President Message December 2019


Some of the key events worth highlighting last month were the courtesy visits to the Secretary-General of Ministry of Works Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Syed Omar Sharifuddin bin Syed Ikhsan and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong. While some of the events organised by MBAM include the Occupational Safety and Health Roadshows in Sarawak and Perak, as well as the Human Resource Conference with the theme “Human Resource Management in the Construction Industry – The Way Forward”.

While we are preparing for the activities in year 2020, I hope that all members will continue to partake in the myriad of events organised by MBAM.


Appreciation Ceremony for Centre of Technology (COT), Department of Polytechnic Education and Community College (JPPKK)

The above event was held on 6 November at Bangunan Galeria PjH, Putrajaya. It was officiated by the Director General of JPPKK, Ts. Dr Mohammad Naim bin Yaakub. MBAM was represented by Deputy President, Tan Sri Sufri Hj Mohd Zin and Executive Officer, Jocelyn Ng. Tan Sri Sufri was invited to present some of the awards to deserving winners and join in for the exhibition tour which was held in conjunction with the appreciation ceremony.


Tan Sri Sufri (third from left) with other VIP guests and awards recipient on stage


Tan Sri Sufri (middle) visiting some of the exhibition booths

Certificate Presentation Ceremony for MBAM Construction Occupational Competency Development (COCD) Programme for Trade Supervisor (Foreman), Kuala Lumpur 11th Intake

The certificate presentation ceremony for COCD Programme for Trade Supervisor (Foreman), Kuala Lumpur 11th intake was held on 6 November at MBAM Training Centre. The ceremony started with the welcome speech by Vice President, Dennis Tan. Trainer Dr Yeow Yoon Foo also gave a short speech and congratulated all the certificate recipients. Dennis presented the Skill Competency Certificate to 15 participants. Besides that, Certificates of Achievement were also presented to outstanding achievers namely with Most Improvement, with Merit and with Distinction. COCD assessors, Wong Khin Yip and Micheal Thong also attended the ceremony.


Vice President, Dennis Tan (middle right); Trainer Dr Yeow (middle left) and assessors with the happy recipients after the certificate presentation ceremony

7TH MBAM Seminar on Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) and Workshop on Fall Prevention, Sarawak 2019

MBAM together with Sarawak Building & Civil Engineering Contractors Association jointly organised a 2-day Seminar on OSH and Workshop on Fall Prevention in Sarawak on 7 and 8 November at Imperial Hotel Miri, Sarawak with a total of 62 participants and guests. 


Chairman of MBAM Safety and Health Committee, Michael Yap delivering the opening speech

Day-1 of the Seminar included the following presentations:

  1. Construction Activities Risk Assessment (CARA) using Hazard Identification, Risk Analysis and Risk Control (HIRARC), CIDB’s role in promoting safety construction work and culture in construction industry, Safety and Health Assessment System in Construction (SHASSIC);
  2. Impact of Cognitive Values in OSH;
  3. How Safe is Safety in Construction Today (Current Facts & Safe Induction Procedure);
  4. OSHA 1994: Act and Regulation; and
  5. SOCSO’s function and roles, and SOCSO schemes protection.

Day two of Workshop on Fall Prevention was facilitated by Major (Rtd) Leong Yee Keong, Deputy Chairman of MBAM Safety and Health Committee. The workshop emphasised on the roles of employers in Fall Prevention, how Fall Prevention and Construction Site Safety can benefit from Industry Revolution 4.0, OSHCIM integration into enhancement of Fall Prevention strategies and legal requirements, fall prevention strategies and what went wrong in the industry.


MBAM Dialogue with United Malaysia Contractors Association (UMCA)

The above dialogue was held upon the invitation of UMCA on 9 November at UMCA’s office in Kuala Lumpur. MBAM was led by me alongside Secretary-General, Eric Yong. Also present were MBAM Human Resources Committee Member, Mazlan bin Harun; Secretariat, Lenny Lim and Leon Leong. Chairman of UMCA, Leong Kien Keong gave the welcoming speech and the session was moderated by Secretary-General of UMCA, Sinn Fuh Ming.

