Saturday, 3 March 2012


A colleague of mine emailed me this piece of news. However I have taken the liberty to edit it but not to the extent of distorting the meaning and intention of the writing.

From The Star came this news. A fully air-conditioned RM100mil pedestrian walkway linking Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and Bukit Bintang, two major retail and tourism spots here, is open now. The walkway includes a 562m long and five-metre wide elevated walkway with escalator and staircase entry and exit points at strategic and convenient locations. The project was financed by Petronas under its social contribution programme. It links the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to Impiana KLCC Hotel and the hotel to the Pavilion bridge crossing at Bukit Bintang.

RM100 million is a mind boggling amount of money for a 562 metre long and 5 m wide walkway. At a time Idris Jala told the country that we are about to go bankrupt if the government does not stop the subsidies to the rakyat, Petronas went on a spending spree in the name of CSR. Not RM 100,000 or RM 500,000 but RM 100,000,000. If Petronas really wants to get involved in CSR programmes, they could have use this money to build 2 or 3 mini-hospitals around Selangor which can benefit the poor in the rural areas more, instead of impressing the tourists.

It is ok if the walkway was financed by private corporations as the money is theirs to spend. However in the case of Petronas, the money belongs to the Rakyat. It is high time those charged with running Petronas remember this. They are just the caretakers of the Peoples' money.

Lets do some arithmetic: 562m x 5m = 2810 sq. metres. One sq. metre = 10.76 sq feet. So 2810 sm x 10.76 sq ft = 30,235 sq ft.

Petronas has paid RM100 million / 30,235 sq ft. = RM3,307 per sq foot (psf) of pedestrian walkway !!

A medium sized bungalow house in KL and the Klang Valley should have a built up area of about 5,000 sq ft. So Petronas' 30,235 sq. ft pedestrian walkway has the floor area of about six medium sized bungalow houses only. Bukan lah besar sangat pun.

The price of a 5,000 sq. ft. bungalow house in say 6000 sq feet of land in non prime areas in the Klang Valley like Country Heights, Kajang (not in Bangsar, Damansara Hts or Kiara ok) should be around RM2.5 - RM2.8 million.

This means the psf selling price of the bungalow is about RM500 - RM560 per sq foot. of built up house area.

Six such bungalows (30,000 sf total built up area) can be bought for between RM15-RM16.8 million. This would include land cost, fairly up market fixtures and finishings, at least six bathrooms each and even a jacuzzi in the master bath.

Lets also compare some condominium selling prices in upmarket areas in KL. Here are some psf condominium prices in Kiaramas and Bangsar.

1. Kiaramas Sutera penthouse & deluxe units at Mont Kiara,4,000sf. Cost RM375 psf.

2. Seni Mont Kiara. Brand new 6 star. 19th flr 3541 sqft. 4+tv room+1. Rent RM9K or sale RM750 psf.

3. Menara Bangsar :Extensively renovated unit on lower floor. 1650sf. Modern fitted kitchen, brand new bathrooms, ceiling etc. Move in condition RM1.15m ono. This works out to about RM700 psf..

In comparison, Petronas has paid RM 3,307 psf of pedestrian walkway - almost SIX times the psf price of a six star condominium in Mont Kiara. I dont think Petronas suffered any land acquisition cost (it is elevated above the road). Yes the construction is elevated, light weight steel box girder. The walkway is designed for pedestrians, not cars, buses or lorries. This means the load bearing structures should be fairly light (hence it should cost much less).

I dont think it is paved with 916 gold either. And there are no Jacuzzis provided in case the ever increasing number of KL's vagrants who do populate some of the other walkways at nite, want to take a bath or have a water massage.

Now, the BN government is getting more ridiculous by going on a wild spending spree when the poor rakyat could not even make ends meet. Someone had a very early Christmas and a very large ang pow/bonus for the connected.

This is my comment to my colleague on the article that he sent me.

Dear Bro Amirul,

I have always maintained that the BN politicians leading this country is only interested in development for the sake of fattening their and their cronies pocket. When putting up a project which is of course finance by the rakyat, the main question is how much ringgit can this project inject into their pockets and not how much and in what way can this project benefits the rakyat. That’s the reason why we have so many white elephant projects that is draining the country dry instead of generating income for the rakyat. I wonder how many km of covered bicyle lanes we can built connecting the outlying areas of KL to KL city with RM 100 million. Such projects would benefit the rakyat who can be healthy and at the same time save on commuting costs. But then again, knowing our esteemed leaders, the cost of the bicycle lanes, should it be built, will be way over the moon. Just like our MRT which is 5 times more costly per km run compared to China’s fast speed rail projects.

Talking about white elephant projects, I guess this is endemic when we have ulu mentality but overseas educated malays running the country. These type of Malays goes for glamour, not for gains. The question in such a malay mind, is what image will a third party have of me, if I do such and such a thing. Ever seen a typical malay house. The living room is really dasyat. Expensive italian furnishings, canggih punya AV equipments, etc, but go inside their bedroom. Tak ada class. Everything murah one. Tempat tidur lebih kurang sama dengan tempat cari makan ayam Belakang Mati.

Why like this? Because to a typical malay, what people think of you is more important than what you think of yourself. That’s why a malay spend more money on his living room, because that’s where people judge you and less money in the bedroon since the only judge there is yourself.

Precisely because of such mentality that the malay majority leaders of this country build KLIA (only 2nd tier & 3rd tier airline lands at KLIA), makes it’s own car (which is more expensive than imported cars) and the MRT, amongst others. Do check, This projects are not bringing in profits for the rakyat. Menghabiskan duit rakyat lagi ada. Look at Thailand. They are known as the Detroit Of The East” without using a single baht of the rakyat Thai money. All this money wasting projects are for glamour only, not for profits. Only the malays have the Pak Pandir folk tale, with the famous tagline, “Menang Sorak Kampong Tergadai” or “You win applause but loose your kampong”. The world stands in awe at our Twin Towers, our KLIA, our Sepang F1 Racetrack, our motor industry but our country is deep in debt and going bankrupt.

A malay friend of mine once said, “Orang nampak kereta apa yang kita pakai tapi tak nampak apa yang kita makan”. In simple english, “People can see what type of car you drive but won’t know what type of food you eat”. What more can I say.


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