KOTA KINABALU: Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan is not looking at the bigger picture when he ran down Yayasan Sabah’s RM7 billion landmark project in Putatan.
A former investment officer with the federal government took exception with Abdul Rahman’s shortsightedness on the project, saying the latter was only criticising the mega project for the sake of confusing the people.
Christopher Masudal, who was previously an executive officer with the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (Mida), was surprised Abdul Rahman used Covid-19 as an excuse for the project to fail as it will only take shape years down the road.
He said the former Kota Belud MP should know a project of this magnitude would only be realised in one or two years, with the first phase being completed possibly only after five years.
“One must remember that Yayasan Sabah had only signed the deal with Tegas Bangsa Sdn Bhd (TBSB) and that this mixed commercial project will not suddenly come up tomorrow,” he said in a statement here today.
“So I think Abdul Rahman’s criticism is no more than politik kampung designed to merely confuse Sabahans.”
In his Facebook post today, Abdul Rahman ran down the massive undertaking, saying the project deal was struck at a time when the demand in real estate was low and the housing market was slow.
He said Yayasan Sabah would be left with a non-competitive project because of the economic downturn coupled with the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.
Yayasan Sabah has entrusted TBSB to develop 391 acres of its land at Kg Meruntum, Lok Kawi near here.
A special purpose vehicle company under Kuala Lumpur-based Pavilion Real Estate Investment Trust (Pavilion REIT), TBSB will oversee the construction of hotels, condominiums, a shopping mall and theme park, housing and offices, among others, over the next 10 to 12 years.
Masudal said, contrary to what Abdul Rahman said, the joint venture was very much needed in Sabah.
“Malaysia, particularly Sabah, actually went through an economic decline in 2018 and 2019, and it was made worse by the pandemic, which had disrupted the state’s fiscal position and impeded Sabah’s economic rejuvenation process.
“Surely, we need to revive the economy without affecting the government’s finances and one of the ways is to bring in more investors into the state.
“This is the right timing for such a joint venture by Yayasan Sabah as it will create job opportunities to thousands of Sabahans,” he said.
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