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Friday, April 11, 2008

RM255m property project to boost Tawau's economy

IN PACT: Kong (left) and Abu Bakar exchange documents after the signing ceremony. Looking on are Masidi Manjun (second from left) and SEDCO chairman Datuk Mohd Lan Alani (second from right)

TAWAU in Sabah will get a major economic boost from a new integrated project comprising residential, commercial and hotel developments in one area.

The project, developed by Sabah Urban Development Corp through its wholly-owned subsidiary Perusahaan Pusaka Timur Sdn Bhd, is 1.5km outside the Tawau town centre and is worth RM255 million in gross value.

Pusaka will develop the Kuhara Court condominium, the Eastern Plaza shopping centre and a four- star hotel, to be managed by Promenade Hotel Sdn Bhd.

Promenade Hotel Tawau, which adjoins the shopping plaza, is poised to be the biggest hotel in the area, with 180 rooms over 17 storeys.

According to Promenade's managing director Kong Hock Sian, the highlight of the hotel is its ballroom, the biggest in Sabah, that can accommodate 1300 banquet guests.

"This will be able to facilitate the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) need in the east coast," Kong said at the signing ceremony for the hotel management agreement yesterday.

The hotel alone is worth RM60 million. Other facilities include a business centre, a club floor lounge, a gymnasium and a health centre.

The hotel's construction is now 65 per cent completed and is due to open its doors by the end of the year.

Also present were Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun and SUDC managing director Abu Bakar Yahya.

Abu Bakar said that the agency chose Promenade to lead the project because of the success of their current joint ventures in running Promenade Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, and Api-Api Centre.

By New Straits Times (by Julia Chan)

Seremban set to become a city

SEREMBAN is on its way to be declared a city on Sept 9 next year, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Hasan: 'We are also waiting for the Seremban Municipal Council and Nilai Municipal Council to merge'.

He said the state government has written to the Housing and Local Government Ministry on this and was expecting a favourable reply.

“We are also waiting for the Seremban Municipal Council and Nilai Municipal Council to merge. Once this is done, we could be considered for city status,” he said.

Mohamad said with the merge, Seremban would have more than the required population to be declared a city.

“We would also be eligible as the revenue earned by both councils would be sufficient to run a city,” he said.

The combined population of Seremban and Nilai at present is slightly above 500,000.

The population in Nilai skyrocketed following the setting up of several research and educational institutions such as the Nilai Cancer Institute, Inti International Univer-sity College, Nilai International University College and Kolej Universiti Islam Sains Malaysia had set up operations there.

Once declared, Seremban would be the 13 city in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Ipoh, Shah Alam, Malacca, Alor Star, Petaling Jaya, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching North, Kuching South, Miri and Kuala Terengganu.

“Once Seremban becomes a city, the people here would enjoy more benefits which includes higher allocations from the Federal government for development purposes,” he said.

Asked if the assessment and quit rent would be increased once Seremban is declared a city, Mohamad said there was no such plan.

On a separate matter, Mohamad said the state government has also instructed the Department of Environment to monitor the construction of the RM100mil centralised pig farm in Sepang.

“We asked the DOE to check if we (the state) would face environmental problems once the facility is in operation. If it doesn’t, then we have no objection to the relocation of the pig farm near our border,” he added,

On financial aid for poor families in the state, Mohamad said to date, some 10,500 families had received assistance from the state government.

“We would be giving aid to another 1,500 families very soon,” he said, adding that this was part of the state government’s social safety net scheme.

By The Star (by Sarban Singh)

Developer builds four more silt traps

The developer of Bayu Segar housing project in Cheras has added four silt traps to the existing two in its construction site to prevent mudflows.

This will bring temporary relief to the residents Taman Mutiara Timur, which was hit by mudflows for the second time on March 24.

The first incident happened in October last year and subsequently the drainage and silt traps were upgraded.

Representatives from the developer IJM Corp Bhd brought Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and residents on a site visit recently to assure them that necessary measures have been taken.

"With the additional traps, we can expert to reduce 90% of silt," said project manager Lim Hock Seng, adding that a team is on standby to respond to any emergency.

"We will also be building drains later as another preventive measure. We will also upgrade the monsoon drain once City Hall gives the approval," he said.

He assured the residents that the developer would clear all the drains in the affected area.

"The company does not mind the extra costs and will do its best to ensure the safety of residents," he said.

The Bayu Segar housing project started last year and the development comprises 100 semi-detached and bungalow units.

It is scheduled to be completed by the end of August next year.

Tan commended the developer for their prompt response and sincerity.

"We will have an observation period to see if the remedial measures are effective. Nonetheless, the developer has given us the assurance that they will address all the problem," he said.

Tan also said he would urge City Hall to speed up its approval on the monsoon drain.

By The Star (by Yip Yoke Teng)