Safeguard a burden to builders and contractors, says MBAM

PETALING JAYA: The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) said the government's imposition of the safeguard duties on some products will definitely increase the cost of construction projects which will ultimately be passed on to the rakyat.

The final determination of the Safeguards Act 2006 effective April 14, 2017 have seen the government imposing final duties on rebar, steel wire rods and deformed bar in coils import for three years namely 13.42% for year one, 12.27% for year two and 11.10 % for year three.

"MBAM is very disappointed at the outcome," its president Foo Chek Lee said in a statement today.

"The association is strongly against the imposition of these additional duties for three years until April 13, 2020," he added.

Nevertheless, Foo said MBAM and its members hope that the prices of steel bars will remain stable and not escalate out of hand due to the absence of the free flow of imported steel.

Foo said the association hopes the government would allow an open market to decide on the price of steel bar based on 'supply and demand' especially involving imported steel.