Bandar Malaysia is an urban redevelopment project on the Sungai Besi Airport site in Kuala Lumpur. The 486-acre site will include commercial and residential buildings as well as being a major transport hub. Bandar Malaysia will be the terminal station for the Singapore-KL HSR, and will have connections with Mass Rapid Transit and commuter railways, effectively making it a second central railway station (after KL Sentral).
The proposed high-speed rail line will connect Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in 90 minutes, making it a faster alternative to air travel between the two cities. A new business district next to the station will make it a sought-after address for businesses, and companies such as Alibaba and Huawei have expressed an interest in basing themselves there. Bandar Malaysia will also be home to an estimated 220,000 people.
Sungai Besi Airport (also known as Sempang Airport) was the airport of Kuala Lumpur from 1952 to 1965 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) before being moved to Subang International Airport. The current Kuala Lumpur International Airport opened in 1998. The airport was then used by the Royal Malaysian Air Force, and it ceased operations on 16 March 2018.
[Sungai Besi Airport. Image Source.]
This enormous parcel of land close to the city centre offers a rare opportunity to build a landmark new urban area.
Plans to redevelop the site were announced in May 2011 by Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak. The project was delayed as it was caught up in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. After years of delays the project was revived in 2019.
Sungai Besi Airport is south of the city centre, but being a former air force its not connected with many road links. You can get a good view of the site and how close it is to the city centre from the airport express train. A few minutes before arrival at KL Sentral look out your window to the right and you will see the work site.
[Bandar Malaysia – 30/01/20.]
MyHSR Corporation Sdn. Bhd. – Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail. This project was postponed by the new Malaysian government in 2018 pending further investigation of the cost.
Putrajaya Line (previously known as Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line) – This new MRT line will include Bandar Malaysia North and Bandar Malaysia South (both underground). The south station will be the main interchange station, and from there its only a few stops from the two other biggest business districts in KL: Tun Razak Exchange, and KLCC.
Express Rail Link (ERL) (proposed). The current express railway that connects the airport to KL Sentral passes by the Bandar Malaysia site, so it would just be a matter of building a new station on the current line.
KTM ETS (proposed).
KTM Komuter Seremban Line (proposed).
Official Links and Resources
Masterplan Competition Entrants
Visuals and images are artist impressions.
Finance minister: Unity govt to take over Bandar Malaysia project – [13/10/23]
“By taking over the previously cancelled Bandar Malaysia project, the unity government will ensure strategic land is best utilised for projects for the people based on Madani values, said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today.”
Bandar Malaysia heads for revival – [29/09/22]
“The soon-to-be-revived Bandar Malaysia project could be a shot in the arm for Malaysia, at a time when the economy is forecast to hit a soft patch.”
UAE invited to participate in Bandar Malaysia, says PM – [27/09/22]
“The United Arab Emirates has been invited to participate in the soon-to-be-revived Bandar Malaysia project, says the Prime Minister.”
Give Bandar Malaysia and other projects to EPF, says Najib – [01/11/21]
“The government should give Bandar Asean (formerly Bandar Malaysia) to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to help it replenish its funds, Najib Razak said today.”
Bandar Malaysia revival hinges on sustainable economic recovery – [28/07/21]
“Property analysts believe the Bandar Malaysia project could resume once there is a clear path to sustainable economic recovery to support new demand and expansion of existing businesses.”
Loss of Bandar Malaysia deal not end of the world, economist says – [18/07/21]
“The collapse of the RM7.41 billion Bandar Malaysia deal is not a bad development in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is of greater urgency for the government, an economist said.”
Hiatus for Bandar Malaysia project – [16/07/21]
“It is back to the drawing board for the mammoth multi-billion ringgit Bandar Malaysia project, which experts believe will be resuscitated at a later date.”
Bandar Malaysia stake sale deal lapsed – [15/07/21]
“THE Bandar Malaysia development project appears to have stalled after the restated and amended share sale agreement (Rassa) for the sale of 60% shares in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (BMSB) to IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd (ICSB) lapsed on May 6, 2021.”
Malaysia’s $1.8 bln mega project with China Railway falls through – [15/07/21]
“An equity deal for a planned mega project near Malaysia’s capital involving the government, developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and its Chinese partner will not proceed by mutual agreement, the parties said in a joint statement.”
HSR axing to derail prospect built around Bandar Malaysia project – [05/01/21]
“Property projects within the vicinity of Bandar Malaysia are likely to come under threat from the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur (KL)-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR).”
