Wisma Koperasi Serbaguna Sanya Berhad (KOSAN) will be soon demolished, to give way to luxury condominiums and service apartments built by Semenanjung-based developers.
According to the last few shop-tenants at the ground floor of Wisma KOSAN, they were told to vacate their respective premises a few months ago.
But recently, a verbal notice was issued again, reminding them to pack and leave by the 30th of July 2021.
Despite the reluctance due to economic and financial hardships, the shop-tenants have no choice but to move elsewhere.
On social media, locals, especially former students of SM All Saints, SM Lok Yuk dan SMK Likas shared their disappointment with the situation.
Apart from delicious pisang gorengs, roti canais and popiahs, Wisma KOSAN is filled with memories of students purchasing snacks, ice-cream, books, video tapes, and hanging out in shops like the ICC cyber cafe, Hasyim Cafe, Dayang Cafe and so forth.
It used to house a bowling alley at the ground floor, before Kemayan Supermarket, then Likas Mart Supermarket and finally Giant Supermarket tookover the spot.
For the more naughty students, this was a place to hangout after skipping school, or occasionally have gang fights and quarrels.
Filings to Bursa Malaysia revealed that the piece of approximately 1.85 acres of prime land is owned by KOSAN, an agency under the Sabah Youth and Sports Ministry.
But in August 2015, a joint-venture was entered into between KOSAN (landowner) and Semenajung-based developer, Harmoni Bumiria Sdn Bhd (developer).
A source inside KOSAN revealed that koperasi members of KOSAN objected to the joint-venture, as the terms and conditions were unclear and vague.
They also disagreed with the way the joint venture was entered into, as according to rules and regulations, the motion to have a joint venture must be tabled and approved by KOSAN’s koperasi members.
Despite the objections, the Board of Directors of KOSAN led by the-then Sabah Youth and Sports Minister from UMNO, Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan went ahead with the joint venture with Harmoni Bumiria.
In the third quarter of 2018, another Semenanjung-based developer, Asian Pac Holdings Berhad acquired 90% (90,000 units) of Harmoni Bumiria’s shares for a reported value of RM3.15 juta.
The acquisition effectively gave Asian Pac majority control over Harmoni Bumiria, and direct control over the joint venture to develop the piece of land Wisma KOSAN currently sits on.
According to another source, a few koperasi members of KOSAN made an effort to reach out to three DAP State Assemblymen between 2018 to 2020.
They were Tan Lee Fatt (Likas State Assemblyman), Frankie Poon Ming Fung (Former Sabah Youth and Sports Minister cum Tanjong Papat State Assemblyman) and Ginger Phoong Jin Zhe (Former Sabah Youth and Sports Minister cum Luyang State Assemblyman).
The DAP leaders to resolve the issue, but the issue was merely swept aside, like a timebomb waiting for time to explode.
Throughout 2015 to 2020, althought Wisma KOSAN was not demolished, steps towards that direction was taken whereby tenants were slowly evicted.
It started with the eviction of the house-tenants on the upper floors, before finally reaching the shop-tenants on the lowest floors.
The last batch of shop-tenants were forced to move out by 30th July 2021.
Another insider in KOSAN said, the progress between 2020 to 2021 under Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) was the most shocking.
She said that the management had used the pandemic as an opportunity to organise the compulsory Annual General Meeting online, via Zoom.
Because a huge majority of KOSAN members were either not technologically savvy or have unstable internet connections, they were denied the chance to voice their objection in the AGM.
It is to be noted here that according to the same insider, all major decisions must be tabled and approved by members of KOSAN, as the primary objective of a koperasi was to protect the interests of its members.
inisabahbah.com cannot independently verify the contents and latest status of the details entailed in the joint venture.
But checks on the internet found that a project by the name of “Likas Vue” was launched towards the end of 2019.
Sales agents have also begun publishing details of the project and collected booking fees.
An artist impression displayed on Likas Vue’s website also shows that the develipment will sit on the current site of Wisma KOSAN.
All koperasi members of KOSAN met by inisabahbah.com expressively noted that KOSAN was a koperasi set up to protect the interests of its members and they are aware of their rights.
At one point in time they heard that KOSAN was promised 15 units, then on another occasion it was 5 units. There was also a point in time where it was 10 units.
These vague details given over the years have caused koperasi members to question if the joint venture entered by KOSAN’s Board of Directors may be lopsided against KOSAN, resulting in KOSAN members not getting the best deal out of this prime land.
Some also questioned if there were hanky panky dealings done, while some others questioned if the Board of Directors have pocketed personal gains at the expense of KOSAN’s koperasi members.