Some of the key issues discussed include the difficulties to employ foreign workers. Starting next year, the 2.2 million legal foreign workers in Malaysia will be fully covered under the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) Act 1969 for any employment-related injuries. The minimum wage was increased to RM 1,200.00 per month in major cities starting 2020. There are also issues relating to the proposed expansion of scope of coverage of the Employment Act 1955 from RM 2,000.00 to RM 4,000.00. Needless to say, increasing the scope of coverage will have great impact on the cost of doing business in terms of workers’ benefits and overtime pay for work on rest days and public holidays.

The other issue discussed was the influx of China Contractors in the country. In the media, it was reported that the Government will ensure at least 40% of contracts to be given to local parties. In fact, at the Malaysia-Investment Promotion 2019 organised by MBAM in September 2019, MBAM reiterated this request to China International Contractor Association (CHINCA). Over the past two years, Chinese contractors have carried out 264 projects worth a total of RM 30.34 billion in Malaysia’s construction sector. At the end of the session, both organisations exchanged mementos of appreciation. Overall, it was a beneficial dialogue for UMCA members.


Here I am presenting a memento to UMCA’s Chairman, Leong Kien Keong

Courtesy Visit to Secretary-General of the Ministry of Works Malaysia 

MBAM paid a courtesy visit to the Secretary-General, Ministry of Works Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Syed Omar Sharifuddin bin Syed Ikhsan on 11 November. Representing MBAM were Deputy President, Tan Sri Sufri Hj Mohd Zin; Vice President, Dennis Tan; Council Member, Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz; Executive Director, Loh Mei Ling and Assistant General Manager, Lee Siew Mei. After exchanged of pleasantries, MBAM took the opportunity to raise several impending human resources issues:

  1. Multi-Tier Levy

MBAM is concern on the impending multi-tier levy which will be implemented by the Government on 1st January 2021. As of to-date, there is no clear mechanism ruling except that the more contractor hire foreign workers, they are required to pay more levy.  MBAM hope the Government will share the details with the industry players for further comment and to allow the necessary time frame for the industry players to cater for this increased of cost of doing business.

  1. Foreign Workers
    1. Proposal to legalise existing undocumented or illegal foreign workers in the country. Currently the “Back for Good” programme which started from 1st August till 31st December 2019 does not attract undocumented foreign workers to come forward as they will be compounded – RM700.00 and blacklisted.  Proposed to LEGALISE THE ILLEGAL which is more relevant where Government can collect levy while the industry can get workers and the workers themselves can get work. 
    2. Difficulties in getting foreign workers for smaller contractors. Although Contractor may apply for foreign through CLAB for a period of 6 months of employment but till to date still no news from CLAB when the workers are available.  As of to-date, the SPPA is yet to be recommenced since it was suspended in December 2018. 
    3. Foreign Workers Replacement System via Check Out Memo (COM) – Most contractors failed the audit process by Labour Department due to non-compliance issue with labour law. It was suggested that the non-compliance issues to be done separately while application should be processed accordingly.
  1. Amendment to Employment Act 1955

At the recent announcement in the Budget 2020, it was proposed that the amendments of the labour acts which covers Employment Act 1955, Industrial Relations Act 1967 and Trade Unions Act 1959 (like Ordinary Rate of Pay (ORP), Maternity & Paternity Leave, Working hours, Flexible Working hours, Power DG of Labour, Freedom of Associations etc.).  The said amendments is unfavourable to the Employer in terms of productivity.

At the end of the meeting, MBAM proposed that the Ministry of Works to chair a meeting inviting other agencies such as CIDB Malaysia, Jabatan Tenaga Kerja (JTK), Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA) and Immigration Department of Malaysia (Ministry of Home Affairs) with MBAM and other construction related associations such as Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia (PKMM), Persatuan Kontraktor Bumiputera Malaysia (PKBM), Persatuan Kontraktor India Malaysia (PKIM) and United Malaysia Contractors Association (UMCA) to update and provide further input in particular the multi-tier levy and shortage of foreign workers.  Dato’ Dr Syed Omar has agreed to follow-up closely with the relevant Government departments on the above issues raised.



