Khalid Ibrahim and the mega tower


I can’t say I was surprised to read reports that the Selangor MB appeared less than unequivocal in expressing opposition to PNB’s proposed mega tower.

His subsequent back-tracking on his initial apparent support for the project was reported in the Malaysian Insider here.

Apparently, the 240,000-strong Facebook opposition to the tower didn’tt seem to count for very much – nor Anwar’s and Khalid Samad’s vocal opposition to the tower. As if PKR didn’t have enough problems as it is!

In the end, Khalid posted the following note on his Facebook: “Selangor is ready to work with the Federal Territories in the development of Klang Valley, but it will not support mega-projects such as the Menara Warisan Merdeka.”

Khalid comes from a corporate background that perhaps thinks large property projects will provide a strong (short-term) multiplier effect on the economy. Such is the corporate mentality that thinks that any urban property development is beneficial development that would “unlock” any unrealised profits on land valuation and spur economic activity in the short to medium term – never mind the long-term congestion and projected occupancy rates. (I suppose it’s hard to find a politician who can think beyond five years i.e. the next election.)

Of interest is that Khalid was PNB CEO from 1979 to 1994. He was also CEO of Guthrie from 1995 to 2003. During his tenure, Khalid tried to diversify Guthrie’s plantation-based activity through the Guthrie Corridor Expressway property development project. Guthrie has since been merged into Sime Darby.

PNB has now set up wholly-owned firm PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd to undertake the mega tower project, according to The Star. It is headed by Tengku Abdul Aziz Tengku Mahmud, who was reportedly from Guthrie Property Development Holdings Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd. As CEO of Guthrie Property, Tengku Abdul Aziz was also involved in developing the GCE. (See Star report from 2006 here.)

Maybe Pakatan will clean up obvious or outright corruption and wastage, but at the end of the day, we have to ask, how different will its overall model of economic development be from the BN’s? Are we still going to be driven by an unsustainable construction frenzy, which creates periods of boom and bust and brings along much misery in its wake?

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12 Nov 2010 8.55pm

1) The killing of 2 million Jews by the Nazis regime is a sacred day.

2) The Bosnian War (1992-1995) or the ethnic-cleansing and genocide of more than 100,000 Bosnians by the Serb forces is a sacred day.

3) The bloodshed of May 13, 1969 is a sacred day.

4) How can pendatangs be recruited into the army? Surely no pendatang is patriotic enough to defend the country.

Now says Utusan, UMNO ketuanan and Bolehland supporters who voted for BN, “DOES ANYONE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?”

12 Nov 2010 10.26pm
Reply to  Hatan

To each is his so-called ‘sacred’ perception…

To some a dirty 4 letter word is also ‘sacred’.

However on common ground, some things are better kept to one’s cranial vault for whatever/however/whenever one fancies in his own secret realms than to publicly declare as sacred for whatever twisted reasons.

Common sense should prevail than self alluded, embellished bravado.
Only an all-seeing, benevolent God can judge whether anything of man’s deed is worthy to be called sacred at all. Not you, not me.

11 Nov 2010 3.32pm

I re-read the report in Malaysian Insider and Khalid’s clarification here …

In my opinion, there’s no way that it can be concluded that Khalid supported that project. No way at all. But if the mind has jumped to A conclusion, then of course one can twist his words to suit the conclusion. But a neutral and rational reading of his statement, together with a knowledge of his administration, will easily lead one to conclude that he does NOT support that project.

11 Nov 2010 12.19pm

Well, Khalid provided a clarification and to me, that is clear enough that he opposed mega projects like the 100-storey tower. Although Khalid was PNB CEO, he actually at that time very frequently opposed the grand delusionary mega projects of Mahathir. The GCE actually helps to disperse traffic away from the congested areas of PJ and Shah Alam, and provides an alternative path to the bottleneck at NKVE. I’m a resident of Sgor and there is strong general support for Khalid and his exco in the way they handle things especially standing up to the Federal Govt’s intimidation and harassment… Read more »

10 Nov 2010 10.08am

NKRA is a hastily launched programme to blame somebodies for their lost of seats in the elections. But they do it in the name of the rakyat. Doing it for the rakyat so they say. If the rakyat actually knows how NKRA is done, then they will know there is no such a thing as a real transformation. Even in the movie Transformers, these machines and men can transform but they can transform back to their original self. It is the original self that should not and can not be original anymore if there is a real transformation. Let’s see… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon
9 Nov 2010 11.06pm

Politicians only know about politic not development disregard whether they are from BN or Pakatan. The collusion between politicians and developer is a kind of corruption even if the politicians did not receive any monetary gain from it. The narrow definition of corruption by those who walk within the corridors of power has witnessed how some politician openly shown their penchant for rubbing shoulders and locking horns with developers.
In the name of development those politicians are so keen in bringing structural change to our society without really knowing how they going to cause trouble to our nature and society.

10 Nov 2010 9.34am
Reply to  Ong Eu Soon

One of the very few times that you made sense.

10 Nov 2010 10.07am
Reply to  Ong Eu Soon

In the haste to deliver (in a 4 year term), politicians might just grab any ‘feasible’ solution to show results. He may or may not be sincere, but the end result has to be beneficial not only in terms of economic gains, but also progress in other ‘soft’ areas of life. He has to be strong and firm in dealing with issues, some of which may not be his doing but from past deeds of recalcitrant politicians. Otherwise, we will have politicians easily manipulated by other self-interest (esp. developers) in the name of economic progress. Literally Under Pressure, are you… Read more »

11 Nov 2010 9.45pm
Reply to  Ong Eu Soon

The same thing between the rakyat and developers. Are you happy if the developers can bear the cost to built low and medium cost housing? Of course there is no real free lunch. The same goes to the MP/ADUN. If he is elected, does he expect free lunch? So best is not become a politician or even a NGO because there is never an absolute way. The only thing is that one way MAYBE slightly better. They have both pro and cons.

9 Nov 2010 10.29pm

dear anil,

dont they HAVE , working along with them, advisers, like Mister Mentor, LKY, to guide his son.LSL and the affairs of the ruling govt?????!!!!!

…….sometimes 2 heads or 3 is BETTER than one???!!!!!

9 Nov 2010 9.46pm

Anil, maybe Khalid Ibrahim is not into Facebook, maybe he’s not into tweets and maybe he’s hard of hearing these days, didn’t know what Khalid Samad and Anwar were fussing about!

LOL!!!! No wonder they say pkr is a party of jokers!

9 Nov 2010 9.44pm

multiplication effect are all but bull…. Now, Keynesian avoid the idea.

IMHO, Khalid are concern about the sand business, that used by construction. But sand mining, is unsustainable /non-replenish business. Khalid is wasting time, he should focus on more on fixing Selangor state transportation problem.