KL118 will be a national icon – PM

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KUALA LUMPUR: The first phase of the Warisan Merdeka project, expected to be completed in 2020, will become a national icon and a manifestation of Malaysia’s success as a developing high-income nation, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said Warisan Merdeka was a strategic property development project, located in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, and would play an important role in unlocking and maximising the value of the landbank.

“As part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur initiative under the Economic Transformation Programme, launched in 2010, the Warisan Merdeka urban renewal development project will generate primary and secondary economic spin-offs for our country,” he said after launching the project here Wednesday.

Present were Chief-Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) Chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid and President/Group Chief Executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.

The prime minister said the project would preserve the country’s two heritage buildings namely Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara, proving that it was entirely possible for modern architecture and historical building to co-exist.

“At the same time, both domestic and foreign direct investments will be generated through higher value-added activities in the services sector, which will increase property value within the Warisan Merdeka precinct and the Golden Triangle,” added Najib.

Warisan Merdeka, a project by PNB, sits on a 7.6 hectare piece of land and is expected to be fully completed by 2024.

The first phase of the project comprises an iconic tower of 118 storeys high and a shopping mall with a development cost of RM5 billion.

Najib renamed the tower as Merdeka PNB118. It will be the tallest tower in Malaysia, the second in Asia and the fifth in the world.

The prime minister pointed out that iconic buildings helped define a city and affected the way people feel about a city, giving citizens a landmark to marvel at and be proud of.

He said as a new iconic landmark development for Malaysia, this project was expected to add to Kuala Lumpur’s attractiveness as an investment and tourist destination.

“When someone mentions an iconic tower, what exactly does it mean? What is it that makes a tower ‘iconic’? The design? The shape? The story or history that lies behind the development?

“Perhaps, in this case, it may be all of those things. But it is also the aspiration, the desire for excellence and the determination to build something memorable and lasting, something that can define new Malaysia,” he said.

Najib described the construction of Warisan Merdeka as one of PNB’s biggest achievements.

“PNB’s existence and its investment arms, indirectly, have structured Malaysia’s economy and that of sosio status of its people.

“We are proud to see Bumiputeras lead, manage and operate businesses in various sectors and key economic areas,” he added.

The prime minister said although PNB was established to empower the Bumiputera economy, PNB unit trusts were extended to non-Bumis as well, based on unity.

PNB had successfully generated more than 200 billion units in trust funds, invested jointly by Malaysians of all races.

He added that the achievements of PNB and other Malaysian companies were supported by the government’s ability to ensure the country’s economy continued to grow.