Tan Sri Sufri (middle) presenting a memento to Dato’ Dr Syed Omar

Courtesy Visit by Association of Citizen Contractors Tanzania to MBAM

Association of Citizen Contractors Tanzania (ACCT) conducted a courtesy visit to MBAM Secretariat Office on 11 November. I was there to welcome the delegation together with Deputy President, Tan Sri Sufri Hj Mohd Zin; Vice President, Dennis Tan; Treasurer General, Kenneth Liew; Council Member, Ir Chee Weng Loon; Executive Director, Loh Mei Ling and Secretariat staff.

The delegation from Tanzania was led by ACCT Chairman, Milton Joseph Nyerere. Also present was Khatibu Makenga, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Chancery, Tanzanian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. President Foo delivered the opening remarks and welcomed the 24-pax delegation to MBAM. The MBAM corporate video was played to introduce MBAM to the ACCT delegation and Chairman Milton then introduced ACCT to MBAM attendees. He said that ACCT is a young organisation and its foundation was inspired by his visit to MBAM about 10 years ago. He explained that Tanzania modelled its regulatory body for the construction industry on the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia and he hope that ACCT can be active like MBAM. The discussion then moved on to activities conducted by MBAM and the construction industry in Tanzania.

Some of the challenges faced are similar, for example the influx of foreign contractors and the need to work together with foreign contractors to grow the local contractors and for capability development. The meeting ended on a positive note with an exchange of mementoes and group photo. Chairman Milton also invited MBAM to Tanzania for a courtesy visit. The ACCT delegation also visited MRT Corp’s Bandar Malaysia North Information Centre on 12 November where they were given briefings on the occupational safety and health practices as well as updates on the MRT Line 2 project, especially on the tunnelling portion of the project. The delegation was also taken on a tour of the project site there.


Group photo with the representatives from ACCT

Courtesy Visit to See Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong at Parliament Malaysia on Legal and Contractual Issues Affecting the Malaysian Construction Industry                                                                      

The above courtesy visit took place on 12 November at Parliament Malaysia. Attending to the visit were Secretary-General, Eric Yong; Honorary Advisor (Legal), John Tong; Vice President, Oliver Wee; Executive Director, Loh Mei Ling; General Manager, Lenny Lim and I. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong met with MBAM representatives where MBAM appealed to Datuk Liew to take a look the contractual issues that the industry is facing so that the Malaysian construction industry can continue to have sustainable growth.

Some legislative proposals which MBAM members and the construction industry had appealed Datuk Liew to consider are:

  1. Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act
  2. Unfair Contract Terms Act
  3. Regulation of the practice of Nominated Sub-Contractors (NSC)
  4. Requirement of payment bond for all construction works contracts
  5. Definition of “reasonable compensation” under Contracts Act 1950

Overall, it was a great opportunity to present MBAM’s view to the Minister. I also presented the MBAM 60th Anniversary Coffee Table Book and MBJ Issue 114 to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong.


MBAM Fellowship 6/2019 at Co-Labs Co-Working Space

The final fellowship for the year 2019 attracted about 116 participants at Co-Labs Co-Working Space on 15 November. Both myself and CEO of Paramount Property Northern Division Development, Ooi Hun Peng gave short speeches to welcome the participants. Through this event, MBAM members got together to build closer rapport for networking within our construction fraternity. MBAM is very proud of the strong support it receives from its members. I am grateful for the support that our members have shown throughout these years and I sincerely hope that this support would last forever.


Transportation Investment Forum: Public Private Partnership (PPP) Infrastructure Projects in Indonesia

I attended the Transportation Investment Forum: Public Private Partnership (PPP) Infrastructure Projects in Indonesia held on 18 November at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Members present at the forum were Council Member, Dato’ Astaman Abdul Aziz; Gan Wah Lien of George Kent; Tony Kok of LFE Corporation Bhd; Goh Ceah Chuan of Orangbeam; Tan Chien Wen of Temokin; and Seah Siew Choon of Masboh Hyundai.

