The political rivalry between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Prime Minister Najib Razak is about to reach new heights.
When Dr Mahathir was premier, he built two 88-storey towers, making them the world's tallest buildings when they were ready in 1998.
Now Datuk Seri Najib is raising the ante with an 118-storey giant just some 4km away, which is set to be South-east Asia's tallest tower when completed in 2020.
The RM5 billion (S$1.7 billion) project is being built by state equity fund Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) with a height of 630m.
The new project is located beside the historic Merdeka Stadium, where Malaysia's independence from Britain was announced on Aug 31, 1957, hence the tower will have "merdeka" (independence) as part of its name.
The Merdeka PNB118 tower was launched last month by Mr Najib, who had denied he was in a one-upmanship with his mentor turned nemesis.
The project's launching comes at a time when Dr Mahathir is making a strong push to topple Mr Najib by blaming the prime minister for the financial scandal tied to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
"I would like to retain the Twin Towers as the highest buildings in Malaysia.
At the moment we don't need any tower higher than that. We should build the 100-storey tower, but maybe a little bit later when I am not around," Dr Mahathir, who retired in October 2003 after 22 years in power, said in 2010.
Mr Najib's response then was: "No, no, it's not a question of dismantling his (legacy). That's a totally frivolous statement."
- He added: "What Tun Mahathir has done is admirable, what we need to do is to build on his success and move on.
- " Like the Petronas Twin Towers when it was announced, the new tower has been panned by critics. Some are worried about a glut in office and commercial space in coming years, while others questioned its location in a historic and congested part of Kuala Lumpur.
- The Petronas Twin Towers were built on former race course land surrounded by narrow traffic-clogged roads.
Source: Asia One...More...