Bandar Malaysia and the Underground City – a Thriving Metropolis
Bandar Malaysia, with an integrated mixed-use township that is almost 200ha in size, will house the country’s first underground city. This underground city project will not just be an attraction, but also a catalyst for bigger growth.
KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Nov – Montreal has one. The Canadian city houses an underground complex that is the largest in the world and it has shopping malls, train stations, apartments, condominiums, universities, and museums.
The Malaysian government is also planning the same for Kuala Lumpur’s Bandar Malaysia. This mixed-use township will cost RM160 million (US$36 billion) will take more than 25 years to build, but there is already excitement over the subterranean part of the project. This underground city will then be the largest in the world.
“It would change the landscape of Malaysia’s infrastructure going forward,” says economist Shan Saeed, who has 16 years of financial market. The underground city in Bandar Malaysia will include a shopping mall, canals, indoor theme parks, cultural villages, indoor gardens, and a financial centre.
“These projects would be a KL landmark not only for foreigners but also for international investors,” he adds. Saeed is the chief economist at IQI Holdings, a leading property and investment company operating and advising clients in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Toronto, and Dubai.
A top official from China Rail Group calls the underground city “a glittering gem” on the ambitious China Pan Asia rail network, One Belt One Road project.
The underground city will be part of the massive Bandar Malaysia project that will include the Kuala Lumpur terminal of the Malaysia- Singapore high-speed rail. It will also house the US$2-billion regional headquarters of the China Railway Group. It’s sister development Tun Razak Exchange will be 3km away and this is Kuala Lumpur’s leading centre for international finance and business.
Growth triggered by Bandar Malaysia
Saeed says: “I can foresee renewed interest in these projects from major international players. The new theme in the economic development is modern infrastructure has a direct correlation with GDP growth rate. “
A study shows that the growth and multiplier effect of such projects are huge. According to the study on the states in the United States, each dollar of infrastructure spending increased the states’ GDP by at least two dollars. The multiplier increases during a downturn. Infrastructure investments offer more value during busts than booms. In fact, government infrastructure spending has one of the highest fiscal multipliers among all types of fiscal stimulus measures.
Saeed adds: “The government has taken the strategic initiative in recent times that will benefit Malaysian people in the long run. Malaysia’s population can easily touch 35 million in the next five years. Growing population growth, economic confidence and strong aggregate demand provide a perfect case study on Malaysia’s growth story.”
Bandar Malaysia is projected to generate a GDV of RM150 billion (US$34 billion), according to the Kuala Lumpur-based investment research firm AmResearch Sdn Bhd. This is expected to boost the property market, job creation, foreign investments
A consortium comprising four local banks and four international banks with a combined asset base exceeding US$13 trillion has set up a new fund to finance the development of Bandar Malaysia. The international banks are the Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and HSBC, while the local ones are CIMB, Maybank, RHB, and Affin Bank.
The wheels are already in motion for the development of one of the biggest projects in the region. It can trigger a multiplier effect that can change the economic and business landscape of Malaysia and also that of Southeast Asia.