KOTA KINABALU(Sept 18): The management of Centre Point Sabah has decided to construct the link to the Kota Kinabalu Skybridge next year, with the support from over 400 business owners of the shopping mall.
The 400-meter long skybridge was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor on September 3 and opened to the public on September 9.
It is built to provide a safe convenience for the public and currently links Oceanus Shopping Mall, Api-Api Centre, and Asia City. The seventh entrance (Entrance G) which connects directly to the Centre Point is not yet linked.
Megan Liu, the general manager of Centre Point Sabah, pointed out in a statement on Saturday the mall management had discussed with the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) and agreed to bear the cost to complete the connection.
Following the original plan, the mall management has allocated a budget solely for this project. However, due to the previous years of stagnant progress of the skybridge and the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult to outsource the project to contractors.
Megan also said that the pandemic had led to serious decline of sales at the mall. Some businesses have not been able to operate throughout the year and many shops have closed down. The current situation shows that it is not possible for businesses to recover and would only deteriorate further this year. The mall management understands the hardship of the business operators, so has granted service charge rebates totalling RM1.44 million so far this year to ease their cash flow burden.
As such, the allocated budget of connecting the skybridge has been utilized for that purpose, and also for several charity projects such as the food bank programs, blood donation campaigns, and sponsorships to frontliner personnel.
Megan said instead of linking the skybridge, the management decided to prioritize taking care of the mall’s business operators to help their businesses stay operating.
As the tourism industry is also affected with less tourists this year, the skybridge will not be much help to the mall’s business operators.
In view of this, the mall management decided to focus on providing rebates this year and extend the construction of skybridge connection next year.
Megan also hopes that the state government or DBKK could allocate some budget next year to help the mall to complete the connection.