Malaysia Offers Funds for Padma Bridge Project

Malaysia has offered to help finance the construction of a major river bridge in Bangladesh, a priority project of the Bangladeshi government that has been plagued recently with issues. These include its key donors’ decision to delay their promised funding due to concerns of corruption and graft in the project’s bidding process.

The Malaysian government plans to fund the construction of 6.15 kilometers of the bridge, according to the Gulf Times. The country made its offer during a recent meeting between Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Dato Seri Samy Vellu, a special envoy of the Malaysian government, the news agency adds.

Bangladesh has secured financial assistance for the $2.9 billion project from leading donors such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency. But the three have announced they would not release the funds promised until reports of alleged corruption and fraud in the project’s bidding process are investigated and resolved.

Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi government is blaming the World Bank’s decision for the delay in the project’s tender process, the Financial Express reports. The government said the bank had no valid ground for its decision, given the record of honesty and transparency of the project so far.

“The government does not consider this action by the [World Bank] as logical. We have requested the Bank to withdraw the suspension order,” the government’s Press Information Department said in statement, adding that a special corruption commission has already been assigned to investigate the alleged graft in the selection of pre-qualified bidders for the project.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.