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Friday, July 12, 2019

SUCCC wants Wisma Zhong Hua project to continue

KOTA KINABALU - The Sabah United Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SUCCC) has expressed its wish to continue with the existing joint-venture agreement entered with the developer to jointly develop the Wisma Zhong Hua.

The stand was adopted during its executive committee meeting held at its conference room in Wisma Pendidikan, in Bandaran Berjaya, here, on Thursday. The meeting presided by SUCCC president, Tan Sri Andrew Liew Sui Fatt was attended by leaders of its 24 associate members.

This was stated in the brief statement issued by the secretariat, after the meet-up.

The meeting also decided that the Association will be conducting its 2nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the 41st executive committee, on July 20 in Tuaran, at the Chen Sin Kindergarten Hall, at 10am. There will also be a study tour to the QL Marine Products Sdn Bhd, after the AGM.

Liew will also be leading a delegation to attend the 73rd AGM of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (ACCCIM), which will be held in Shah Alam on July 31.

The SUCCC stand came in the wake of The United Sabah Chinese Communities Association of Kota Kinabalu’s (USCCAKK) ‘U-turn’ on its recent decision to sell the piece of 2.7 acres land (pic) in Karamunsing that was meant for the construction of the Wisma Zhong Hua to the developer, Arah Permai Sdn Bhd for the price of RM40 million.

It was reported on Thursday that USCCAKK president, Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen in a brief statement issued on Wednesday said, she respected the advice of the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apadal not to sell the land, and that she has decided to call for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to seek for a fresh decision on the matter from its members.

It was recently reported that the decision to sell off the piece of land to the developer was made by USCCAKK during its annual general meeting held on June 30.

The decision was made based on the concerns that, under the existing proposed joint-venture development, the two associations (USCCAKK and SUCCC) will only be getting a fully-furnished auditorium and 40 per cent shares of the parking spaces, which might not generate a better fixed return for the two associations. The two associations thus decided to sell the piece of land to the developer at RM40 million and to split it equally, i.e. RM20 million each.

Since the announcement, the decision has received overwhelming objections and criticisms from the Chinese community at large, describing it as improper and questionable.

Former chief minister of Sabah Datuk Yong Teck Lee who was instrumental in approving the application of the land to the two associations in 1997, reminded that the land belongs to the Chinese community where, on it is supposed to rise a magnificent building that symbolises the success and pride of the Chinese community.

“That was the grand vision presented to me when the two associations came to me as the then Chief Minister to approve the land. That was in 1996 and 1997,” he pointed out in a response recently.

He also acknowledged that the news of the proposed sale of the land has caused dismay among the Chinese community, citing that the people don’t believe that the SUCCC, being the premier business association of top business leaders with wide and deep access to banks, cannot develop its own land. The land was endowed at RM1,000 free from encumbrances. It was a debt free land.

On Tuesday, the Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) too declared its outright objection to the said decision, by making it clear that they do not wish to bear such shameful charges of being an accomplice to “the selling of ancestral property” and “traitors of the community”.

They said, the decision to sell the piece of land is clearly against the spirit, the wish, and hard works of past leaders, and that the piece of land is invaluable for the Chinese community, as it is not something which money can justify.

They also questioned as to why both SUCCC and USCCAKK were in such a rush to sell the piece of land when, it has been clearly stated and agreed by all parties concerned that, the developer is required to surrender back the project, unconditionally, if it fails to commence works on the project by 10 October 2020. The developer is also required to pay the “late delivery compensation” of RM600,000 to the two associations, who are the rightful landowner.

This was clearly stipulated in the ‘six-point consensus’ signed between the two associations and the developer.

“Therefore, we are of the opinion that there’s no need to rush to accept item No.4 of the six-point consensus – that is to sell the Wisma Zhong Hua land to the developer for the price of RM40 million, before the Oct 10 deadline,” said KKCCCI president, Datuk Michael Lui Yen Sang, while speaking at the press conference on Tuesday.

By Michael Teh

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