Doomed to be RM31m white elephant
Published on: Sunday, September 09, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Member of Parliament Chan Foong Hin has urged Federal Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to help resolve the issue of payment to the Skybridge's main contractor Petrofiq Sdn Bhd so it can be fully completed and handed over to City Hall for public use.

"We appeal to the Federal Government to not suspend or terminate this project just because the developer has been declared a bankrupt because it is for public use. The MOF must provide a solution for this first air-conditioned skybridge project which is right in the heart of the city," he said.

The skybridge commissioned under the previous BN Government is supposed to provide a safer and convenient road-crossing for pedestrians going to and from Asia City, Centre Point Sabah (CPS), Api Api Centre, Oceanus and Warisan Square.

Chan said he asked in Parliament recently when the Unit Kerjasama Awam Swasta (UKAS) would pay for the project, and was told that it has been cancelled.

"I hope this issue will be settled immediately and the skybridge handed over to City Hall once the payments had been made. If not (settled) it will become another eyesore in the city...I think we need a lot of skybridges in the city, but if even this one we cannot solve how?"

Another reason for Chan's visit at that site on Saturday was to find out how the project could cost an astronomical RM31.5million.

Petrofiq Managing Director, Kandrix Ng, who was present, said his company was appointed as the main contractor through an open tender and the construction cost such amount due to the amount of work done.

He said the scope of works involved construction of 10 steel bridges for a total length of 381 metres, including two fully enclosed and air conditioned bridges with 20 kiosks inside.

They also constructed four staircases; four escalators; two lifts for the handicapped (OKU); 531-metre long covered walkway along the road sides; road upgrading and realignment at the length of 640 metres; and installed one set of new traffic lights to replace the roundabout.

It also includes 750mm bore piles for all the pier support; installation of new streetlights to replace the existing; removal/relocation/maintaining/replacement and replanting existing plants, trees, shrubs and landscaping works that were affected by the works; reinstatement works to road pavements, walkways, hard landscapes and all disturbed existing works inside the project boundary; traffic management and control for the whole duration of the works of which includes various changes to diversion plan and also advertising on local newspapers and traffic control team; identification of underground services by pilot trenching works and relocation works; drainage works along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens including culvert at the roundabout near Wawasan Plaza; aluminium wall claddings to the fully air-conditioned bridges; and labour costs for working at nights i.e hoisting bridges and reinforced concrete works.

"The project is 92-95 per cent completed and only left some minor works to be done. We expect it can be fully completed within a month," said Ng.

He said the project's developer, SunSea Sdn Bhd paid them only 38 per cent of the RM31.5m. "After that it can no longer afford to pay us for the remaining sum."

He said according to the agreement, UKAS would only pay SunSea after the project was completed, so the developer need to pay its main contractor using its money first and UKAS will reimburse it when the whole project was completed.

"The funding agreement stated the developer will have to pay the main contractor first and then, after the project is completed, UKAS will reimburse the developer...but SunSea can longer afford to pay us the remaining sum, which is a distress for us," he said.

Chan also visited the abandoned Star City Mall, another abandoned project nearby, where he was joined by Luyang Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe and over 200 buyers of property units.

The Star City Buyers Association (Pekestar) hopes Chan and Phoong can help extend their call for help to the new Government so it will look into their plight seriously.

Its President, Philip Liew, said the mall project has been abandoned since over 10 years ago and despite repeated appeals to the previous Government to do something, nothing happened.

"Now, we are now very close to reaching an agreement with a developer which is very keen to help us on a win-win situation...we are now in the final stage of negotiation with this company," he said.

"Because of this, we really hope that the present government can help do something positive and helpful. We hope there will be no situation where another company suddenly come in, under the new government, to take over to develop this mall," he added.

It was reported that a RM2 company had expressed keen interest to take over the project.

Philip also said the perception that most of the buyers are rich is not true, like him who is just a pensioner who has put in all that he had to buy a lot.

"We are suffering. For most of us, we are still paying our bank loans for the purchase," he said.

The Kota Kinabalu MP said the new State Government should listen to the people and if there is little Napoleon in the government-linked company, "we should teach them a lesson."

"The people are here today to show their anger. So there should be no more dilly-dally for this particular project," he said, adding as MP for Kota Kinabalu he hope to see no more eyesore in the city.


Other News
Top Stories Today


Follow Us  

Follow us on            

Sabah Top Stories