Putrajaya — the country's new administrative capital — cost about RM4.6 billion to develop, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dr Bernard Giluk Dompok told parliament today.
He was replying to a supplementary question from opposition member of parliament Husam Musa (PAS-Kubang Kerian) in the Dewan Rakyat this morning.
The minister said Putrajaya Holdings, the developer, have a paid-up capital of RM2.2 billion.
Husam had raised the question on the financial involvement of national oil company Petroliam, or Petronas, in the building of Putrajaya.
"From this total (RM2.2 billion), Petronas contributed a current equity of RM880 million," Dompok said.
He said Petronas' equity in Putrajaya Holdings will increase when its purchase of 537,000 shares amounting to RM666 million from Khazanah Holdings is completed.
Putrajaya Holdings was incorporated on Oct 19, 1995 to develop Malaysia's new administrative capital, which is located in the Multimedia Super Corridor, an area designated for information technology companies south of Kuala Lumpur.
Cash-rich Petronas has a 40 percent equity in the company. Other shareholders include the government investment funds, Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Syarikat Nominee Bumiputra Sdn Bhd.
Dompok added that the development of Putrajaya was justified because Malaysia needed a new administrative centre.
He was replying to another supplementary question by backbencher Dr Yusof Yacob (BN-Sipitang) who commented that the opposition had suggested that Putrajaya did not benefit the rakyat (people).
"In my opinion, the expense spent on this project is justified to sustain the centre of a modern country," Dompok said.
He added that parliamentarians will have the tendency to question the projects initiated by the government because they are responsible to their constituencies and wanted to be seen as doing their job in keeping the government in check.
Putrajaya is designed to be the country's first 'Intelligent Garden City' where buildings and houses are networked by sophisticated communications system.
Various ministries and governmental agencies are already operating in Putrajaya which is still being developed.
Critics have however questioned the project's high cost as well as the necessity for a new administrative capital and the grandiose buildings that dot the sprawling terrain that was once mostly oil palm plantations and jungle.
Opposition party PAS had once said it would put Putrajaya up for sale if it ever came to power.