KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 -- The construction of an annexe to the iconic Parliament Building here has been completed, with the new section scheduled to be operational in March.
Known as phase 3B with works begun in 2015, the annexe project includes office space, a library, gymnasium, discussion rooms, meeting rooms, cafeteria and 'surau' (prayer room for Muslims).
Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said that with the provision of these facilities, it was hoped that the work of Parliament staff would be optimised, while improvements would be seen in the attendance of Members of Parliament when the house is in session, and in the quality of debates.
"It is our hope that with the existence of this space, many 'Yang Berhormat' will be in Parliament more often and attend the full-length of parliamentary sessions".
"If they need to undertake rest and recreation after attending Parliament, there are many facilities for their use such as tennis and badminton courts, and even a sauna," he told reporters after witnessing the handing over ceremony of the annexe project.
During his speech at the ceremony, Mohamad Ariff said the final phase of renovations and restoration works to the Parliament complex will be open for tender soon, with the aim that works will be completed and facilities operational by the end of 2025.
It will include the construction of a visitors hall, multi-level car park and a public gallery.
Mohamad Ariff said the upgrades in totality are expected to last for a further 50 years, while enhancing the identity and image of Parliament and retaining the characteristics of the national heritage building.