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We’re seeking proposals for Sabah Trade Centre: Phoong
Published on: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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We’re seeking proposals for Sabah Trade Centre: Phoong
(Left) Sr Chua and Phoong wishing Happy Chinese New Year to guests at the event.
Kota Kinabalu: State Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe called on professional bodies and members to make proposals for best usage of the Sabah Trade Centre (STC) which under the jurisdiction of his ministry, not to be known as an open night market hub on its land.

He said he could have taken the easier way to give in to pressure to be popular by privatising and take pride for siting a night market business, but that would not be in the best long-term interest of Sabah and STC’s prime land location and reasonably priced space that can complement the internationally positioned SICC premium priced facilities.

As the STC building was currently in a rundown situation that was subjected to pilferage stripping of its internal wiring, fittings, and fixtures as seen at the opposite PacifiCity project, the Ministry plans to ensure STC would meet the DBKK regulatory requirement for an occupancy certificate (OC) soonest.

“We have one shot to do it right. I want a good conditioned trade centre for everyone. I am asking for your support if you have good ideas. I want to do good planning for Sabah because this land can benefit SMEs,” he said.

“The government must have that level of management control,” Phoong said when addressing professionals at the Shareda Chinese New Year celebration 2024 at Bay 21 Event Hall last Saturday.  

He explained 10 years ago, the then Chief Minister had offered the sale of the land to a private developer.

Phoong said he had to make sure that the private developer which is now developing the Peninsula project was not keen to take up the STC offer, and let the current State Cabinet decide last October to cancel the previous deal, take back the property, and plan to develop an exhibition hub for SMEs.

“This piece of land is a government land. After that, the land went back to the government and is under the Ministry’s purview,” he said.

As Datuk Sr. Chua Soon Ping who is the Shareda President and the developer of the Bay 21 and Bay Suites next to STC, Phoong said he was making the call to Chua as neighbouring property developer, Shareda, and other professional bodies and members at the event to contribute their ideas for STC.

Phoong said he is being open and transparent about the matter which has attracted a lot of political polemics, and he does not want to indulge in, except for as long as he is the Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister, he said he intends to ensure that the STC is best optimally utilised for its designed role.  

Sr. Chua at the Shareda press conference concurred with Phoong on the STC issue to be turned into an incubation centre for young entrepreneurs in Sabah.

At the event, Chua, as Managing Director of Remajaya Group, donated 10 rainwater harvesting tanks to the representative from Bomba, witnessed by Phoong.

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