Socfin's House, which later became the then DPM (Anwar Ibrahim) residence and Sri Timah the house owned by London Tin situated on the next hill at Jalan Damansara are two houses with interesting history.
The story goes that the two prominent expatriate businessmen, the Rubber Magnet and the Tin Magnet, both competed to build the biggest houses for themselves!
So emerged Socfin House and Sri Timah, and Sri Timah eventually became Sri Perdana the the Official Residence of the Malaysian Prime Minister before the other Sri Perdana in Putrajaya
MMC had first offered the house to the government when Tun Hussein Onn was Prime Minister but there was no respond to the offer.
Mahathir phoned Rahim Aki (who was then CEO of MMC) on his first day as PM to inquire if the house was still available to the Government and was informed by Rahim that the house was still available. Mahathir wanted to visit the house and that same afternoon Rahim took Mahathir and Dr Hasmah to see the house.
Mahathir took a great liking for the house and it was decided it would be exchanged with a piece of land in KL to be arranged by Alwi Jantan, the then Deputy Chief Secretary of Cabinet.
Dain's construction company was given the contract to undertake the renovation of the house at a cost of RM17 million, although it was rumoured that it was double that sum!