The United Sabah Islamic Organisation (Usia) building in Sembulan built in the 1970s may soon make way for a modern 10-storey or more headquarters with a syariah-compliant hotel within its 1.3 acres.
Newly-elected Chief Datuk Sairin Karno said it is timely for Usia to have the new building as the present one in a sorry state.
"Due to the dilapidated condition, we have contacted concerned authorities such as the Public Works Department (PWD) that advised us to look into either repairing or upgrading the building.
"However, the Usia Foundation and Development Asset Bureau headed by Usia Deputy Chief 2 Datuk Dr Yusof Apdal had a meeting and they decided to erect a new building," he said.
Sairin was speaking during a breaking of fast with the new main committee and 12 bureau heads at his residence at the Penampang Bypass, here.
Sairin said they are in the midst of processing the tender costing several million ringgit and selecting the developer from among four to five companies that applied.
"The land acreage of the Usia main building site is 1.3 acres which is vast enough to include a three or four-star hotel that is syariah-compliant and has a halal restaurant.
"Below the hotel building, Usia has envisioned a halal supermarket that will provide discounts for its members shopping for groceries at the supermarket," he said.
Apart from this mixed development, Sairin said Usia has a 1.6 acres near the Fire and Rescue Station in Sembulan, which has been proposed to be developed for commercial purposes such as shoplots.
"We also have a five-acre plot in Kinarut and another piece of land in Papar near the Esplanade, which are strategically located and can be developed to generate income for Usia.
"In Tenom, our land is facing its railway station and has a Usia office which we plan to help people in need of accommodation while looking after their loved ones in the hospital, as well as in Kota Kinabalu for the same purpose.
"Actually, Usia has many lands in the whole of Sabah, including in Keningau, Tambunan and Semporna, and their respective potentials for development are being looked into," he said.
According to Sairin, Usia now has a new line-up of leaders comprising academicians, professionals, businessmen and politicians who are ready to move towards excellence and bring positive changes for the benefit of the organisation, members and the communities.
Among them are Usia Deputy Chief 1 Datuk Dr Arsit Sedi and Deputy Chief 2 Datuk Dr Yusof Apdal, vice-chiefs Prof Datuk Dr Kasim MD Mansur of Universiti Malaysia Sabah and UiTM Rector Prof Madya Datuk Dr Abdul Kadir Roseline.
Others include Sabah Computer Service Department Director Datuk Dr Minggu Juman who is a Usia Supreme Council member and Treasurer Datuk Razak Tun Sakaran who is an accountant by profession.
Others, said Sairin, are Information Chief Datuk Zakaria Edris who is also Libaran MP, Usia Youth Chief Jamawi Jaafar who is Kemabong Assemblyman Usia Wanita Chief Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun who is Beaufort Member of Parliament.
Sairin also assured that the "dakwah" programme under the organisation would be continued not just during Ramadan but the whole year with religious talks to be held in suraus and mosques throughout the State.