KUALA LUMPUR: The relocation of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Sungai Besi airbase has started and is expected to be completed by end-2016, said the master developer of Bandar Malaysia, 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (1MDB RE), a wholly-owned unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Also known as the Kuala Lumpur Airbase by most military personnel or Sg Besi old airport by locals, the defence facility located in Jalan Lapangan Terbang Lama has been earmarked by the government to be relocated to different sites throughout the country to make way for the development of the 198ha Bandar Malaysia.
1MDB RE has been tasked with developing these sites for the RMAF, Royal Artillery Regiment (31 RAD) and the air wing of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).
“The Bandar Malaysia development will be located at the current Pangkalan Udara Kuala Lumpur (RMAF) in Sungai Besi.
“(Thus) the construction of Bandar Malaysia is expected to start in 2017, following the completion of the current base relocation to eight different sites around the country,” said 1MDB RE in an email reply to The Edge Financial Daily yesterday, when asked whether it was facing any setbacks either financially or logistically over the development of Bandar Malaysia.
1MDB RE said the RMAF will be relocated to five sites — Subang in Selangor, Kuantan in Pahang, Sendayan in Negeri Sembilan, Butterworth in Penang and Gong Kedak in Terengganu.
PDRM will be relocated to Subang in Selangor and Ipoh in Perak, while the 31 RAD will be relocated to Kajang in Selangor, it said.
Currently, the facility in Ipoh has already begun operations, said 1MDB RE, with the rest expected to be completed by the end of 2016. It is understood that the police and 31 RAD are lodger units at the RMAF airbase.
1MDB RE said it is working closely with turnkey contractor Perbadanan Perwira Harta Malaysia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lembaga Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) for the construction of these facilities.
“The relocation work involves acquisition of selected pieces of land, design, development, plan approvals, construction, provision of related equipment and financing,” it said.
However, 1MDB RE did not provide any details on the location of these pieces of land nor the identity of the landowners involved in the acquisition.
When asked how 1MDB RE is looking to finance the relocation and construction of these facilities, it said that it had raised the funding through a 10-year sukuk murabahah programme with a nominal value of RM2.4 billion.
The process of request for proposal (RFP) has started with a call for expression of interest by CH Williams Talhar & Wong, which is managing the RFP for Bandar Malaysia.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 3, 2015.