Sunday, June 26, 2005

Towering problem for Marina

June 26, 2005, The Star

"EVERYTHING is for sale, including me!" Hajjah Marina Yusoff said half-jokingly when SC Cheah, The Star reporter approached her at the darkened lobby of Menara Marina recently.

Time is running out for Marina Yusoff, the former magistrate, lawyer, politician & an astute entrepreneur (Wanita UMNO leader, and later Semangat 46 leader). She has until the end of this month to pay Danaharta Urus Sdn Bhd the redemption sum of RM122.77 million in cash. Failing to do so, Danaharta may commence action to recover the debt, and she may lose ownership of Menara Marinara, the 36-storey mixed commercial building in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, which Marina believed to be worth approx RM350.

Over the last 10 years, the project has always been in complex and onerous situation. The project started sometime in 1994, which happen to be almost at the same time the neighbouring project, Wisma Semarak of Telekom started calling for tender for the piling works. If I remembered correctly, Wisma Semarak started the piling works in 1996 and the main building works commenced on 1997, and completed in year 2000.

Both these two projects seemed to faced a lot of difficulties during the construction period - Bad Fungshui or whatever you believe it to be. To add to the difficulties, the economic crisis in 1997-1998 affected the main contractors financial cash flow and disrupted the work progress(both the main contractors are Public-Listed companies - CP Bhd for Marinara and Mancon Bhd for Wisma Semarak).

While Wisma Semarak was finally completed in year 2000, Marinara Tower was still struggling. The project stalled when Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd, the developer and the flagship company of Marina, decided to terminate the main contractor's contract. CP Bhd, the main contractor brought legal actions against Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd.[Period].

Whatever it is, the project did not have a good start, and Marina's hope is that the bad patch will end soon, and that she can recover her investment. Will she? It's going to be extremely tough.

Best of luck, Marina!!!!

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