The event hosted by the office of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Transportation Attaché Kuala Lumpur was aimed at the promotion of investment infrastructure in Indonesia, especially the transportation sector to prospective investors in Malaysia. The Ambassador of Indonesia in Malaysia H.E. Rusdi Kirana graced the event and encouraged Malaysian investors to invest in Indonesian capital. In H.E’s opening remarks, it was highlighted that one of the main pillars to achieve Vision of Indonesia 2045 is the development of integrated and inclusive infrastructure so as to create an equitable distribution of benefits from the development.

There was a moderation session by the Director of Indonesian Investment Promotion Centre (IIPC), Robby Kurniawan. Four main speakers were invited to share views on the various topic related to the infrastructure vast opportunities in Indonesia namely the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Ministry of National Development Planning, Ministry of Transportation and Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee Fund. Various projects include the construction of Trans Sumatera toll road from Aceh to Bandar Lampung and various commercial seaports and airport development were highlighted during the presentation session.

Title of presentations:

  1. Climate Investment Procedure in Indonesia (BKPM)
  2. Regulation and Development of PPPs in Indonesia (BAPPENAS)
  3. PPPs Projects Project un Transportation Sector (KEMENHUB)
  4. Government Guarantees on Infrastructure Development in Indonesia (PII)

Here I am with The Ambassador of Indonesia in Malaysia H.E Rusdi Kirana and some of the panel speakers

Technical Visit to the Exchange 106 at Tun Razak Exchange

The Exchange 106 is the latest skyscraper donning the skyline of Kuala Lumpur in the new financial and commercial hub at Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). Standing majestically at 492.06 metres tall above sea level with 106 floor, Exchange 106 is currently the tallest building in South East Asia, taking over the crown from Petronas Twin Tower until the completion of Merdeka PNB 118. It is topped by a 48-metre high illuminated crown made of special glass.

Some 25 MBAM Council members visited the Exchange 106 on 21 November. The entourage was taken to Level 7 which is a sample office area with column free office space ranging from 22,000 sq ft to 34,000 sq ft and is considered as the largest column free space in Malaysia. Manager of Leasing, Don Chow gave an overview of the Exchange 106. He also explained that the building comprised of 106 floor because there was 106 bungalow on the land where the Exchange 106 is situated. This is to honour the history of the area. The building is also designed with sustainability in mind using latest technologies such as energy efficient MEP systems, 100% LED lighting and state-of-the-art lift technology, as well as effective recycling management. The building is certified Gold GBI. MBAM thanked Mulia Group for its gracious hospitality during the technical visit.


Group photo in the 48-metre high illuminated crown

MBAM One Day Seminar on OSH for Contractors in Perak 2019

MBAM together with Perak Contractors Association, United Malaysian Contractors Association (UMCA), Perak Plumber’s Association and Kin Cho Hong Perak jointly organised a one-day Seminar on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) for Contractors in Perak on 21 November at Excelsior Hotel, Ipoh, Perak. It was attended by 108 participants and guests. This seminar aimed to create awareness among the employers and construction personnel on the importance of practicing high standard of occupational safety management and also by sharing of best practices with industry practitioners.


MBAM was honoured to have the Director General of DOSH Malaysia, Tuan Ir. Haji Omar Bin Mat Piah as the Guest of Honour for gracing and officiating the Opening Ceremony. Also present were Director of DOSH Perak, Ir Zamzurin Bin Maarof; Director of CIDB Perak, Saini Saidi; President of UMCA, Leong Kien Keong; President of Perak Contactor’s Association, Chong Chee Leong,; President of Perak Plumber’s Association, Lim Hock; Chairman of Kin Cho Hong Perak, Lee Yee Kuan; and Council Member and Chairman of MBAM Safety and Health Committee, Michael Yap.


Here I am delivering the opening speech

The following were the list of presentations during the seminar started:

  1. OSH Compliance in Construction Sector (Perak)
  2. Procedure for Wages Recording / Charges and Claim Benefits
  3. Role and Responsibility of Contractor/Employer on Occupational Safety and Health at Site
  4. Best Practices – MOM & SOP
  5. Practical Implementation of OSH in Construction Industry

Business @ Speed of Digital for Construction Industry

The seminar on Business @ Speed of Digital for Construction Industry held on 25 November was jointly organised by MBAM ICT & Data Resource Centre Committee and Fedelis Sdn Bhd, and sponsored by Dropbox South Asia and Fedelis Sdn Bhd at Co-Labs Starling Mall. MBAM Vice President cum Publications, ICT & Data Resource Centre Committee Chairman, Steven Shee delivered the welcome speech. In his speech, besides thanking the sponsors, he hoped that MBAM members will continue to invest in new technologies and talent to be able to improve productivity through digitalisation.

