ISKANDAR PUTERI, 16 May: The recently tanked Bandar Malaysia deal may have posed a loss for Johor but did not involve direct financial losses, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Addressing the state assembly sitting, today, Mohamed Khaled said state investment arm Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd (KPRJ) did not inject any funds into the deal.
He said KPRJ which has an interest in Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) had not borne any monetary cost in the failed deal as all costs were borne by IWH- China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), the consortium which attempted to purchase a 60% stake in the Bandar Malaysia project.
“As such, the issue involving funds of RM1.78 billion and RM178 million deposits being linked to KPRJ is inaccurate and completely false,” he said.
He also pointed out that IWH did not incur any losses as the deal had stipulated that any deposits paid would be returned if the cancellation was due to failure to fulfill any agreed terms.
“There is no issue involving financial losses to IWH, KPRJ or the state government due to the cancellation of the project.
“The deposit payment had been returned to IWH-CREC on May 9,” he added during his winding-up speech, today.
On May 3, the Finance Ministry, which owns Bandar Malaysia, said the deal with the IWH-CREC consortium had been called off due to purported unfulfilled payment obligations.
Following this, Skudai assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau filed an emergency motion to seek a debate on the potential impact of the botched deal on Johor and whether KPRJ got back what it paid in the deposit.
On another matter, Mohamed Khalid dismissed Opposition claims that individual holdings on Malay reserve land have lessened, stating that records have shown a yearly increase in land-hold.
Since 2008 to present, around 27,791.87 ha of Malay reserve land had been approved for residential and farming purposes.
He said in 2014, Malay reserve land ownership increase from 617 owners to 1,346 (2015), while an increase of 1,203 land owners was recorded last year.
— THE SUN