Malaysia has received nine pitches from Chinese and Japanese entities to develop the multi-billion ringgit Bandar Malaysia property development project, reported Singapore's Straits Times today.
The report, quoting senior government sources, said the seven state-controlled Chinese companies are China State Construction Engineering, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), China Gezhouba Group, Greentown Overseas, China Resources, China Vanke and Australia's John Holland, which is wholly owned by CCCC, while the two Japanese giants are Daiwa House Industry Group and Mitsui Fudosan.
All the companies have submitted proposals to become the master developer for the Bandar Malaysia development project, added the report.
The project, owned by embattled state investment fund 1MDB, was initially awarded to China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) and Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) for RM7.4 billion, in December 2015.
However, the deal collapsed last May when it was announced that the consortium had failed to meet key conditions of the transaction, including securing the necessary approvals from the Chinese government and providing proof that the necessary funding for the project was available, despite various extensions of deadlines.
The consortium had then called the unilateral cancellation of contract as "unacceptable".
It was then that Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda Group was mentioned as a prospective party to develop Bandar Malaysia.
According to Straits Times, senior government officials acknowledged that there were preliminary talks with Wanda on the matter, but the Malaysian government later decided to widen its options and call for international proposals for the project.
Chinese and Japanese companies bidding for the project are betting that the successful bidder in the project will stand a better chance of securing a major role in the KL-Singapore high-speed rail project, as Bandar Malaysia is to house the terminal for the rail project, said the report.
Government officials and financial consultants involved in the project told the daily that while Chinese and Japanese entities have been actively lobbying in the past year, Beijing and its companies have been the most aggressive.
Malaysia has already signed an RM55 billion contract with China to build the East Coast Rail Line - a 620km electrified rail network running from Port Klang in Selangor to Tumpat, Kelantan.
The rail project is part of China's One Belt, One Road global infrastructure development initiative.