Dalian Wanda’s in­ter­est in project wel­comed

New Straits Times - - News -

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

BER­NAMA PIC

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak with Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd founder Wang Jian­lin at a joint press con­fer­ence in Bei­jing yes­ter­day.

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