By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― The controversial Warisan Merdeka tower next to Stadium Merdeka here will have 118 floors, the government said today, sparking renewed objections from the local MP who said the skyscraper would only contribute to a property glut.
Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun told reporters today that Kuala Lumpur City Hall should reject the development, after the Federal Territories Ministry told Parliament of the plans for the skyscraper that had originally been for 100 storeys.
“The supply of office space in Kuala Lumpur has exceeded demand without Warisan Tower and Tun Razak Exchange. It’s not reasonable to give new approval for new development of office space,” Fong said.
He also cited the unsatisfactory traffic conditions in the Jalan Hang Jebat area where the mega tower is planned to be built, as a reason why DBKL should reject the application.
The Warisan Merdeka project was announced in 2010 by the government, and immediately sparked public outcry over the need for another skyscraper in the city.
A poll by Merdeka Center in 2010 showed the majority of voters in peninsular Malaysia were against the proposed construction of the mega project
The survey found that 65 per cent of those polled disagreed with the construction of what would be the tallest building in the country when completed.
More than 200,000 Malaysians had registered their protest on Facebook in a campaign launched soon after the project was announced.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also warned of a property glut that would result from the construction of the proposed tower.
Government investment arm Pemodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) later defended the RM5 billion project, saying that it would neither involve public nor depositor funds.
PNB has formed PNB Merdeka Ventures as a wholly-owned unit to undertake the RM5 billion skyscraper project on the land it bought from Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Berhad in 2000.
PNB paid RM310 million or RM220 per sq ft to buy the land, but the market value of the land has since appreciated to RM800 per sq ft today.
The land was initially given to UEM Berhad in exchange for the infrastructure giant building the National Stadium complex in Bukit Jalil for the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
The 19-acre development area of the mega project — which includes a condominium and a shopping mall — is sited on the car park and land adjacent to Stadium Negara and Stadium Merdeka.
MORE TO COME