Sale of Land.

At the meeting of the General Committee on Wednesday 27 March 1968 The Chairman reported that he had once again been approached by a Chinese broker who wished to negotiate the sale of a piece of club land for development. The question about sale of land had been raised before and The club was not willing to sell land for which it had no use since Government insisted on heavy premiums for land transfer which rendered no profit to the club from such sale.

One year later on Sunday 23 March 1969 the Chairman reported that in the past week the club had received two offers for the sale of part of club land comprising of a strip approximately 90 feet wide by 240 feet long running parallel to the South Road from the far end of the existing access road. The first offer was from Nicholas Fung and Co representing Fu Yen Development at a price of $120,000 with the intention to apply for change of land use and erect shophouse blocks. The second offer was from Salleh Sulong the Minister of Finance for $110,000 with the intention of erecting a Youth Club or some similar building to be used for recreational purposes for which no change of expressed condition in the  title would be required. In both offers any premium charged on the sale of land would be to the account of the buyer. The General Committee unanimously agreed that although the offers were not high it was in the interest of the clubs to sell this portion of land free of premium as to decline the offer might result in Goverment resorting to compulsory acquisition where the compensation would be as low as $10,000. It was also agreed that through land sale proceeds to the club would be able to repay the $65,000 bank overdraft and be on sound financial footing again. The offer of $110,000 from Salleh Sulong was accepted as the terms of sale  were unconditional, and not subject to successful negotiation with the Government regarding alternative land use.

It was agreed by the General Committee that the sale proceeds would be applied to repay the overdraft with the Chartered Bank in full, repay indebtedness with suppliers and to improve the club’s facilities by air conditioning certain parts of the clubhouse. By 7 October 1969 the sale was completed and bank overdraft fully repaid.

In surrendering the title for sub-division the General Committee at its meeting on Tuesday 16 December 1969 considered it necessary to apply for changes in the special clauses ofthe land title. ln Clause 1, the words ‘H.E. The Governor’ be substituted by the words ‘The Yang di-Pertua Negara’. Clause 2 should be deleted as the club no longer own the padang. Thirdly the words ‘theatrical purposes’ should be added to Clause 3. As the result of this representation when the sub-divided title Kota Kinabalu Lease No. 017521390 was issued to the club covering the reduced area of 2.176 acres the following special terms were incorporated:-

“1. His Excellency the Yang di-Pertua Negara shall be ex-officio President of the Sports Club Kota Kinabalu and a member of its Committee.
2. The sold piece of land is demised herein expressly for the purposes of recreation (including sports, social and theotrical activities).
3. Transfer or sub-lease of this title is prohibited without permission from the Government”

Further Improvements to the Clubhouse

After the land sale nett funds available for improvements amounted $35,000.00. An air-conditioned bar and dining room were erected by converting the existing dining room and extending it to includethe East end of the lounge at a cost of $24,000.00. A roof was built over the staircase at a cost of $2,150.00The next round of improvement was done in 1974 when the entire clubhouse was air-conditioned at a total cost of $44,000.00. New staff quarters were built at the cost of $22,650.00. In 1975 a further sum was spent on improving the bar, dining room, Orchid Room, kitchen and snooker room. In 1978 games room extension and new office cost another $80,000.00. In 1989 new staff quarters were built at the final cost of $193,883.67.
The current major renovation plans were conceived in 2001 and endorsed by E.G.M. on 15 December 2001.The final plans were approved by another E.G.M. on 5 December 2002 at an estimated cost of $575,000.00. In early 2003 the final renovation plans were submitted to City Hall for approval.

Proposed Re-Development of the Clubhouse

Due to its attractive location and the ver present fear of compulsory acquisition by influential interested parties the club went through a series of re-development proposals on commercial basis over the years.
Following the land sale to Salleh Sulong the club received an approach by a group of businessmen who were interested to develop the club land into a hotel project. This prompted the club to commission a surveyor to determine the exact boundary of the site in order to prepare a master plan for future re-development. The survey was completed by June 1981 and the club looked seriously into the possibility of relocating the clubhouse to make room on the site for the construction of a high rise block. But expressed condition of the lease were recognised as serious hurdles to such commercial undertakings.
On 17 April 1984 the redevelopment proposal raised its head again when the General Committee appointed Datuk Monggoh Orow to head a redevelopment sub-committee to finalise a master plan. This sub-committee met times over a period of 6 months and a conceptual scheme was proposed and 14 sketch plans were produced comprising of a podium up to the 9th floor, with a twin tower block from 10th to 22nd floors, and an elevated car park block. The proposed complex covered a total area of 380,180 square feet. On being consulted the Chief Minister of Sabah was not in favour of changing the land use condition of the site as a change would attract heavy premium. He suggested that plan be drawn to include a mian grandstand facing the padang with an adjoining main building for a club with all modern facilities. To finance the project the club was invited to apply for a 2 acre site along Tuaran Road near the Custom flats for commercial development on a turnkey basis. A land application for the 2 acre site was submitted by the club on 15 February 1985. A week later the proposal was shelved.
In 1992 again the re-development proposaI was discussed. Initially the concept of hotel cum clubhouse was considered. Later on in 1993 apartment type ot development was proposed and rejected. Azmi Smith Gore was engaged to value the property resulting in a valuation ot RM5.7 million in 1994. Another re-development sub-committee was appointed. By 1996 a concept of 20 storey building with car parks, business type hotel and club facilities was considered.Nothing materialised until 2000 when an architect member was commissioned to prepare club renovation plans and a conceptual plan for future redevelopment. By 2002 it was decided only the renovation plans would be pursued with the future redevelopment plan shelved again.

Administration of the Club

A full time secretary was first employed in March 1973. In July 1974 a manager was employed for the club together with a book-keeper. The re-organisation of the financial affairs club in early 1980 led to the resignation of the manager and the book-keeper. In early 1981 it was decided to engage a manager cum accountant. At the A.G.M. on 31 March 1981 the motion to employ a full time manager cum secretary to run the affairs of the club instead of depending on the voluntary efforts of the committee members were carried. The problem basically was the lack of systems in the club administration. Mr tony Lee finally appeared on the scene. On May 1982 he presented a paper to the General Committee on stationary, stock and sale of coupons, bar operations, inventory control, purchase procedure and petty cash control. The systems were adopted with only minor amendments. By 1984 Mr Tony Lee was asked to provide management services to the club. By 1986 monthly reports were available to the General Committee. Aging system of member’s accounts was introduced in 1987. Suitable manager was hard to find and retain. By October 1990 Mr Tony Lee was retained on a more permanent basis and on 1 January 1991 Mr Tony Lee, who put the administration of the club on proper basis, was appointed club manager.
As the character and composition of the membership of the club changed over the years, the types of activities, and the amenities and facilities of the club also changed over the course of time.