TODAY marks the seventh day of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak spends his life in prison. On 23 August, the Federal Court maintained the 12 years sentence on him.
Malaysia will be celebrating its 65th National Day tomorrow. It is also the first time for Najib to celebrate the occasion alone in his cell at the Kajang Prison.
Although he has lost his physical freedom, to those who have been missing the former Prime Minister, his legacy soars free and some are still standing proud.
Najib launched the Merdeka PNB188 project in March 2016. The iconic building owned by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) was built on the Merdeka Heritage Development Project site.
The construction of the second tallest building in the world was one of the targets for attacks by Najib’s political foes. They accused the project of using the funds from the government, Petronas or cronies.
The decision to build Merdeka 118 was made when the national economy was at its peak during the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration. The dividend for Amanah Saham Bumiputera was also consistently high.
The design of the tower signified the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj lifting his hand while chanting “Merdeka!” during the declaration of independence 65 years ago.
Merdeka 118 now stands tall and has become a symbol of pride for the country with modern features.
The Exchange 106 project was launched together with the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) by Najib in 2012.
The 450-metre-tower is one of the landmarks in Kuala Lumpur. With the height of 452 metres, Exchange 106 is among the top 10 tallest office buildings in the world.
The world-class design puts it on par with international renowned properties such as The Shard in London; One World Trade Centre New York in the United States of America; and the Shanghai IFC in China.
The construction project was also condemned by Najib’s political enemies with some claiming that it could not be completed.
“Who said that this project (Tun Razak Exchange-TRX) would not make it?” Najib said briefly after he ended his visit to the TRX Gallery on 5 June 2017.
The Sabah and Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway
Najib launched the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway in April 2016. The first phase construction of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway began at the border of Sarawak in Sindumin, Sipitang at the south of west coast stretching 706 kilometres towards Tawau at the east coast.
It involves 35 construction packages throughout Sindumin-Kampung Melalia, Sipitang; Papar-Dongongon; Package One Tawau-Semporna; Lahad Datu Bypass; Kampung Lot M-Batu 32, Sandakan and Putatan-Inanam.
Najib then launched eight Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway packages in December 2016.
It was part of the 11 packages of the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway that is being carried out actively in various locations in Sarawak encompassing the distance of 1,089 kilometres.
Part of the project phase has been completed while the others are still under construction.
MRT, LRT, ECRL
The most apparent change in the land transport landscape was seen during Najib’s administration. He can also be regarded as the father of modern transportation.
He launched My Rapid Transit (MRT) project on 8 July 2011. The 51-kilometre-route provides efficient public transport to the public from Sungai Buloh to Kajang. There are 31 stops along the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line.
He then launched the underground works for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line at Bandar Malaysia on 1 March 2018.
The SSP Line is the second project under the Klang Valley MRT project which begins at Sungai Buloh and ends at Putrajaya through Kepong, Batu, Jalan Ipoh, Titiwangsa, KLCC, Tun Razak Exchange, Bandar Malaysia, Sungai Besi, Serdang, UPM and Cyberjaya.
The project incorporates the construction of 35 stations with 11 underground stations.
Besides that, he also resumed the efforts of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad by enhancing the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) with the launch of the 35km LRT 2 in 2011 and the 37km LRT3 route in August 2016.
Najib also initiated the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project which connects the East and West Coast at the Peninsular in August 2017.
BR1M, Klinik Rakyat 1Malaysia
Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) is the cash aid which Najib is most remembered for.
Although the opposition leaders saw the move as bribing the people, they carried on with the aid after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election by rebranding it to Bantuan Sara Hidup.
Najib has contributed greatly to the people and the country, and the list goes on. Despite being physically restrained, his legacy soars free throughout the country. -MalaysiaGazette