Where it all began
Milek Perkasa’s first chief executive, the late Walter G Anderson recalled that when he was first given the job, there was no immediate office accommodation available. As luck would have it a friendly party in the form of quantity surveying firm, Pakatan Juru Ukur Bahan, Milek Perkasa set up its first office on 4 February, 1972 by sharing accommodation with the former on the 4th floor of Norsmal Court Building. After finding its footing in the next few months, Milek Perkasa set up its office proper in July 1972 on the 4th and top floor of the then new Town Board Building, a 4,800 sq ft high class office accommodation which it shared with the Research Section of the Ministry of Industrial Development. In 1977, it moved to Complex SEDCO in Kampung Air before moving again years later in 1995 to Centre Point Sabah. Two years ago, SUDC unveiled a new logo, reflecting its new corporate identity and its shift from Centre Point Sabah to its own corporate premises on the 9th floor of Menara MAA, Api-Api Centre, Kota Kinabalu.
Even from its humble beginnings under the stewardship of the late Walter G Anderson, staffing and developmental planning had always been a subject uppermost in the minds of Milek Perkasa’s management. In order to make the company self-sufficient in its technical expertise, a fully qualified civil engineer was engaged in early 1973 and a Building Design Technical Drafting Department created, fully manned and equipped with the latest technical equipment and machinery for surveying and plan printing.
NEW CORPORATE IDENTITY… the decision to move to Menara MAA was conceived among others, by the need to portray the corporate image of SUDC as a definitive urban developer.
Barely over a year old, the company also saw the recruitment of three young technical officers from the Mara Institute of Technology (now UITM), Kuala Lumpur and also the employment of Mohd Kenit Pg Hj Omar who eventually became Malek Perkasa’s first local general manager in 1985. Mohd Kenit was the first Sabahan who was iternally promoted within the company. He retired in 1989. Till today, SUDC is proud of its achievement in building up bumiputera professionals.
Over the years, the company’s sphere of activities broadened to include large-scale urban development with an emphasis on commercial and residential premises. This eventually resulted in its name change to SUDC in 1984. Since then, SUDC aggressively participated in building even more commercial and industrial premises to enable bumiputeras to increase their participation in commerce and industries.
It has over a hundred projects under its name all over Sabah and property development continues to be the driving core activity of SUDC with several new developments shaping the state. True to its pioneering spirit and meeting market driven sentiments, SUDC continues to build on its own and with partnerships to maximise the financial returns from the development of its land bank. Its notable projects are now far reaching, encompassing various segments that include residential, office, township, commercial, industrial and hotel/resort developments. Impressive examples include a myriad of residential properties offered in Kuhara Court, Lok Kawi Heights and Kingfisher Cove; new commercial high traffic outlets like Eastern Plaza – the largest shopping complex in Tawau, Darvel Bay Shopping Mall – the first of its kind in Lahad Datu and the joint venture projects of Asia City and Start City Complex in Kota Kinabalu.
The company has also moved upstream, developing projects in partnership with private landowners for mutual economic benefits. An example of this is the Kuhara Point Development in Tawau. This multi-million Ringgit integrated development comprises the Kuhara Court condominium, Eastern Plaza shopping centre and Kuhara Hotel — an upcoming business hotel that will be an address that will take centre stage.
Today, property development continues to be the primary focus activity of SUDC with project under its belt hat have left an indelible impression on the state. It has proven time and again that it is a property developer with vision, conceptualising projects that are much needed by the industry, for example an integrated resort in Meruntum where the company came up with the masterplan. Such projects are timely as it is targeted at the offshore market in support of the government’s efforts in promoting the Malaysia-My-Second-Home programme. SUDC’s initiatives depict the company’s capability in planning well-thought developments and great foresight by its management.
Despite initial skepticism about its capability, with bumiputera officers at the helm, the corporation is now held in high regard by many in the business community. It stands proudly with other renowned property players in Sabah and is regarded as an equal after having achieved the MS ISO 9001:2000 certificate by SIRIM in recognition of its high quality management system in 2005. On another note, the election of SUDC;s Managing Directore, Tuan Haji Abu Bajar M Yahya as chairman of Sabah Housing and Real-Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) for two consecutive terms reaffirmed the calibre and professionalism of its management team.
With ongoing projects costing over RM1 billion, SUDC has firmly established itself as a premier property developer in Sabah. It is also looking forward to an eventual listing on Bursa Malaysia in the future. Undoubtedly, SUDC is set to scale greater heights in the immediate future and years to come.