NEW KKIA is a critical asset for Sabah’s future economy. I applaud the initiative by Qhazanah Sabah Bhd to undertake a study on the new KKIA with a W Malaysian company. Present KKIA is already a very important asset.
Just tourism alone, Sabah received RM8.75 billion pre Covid. It is now recovering fast. KKIA, with better management, strategic marketing and an unbiased MABH [Malaysian Airport Bhd Holdings] can generate a tremendous number of spill-offs or multiplier effects.
Looking into the future, Sabah’s tourism potential will be tremendous especially Datuk Christina Liew will embark on MICE tourism promotion in 2023. Given an aggressive marketing plan and sufficient promotion budget, Sabah’s tourism receipt [including MICE] can surpass RM10 billion very soon.
May reach RM15 billions or more in a matter of years. Sabah’s tourism industry will be more than a major industry. Justification? Simple, Sabah has great natural and people assets.
Sabah must have a new KKIA [at present or at a new location] to prepare Sabah for the next 50 years, especially tourism development.
New KKIA is too important. There should be other studies.
Given the increasing importance of tourism, rapid inflow of investments brought in by Hajiji’s investor friendly policies, KKIA is very important and critical for Sabah’s future. We cannot afford to make any mistake in the new KKIA. We should leave no stone unturned to get the best ideas and most-effective concepts.
Above all, best return/benefits for Sabah. The new KKIA should and must not be like the oil palm industry from which Sabah gets little economic benefits.
I seek, with due respect and humility and give my apologies in advance if deemed offensive, to ask the following questions in regards to Qhazanah Sabah’s partner in the new KKIA study.
[a] Is this company in the airport consultancy business and development?
[b] Does this company have the expertise/credentials to undertake the study of the new KKIA? Or does it have a creditable external team of experts for the study?
[c] Is this company in the business of airport development?
[d] Is this company in the business of airport construction? If yes, how many airports has it built and where?
[e] How has this company been selected to undertake the study of the new KKIA?
[f] Were there other companies invited to submit proposals for the study? If not why not?
[f] What is the basis of giving this company to undertake the study? By its merit?
[g] If the study has been accepted, will this company be awarded to develop and construct the new KKIA?
[h] If the answer to [g] is yes, what are the terms and conditions for the award?
[i] What is so special or the outstanding strengths of this company to be selected to undertake the study of KKIA?
[j] Has there been any invitation for Sabahans to undertake the study for the new KKIA? If not, why sideline Sabahans?
[k] Will experts be called to assess the submission/proposal from Qhazanah Sabah’s partner?
The development of KKIA has many very serious implications for Sabah, some of which are as follows:
[i] The future generations of Sabahans will either benefit or be burdened or constrained by the new KKIA, depending on its concepts, design and practicality. Good example is Changi which generations of Singaporeans will benefit and be proud of. Sabahans aren’t proud of the present KKIA. In fact, we are not at all happy with it, it is badly maintained and poorly funded.
[ii] Will the Federal Government bear the cost of construction of the new KKIA and related infrastructures?
[iii] What will happen to the land of present KKIA? Will the Federal Government retain it or surrender it back to Sabah?
[iv] As MABH is not giving proper attention to KKIA, is there a way for Sabah to own the new KKIA by using innovative financing methods? MABH’s focus is on Penang Airport and Subang Aiport. It is leaving KKIA to rot. Budget of RM8 million for renovating KKIA is like using a bandage for cancer. Having to spend RM1.4 million on renovating the toilets is symptomatic of the deplorable conditions of the whole airport.
Simple logic would dictate for Sabah to look for a few competitive studies. The new KKIA is too important to be left with just one company and one study.
Why not give Sabahans a chance to undertake the study and develop the new KKIA?
If there is NO special compelling reason for Qhazanah Sabah to select only one partner company, why not allow Sabahans or a consortium of Sabahans to undertake the study and the development of the new KKIA. They can team up with another Sabah GLC.
If Qhazanah Sabah’s partner company from W Malaysia does not possess the necessary expertise and is dependent on outside expertise, a Sabahan or a consortium of Sabahans can also do the same.
There are plenty of companies with international reputation which can JV with Sabahans to undertake the study as well as the development of the new KKIA, including financing.
New KKIA is best opportunity to showcase Hajiji’s “Sabahans First Policy”.
The new KKIA represents a unique opportunity to implement Hajiji’s “Sabahans First Policy”.
Notwithstanding that new KKIA airport and MABH are under Federal jurisdiction, Sabah has every right, as an equal partner in Malaysia, to ensure that the new KKIA, like Selangor has done with KLIA, will give Sabah the best EVC [economic value chain] from planning to implementation and future management.
To not allow Sabahans actively participate or to allow non-Sabahans take the lion share of developing the new KKIA, is a gross act of economic travesty against the Sabahans First Policy.
Sabahans must not abdicate our responsibility, should not leave non-Sabahans to take charge of planning and construction of the new KKIA and other major economic assets. We must take charge. We must protect our economic rights.
I don’t think Sabahans can go to Penang or Subang for renovation to construction of their airports.
Sabahans must possess the mindset that we also can what non-Sabahans can.
Let’s keep the new KKIA for Sabahans.
Charity begins at home. Sabahans must be given the first priority in the new KKIA.
“Charity begins at home means that a person’s foremost responsibility is to serve his family. He should go out and help others only when he has fulfilled his duties at home.”
In the case of new KKIA and all major projects, let us give our own Sabahans opportunity first. Our most foremost duty is to Sabahans. Sabah has allowed non-Sabahans to takeover and control a big chunk of our economy in the past.
Repeating it in the new KKIA will prolong our economic deprivation. We must learn from the painful experience of the oil palm and oil/gas industries.
Sabahans should be given preference in the new KKIA and all major projects for them to build up capacity, to nurture our professionals and to produce high pay jobs for our own people, especially young Sabahans.
Source : Daily Express