“Iconic towers” or eyesores?


If our experience with “iconic towers” in Penang is any indication, then look out for what could happen with other towers in the pipeline.

Thanks to a reader for bringing these to my attention:

komtar viewing gallery

Sad-looking Komtar: Why has its viewing gallery become a store?

fire exit blocked

And here’s a blocked fire-escape

menara umno cardboard

Cardboard on the windows of the keris-shaped Menara Umno (supposed to be another architectural masterpiece). Innovative way to reduce heat and cut air-con emissions, eh?

So if we have more “iconic towers”, do you really think our habits will improve?

While on the subject of high-rise towers, a reader wrote this from England:

England’s problems are in the areas where there is high unemployment due to collapsed industries, steel shipbuilding, coal – where entire towns were employed in one industry. Also areas where many immigrant communities have settled – and worked hard to look after their families… It’s also in the areas were decent housing (albeit ramshackle) have been replaced with emotionless high-rise towers, set in dry hard landscapes – enough to send anyone around the bend.

All sounds rather too familiar? Give Malaysia 20 years and you’ll see the same – unless there is some very sound social management.

I was once talking to (someone in Malaysia) and described the social problems created by high-rise buildings.

“Oh, not in Asia,” he said.

Want to bet? The (consequences could be) worse in Asia where family and social connections are so very important and high-rise buildings will destroy them.

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Dr. Gwynn Jenkins
Dr. Gwynn Jenkins
19 Nov 2007 12.08am

Is anyone really against development per se? I don’t think so.
It seems that the biggest protest is about patronising the electorate and treating the public like fools, denying fair dialogue and discussion,and open debate.
And as for transparency – the issue of the 38 towers is so transparent that you can’t see them!

Eye on Penang
Eye on Penang
17 Nov 2007 11.35am

Local media reports that “A group of youths calling themselves Pemuda Perintis Pulau Pinang (PERINTIS) have come out in support of development projects for the state, including the RM25bil Penang Global City Centre (PGCC).” This covert political move to support PGCC and other mega projects which are destroying Penang must be condemned and strongly opposed by those Penangites who treasure their island. PGCC is a ‘politically viable’ project, which will enrich a select few, so the BN want to bulldoze it through no matter what. There needs to be an urgent well coordinated and intelligent campaign to ensure that the… Read more »

16 Nov 2007 1.10pm

Watch the latest Better Quality Video Clips (Visuals & Sound) on the Al Jazeera 101 East Forum on Bersih Rally Part I – 8 min; Part II – 9 mins 40s with inserted Video Clip on the Protest March on 10 Nov 07; And the last Q & A transcript Teymoor: As a representative of the younger generation of the UMNO Party, do you agree with what the minister said or do you think there is room for change within the institutional structure Khairy Jamaluddin: I agree with what the minister says. There is nothing wrong with the system. There… Read more »