Star City buyers to attend for four-eyed meeting
Published on: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
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KOTA KINABALU: The aggrieved 200-odd buyers of shoplots at the now abandoned Star City Complex will meet with landowner Sabah Urban Development Corporation (SUDC) and SkyRich Sdn Bhd as well as the new developer from China in an effort to resolve their 15-year woes.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Junz Wong Hong Jun and Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry Ben Chong held a dialogue with the affected buyers, who were demanding fairness, justice and compensation at the existing Star City Complex Hall, here.

Liew said she and Wong were directed by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to engage with the buyers in an effort to seek an amicable settlement, after the matter was brought to the attention of the State Cabinet.

Wong called SUDC on the spot to fix a meeting with the buyers scheduled for mid-November. They are mainly Sabahans who had bought the shoplots as far back as 2005.

Liew, who is also State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, rued that the present State Government had inherited the mess from the previous government “but we are here today to help seek a win-win situation for all stakeholders.”

The meeting was initiated by the Star City Complex Shoplot Buyers Association (Pekestar) led by Philip Liew as President. Star City Complex (Mall) is a joint venture (JV) project between SUDC and a developer named Asia City Properties Development Sdn Bhd (ACPD), which was subsequently declared bankrupt and wound up by liquidator PriceWaterHouse & Cooper (PWC).

Spokesman Yee That Hian, who is the Deputy President of Pekestar, claimed that since March this year, the buyers, who had secured bank loans, have not been able to get a meeting with SUDC.

“We have been kept in the dark about the re-development plan for the abandoned complex. At our AGM in March this year, much to our dismay, we learned that the abandoned complex will be demolished to make way for a 59-storey Mega Mall,” he lamented.

According to Yee, they were informed by SUDC then and there that they (SUDC) had signed a new JV Agreement with a local company named SkyRich Sdn Bhd, which is collaborating with a big China developer from Fujian Province to revive the Star City Complex project through the 59-storey Mega Mall.

Speaking to reporters later, Liew said: “The buyers are not against development. They just want to be enlightened on what is going on and reasonably compensated.

“It is imperative that the SUDC Management meet with them (buyers) to discuss the way forward so that they are happy and satisfied and will let go of their units at the abandoned site.

“The buyers are stakeholders and have wasted 15 years. You just can’t tell them that they have no right to voice out their predicament or that they are not entitled to compensation simply because the developer (ACPD) had gone bankrupt. That should not be the case.”

The Minister also suggested that the State Attorney-General be present at the meeting with SUDC and the shoplot purchasers.



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