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Malaysia’s Merdeka 118 tower climbed by yet another group of daredevils; developer says incident happened in May 2022

Malaysia’s Merdeka 118 tower climbed by yet another group of daredevils; developer says incident happened in May 2022

Screengrab from a video of the group at the top of Malaysia's Merdeka 118 tower.

KUALA LUMPUR: Another group of daredevils has allegedly breached Malaysia’s Merdeka 118 tower in Kuala Lumpur and have posted a video of their climb on social media, though the tower’s developer has come forward to clarify that the incident happened in May last year. 

In the over seven-minute video uploaded on YouTube channel Driftershoots on Dec 30, four people were seen sneaking into the tower.

The tower, which is still under construction, is the second tallest structure in the world.  

In a statement on Tuesday (Jan 10), PNB Merdeka Ventures said that the incident happened on May 1, 2022 and that the trespassers were detained by the police and charged on the same day. 

The firm stressed that the Merdeka 118 development is still a “live construction site and safety remains (its) priority”. 

“We wish to reiterate that stunts such as these are illegal and dangerous, and put at risk the safety of the trespassers and the hard-working personnel on site.

"As such, it is highly disconcerting that illegal acts that take place on our property are used for illicit commercial gain and popularity," the firm said, adding that it will continue to upgrade its security measures. 

In the video, the four, who appear to be wearing construction worker outfits, are seen cutting through a barrier before climbing through the small opening to get to the stairs leading to the top floor. 

"Hopefully we don't get hit by lightning," said one climber, before the group began climbing the structure.

However, the four are met with thunder and lightning flashes once they reached the top. According to the video, they stayed at the peak, taking photographs until sunrise. 

In the video description, the Driftershoots channel said: “A number of attempts had already ended in prison time for certain individuals so we knew we were up against heavy odds.  

“The trip ended successfully and it's a gift to be ending the year showing the footage. This video is an artistic expression of freedom done in and for love, I do not encourage anybody to recreate the actions shown in this video.”

The video has amassed over 17,000 views in 10 days. 

Driftershoots identifies himself as Isaac Wright, a “former Army special veteran”, according to his website. It is not immediately known who the three other climbers in the video are.  

In December last year, a Russian couple - Ivan Beerkus and his partner, Angela Nikolau - were investigated after photos of the pair at the top of Merdeka 118 went viral on social media platforms. 

The posts drew the anger of Malaysians who commented that the duo were disrespecting another country's rules by trespassing on an active construction site. 

In response to local media reports that the Russian couple do not have records of entering or exiting the country, Malaysia’s Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said over the weekend that an investigation has been launched, without providing further details on the matter. 

"It is premature for me to give any answer ... give me some space to get a full report," Mr Saifuddin told the media. 

It has also been reported that Malaysian police have sought information on the entry and exit records of the Russian couple from the Immigration Department.

Merdeka 118, the second tallest structure in the world, is due for completion by mid-2023, The Star reported, citing its developer. 

Source: CNA/ya(as)


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