The Other Twin Towers
Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog› entry 48 of 115 › view all entries
The Petronas twin towers are two of the most beautiful buildings Iâ€™ve ever seen. They dominate the KL skyline with elegant aplomb, relegating the spindly Sky Tower to the periphery and magnetically drawing the eye wherever in the city you happen to be. Even if you normally hate cities, these fantastic constructions alone provide good reason to visit KL, if only for a day or two.
During the day, the towers appear loftily splendid but altogether earthly. At night however they are transformed into eerily luminescent sci fi citadels. Each floor is moulded into an Islamic star shape fusing 90 degree angles and circular arcs to stunning effect. I stood there slack-jawed and happy, just taking them in and thinking that perhaps the time of the futuristic megastructures of Blade Runner is already upon us.
The only shame is that these stunning buildings are the home of an oil company.
When we walk into the mini theatre on the basement level and don our plastic 3D glasses, itâ€™s clear that the Petronas propaganda machine is in full working order. A tidy, well-budgeted 10 minute film comes onscreen and we are introduced to the peopleâ€™s petroleum company with glowing 3D images of the most immensely ethical 3D company on earth.
Each batch of visitors wait their turn to watch the 3D happy smiley employees and the 3D happy smiley Malaysian public benefiting from 3D Petronas funded projects.
As our batch ascends to the skywalk in the ear-poppingly swift lift, we all chant the following rhyme in robotic unison:
â€śWe love Petronas, we love Petronas,
Malaysian petroleum is A number one.
We love Petronas, we love Petronas,
Oil and gas based products are productive and fun.â€ť
In reality, packed in as we were, we simply stand still and silent, Bill and I stealing glances at some of the beautiful young women who appear everywhere in KL. When we reach it, 17 seconds later, the skybridge itself is a disappointment. Itâ€™s not nearly high enough to see the rest of the city very well and, obviously, the view is missing its most important ingredient; the twin towers themselves.
To conclude, Iâ€™d like to hit you with yet another of my blusteringly simplified generalisations. Drum roll please! Dum dum duuuuuumâ€¦
â€śThe tainted wealth of oil extraction and distribution creates a lot of problems in this world.â€ť
However, with KLâ€™s twin towers it has undeniably enabled the construction of something just a little bit wondrous. And to me, admittedly not the most ardent of eco-warriors, thatâ€™s cause for just a smidgeon of celebration. If youâ€™re a real greenie then visit, enjoy, then sponsor a whale or something as environmental penance. Otherwise youâ€™ll be missing out.