Qhazanah Sabah Inks Deal With Berjaya Land For Study On Kota Kinabalu International Airport Move to Kimanis

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sabah State Government’s strategic investment arm, Qhazanah Sabah Bhd (“QSB”) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with renowned property developer, Berjaya Land Berhad (“B-Land”) to explore the possible relocation of Kota Kinabalu International Airport (“KKIA”) to Kimanis.


At the MoU signing, QSB was represented by its Group Chief Executive Officer, Encik Ahmad Rizal Dahli and witnessed by its Group Company Secretary, Encik Rudy Jaglul. Signing on behalf of  B-Land was its Deputy Chairman and Berjaya Corporation Berhad Joint Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Syed Ali Shahul Hameed with Berjaya Corporation Berhad Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun acting as witness.

Also present at the event were the Chairman of QSB, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Salleh Said Keruak, Director of QSB, Datuk Johnson Tee and the Chief Executive Officer of B-Land, Datuk Abdul Rahim Bin Mohd Zin.

“The MoU establishes preliminary collaboration between both companies,
paving the way for QSB to carry out feasibility studies and exploratory
works for the proposed project. Everything is preliminary at the moment
until consensus with all relevant stakeholders is reached,” said Encik Ahmah Rizal Dahli, Group Chief Executive Officer of the QSB Group.
He added that as the Sabah government’s investment arm, QSB has been tasked
with looking into various strategic development initiatives to support the
economic growth of Sabah, including the possible relocation of KKIA to
Kimanis. He stressed that feedback from all stakeholders would be taken into
consideration and consensus had to be unanimous before any decision is made
on the proposed relocation.

“The relocation of KKIA had been suggested in various discussions across the board for a decade. This MoU allows us to look at this in more detail,
particularly in terms of economic viability and social impact assessment. We are looking forward to tapping on the expertise brought on board by the
early partnership with B-Land, particularly on infrastructure development.
Any outcome as a result of the feasibility studies would be made in the best interest of the state. This has always been and will continue to be our
focus in whatever we do,” he said.
According to Encik Ahmad Rizal Dahli, KKIA is unlikely to be able to expand
further in operational terms, including expansion of its terminal building
and runway as well as other facilities, due to limited land area and its
current location, which is surrounded by privately owned land and its proximity to Kota Kinabalu city centre.
“On top of that, the proximity can be one of the risk factors for delayed
development of the city centre due to the regulations and restrictions set
by having an airport nearby. A relocation of KKIA to Kimanis, on the other hand, could result in the airport having more than one terminal building and
runway. Sabah will then be able to leverage its geographically central
location in Southeast Asia to explore becoming an air travel hub within the
East Asian region. The possibilities are there,” Encik Ahmad Rizal added.

Meanwhile, B-Land’s Deputy Chairman, Mr Syed Ali Shahul Hameed, said “As a
leading property developer, both locally and abroad, B-Land is honoured to
be a part of this initiative and be given the opportunity to contribute
positively towards the economic and social development of the state of
The MoU covers the relocation of KKIA involving the construction and
development of a new international airport in Kimanis as well as a
sustainable development plan to be undertaken within Kimanis or on any other
land deemed suitable by the Sabah State Government (“Proposed Project”). A
special purpose vehicle will undertake the Proposed Project upon completion
of a detailed technical and financial feasibility study, strategic business
plan and financial modelling proposal to be agreed by both parties.

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