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International Competition for Development of Sg. Besi Airbase – Let’s do it right and make it public transport friendly!

TRANSIT took note of this article which announces that the Development of Sg. Besi airbase is moving forward with an invitation for proposals for the Malaysia City development.

Most of the project will be used for a mix of commercial and lifestyle amenities. Planners have been invited to participate in a pre-qualification & competition with information at

Proposals invited for Malaysia City (The Star, 21 October 2011)

PETALING JAYA: Proposals have been invited for the main plan design of Malaysia City, a development at the former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) air base in Sungei Besi.

The proposal to take part in the pre-qualification of the main plan must be sent to the Malaysian Institute of Planners office in Plaza Kelana Jaya before 4pm on Nov 15.

The main developer for the 196ha site is 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Malaysia City is envisioned to become a new landmark within Greater Kuala Lumpur. It will include a commercial area, residences and lifestyle amenities.

For more information, call to 03-7877 0637/636, email or visit


For TRANSIT the priority is simple – better public transport and transport-oriented development making practical use of the existing site.

As you can see from this map of Sg. Besi from the KL City 2020 Draft Local Plan, the former TUDM (RMAF) lands are a huge development at 196 hectares. Unfortunately the development is also isolated by the KL-Seremban Highway (SE), Jalan Istana (NE) and the railways (SW). This development must be well-connected to public transport and cannot be served by cars alone. Indeed, TRANSIT wants to see links to KTM Komuter and the KLIA Transit service (located to the South West), as well as a Bus Rapid Transit system along the KL-Seremban Highway and Jalan Sg. Besi leading directly up to KL.

And by the way, take a look at the Location Map, which is also a map showing the high-density areas of Kuala Lumpur. And as you look, ask why there has been no plan for development of rapid transit along Jalan Klang Lama and Jalan Puchong (which are extremely dense) as well as Jalan Genting Klang and Jalan Tun Razak.

Some people wonder why the people depend on private cars instead of using public transport – it is because public transport literally does not take large numbers of people from where they are to where they want to go.

Well, that is fodder for another post. In the meantime, here are the introduction and brief from the site:


1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is delighted to invite Local and International Town Planners/Architects/Urban Designers/Landscape Architects/Engineers as “Project Designers” to work in co-operation and co-ordination to submit a “Proposal”  for the International Master Plan and Ideas Design Competition for Bandar Malaysia.

This invitation is part of a three stages competition in which the first stage is for the pre-qualification of all consultants that are interested to participate. It is open to all interested parties that qualify to participate in line with the required terms of conditions set in this competition.

Bandar Malaysia project will involve the redevelopment of the old Sungai Besi Airport in Kuala Lumpur. The intent is to undertake a mixed development project on the site which covers approximately 484 acres. (196 hectares) in the Mukim of Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory, Malaysia. The Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (the Local Plan for Kuala Lumpur) has zone the land for mixed development and the overall Plot Ratio of the site is expected to be 4.0 which will be able to yield a GFA of 84.3 million sq ft (excluding public amenities).

This competition is organised by the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) for 1MDB. MIP is a professional institution that promotes the art and science of town planning for the interest of the public.

The key objective of the competition is to seek innovative and creative ideas that are holistic and sustainable; a master plan that would create a new landmark for Kuala Lumpur and provide a new definition for urban living and an answer to the many urban problems of the Kuala Lumpur City.

The development of this last large piece of land within the City is among the key programmes envisioned by 1MDB for Greater Kuala Lumpur (Greater KL) which comprises of the national capital of Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding major cities

BM will be built based on seven key design principles which are:-
i.   Malaysian
ii.  Green
iii.  Intelligent
iv.  Inspired
v.   Inclusive
vi.   Accessible
vii.  Safe



The site is located at the southern part of the City Centre of Kuala Lumpur. The site is easily accessible from major highways in Kuala Lumpur including SMART Highway, Kuala Lumpur  Seremban Highway, East-West Highway & Kuala Lumpur Putrajaya Highway.

This central location is also just approximately 3.5km away from Kuala Lumpur City Centre (Petronas Twin Tower) by car and its accessibility is also improved with the proposed rail and mass transit linkages to reduce travel time further including access via East-West and SMART Highways.

Bandar Malaysia is well viewed as one travels into Kuala Lumpur from the KL-Seremban Highway. Formerly an international airport that serves Kuala Lumpur from 1952 to 1965, it has since been used by the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Police Air Wing, the air unit of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department and the Royal Selangor Flying Club as their base.

Land Area

Bandar Malaysia is 484 acres (196 hectares) of land area in the Mukim of Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur.
Draft KL City Plan 2020 (Draft Local Plan)
Zoning       Mixed Use Zone
Maximum Allowable Gross Plot Ratio – 4.0


We hope that this international competition will not only be international, but also very practical and effective. KL has had too many fanciful proposals and projects that have not worked out in the long run. This time we need to hunker down and build something simple yet effective with accessibility, designs that are favourable to pedestrians and alternative transport (especially cycling) and (public) transport-oriented development (including rapid transit and community shuttle buses) as a major priority.

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