Warisan Merdeka review by SAKMONGKOL

How many Warisan merdekas?

This piece of news has been puzzling me. It is about the construction of the 100 Storey Warisan Merdeka tower. Just recently, Dato Najib said it wasn't his idea. Yet he announced it in the 2011 Budget recently. That means, he has agreed to the idea. The ultimate decision maker is of course the PM. unless he gives the green light, Hamad Kama Piah will not move.

The PM says it was PNB's idea. It's easy to verify this. Let's publish minutes preceding the decision to go ahead with this project. Discussions and deliberations must have taken place prior the announcement was made. These must have been minuted down. Let's see them.

There must also be an exhaustive technical study and financial evaluation of the project. A project such as this can't be thought overnight. Engineers and architects must have worked on the commission. We should see all these.
There is the issue of cost. The building will cost M 5 billion. That's RM 5, 000,000,000. Kama Piah says the funding is internally generated. Internally or borrowed, the money represents Malay money. Wasn't PNB created to harness Malay financial capital?

PNB manages investments portfolio on behalf of Malays and earn dividends on their behalf. It has also branched out to handle investments portfolio for Malaysians.
Let see an orang kampong assessment of this outlay. Suppose the RM 5 billion in invested somewhere earning a return of say 6%. That would bring PNB a return of RN 300 million a year.
So instead of building I unit of 100 story building, why not build a 20 story building costing around RM 300 million a year. So that in 5 years, we shall have started building 5 blocks of 20 stoirey buildings giving us an equivalent of 100 story single building. If each cost 300 million, 5 blocks will cost us only 1.5 billion saving us RM 3.5 billion.

With 5 you can place them at will. Spread it around in Kuala Lumpur. Have 2 in Kampung Baru so that the value of the land in Kg Baru escalates. That will make owners earn high income.

I asked an engineer friend. It's not that straight forward issue doing this 100 story building. Because beyond a certain level, the cost of construction escalates. As we go higher, the degree of inefficiency of the building increases that require lots more money being pumped in. In the end, the cost of a single 100 story building may be more than RM 5 billion.
But the more interesting news coming out from the bowels of corporatedom- is that, there will be 2 more similar towers going to be built. This means, we shall be having not one 100 story behemoth, but 3 of them. This will mean Najib will have out-Mahathir Dr Mahathir.

Who are going to propose the other two towers? The voices from deep in the corporate bowels mention the name of Jho Low and Naza. If the real cost of construction is RM 1.5 billion, these people will be making Croesus-like profits.
When PNB completes the 100 story tower, how much rental will they charge per square foot? The PETRONAS Twin Towers cost is RM 1.3 billion. Go ask the rental for the space at the food court. It is RM 130 per square foot. Will the rental rate at the warisan merdeka cost RM 500 per square foot?

By sakmongkol AK47


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