Sunday, March 25, 2012

Malaysia okays Padma bridge proposal

Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka Jamaluddin Bin Sabeh on Sunday officially informed that the Malaysian cabinet has approved the Padma Bridge investment proposal.

The envoy made this official communication when he paid a farewell call on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at her office.

“I hope the agreement will be signed immediately after approval of the Bangladesh cabinet,” Sabeh told reporters emerging from the meeting with the foreign minister.

He, however, declined to make any comment about the World Bank, which has suspended financing for the project over corruption allegation. Other financiers of the US$ 2.9 billion project, including ADB, JICA and IDB have also suspended releasing the fund.

A press release of the foreign ministry said, “The high commissioner informed the foreign minister that the Malaysian cabinet has already approved the proposed MoU regarding Padma multipurpose bridge project.” 

The government signed agreements with WB for $1.2 billion loan, Asian Development Bank (ADB) for $615 million, JICA for $400 million and IDB for $140 million to construct the 6.15 kilometer bridge. But the bridge project stalled in October last year following WB’s allegation of corruption in bidding process. 

During the meeting, the envoy congratulated the foreign minister for the recent maritime verdict. He also expressed his cordial gratitude to Bangladesh government for all sorts of support accorded to him during his tour of duty in Dhaka. 

The foreign minister thanked Malaysian government for its support in providing with Machine Readable Passport (MRP) machines, carrying out dredging work by Malaysian Maritime and Dredging Corporation (MMDC) in Chittagong port and showing interest in Padma multipurpose bridge. 

The outgoing high commissioner also informed the foreign minister that Malaysia is going to arrange a showcase programme in Dhaka to commemorate the 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.