Bandar Malaysia Development to start with a settlement of RM1.24 billion – [19/10/20]
“Bandar Malaysia development is now ready to take off with the settlement of the RM1.24 billion payment paid by IWH-CREC, a joint venture between Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and China Railway Engineering Corp.”
Bandar Malaysia to start with over 12 world-class towers worth RM10 billion in 2021 – [22/09/20]
“The developers for Bandar Malaysia said they will build more than 12 world-class towers with a gross floor area of over 12 million square feet in Phase 1 of South East Asia’s largest development project.”
Bandar Malaysia – a city of two tales – [18/09/20]
Development of RM140 billion Bandar Malaysia begins – [15/09/20]
Malaysians must build Bandar Malaysia – [23/12/19]
Bandar Malaysia to include HSR – [18/12/19]
Builder of ex-1MDB project IWH weighs IPO as early as 2020 – [03/12/19]
“Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn. is considering an initial public offering as early as next year, partly to help fund the $33.5 billion Bandar Malaysia project, according to people with knowledge of the matter.”
SOM-designed masterplan for Bandar Malaysia aims for dense and sustainable urban living – [12/08/19]
“Chicago-headquartered global architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), and Spanish practice Eftalia Proios, have designed the masterplan of the new urban center Bandar Malaysia, a project that was recently revived, albeit with changes to the initial plan. It aims to promote the sustainability of Kuala Lumpur by becoming one of the densest developments in the world. It is expected to be completed by 2025.”
Bandar Malaysia back online – [29/04/19]
RMAF bids farewell to Sungai Besi base – [15/03/18]
Bandar Malaysia in turmoil as government cancels development deal – [10/05/17]
“Malaysia’s biggest real estate project, Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, was in turmoil last week after the government canceled without warning a deal with its Chinese-Malaysian master developer, citing repeated failure to meet payment obligations.”
Japan to gain from Bandar Malaysia deal collapse – [05/05/17]
Bandar Malaysia set to take shape, with initial $3.2b funding – [06/03/17]
“Malaysia is set to break ground on its largest real estate development, the multibillion-dollar Bandar Malaysia project that will showcase the country’s growing economic ties with China.”
Bandar Malaysia | The New Silk Road – [25/10/16]
World’s largest underground city planned for Bandar Malaysia – [25/10/16]
“The China Railway Group is planning to build the world’s largest underground city in Bandar Malaysia, which will serve as the centerpiece for its China Pan Asia rail network”.
Bandar Malaysia JV secures funding – [17/06/16]
“The Bandar Malaysia Fund will accelerate the development of the major city centre project, which has a gross development value of RM200bil and will be built over 15 to 25 years, according to Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) group executive vice-chairman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo.”
China Railway discloses details of stake buy – [05/01/16]
“China Railway Group Ltd said the company and its joint-venture partner Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd (IWH) will pay a combined RM5.28bil for their controlling 60% equity interest in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd.”
1MDB to sell 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia for RM7.41bil – [31/12/15]
“1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will sign a share sale and purchase agreement to sell 60% of its equity in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd to a consortium for RM7.41bil, the final milestone in its rationalisation plan.”
12 companies submit proposals to bid Bandar Malaysia project – [01/09/15]
“A total of 12 companies have submitted proposals for the final stage of evaluation to participate as development partners in the 486-acre (196.67ha) Bandar Malaysia project in Sungai Besi.”
Consortium to build Bandar Malaysia – [27/06/15]
“Property consultancy CH Williams Talhar & Wong says Bandar Malaysia will likely be developed by a consortium of developers.”
RM1.6b for Sg Besi relocation works – [12/11/14]
“1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) cost to relocate the existing occupants in Sungei Besi Airport is RM1.6bil, according to the annual report.”
Site in Sungai Besi chosen for high-speed railway station – [08/04/14]
“Bandar Malaysia in Sungai Besi has been chosen as the site for the country’s terminal for the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) link service.”
Six vying to be Bandar Malaysia designer instead of five – [17/05/12]
“As many as six finalists have been chosen in the Bandar Malaysia International Design Competition to select the best Master Plan for the new sustainable city.”
Bandar Malaysia @ Sungai Besi – [15/01/12]
An early promotional video from 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad).
Sendayan is new site for air force base – [29/05/11]
1Malaysia Development picks project partners – [19/07/10]
“1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the agency tasked to develop most of the government land, is identifying partners to draw up a masterplan for its Bandar Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) projects in the city.”