Dalian Wanda’s interest in project welcomed
BEIJING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday officially declared Malaysia’s willingness to discuss the role of master developer for Bandar Malaysia with China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd.
“I hope there can be a favourable outcome based on mutually-accepted terms,” he said at a joint press conference with Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd founder Wang Jianlin at Sofitel Wanda Beijing Hotel here.
Present were Malaysian ministers and members of Wanda Group’s senior management.
This puts to rest speculation on the issue following the lapse of Bandar Malaysia’s development agreement with the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) consortium recently.
Najib thanked Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd, a multinational conglomerate founded by Wang, China’s richest man, for its interest in participating in the development of Bandar Malaysia.
“Your profound interest to do so reflects your confidence in the Malaysian economy and the future of the country.
“We have an opportunity to create something special in Malaysia. We want this to be iconic, not run-of-the mill.
“We believe Wanda can deliver something extraordinary and so imaginative that all Malaysians can be proud of,” he said, adding that it also needed to have great cultural value.
He said while there was no agreement or details yet, the Malaysian government would like to indicate its willingness to discuss the development of Bandar Malaysia with Wanda Group.
“We hope to have a successful conclusion.”
Najib said Wanda Group was an international name and a strong brand. Illustrating how strong it was, he said: “It is growing at 20 per cent a year. If it grows by 10 per cent, it is a bad year. If it grows by 30 per cent, it is an extraordinary year.”
Najib said because the group had achieved so much across so many fields, it could create something special in Bandar Malaysia.
At another press conference after meeting with Chinese premier Li Keqiang yesterday, Najib said Li assured him of China’s support for companies keen to invest in Malaysia as long as they were credible and financially strong.
“Whatever decision with regards to Wanda Group’s position will be referred to the Chinese government.”
Najib said that this did not mean that Wanda Group was the only party in the plan with regards to Bandar Malaysia.
“The formula would be different, but we will take into account the position of CREC as well as other groups who are interested.”
Wang said the group was committed to building the commercial centre in Malaysia. He said China and Malaysia were close partners and enjoyed economic ties.
Wanda Group, he said, has embarked on an international development path and, as such, it was important for it to invest in large real estate complexes overseas.
While the deal has not been finalised, Wang said he was optimistic.
TRX City Sdn Bhd had, on May 2, announced that the share sale agreement (SSA) signed with IWH and CREC on Dec 31, 2015, for the sale of a 60 per cent stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, had lapsed.
Subsequently, the IWH-CREC consortium, on July 21 last year, assigned its benefits and responsibilities to IWH CREC Sdn Bhd.
“This is because, despite repeated extensions being granted, IWH CREC failed to meet the payment obligations outlined in the conditions precedent under the SSA. As a result, the agreement between the parties stands null and void with immediate effect,” TRX City had said.
Bandar Malaysia, to be built at the site of the former Royal Malaysian Air Force Air Base in Sungai Besi, is expected to be a catalyst for economic growth and national development.
Deemed the biggest development site in Malaysia in a key strategic position, it will offer many business, investment and employment opportunities, including Kuala Lumpur Internet City, the hub for the new Digital Free Trade Zone (DTFZ).
It will also be a transport nucleus, with connections to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HighSpeed Rail line, MRT lines, KTM Komuter, Express Rail Link and 12 highways. By Chok Suat Ling
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd founder Wang Jianlin at a joint press conference in Beijing yesterday.