The $313 million Dayabumi a White Elephant?

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 6th Sept. 1985:

The $313 million Dayabumi a White Elephant?

Last month, the Minister for Public Enterprises, Datin Paduka Rafidah Aziz, said the Urban Development Authority had drawn up plans to promote the Dayabumi complex into a dynamic commercial centre. One such step would be to lower the rents of the shoplots to attract more businessmen.

What Datin Paduka Rafidah really meant was that the Dayabumi complex, built at the cost of $313 million when it could have been built by Malaysians at $60 or $70 million cheaper, is a White Elephant, could not attract business rentals, arid in fact had to depend on government or quasi—government rentals if it is not to be a total flop!

In the April meeting of Parliament, I had asked the Minister of Public Enterprises for figures about the Dayabumi rentals, and I had just received the reply which throw a very interesting light on the plight of Dayabumi.

The two Dayabumi blocks – the tower block and the podium block — comprise 235 lots with a total floor space of 65,052.5 sq.metres. All the office space at the/tower block had been rented out, /36—floor with Petronas taking 27 floors, the Ministry of Primary Industries three floors and the Association of Tin Producing Countries (ATPC) one floor.

As for the 6—floor Podium Block, as of 9.3.1985, 48 lots out of the total of 111 lots have not been rented out. Among those who are renting lots at the Podium Block are Majlis Dagangan Komoniti (CTC), Bursa Komoditi Kuala Lurnpur (KLCE), and Kuala Lumpur Commodity Clearing House.

The monthly rentals (including service charges) collected from government agencies was $337,735.30 and from the private sector $1,760,614.55.

To my question, the Minister said that the it would take 27 years’ based on existing rentals for all lots to recover the building costs of Dayabumi.

Now that UDA, the Dayabumi owners, is going to lower rentals to make it ‘a dynamic commercial centre’, it would easily add another 10 years to the 27—year recovery period for the Dayabumi building costs.

Dayabumi is in fact a shining example of the unnecessary and extravagant costs of the government’s ‘Look East’ Policy.

Call on IGP to investigate case of police using tear gas against a fisherman at police station as a new form of police brutality

I have written to the Inspector-General of Police to take severe action against a new form of police brutality – the use of tear gas against a fisherman in the police station.

On August 30 at about midnight, a fisherman, Ng Keng Seng, 30, I/C 5097349, was having supper at Parit Jawa, Muar, Johore, when he was accosted by several policemen in plainclothes, who assaulted him and took him to the police station. At the police station, Ng was forced to stand erect by several policemen, one forcing his hands behind his back, while others holding his head up, and one policeman sprayed gas on his face, ‘causing Ng a sensation as if ants are biting’. Ng was sent down to Muar police station lock up, and was released on Sept 1 Ng had followed my advice to 1ode a police report, and he is being treated at the Malacca General Hospital for facial and eye injuries. This is a most shocking new form of police brutality, and the IGP should discipline the policemen concerned by suspending from service and charging them in court.