Malaysia will build a new national palace complex, which will be ready by 2009, Works Minister Samy Vellu said Monday.
The new palace, with a cost of 400 million ringgit (108.1 million U.S. dollars), will be built atop a hill on a site covering 96.52 hectares, Samy said in the official function here.
Construction of the palace will start next June and is expected to be completed in 2009, said Samy.
"We need a new palace with larger space. Currently, the Istana Negara (National Palace) is also used for banquets and meetings. One room for multiple use is just inadequate," he told reporters.
Malaysian Supreme Head of State Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin officiated the function. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak were present.
The new national palace featuring Islamic and Malay architectural designs had been on the drawing board since nine months ago, said Samy.
"It will not be the largest palace as there are larger ones around, but will be one suitable for a country like Malaysia," said the works minister
Site for the new palace had been gazetted for the purpose 30 years ago, added Samy.