Frankly Speaking: Details on Bandar Malaysia, please

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on April 22, 2019 - April 28, 2019.
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As the saying goes, there are two sides to a coin. The revival of the Bandar Malaysia project could be viewed positively or negatively, depending on where one stands. Under the original plan, the 486-acre development in Sungai Besi was to house the terminus of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR). Although the statement from the Prime Minister’s Office did not mention the HSR, it does say that Bandar Malaysia will be a transit-oriented development that will optimise residential, business and leisure space.

The project is expected to have a GDV of RM140 billion, draw major international financial institutions, multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies, and have a major multiplier effect.

It is likely to be years in the making, but the powers that be should consider the current property market. Even if the HSR project is revived eventually, property will remain a key element of Bandar Malaysia. Will the city be able to absorb the supply of real estate in the pipeline? The good news is, the PMO’s statement assures that the development will be people-centric, and include a People’s Park and 10,000 units of affordable homes, bumiputera participation and priority for the use of local content in its construction.

Still, for the sake of transparency, the government and project developer IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd must reveal more details of the plan for Bandar Malaysia as soon as possible.

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