An opposition lawmaker today questioned whether the government has really yet to receive any firm bids to acquire and develop the Bandar Malaysia project.

In a statement, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said the question was raised based on treasurer-general Irwan Serigar’s “continued stalling” over the decision to appoint the master developer for Bandar Malaysia, more than four months after the final decision was supposed to have been made.

“It has now become quite obvious that since June this year, the only progress we have made is that purportedly, six to eight companies have expressed interest in Bandar Malaysia, despite a decision which was to be made by July 14,” Pua said in quoting Irwan’s previous statements on the project’s status.

“We call upon Tan Sri Irwan Serigar to confirm if, in fact, there have been no firm bids tabled by any so-called Fortune 500 company to acquire and develop Bandar Malaysia, especially not at the astronomical price demanded by the Ministry of Finance,” he stressed.

Pua was responding to Irwan, who said yesterday that “the time will come” for a press conference on the Bandar Malaysia master developer.

Pressed further on when the press conference would be held, Irwan (photo) further said: “Wait, I will come back.”

Putrajaya’s original plan for Bandar Malaysia involved selling off a 60 percent stake in the project to the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) consortium.

However, the deal was called off after the consortium allegedly failed to meet the payment schedule.

Following this, a fresh Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued in June.

Irwan, who is also the TRX City and Bandar Malaysia chairperson, was last reported on Oct 31 as saying that an announcement on this matter will be “coming soon”.

He was also reported saying in August that six companies had shown interest to be the master developer for the multi-billion ringgit Bandar Malaysia development project and that they would submit their proposals by the end of the same month.

Before that, Irwan had said that the deadline to submit proposals to be the master developer was June 30, 2017. He also said then that the final decision on the master developer would be made by July 14.

Among the criteria set for companies intending to become the master developer are that they must be a Fortune 500 company, have a cumulative revenue over three years of RM50 billion from the entire value chain of real estate and associated business, and have experience in international real estate development projects.

– M’kini