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MUAR, Sept 20, 2015:

The Muar Umno division has received a boost in the form of an impressive new Umno building in Jalan Meriam in this royal town here today.

Built at a cost of RM7 million, the two-storey building houses the Muar Umno division headquarters as well as Barisan Nasional (BN) component party offices.

The new building, touted as the best in the state, will also serve as a community centre as it has a large ballroom, an auditorium and also a gallery featuring the district’s past luminaries.

Other facilities include a surau, an open-air roof top, cafeteria and also a 1Malaysia Internet and computer room.

The building was officiated today by Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Muar Umno division chief Datuk Razali Ibrahim said construction of the new building took one and a half years.

“The development of the new Muar Umno building was not an easy task and involved three main phases.

“The process to tear down the previous structure started in January last year and development work for the new building commenced three months after that,” he said when met during the sidelines of the official opening of the building here today by Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.

Razali, who is also Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the party’s new building in Muar would serve as the community centre here.

The 45-year-old Umno Supreme Council member said there were plans to also have a paid dialysis centre in the building catering to patients here.

“It makes sense as the nearest dialysis centre available for Muar residents is in Batu Pahat.

“So, we hope that with this centre, it will reduce the travelling burden of paitents from the district.”

In his speech during the opening of the new Muar Umno building, Razali said the district’s Umno members had to make do for a while with a temporary office due to the construction of the new premises.

“Now, we have a comfortable place for our members and also the community here,” said Razali, who was instrumental in the conception and completion of the building.

Razali said the idea behind the construction of the building took a lot of courage and conviction for Muar Umno members.

He said it was akin to the Goods and Service Tax (GST), where the implementation was done not by force, but choice.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who is also the state’s Umno liaison committee chairman, said the building was a symbol for the party in Muar.

“This is a testament to the hard work of Muar Umno members,” said the Muar-born politician in his speech.

The site of the building had historical significance as it was once the humble administration office of the Muar Umno division after independence in 1946. It was known as Rumah Umno then.

In 1972, the late Muar Umno division chief, Tun Sulaiman Ninam Shah, improved on the existing structure and it was renamed Dewan Umno Bahagian Muar.

He later requested contributions from then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, among other sources, for upgrading work on the premises, which was completed in 1978.

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