Thanks to the countless contributions made by Datuk Seri Panglima Clarence Bongkos Malakun, there is no doubt that Malakun has become one of the prominent family names in this part of Malaysia. And although Clarence has officially retired from the political scene in 2004, there are still crucial community roles to be upheld by the family. “Although Sabah is growing along with the income of its population and the demand for bigger properties is rising, the supply of such modern infrastructure is still lacking. And this is where ITCC Penampang (ITCC) steps in,” shares Alexander Hugo Malakun during a light chat.
Despite his occasional far-off stares, Hugo carries himself with an air of authority and if prompted, he can hold long intellectual and passionate conversations on topics concerning Sabahans’ welfare. The eldest amongst seven siblings, the director of ITCC Penampang Properties is also a barrister-at-law at Inner Temple. “As different as it may be, I think both professions require a lot of knowledge, critical thinking and networking skills,” he explains, further elaborating that he is excited about the soon-to-open ITCC Mall. “With over 500,000sqft of nett lettable area, it is going to be one of the largest commercial properties in Sabah!”
At such a large scale, thorough planning and hard work are essential and presently, Hugo is all set to lead Sabah to a brighter future. “ITCC is listed as a private sector initiative project under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). While the state’s market is heavily focused on oil and gas, agriculture and tourism, I think the government has made the right decision to facilitate innovation and commercialisation here. And for that same reason, we will do our best to improve and provide innovative infrastructure for Sabah,” he narrates, highlighting that ITCC will enhance not only the development of Penampang but also the Kota Kinabalu district through the participation of technology- and knowledge-based economic activities and businesses.
“Regardless, we aim to create value for both social and economic activities in Sabah. Thus, we’re planning to build the first MSC Cybercentre, the largest pillarless ballroom, and to bring much more ‘first’ into the state. All done so to benefit the public as well as to create more job opportunities and business streams in the near future,” Hugo answers, noting on his hopes to become an exemplary figure to his newborn son and to provide a promising future for his family as well as the Kadazan-Dusun community. “Being a Kadazan in Sabah would instil in you the fondness of community-hood and respect for one another. Yet, living in a globalised world, some are easily influenced by those who try to create racial or religion tensions. But I strongly believe such matter will have no place in a harmonious Sabah.”