KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 ― It is hoped that the construction of the KL Putra World Trade Centre (KL PWTC) which will be the new Umno headquarters can be an inspiration to party members to continue to struggle for the race, religion and country.
In making this call, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the spirit of Umno formed the backbone of the building whereby it was built through the tears and sweat of every party member and leader.
“It is a symbol of loyalty, sincerity and spirit of Umno members in empowering the struggle of the Malays. This is a historic day for us, the successors of Umno leadership,” he said in his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony of KL Putra World Trade Centre, here today.
According to the Prime Minister, the physical construction work of the 70-storey building complex was expected to begin on May 11, 2017 in conjunction with the birth of Umno.
Najib said the Kuala Lumpur iconic landmark would feature an integrated environment comprising a hotel, 70-storey office building, new halls and a mosque which could accommodate a congregation of 5,000 people.
Najib said with the construction of the new headquarters, the existing Tun Razak Hall would be transformed as a two-storey hall, while the Merdeka Hall, the Tun Hussein Onn Hall and the Tun Dr Ismail Hall would be upgraded as a local business centre and venue for corporate events.
According to him, the architecture of the transformation project was inspired by the Malay traditional dress taken from the unique designs of the “samping”, the blades of the keris and the carvings on the hilt of the keris.
Recalling the history of the present Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Najib said the building had stood strong for the past 31 years and was an eyewitness to the trials and tribulations of Umno especially during the party assemblies.
“We laugh, cry, debate, share opinions, and have differences of opinion. The wall, floor and roof of the Merdeka Hall witnessed the many stories experienced by Umno in its struggles to champion the cause of the Malays,” he said.
According to Najib, his father the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, when he was Umno president in 1971, expressed the party's need to have its own house so that its agenda of struggles can be implemented in a more orderly manner.
But, the ground-breaking ceremony for the existing building, at a cost of RM150 million, was only realised by the late Tun Hussein Onn on June 25, 1981, namely, on the last day he served as Umno president, he said.
Recalling the incident 35 years ago, Najib said: “For this reason, Umno members are indebted to the late Tun Hussein Onn who sincerely and determinedly wanted the inheritors of the party to continue the legacy of Umno for the continuity of the lives of the Malays.
“In his speech, the late Tun Hussein Onn hoped the complex would become an economic venue for Umno to conduct business, other than a comfortable conference centre.
“With its roof piercing the sky, the late Tun Hussein reminded Umno members that the construction of the complex marked the diminishing backwardness of the Malays”. ― Bernama