KUCHING, June 20 — It would be unfair to compare the cost of Malaysia’s tallest flag with a totally different infrastructure project, said Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth deputy chief Fazzruddin Abdul Rahman.
The Tupong assemblyman and political secretary to the Premier pointed out that the flagpole, to be located at the Petra Jaya side of Kuching Waterfront, has its own value or specialty.
Apart from being a potential tourist attraction, the flagpole is set to benefit nearby local entrepreneurs, he added.
“Just feel that we should also look at the benefit for the local small entrepreneurs at the nearby village and waterfront since it will attract a lot of visitors,” he said when contacted yesterday to comment on price comparison made by internet users between the pole and a certain church project here.
On social media, some internet users used an artist impression of the church project to drive their point home.
Fazzruddin emphasised that he was not trying to justify the cost of the flagpole but said it would be unfair to make price comparison between it and a totally different infrastructure.
He also said that the project cost of the pole also included the square it was erected upon, among other things.
The RM30-million flagpole would carry the state flag measuring 312.5 square metres (25m x 12.5m) and weighing about a tonne, which will be changed monthly.
Overlooking the Sarawak River, it would also be the state’s latest iconic landmark.
The 99-metre flagpole is four metres taller than the country’s previous tallest flagpole at Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur.
The flagpole should now be the tallest in Southeast Asia, beating the previous record holder at Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur by four metres.
It stands between the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex and Fort Margherita, and located near it are a to-be-completed English-style tea house and a water cascade.
In February, the Sarawak Premier’s Office said the project was funded by a private company as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) to mark Sarawak’s 60th anniversary as a founding partner in the formation of Malaysia.
The name of the company or sponsor has not yet been announced.
The flagpole appears to have been completed well ahead of schedule as previous reports had stated the completion date would be Nov 30 this year.
According to a signboard near the site, Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) is the implementing agency for the project while KKB Engineering Berhad is the design and build contractor. — Borneo Post Online