Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 16): The construction of Merdeka PNB 118 — which will be Malaysia’s tallest building and the world’s fifth tallest on completion — will not be stopped, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said, even though it will worsen the oversupply of office space in the capital city.

“It’s therefore very important for all of us to get our acts together and help promote Malaysia overall to create demand. Of course, the next few years will be challenging but in the longer term as Kuala Lumpur becomes a global city with great infrastructure ... [including] rail transport infrastructure to Singapore, I believe there will be a lot of demand for office space,” he said at a luncheon talk organised by the Malaysian Press Institute yesterday.

“[Additionally,] Kuala Lumpur offers one of the most affordable office spaces [in the world],” he said.

“As far as we are concerned, the building is already under construction. It is not a case where we can stop and start [the project].

“The challenge is the race for commercial office space. It is up to the respective owners how to market their space,” Abdul Wahid said.

He also said about 60 floors of Merdeka PNB 118 have been earmarked for offices of PNB and its group of companies, and another 20 floors for a hotel.

“This leaves about 20% of total space or about 500,000 sq ft, open for leasing. We are currently marketing the space. We believe that there will be enough demand for such [a] high-quality building,” he added.

Formerly known as KL118, Merdeka PNB 118 is being developed by Samsung C&T Corp UEM Construction JV Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture company between UEM Group Bhd and South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corp.

The project has an estimated gross development value of RM6 billion and is expected to be completed by 2019.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Aug 16, 2017.

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