Umno delegates back mega projects

(The Malaysian Insider) – Umno’s party faithful rallied behind Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s mega projects today at its annual assembly and accused Pakatan Rakyat of being against growth for opposing the government’s plan to spend itself out of a stagnating economy.

Kelantan Umno representative Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, who tabled the motion to debate economic issues, said that such projects would help drive economic growth.

“Don’t be cheated by [the] opposition because they do not want to see economic growth,” said Awang Adek who is also deputy finance minister.

“There are many skyscrapers. No problem, we only hear such stories in Malaysia,” he told the assembly.

The Bachok Umno chief also pointed out that the opposition frequently complained about the awarding of major government contracts.

“They like to question who gets the contract, they have become obsessed with government contracts,” said Awang Adek.

Prime Minister Najib had announced last week that Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) would build what will be Malaysia’s tallest building near the historic Stadium Merdeka at a cost of about RM5 billion, with completion expected in 2015.

Najib said the rationale for the Warisan Merdeka tower was similar to that of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, in that it would serve as a symbol of a modern and developed Malaysia.

He also stressed that the project would also have a “multiplier effect” on the economy and help drive it forward, in addition to providing an attractive commercial centre for Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera businesses alike.

The 19-acre development area of the mega project — which includes a condominium and a shopping mall — is sited at a car park and land adjacent to Stadium Negara and Stadium Merdeka.

The plan, as well as that of a number of other property developments planned around Greater Kuala Lumpur, was however opposed by the opposition and described as wasteful.

“They used to oppose Penang bridge, Petronas Twin Towers and Putrajaya, but now they can’t wait to go into Putrajaya,” said Awang Adek.

Umno Youth deputy chief Datuk Razali Ibrahim, who seconded the motion, cited the Sepang International Circuit as an example of a successful mega project.

“In Singapore, they said they should have built the circuit long time ago,” said the deputy youth and sports minister.