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Thursday, 6 July 2017

(The Edge Financial Daily) RFP process for Bandar Malaysia master developer role now open

BY AHMAD NAQIB IDRIS

KUALA LUMPUR: The request for proposal (RFP) process to select the master developer for the RM12.35 billion Bandar Malaysia project was opened yesterday.

Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who is also chairman of TRX City Sdn Bhd and Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, said some parties have already requested further details.

“We are opening [the RFP] today (yesterday). The criterion is that it must be a Fortune 500 company.

They must have experience and the cumulative revenue of the company must be above RM50 billion,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the RHB Regional Conference 2017 on “One Belt, One Road, One Asia” yesterday.

Covering an area of 196.7ha, Bandar Malaysia, which is located in Sungai Besi, is five times the area of Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

He said the Bandar Malaysia project is open to foreign developers but added that there is a local content requirement.

Earlier in his opening speech, Mohd Irwan urged financial institutions in Malaysia to change their mindset and embrace the wave of technological change or risk becoming irrelevant in the future.

He noted that banks in China, for example, are already embracing new technologies while those in Malaysia are still hesitant to adopt new fintech solutions.

“Malaysian banks need to embrace technology. I’ve talked with some of the companies in China and they’re already talking about cryptocurrency, blockchain and new payment systems.

“But here in Malaysia, things are not changing as fast,” he said.

From his previous discussions with the local banks, Mohd Irwan said the institutions still seemed unsure, adding that Bank Negara Malaysia is also taking a cautionary stance when it comes to adopting new technology.

“There are many ways to overcome the challenges. Things are changing and if we don’t change, we will become irrelevant. That’s my caution,” he said.

He added that banks should not be too picky in selecting investments, as high returns on investment (ROIs) are challenging to come by in current times.

“Gone are the days where you could get ROIs of 20% to 30%. ROIs are averaging already, so if you can get returns of 10% to 14%, grab them.

Don’t be too picky,” he said.

Mohd Irwan also said Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and fintech companies need to step up their game as well, especially with the upcoming Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), which is a joint project between Malaysia and China’s Alibaba Group Ltd.

While foreign investment is welcomed to the DFTZ, he said local players must also be prepared for Malaysia to retain its importance in the project.

“Our local players, SMEs and fintechs, they must be prepared. We must have our presence in the DFTZ, if not Alibaba will just bulldoze us.

“We must be careful and it must be a win-win situation,” he said. The one-day RHB Regional Conference 2017, whose main focus was on infrastructure development and investment opportunities within Asean, saw more than 200 delegates.

“The One Belt, One Road initiative offers strong investment prospects to those countries along the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and ocean-going 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. We also believe strongly that the China-Malaysia model can be the template for future investments under this initiative,” said RHB Banking Group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli.