Despite earlier denials by developer PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd, the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry has confirmed that the proposed Warisan Merdeka tower will indeed be increased to 118 storeys from the planned 100 levels.
The ministry disclosed this in a parliamentary written answer to Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun yesterday.
The answer described that the Development Order for the tower is being withheld by KL City Hall pending certain conditions being met, which included the need for the 118-storey tower antenna design to be re-worked to increase its esthetics to be on par with its planned facade.
PNB had earlier denied claims by heritage activitist Teoh Chee Keong that the height of the tower will be increased to about 120 floors.
“At the inception of this project, the original height of the building was envisaged to be approximately 509 metres. Since then, we have revised the height to 600 metres and the extra height is purely for the spire,” a PNB spokesperson said in response to Malaysiakini’s inquiry.
The written reply also confirmed that the project will involve the acquisition of private lands surrounding the proposed tower site as well as government land for the project, as well as the construction of additional access roads.
It was specified in the answer that one of the conditions for the release of the DBKL Development Order is pending PNB providing notification to the Federal Territories Land and Minerals Office to handle the land acquisitions that will occur.
Again, this contradicted with PNB’s denial that no private land will be involved.
“For road improvement purposes, there are road widening plans for the existing roads. However, this will be carried out within the road reserves and using part of Menara Warisan’s land,” the company had said.
The formerly 100-storey Warisan Merdeka Tower, with an estimated cost of RM5 billion, was announced by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his Budget speech in 2010.
The announcement sparked strong protests among netizens and the opposition, claiming that the building was a typical example of the federal government’s spendthrift ways and the RM5 billion cost would be better spent on welfare, education and on improving the public transport system.
Najib has stoutly defended the project, stressing that it was not a waste and that it would have a multiplier effect on the economy.