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Media statement by Teresa Kok Suh Sim in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 16th October 2010:

Najib's ad hoc 100-storey tower proposal a short term ego boost at expense of KL's long term viability

Prime Minister Najib's proposal to build a 100-storey tower in the Stadium Merdeka area smacks of egotism and complete disregard for the need for sustainable urban development in Kuala Lumpur.

Firstly, the ad hoc 100-storey tower proposal shows a lack of urban planning that will only exacerbate KL's existing traffic congestion that is the bane of every KL resident, no thanks to DBKL's couldn't-care-less attitude towards their own plot ratio requirements. Traffic jams are already an everyday occurrence on Jalan Maharajalela and Jalan Kinabalu, what more with the addition of this 100-storey tower in the area. This 100-storey monolith could cause a gridlock situation that would paralyse the entire KL city center.

I hope Najib does not subscribe to his Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen's childish keeping-up-with-the-Jones reasoning that "There is no end because everybody wants a tallest tower. Shanghai and Taiwan wants more, so why should we hold back?"

Secondly, Najib has not justified how this 100-storey phallic symbol costing RM5 billion might lead help Malaysia become the high-income economy lauded in his Economic Transformation Plan. This princely sum of RM5 billion would be better spent towards improving public transportation in KL which would benefit the lowest income KL-residents who need support the most.

In conclusion, I urge Najib to scrap this 100-storey tower proposal and not to sacrifice the health, safety and well-being of KL residents for the mere sake of stroking his ego.

* Teresa Kok Suh Sim, Selangor State Senior EXCO for Investment, Industry & Trade & MP for Seputeh



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