Behind the Scenes: The Development of Merdeka 118, Kuala Lumpur

Session: Track B: Measuring New Heights: 118 The World's Tallest Buildings (Part 1)

Rick RamliProject image

Rick Ramli
Chief Investment Officer, Private & Strategic Investments, PNB Merdeka Ventures SDN Berhad

“Independence is indeed a milestone, but it is only the threshold to high endeavour”
- Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, 1957

Merdeka 118 was a journey of massive undertaking in order to build this high-rise. For nearly 450 years Malaysia had previously been a colonized country. Independence was eventually negotiated peacefully and the proclamation was made at Stadium Merdeka in 1957. Today, PNB unveils the rejuvenation of this historic location and with it, the unveiling of the tallest building in Southeast Asia and the second tallest building in the world.

Development during these unprecedented times came with relentless challenges that has tested the mettle of this young nation in the following ways: (1) the imbalance of office demand and supply dynamics, (2) a complex ambition of delivering a complete development comprising office, retail and residential offerings whilst preserving the historic landscape, alongside (3) the prevailing sentiment of tall building fatigue - all set alongside the backdrop of a pandemic.

The development of Merdeka 118 encapsulates Malaysia’s perseverance and determination in achieving its ambitions during a difficult time. Building a world class tower is no ordinary feat and PNB remains committed to deliver value to its unitholders and ultimately to deliver value to all Malaysians. This session aims to discuss the macro challenges faced during the development and the efforts taken to address and overcome the many obstacles during this venture.