Saturday, October 23, 2010

Malaysia's 100-storey Mega Tower: Warisan Merdeka

Most of you must have already be aware of the current issue going on with the proposition of the Government building a 100-storey building after the Budget for 2011 has been announced by our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

malaysia skyscraper

It was announced by PM Najib in the Buget 2011 speech and I quote,

We take pride in our national icon, the Petronas Twin Towers. It signifies the spirit of Malaysia Boleh. Another landmark to be developed by Permodalan Nasional Berhad is Warisan Merdeka, expected to be completed by 2020. This is an integrated development project comprising a 100-storey tower, the tallest in Malaysia. The project will retain Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara as national heritage. The total project cost is RM5 billion, with the tower expected to be completed by 2015.
-extracted from The Star Online (October 2010)

Facebook 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower

In response to that, a Facebook Page was set up with the purpose of protesting and rejecting the plan to build the 100-storey skyscraper. The number of Facebook users who have joined this page currently stands at 121 191 users and counting. Many of which have typed in their opinions on the proposal. Many are unsatisfied with the project. Many are rejecting the idea.

Before I move on, I would like to make it clear that I am not against the idea nor am I for the idea. I will however state and give out my personal comments and opinions concerning this project.

First of all, in my opinion, for a person who wants to be heard of his comments and protest, one must fully understand the whole planning which is going on. In this case, one must read and understand the Budget 2011. Why do I say so? This is because you cannot start to protest and reject ideas if you do not know the full story behind it. No, I have not read the full Budget 2010, which is why I am staying neutral.

Are you sure that the Government is not making other measures to improve the rakyat's life? Is the Warisan Merdeka the only project which should be given that much attention to? You asked that the 'Mega Tower' Project to be demolished because that huge amount of money can be used for many other better reasons but are you sure that the 'many other reasons' you suggested is not already in the planning?

The next thing would be about the issue of protesting. What does protest mean? So I search in an online dictionary called the Ocford's Advance Learner's Dictionary to find the meaning.

protest (verb) 
to say or do something to show that you disagree with or disapprove of something, especially publicly


So to protest is to disagree of something publicly but what is the purpose and outcome of protesting? Will protesting change already made decisions? Have protesting ever worked before? What do you get after protesting?
Yes, by protesting you do get your voice out. You'll be heard but will protesting ever change decisions which are already settled in for? I guess it all depends on different situations.

It is true that Malaysian citizens has to step up to be heard. Besides of just rejecting every single idea that comes in, why not try to give constructing criticism and building useful suggestions instead?

If the 100-storey skycraper project is to go on, which I think it will; I might have some opinions on it. If it's going to be offices all the way to the top, the working hours better not be 9 to 5 or else traffic will be a problem. Of course location location location counts as a very important factor too.

But then again, do we need a building that high? Beside from the height, what's the difference of building a 20-storey office and a 100-storey office?

RM5 billion is in fact a lot of money and I wouldn't like to see it all go to just one building. The one building may have quality in it but I rather see quantity for now. I sometimes prefer quantity to quality.

What I would like to see the RM5 billion to be used on is a project to clean up the whole of Malaysia. Why can't we use it to clean up the streets of Malaysia? I want a Singapore-like street. Budget 2012 maybe?

malaysia light rail transit

Besides that, I also know that the Mass Rapid Transit which is a transportation project will also be implemented the beginning of 2011. However, I do hope that the RM5 billion can be used on improving our current public transportation. The KTM, Monorail, LRT, and Rapid buses. Will maintenance be abandoned on these public transportation once the MRT is functional? Just like how the KTM is kind of being abandoned.

I once watched a program whereby it says that Japan's shuttle train is considered late if it is late by 1 minute! 1 minute is considered late? Then I wonder what is an hour considered to be?

Before I end this blog post, I've remembered something I read from the Budget 2011.
The era of “the Government knows best” is over. Therefore, in formulating this Budget, the Government consulted and took into considerations views from various parties comprising the public and private sectors, focus groups, media, 1Malaysia blog as well as lab sessions.
-extracted from The Star Online (October 2010)
If opinions are collected from the rakyat themselves, then why are we rejecting our very own ideas?

What are your thoughts on the new Budget? Leave me your opinions in the comment section. Yes, we must be heard!

*UPDATED* Check out more comments on this issue in LYN Forums, as the response there is better. I've posted a thread there.

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Related links: Full text of the Budget 2010 | Highlights of the Budget 2010 | 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower Facebook Page |