1MDB inks deals to kickstart Bandar Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has signed several agreements that will pave the way for the development of Bandar Malaysia, a mixed property project, on the site of the old Sungai Besi airport land.

In a statement yesterday, 1MDB said it had signed a sale and purchase agreement with the Federal Land Commissioner for the transfer of the 495-acre (200ha) former air base land to 1MDB.

1MDB also signed an agreement with Negri Sembilan’s Menteri Besar Inc for the acquisition of 750 acres of land in Sendayan, near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The Sendayan site has been earmarked as the site for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) new base.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was recently quoted as saying that 1MDB would need to complete the construction of the new military air base in Sendayan before it can commence redevelopment of the Sungai Besi land.

Additionally, 1MDB yesterday also signed a master relocation agreement with the Ministry of Defence and the Home Ministry to develop eight replacement sites.

1MDB said Bandar Malaysia is envisioned to be a mixed development comprising residential, commercial and recreational spaces as well as institutions of higher education.

“Bandar Malaysia aims to promote livability as a distinctive character of Greater Kuala Lumpur,” said 1MDB.

1MDB, which will act as Bandar Malaysia’s master developer, has selected the Qatar Investment Authority as its main partner for the project.

1MDB is also expected to enter into partnerships with local developers for portions of the project.

The Sungai Besi air base is said to be one of the last major tracts of land located near the Kuala Lumpur city centre, an attractive site for a large scale inner city development project.

Apart from Bandar Malaysia, 1MDB is also in the midst of planning the RM26 billion development of the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) project along Jalan Tun Razak.

1MDB will partner Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala group to develop the KLIFD which will have office blocks, retail space, residential buildings and a university.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, June 16, 2011.