Manila port
Picture for representation Reuters

Over the next few days, Malaysia and China are set to meet to push the proposal for the construction of three new ports along the Straits of Malacca.

The meeting will include discussions to jointly develop the Bandar Malaysia project, which is linked to the nation's controversial state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), according to The Straits Times.

China, led by a 35-member delegation headed by the Public Security Minister, Gui Shengkun, was scheduled to meet Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, to discuss funding options as well as implementation timelines for the Melaka Gateway port and another on Carey Island in Selangor.

Also reported was another proposed development of an energy port in Bagan Datoh Perak, which was mooted between both governments during Ahmad Zahid's visit to Beijing in January.

The energy port in Bagan Datoh is envisioned as an oil pipeline which will cut across Peninsular Malaysia and reach the coastal town of Bachok, tucked in the eastern state of Kelantan.

The town faces the South China Sea and is estimated to cost RM30 billion said government sources.

A home ministry official confirmed that Guo and Ahmad Zahid led the meeting because the ports and pipeline projects were ventures involving mutual security interests for both governments.

Malaysian Finance Ministry secretary-general Datuk Irwan Serigar Abdullah is set to lead a delegation later this week to meet potential stakeholders for the 1MDB-related project, Bandar Malaysia.

It is learned that the delegation is expected to hold talks with Chinese state-owned China Overseas Land and Investment as well as Greenland Group while private companies like Dalian Wanda is expected to hold talks with Irwan's delegation.

The Bandar Malaysia deal took the limelight in May when the Malaysian government terminated a deal with a Malaysia-China joint venture abruptly.

It declared that Malaysia's Iskandar Waterfront Holding and China Railway Engineering Corp did not meet key conditions outlined in an agreement signed in December 2015 to acquire 60% interest in the development for RM7.4 billion.