MBAM urges govt to speed up contract awards

16 Aug 2019 / 15:58 H.

PETALING JAYA: The future growth of Malaysia’s construction industry is currently at a worrying state, given the lack of jobs in hand to ensure its continuity, while affecting the contribution to the economy as a whole.

The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) is therefore appealing to the government to speed up contract awards, especially big projects such as the second phases of the Pan Borneo Sabah and East Coast Rail Link, which have been long awaited by industry players.

President Foo Chek Lee (pix) said many Malaysian contractors had expressed concerns and “hunger” for new jobs as most existing projects would be completed either by year-end or in mid-2020.

He said even if the government might be facing some financial issues at the moment, small packages projects could be awarded, while their implementation extended to a longer period.

“This, at least, will enable small contractors to keep going. The industry will stall if they are jobless,“ he told a press conference after officiating the MBAM Affiliate Dialogue 2019 here today.

Foo said the sustainability concern was raised mostly by small and medium enterprises as the “big boys” could avoid this problem by securing overseas projects.

On another note, the association also appealed to the government to simplify the process of approval to bring in foreign workers to Malaysia as the current process, involving 26 procedures compared to only one in Singapore, is very time consuming.

This creates a hurdle for the contractors to meet the project deadlines, while facing worker shortage, Foo said.

He said a number of rejected applications were due to minor errors such as typo and auditing hiccups that could be rectified and compounded.

On the minimum standard of accommodation for workers, Foo said MBAM’s members are willing to cooperate with the government and ready to implement the rules if it is regulated.

He said the budget would be calculated under the preliminary cost, which in turn might have an impact on end-products.

This, however, could be reduced with the government help in terms of land subsidy, as well as lower percentage of compliance cost and tax, he added. — Bernama

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