Petronas Twin Towers loses its "world
tallest building" title to the Taipei International Finance Centre may
not be a bad thing after all
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew
at 508 metres, the 101-storey Taipei International Finance Centre has beaten
the 452-metres, 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers to the second spot yesterday.
Out of the top ten tallest buildings
in the world, eight of them in Asia, the remaining two in America. It seems
to me that only the Asians and the Americans are obsessed with tall
buildings. The Europeans do not seem to have any interest in the race.
I think the Europeans were doing the
right thing in this aspect. Such a "glorified" title bears no substance and
real meaning to the country. It's also short-lived in nature. Another one in
Shanghai (next to the world's highest hotel) will soon overtake the Taipei
building. And another building some where in Asia or America will overtake
the one in Shanghai. It's just a matter of time. There's really no end to
The other thing that struck me about
the Taipei building is that its office space is already 90% booked long
before its completion in 2004. In contrast, the Petronas Twin Towers were
only half-filled after so many years of completion. It's a huge loss of
taxpayers' money, typical of all "white elephants".
Malaysian government leaders should
learn a lesson or two from this loss of world title. They should refrain
from building another tall building to regain the title.
Malaysians should also stop chasing
after meaningless titles, such as the "longest cake and the "largest" flag.
The government should stop spending money on white elephants projects, but
focus on raising our standard in other essential fields, such as education,
healthcare, productivity and quality of life.
We should aim to become the
friendliest city in the world, now that Kuala Lumpur was ranked last in a
recent survey of 23 cities throughout the world.
We should aim to become the safest
city in the world, because one Canny Ong is far too many, and all of us have
the right not to live in fear.
We should aim to become the cleanest
city in the world, instead of having clogged drains and uncollected rubbish
for months and years.
If we can learn from mistakes, losing
the world's tallest building may not be a bad thing after all.
* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP
National Publicity Secretary