LESS than two weeks after confirming that Menara DBKL 2 would be torn down to make way for redevelopment in the new year, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz surprised everyone by announcing its cancellation.
On Oct 6, Mohd Amin was quoted by StarMetro as saying, “There is no turning back. This is a decision by my predecessor.”
He had added that contractors for the demolition had already been appointed.
In a report on Oct 19, however, Mohd Amin said the redevelopment project had been cancelled as the Government decided it was not feasible during the current economic situation.
The proposed RM500mil redevelopment project would have featured a design by Hijjas Kasturi Associates and included four tower blocks and two floors of retail space.
The mayor said Kuala Lumpur City Hall was reviewing its commitments for next year and had decided to focus on building affordable houses instead.
The news was well received with Titiwangsa MP Datuk Johari Ghani lauding the government’s commitment to build low- and medium-cost units while Setiawangsa MP Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari described it as great news for the people of Kuala Lumpur.
Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam also congratulated City Hall for scrapping the project.
Menara DBKL 2 is a 12-storey building that currently houses the Licensing and Petty Traders Management, Urban Transport, Internal Audit and Information Management departments, among others and is one of City Hall’s three administrative buildings.
Former mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib had announced plan to redevelop Menara DBKL 2 at the end of last year even though the building had undergone extensive renovation and upgrading works which included a new set of lifts in the same year.
Opposition MPs in Kuala Lumpur had called for the redevelopment to be cancelled, calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Ahmad Phesal had defended his decision then by saying that a new tower would centralise DBKL’s operations and increase efficiency as all departments currently housed in Menara DBKL 3 in Jalan Raja Abdullah would be relocated to the new tower.
The reversal showed that the government had listened to the people.