Merdeka 118 Najib Razak
The Merdeka 118 Tower in Kuala Lumpur.PIX: AFFAN FAUZI/ MalaysiaGazette / 8 DECEMBER 2021.Bangunan Merdeka 118 di Kuala Lumpur. Foto AFFAN FAUZI, 08 DISEMBER 2021.

By Khairulanuar Yahaya

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.

Merdeka 118

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.

 Merdeka 118 Tower is the second tallest building in the world after Burj Khalifa and it is expected to be fully completed before the end of 2022.  PIX: MUHD NA’IM / MalaysiaGazette / 16 AUGUST 2022.

Merdeka 118 Tower is the second tallest building in the world after Burj Khalifa and it is expected to be fully completed before the end of 2022.
PIX: MUHD NA’IM / MalaysiaGazette / 16 AUGUST 2022.
Menara Merdeka 118 yang merupakan bangunan kedua tertinggi di dunia selepas Burj Khalifa dan dijangka siap sepenuhnya sebelum akhir tahun 2022 ketika tinjauan lensa Malaysia Gazette di Warisan Merdeka Tower (KL118), Kuala Lumpur. Foto MUHD NA’IM, 16 OGOS 2022.

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.

Exchange 106

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 night view of skyscraper, the Exchange 106 Tower at Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) in Kuala Lumpur.  PIX: IQBAL BASRI / MalaysiaGazette / 14 AUGUST 2019

The night view of skyscraper, the Exchange 106 Tower at Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) in Kuala Lumpur.
PIX: IQBAL BASRI / MalaysiaGazette / 14 AUGUST 2019

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.

   Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak is accompanied by the Secretary-General of Treasury, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (left) and the Chief Executive Officer of TRX City Sdn. Bhd, Datuk Azmar Talib (second right) during his work visit to the TRX Project progress at Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.     PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 05 JUNE 2017.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak is accompanied by the Secretary-General of Treasury, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (left) and the Chief Executive Officer of TRX City Sdn. Bhd, Datuk Azmar Talib (second right) during his work visit to the TRX Project progress at Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 05 JUNE 2017.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak diiringi Ketua Setiausaha Perbendaharaan, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (kiri) dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif TRX City Sdn. Bhd, Datuk Azmar Talib (dua kanan) ketika mengadakan lawatan kerja kemajuan Projek TRX di tapak Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. foto HAZROL ZAINAL, 05 JUN 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.

The Pan Borneo Highway is still under construction at Kimanis, Sabah.
PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 19 JANUARY 2020.
Lebuhraya Pan Borneo masih dalam pembinaan ketika tinjauan lensa Malaysia Gazette di sekitar Kimanis, Sabah. foto FAREEZ FADZIL, 19 JANUARI 2020

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.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is accompanied by Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (second right) and the Chief Executive Officer of MRT, Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar (right) as he looks at the MRT Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya line plan during the launch of MRT1 Tunnel Construction of Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Route at the MRT Station at Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.     PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 01 MARCH 2018
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is accompanied by Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (second right) and the Chief Executive Officer of MRT, Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar (right) as he looks at the MRT Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya line plan during the launch of MRT1 Tunnel Construction of Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Route at the MRT Station at Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 01 MARCH 2018.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak diiringi Menteri Pengangkutan, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (dua kanan) dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MRT, Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar (kanan) melihat pelan laluan MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya ketika hadir pada Majlis Pelancaran Kerja Pembinaan Terowong MRT Laluan Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya di Stesen MRT Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. foto FAREEZ FADZIL, 01 MAC 2018

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.

   Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak visited the exhibition while being accompanied by the Chairman of SPAD, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar (right) and the Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (left) and the Minister at Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan (second right) at the ECRL Project Public Inspection at the Headquarters of Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) in Kuala Lumpur.     PIX: NOOR ASREKUZAIREY SALIM / MalaysiaGazette /08 MARCH 2017

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak visited the exhibition while being accompanied by the Chairman of SPAD, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar (right) and the Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (left) and the Minister at Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan (second right) at the ECRL Project Public Inspection at the Headquarters of Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) in Kuala Lumpur.
PIX: NOOR ASREKUZAIREY SALIM / MalaysiaGazette /08 MARCH 2017.
Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak melawat ruang pameran sambil diiringi Pengerusi SPAD, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar (kanan) turut serta Menteri Pengangkutan, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (kiri) dan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan (dua kanan) pada Majlis Pelancaran Pemeriksaan Awam Projek ECRL di Ibu Pejabat Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD), Kuala Lumpur. foto NOOR ASREKUZAIREY SALIM,08 MAC 2017

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.

   Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hands the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) to one of the disabled recipients during the national launch of Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M 2018) cash aid at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Convention Hall in Pekan, Pahang.     PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 25 FEBRUARY 2018.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hands the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) to one of the disabled recipients during the national launch of Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M 2018) cash aid at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Convention Hall in Pekan, Pahang.
PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 25 FEBRUARY 2018.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menyampaikan Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) kepada salah seorang penerima yang merupakan Orang kelainan Upaya (OKU) pada Majlis Pelancaran Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M 2018) Peringkat Kebangsaan di Dewan Konvensyen Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, Pekan, Pahang. foto FAREEZ FADZIL, 25 FEBRUARI 2018

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

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