new centre for businesses both big and small, and a truly exciting new destination for those, including tourists, looking to enjoy the arts, culture and all Malaysia has to offer.
5. Rather than just office and residential towers, we want Bandar Malaysia to be a catalyst for fast-track economic development and employment, including the new KL Internet City – the key hub of the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone. We want to create an iconic development to drive tourism. And we want to create a transport nucleus for Malaysia, with Bandar Malaysia set to host the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore high speed rail, MRT lines, KTM Komuter, Airport Express Rail Link and twelve highways.
6. Given the importance of this project, it is critical that Bandar Malaysia has the right leadership, the right partners and the right ownership structure to ensure that its full potential is realised – to serve the people and the national interest.
7. To this end, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah – the Secretary General of Treasury – as the Chairman of both TRX City and Bandar Malaysia. He will head a team with overall responsibility for these projects and the monetisation of 1MDB’s remaining real estate assets. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the nation and the people benefit to the greatest extent possible, the Ministry of Finance will retain 100% ownership of Bandar Malaysia.
8. With these developments, the work of the Budiman Committee – which was established in 2015 to oversee the rationalization exercise of 1MDB – will come to an end.
9. TRX City and Bandar Malaysia will shortly be announcing a request for proposal (RFP) process, inviting expressions of interest for the role of master developer of Bandar Malaysia. Contrary to some erroneous reports, the termination of the previous agreement is final, and it will not be reinstated. The selection process for the master developer will involve very strict criteria, including a proven track record, speed of delivery, content creation, and the financial capability to deliver a project of this scale. The highest possible value will be sought to ensure that the best deal for the taxpayer is obtained.
10. I have full confidence that, under Tan Sri Irwan’s leadership, the prospects for and development of Bandar Malaysia will go from strength to strength.