Fedelis Sdn Bhd Managing Director, Vincent Choy welcomed all participants in his speech and explained the transformation needed to increase productivity in construction industry by digitalisation. In his presentation, he emphasised on reinvention teamwork by using cloud computing focusing on how to integrate project via Dropbox Business and Dropbox Paper. Dropbox Head of Asia Local Business and Partners, Ko Su Hock was sharing on one of the Australia’s leading construction company drives into the digital age with Dropbox. Towards the end of session, a demo on how to use Dropbox was also being shared with the participants.


Group photo with the participants

Human Resource Conference 2019: Human Resource Management in Construction Industry – The Way Forward

MBAM Human Resources Committee successfully organised a HR Conference titled “Human Resource Management in the Construction Industry – The Way Forward” on 26 November at Holiday Villa Subang with a total of about 130 participants and guests. I delivered the welcome remarks and the event was officiated by the Guest of Honour, Secretary General of the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR), Dato’ Amir bin Omar.


Secretary General of MOHR, Dato’ Amir Bin Omar delivering the Opening Address

The following were the list of presentations during the Conference:

  1. “Hiring Foreign Construction Workers in Malaysia” by Senior Manager, Construction Personnel Registration Division, CIDB Malaysia, Hil Me Haji Md Isa;
  2. “Proposed Amendment to Employment Act 1955 (Act 265)” by Principal Assistant Director of Labour, Department of Labour for Peninsular Malaysia, Suraiya Ch’ng Abdullah;
  3. “Management of Foreign Workers” by Assistant Secretary, Foreign Workers Management Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Khairul Anwar Dahalan;
  4. “Immigration Procedure Relating to Employment of Foreign Workers” by Director, Foreign Labour Division, Immigration Department of Malaysia, Mohamad Abidin;
  5. Morning panel discussion was moderated by MBAM Technical Director, Ir Chuan Yeong Ming;
  6. “Income Tax and Tax Clearance for Foreign Workers” by Non Resident Customer Care Officer / Tax Auditor, Inland Revenue Board, Noviyanti Malik;
  7. “Employment Insurance System (EIS)” by Head of Employment Information Analysis Services Division, Social Security Organisation, Ummar Jai Kumar Abdullah;
  8. “TVET Policy and Direction for Construction Industry” by Deputy Director, TVET Coordination Division, Ministry of Education, Dr Wan Nor Aishah Wan Omar; and
  9. Afternoon panel discussion was moderated by MBAM HR Committee Member, Mazlan Haron.

Chairman of HR Committee, Dennis Tan delivered the closing remarks and officially closed the Conference.


Participants during the HR Conference

MBAM & MMCOA: “Improved Mediation – The Better Alternative to Resolve Construction Disputes”

MBAM held a talk at Malaysia Mobile Crane Owners’ Association 1987 (MMCOA) premise on 29 November to 33 members. MBAM Vice President and Chairman of MBAM Contracts and Practices Committee, Oliver Wee delivered an overview of MBAM’s initiative on Mediation. He also covered on MBAM Mediation Rules and the fees which is relatively most cost effective. He encouraged MMCOA members to consider MBAM Mediation Services as another option in dispute resolution.

MBAM Committee Member of MBAM Contracts and Practices Committee, Sr Ong Hock Tek presented on “Improved Mediation – The Better Alternative to Resolve Construction Disputes” where he went through among others the nature and typical construction types of dispute resolution methods and comparisons, conciliation and expert determination, Mediation Act 2012 and Court Annexed Mediation. MMCOA President, Alec Chong who is also MBAM Council Member presented both speakers tokens of appreciation at the end of the event.


Among the participants during the talk

During this festive season of giving, let us take time to enjoy the simple things. May this wonderful time of the year touch your heart in a special way. Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



MBAM President

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