SI: Malaysia launching mega-project in Negeri Sembilan

PUTRAJAYA • Even with question marks hovering over his Bandar Malaysia township project, Prime Minister Najib Razak witnessed the signing ceremony to appoint master planners for an even bigger development, the Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV), in Negeri Sembilan on Thursday.

The first phase of the township project covers 11,000ha of land – 22 times the size of Sentosa island.

The development is slated to be officially launched in the third quarter of this year.

The entire project will cover an area of 153,000ha – roughly twice the size of Singapore – encompassing the Seremban and Port Dickson districts near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and beside the administrative capital, Putrajaya.

The MVV development is roughly an hour’s drive from downtown Kuala Lumpur.

A model of the proposed Bandar Malaysia development. The 197ha project, located at the edge of downtown Kuala Lumpur, is to house the terminus station for the high-speed railway from Singapore and become the country’s biggest transport hub.

The MVV’s masterplan, as revealed by the New Straits Times daily yesterday, is akin to the huge tracts of land and ambitious ideas that were unveiled in Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, which is today reeling from an over-building glut.

Datuk Seri Najib said the MVV will be developed into five clusters: a central business district, a “nature city”, an education and technology valley, a tourism and wellness precinct and residential estates.

Trying to drum up interest, Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan said that, while homes in the neighbouring Greater Kuala Lumpur are becoming more and more expensive, the MVV will offer those with affordable prices.

“People cannot afford to buy homes in Kuala Lumpur but, in MVV, we will ensure that there is affordable housing,” NST quoted him as saying.

“Like it or not, in 10 or 15 years’ time, KL and Seremban will be one entity. Like how Klang has evolved to be part of KL,” Datuk Seri Mohamad said.

PM Najib touted the development’s capacity to attract more than RM290 billion (S$93.9 billion) in investments and create 1.38 million job opportunities.

“MVV is a planned, smart and inclusive development to ensure all segments of society reap the benefits of this development,” he said. “Although MVV aspires to be developed as a modern metropolis, the needs of the public at all levels will be taken into account,” NST quoted him as saying.

The federal government has allocated RM560 million to build road connections in the MVV area, Mr Najib said.

Two government-linked property companies and a retirement fund – Sime Darby Properties, Brunsfield Development and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan – signed agreements to become master planners in the development on Thursday.

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