Solutions in sight for KKIA2, Star City woes
Published on: Sunday, October 20, 2019
By: Larry Ralon
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KOTA KINABALU: The State Government may re-develop the now-closed Terminal 2 of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA2) for AirAsia's use as a low-cost terminal. 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes had offered to buy the area during their meeting Friday but he offered an option that “I will develop it and you (AirAsia) use it.

“I will look at all his proposals and the available options. We talked about a lot of matters, but its okay we will have a look at all of them first,” he told a press conference after officiating the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) Day 2019 held at Hilton, Saturday. 

He was asked to comment on AirAsia’s push for Terminal 2 (or KKIA2 where AirAsia operated before) to be re-opened as a low-cost terminal. 

AirAsia, despite protests, was forced to move its operations to the main terminal by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the airport operator sometime back.

Fernandes earlier said Sabah had great potential to become a regional hub, and even a bigger one, if the Terminal 2 is re-opened and operated as a low-cost terminal. 

He said they still believe in it (Sabah as a regional hub for AirAsia) and are confident that it can grow to 15 million passengers from the present eight million, create 33,000 jobs and bring in RM150 million into Sabah’s economy through increased flights. 

“But we know that he (Fernandes) will be bringing a good number of tourists coming from the south like Australia and New Zealand to Sabah next year. As the State Government, we need to facilitate in this matter because it is for the interest of the country, not only Sabah. 

“We want this airline (AirAsia) to be competitive and that’s why we must facilitate. AirAsia is a very popular airline in the world. As they can also provide more employment to people in the State, we will see how best we can assist them, to facilitate, so they can also help us in the State,” he said. 

At the same time, he said, Sabah also need to look at creating more tourism products so tourists will continue to come to Sabah. 

Shafie also assured that controversy over the Star City redevelopment project on a disputed land of 7,200 square feet, next to SJK(C) Chung Hwa Kota Kinabalu, would be sorted out soon.

“I have asked Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (Deputy Chief Minister cum Trade and Industry Minister) to look at it. Don’t worry, we will sort it out,” he said.

The Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) recently condemned Sabah Urban Development Corporation (SUDC) for disrespecting the Chief Minister’s directive and Mayor’s “stop work” order issued to it (redevelopment project on the disputed land). 

KKCCI President Datuk Michael Lui said despite the directive and “stop work” order, SUDC still continued with the construction of the Star City project.

Lui said Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman had confirmed that the development and building plan for the project had yet to be approved and an order has been issued to the SUDC’s contractor to stop work.

“Why is SUDC so hasty in commencing work without obtaining approval from the relevant authorities? 

“They can expedite the submission of the report, as requested by the Cabinet, for a win-win solution to all parties concerned. 

“Can’t they wait for the Cabinet’s decision? How can they just ignore the laws and authorities, and proceed with the construction?” charged Lui, believing the State Cabinet would do what is right for the people. 

“There is a strong growing voice from the Chinese community to report the matter to the relevant authorities and they will not rule out the possibility of requesting for an investigation in order to protect their interest over the said land.

“We will wait for the Cabinet’s decision and outcome of the report from the Lands and Surveys Department.

“We, the Chinese community, teachers, students’ parents and ex-students of Chung Hwa School, would like to know the truth of the matter. We will take all measures at all costs to defend our land and claim what rightly belongs to us, not even an inch less.

“We trust that KKCCCI will make sure our stand of absolutely in favour of Fujian-Sabah investment and trade cooperation as our Chamber’s stand is obvious and firm, to welcome any foreign investment in Sabah in order to drive and stimulate Sabah’s economic development. 

“However, we insist that everything must be in accordance to the law and requirements. Transparency and impartiality is of utmost importance,” he said. 


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