The Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) has slammed the Sabah Urban Development Corporation (SUDC) for violating its agreement to halt construction on the disputed 7,200 square feet of land next to SJK(C) Chung Hwa Kota Kinabalu pending the outcome of the probe conducted by the Land and Survey Department.
KKCCCI deputy president Chang Chin Sin pointed out that construction on the land where a site office and showroom were erected was nearing completion.
The chamber asserted that it was the rightful owner of the 7,200 square feet of land as the previous developer of the Star City project, AC Property Development Sdn Bhd (ACPD), had promised to allocate the land to SJK(C) Chung Hwa Kota Kinabalu for education purposes.
KKCCCI has also previously shown three development plans (DPs) approved by the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) and Land and Survey Department in 2006, which marked the chamber as the owner of the land.
However, SUDC said KKCCCI’s claim on the ownership of the land was unsubstantiated and the corporation did not have any obligation to materialize any promises made by the previous developer.
Chang said DBKK had called for a quadrilateral meeting with SUDC, Land and Survey Department and KKCCCI to discuss the issue on September 11. The meeting was chaired by Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman.
“All parties have reached a consensus that the Land and Survey Department will conduct an investigation on the disputed land and present its findings at the next meeting.
“It was also agreed that KKCCCI would refrain from speaking to the media pending the probe while SUDC would immediately halt construction works on the land,” he said.
“Regrettably, SUDC does not seem to have any sincerity in suspending the construction work at all. In fact, the construction site was operating day and night till the building is almost completed now. Today, we are forced to speak up to inform the public what is happening and hopefully the relevant parties will support us,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.
Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong had previously posted City Hall’s stop order for the project issued on September 6 on his Facebook page.
Chang urged City Hall to look into the legality of the construction project.
“If the project is illegal, we urge City Hall to take immediate action, including issuing a stop order and dismantling the structures. We do not wish to see Kota Kinabalu turning into a lawless cowboy town. If City Hall does not put a stop to illegal construction activities that operate without its approval, there will be more and more of such cases in the future, which does not augur well for the development of the city,” Chang said.
He said KKCCCI was also waiting for Nordin to call for the next meeting when the Land and Survey Department would present its findings for discussion.
“The Land and Survey Department has vowed to complete the investigation in 10 working days from September 11. We hope the Mayor will call for the meeting as soon as possible.”
He said KKCCCI would not give up on its claim on the land and would continue to defend the interests of the Chinese community, chamber and school.
Chang said the chamber was grateful to the State Cabinet led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal for instructing SUDC to come up with a win-win solution.
“We are confident that the State Cabinet led by Shafie will be able to produce an amicable solution that is win-win to both parties,” he said.
Chang also stressed that developments should not compromise lands that have been designed for education purposes.
“KKCCCI is not against the re-development of the Star City project,” he said, adding that the chamber only wanted the public to know its predicament.
In a press conference on September 5, Lui said that KKCCCI is the rightful owner of the 7,200 square feet land next to SJK(C) Chung Hwa Kota Kinabalu.
However, he said the new Star City project contractor had erected fencing along with the land where a permanent structure is currently being built since August this year.
Lui has shown three development plans (DPs) approved by DBKK and Land and Survey Department in 2006 which marked KKCCCI as the owner of the land.
He said the Land and Survey Department had acquired the land TL017519621 belonging to SJK(C) Chung Hwa Kota Kinabalu for urban development and expansion of Kampung Air back in 1996.
On June 5, 1997, AC Property Development Sdn Bhd (ACPD), which was the joint venture partner of SUDC for the Asia City and Star City projects, agreed to allocate a land of the same size to Chung Hwa school for education purposes.
Meanwhile, SUDC in a statement on September 6, said that KKCCCI’s claim on the ownership of the land was unsubstantiated. Based on printed documents obtained from the Land and Survey Department of Kota Kinabalu on September 3, SUDC said the land was acquired by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sabah on June 29, 1996 for the purpose of developing and expanding the Kota Kinabalu city area.
On December 3, 1997, a new title was issued to Sabah Economic Development Corporation (Sedco). As such, Sedco reaffirmed its ownership of the current title for the piece of land and there was no subdivision or change of ownership.
It was also mentioned in the statement that SUDC did not have any obligation to materialize any promises made by the previous developer of the Star City project.
Also present at the press conference yesterday were vice president cum SJK(C) Chung Hwa Kota Kinabalu school board chairman, Datuk William Chu, vice presidents Andy Lim Chen Kwong, Peter Tiew Sii Neng, Lim Young Peing and John Wong Tau Enn, secretary general Yee That Hian, treasurer general Lee Nyuk Chong@Lee Nyuk Chang, executive secretary Tan Kar Seng, and Athanasius Chong Chiew Khian as a member of the legal team for this issue.