Minister denies Bandar Malaysia now under Chinese firms’ control

Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan says claims that 60 per cent of the Bandar Malaysia land was sold to Chinese firms are misleading. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan says claims that 60 per cent of the Bandar Malaysia land was sold to Chinese firms are misleading. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 ― Claims that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) sold the majority of Bandar Malaysia land to Chinese firms are misleading and inaccurate, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said today.

“In terms of equity, Malaysians still own 76 per cent of Bandar Malaysia even after the sale. So to say 60 per cent of the equity was sold to Chinese firms is misleading,” he said during a press conference at the Parliament.

Abdul Rahman was responding to claims by former Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal that the sale meant relinquishing control of prime land in Kuala Lumpur to Chinese firms.

The RM7.41 billion deal saw 1MDB dispose of a 60-per cent stake in Bandar Malaysia to Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC).

But Abdul Rahman argued that IWH, which holds a 36 per cent stake in the consortium with CREC, is controlled by a Malaysian businessman and the Johor state government.

“I am disappointed that (Shafie’s) arguments are based on emotion and not facts,” Abdul Rahman said.

He also said that the decision by 1MDB to allow the buying consortium to only make payments for the sale in 2020 as a “willing buyer, willing seller” situation.

He also said that fears that the deal might go sour before the payments are made are merely “assumptions”.