According to media intelligence, the issue of affordable housing in Malaysia started to pick up again in October 2019. It was due to the tabling of Budget 2020 by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
During the tabling, it was announced that the government will revive the project by doubling its affordable housing units from 5,000 to 10,000.
In addition, Guan Eng promised that the participation of Bumiputra contractors in the development project will increase.
Based on data collected, it is noticeable that the media exposure of Bandar Malaysia peaked back in April 2019.
Then, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hinted that the development project in Kuala Lumpur will be reinstated.
The Bandar Malaysia project was first announced by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2011, which was to be developed by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In 2015, 1MDB sold a 60% stake of Bandar Malaysia to the consortium IWC-CREC Sdn Bhd (ICSB), which comprised of Malaysia’s Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd and China’s China Railway Engineering Sdn Bhd.
However, the project was cancelled in 2017 after ICSB failed to meet the payment obligation announced by the Ministry of Finance.
Tun Mahathir explained that Bandar Malaysia was revived because preliminary works on the development project was done by a local company, not a Chinese company.
He added that Bandar Malaysia would have a significant impact on Malaysia’s economy by becoming a global hub for international companies.
The project also aims to attract Fortune 500 companies to locate their regional headquarters in Bandar Malaysia.
Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah added that the bilateral relation between Malaysia and China has been improving as two mega-projects involving both countries were reinstated, East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Bandar Malaysia.
On the other hand, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali announced that Bandar Malaysia would not be receiving government funding, instead it would be driven by the private sector.
Those statements were made in April. The project was officially revived through the tabling of Budget 2020, but the project details have yet to be elaborated. Will Bandar Malaysia still be fully funded by the private sector?