President Message February 2014
MESSAGE FROM MBAM PRESIDENT, MR MATHEW TEE
January started off on the wrong foot for the construction industry due to the large scale raid against illegal immigrants by the Immigration Department, Royal Malaysia Police and Peoples Volunteer Corps (RELA) starting from 21st January 2014.
Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) abides by our legal obligation to employ only legal foreign workers. However, the Association urges the Government to provide clear guidelines on future raids especially at construction sites as our member has been seriously affected in past raids. Most of the foreign workers whether legal or illegal will flee the work sites to avoid being detained by the authorities. It is our understanding that the workers were detained unless they can provide their proper documentation which is sometime difficult as their documents might be with their employer or the Immigration Department. MBAM hopes for the understanding of the authorities to postpone the nationwide crackdown on illegal immigrants to prevent inconvenience to the people during this festive season. As an association that supports the well-being of the construction industry, MBAM has raised our concern on the Large Scale Raid Against Illegal Immigrants by the respective authorities department through our press releases that was covered by numerous news agencies such as The Sun, The Edge, NST, The Star and Bernama.
As an extensive umbrella organization that represents the Malaysian construction industry and services sector, MBAM will continue to appeal for the implementation of the One Stop Centre that is efficient and effective in order to accelerate the process of foreign workers permit to help avoid delay in construction projects due to limited supply of foreign workers faced by the industry today. Currently the procurement of foreign workers involves at least three different ministries and department namely the Immigration Department, Ministry of Human Resources and Home Ministry.
DISCUSSION ON THE IMPACT OF THE GST ON THE PROPERTY INDUSTRY
The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association of Malaysia (REHDA) organized a discussion on the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the property industry on 6th January 2014 at Wisma Rehda, Kelana Jaya. The discussion was chaired by Datuk Ng Seing Liong of REHDA. I was invited to give input on the items being discussed from the viewpoint of MBAM. Among the various Associations present at the discussion included ACCCIM, Building Materials Distributors Association Malaysia (BMDAM), Cement & Concrete Association of Malaysia (C&CA), Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia (PKMM), Malaysian Hardware Machinery & Building Materials Dealers’ Association (MHMBA), Malaysia Steel & Metal Distributors Association (MSMDA), Malaysian Structural Steel Association (MSSA), National Ready-Mixed Concrete Association of Malaysia (NRMCA), Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA), Sarawak Housing & Real Estate Developer’s Association (SHEDA) as well as Steel Wire Association of Malaysia (SWAM). The discussion agreed on a few proposals including requesting to the Government for residential property to be zero-rated instead of exempted from GST, and for a number of critical building materials to be zero-rated as well if possible, taxed at a lower GST rate if not. As it is, the introduction of the GST might force developers to increase property prices which will affect its affordability. Ultimately, the rakyat will suffer because of this.
42ND ANNIVERSARY DINNER OF PERSATUAN PEMBORONG-PEMBORONG & PEMBEKAL BARANG-BARANG BANGUNAN KEDAH
Persatuan Pemborong-Pemborong & Pembekal Barang Barang Bangunan Kedah (PPBBK) held their 42nd Anniversary Dinner at Chew Loong Restaurant, Alor Star, Kedah on 15th January 2014. I would like to extend my appreciation to PPBBK Chairman, Mr Ooi Aik Huat for inviting me to celebrate their memorable day and given an opportunity for me to say a few words at the Anniversary Dinner. I hope PPBBK will continue to prosper and play a prominent role in developing the construction industry in Kedah.
SEMINAR ON CONSTRUCTION ADJUDICATION: SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY ALONG WITH THE BOOK LAUNCH OF ADJUDICATION OF CONSTRUCTION PAYMENT DISPUTES IN MALAYSIA
Lexis Nexis Malaysia organized a seminar cum book launch on 21st January 2014 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC). I was also given the opportunity to give a few words on the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 which was gazetted on 22nd June 2012, putting Malaysia as one of the country having a statutory payment and adjudication regime for construction contracts.
The event was graced by The Honourable Justice YBhg. Dato’ Mah Weng Kwai, Judge, Court of Appeal, Malaysia, YBhg. Professor Datuk Sundra Rajoo, Director of the KL Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA), Associate Prof Sr Hjh Wan Maimun, Past President of the Royal Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia, Ms Ella Wang, Managing Director of LexisNexis, and distinguished authors, Mr Chow Kok Fong, The Honorable Justice Mr Lim Chong Fong and Mr Oon Chee Kheng.
One of the authors, The Honorable Justice, Mr Lim Chong Fong had served with Master Builders Association Malaysia’s Contracts Committee for a long time. He had served since June 2004 to 19th November 2013 and was appointed as MBAM Honorary Advisor (Contracts) on 12th August 2012. Recently, Mr Lim has been appointed to be Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Malaya, which is a testimony to his capabilities and credibility. MBAM is very proud of Mr Lim recent achievement in his profession as a legal practitioner.
Last but not least MBAM congratulates LexisNexis for organizing such a successful seminar and book launch.
DIALOGUE WITH MALAYSIAN QUARRIES ASSOCIATION (MQA)
MBAM Machinery Resources Committee met with the following representatives from MQA on 23rd January 2014 in order to pursue the machinery import duties and sales tax reduction:
- Mr. Q.C Teh – MQA President
- Mr. Yap Soon Huat – Deputy President
- Mr. Lewis Liew – Vice President
MQA shared their success stories when they received the reduction of import duties imposed on dumper trucks. Representative from MQA later joined MBAM Council Meeting on 24th January 2014 to provide their input on issues affecting the Association.
MBAM FELLOWSHIP NO. 1/2014 AT BORA-BORA PUB
24th January 2014 marked the first MBAM Fellowship for this year. The MBAM Fellowship No.1/2014 was held at Bora-Bora Pub, Oasis Square, Ara Damansara and was attended by almost 300 people. The Fellowship, which was sponsored by Bauer (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Cemex Concrete (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd had successfully gathered a bigger crowd than usual.
PORT DICKSON BUILDERS ASSOCIATION (PDBA) 45TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER 2014
On 25th January 2014, MBAM Deputy Secretary-General 1, Mr Dennis Tan and I attended the Port Dickson Builders Association (PDBA) Anniversary Dinner in conjunction with their 45th Anniversary. I would like to thank Mr Tan Chong Heng, President of Port Dickson Builders Association (PDBA) for the kind invite and congratulate him and PDBA on their 45th Anniversary Dinner 2014 celebrations. I hope that PDBA will always prosper and play a prominent role in Port Dickson and beyond. MBAM will continue to support Affiliated Associations and with other relevant Government authorities, allied professional institutions, to jointly address common affairs and concerns in this industry. We will continue to emphasize the role of MBAM as the Prime Mover and the Recognised Voice of the Malaysian Construction Industry.
SEMINAR ON GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST)
MBAM will organize a full day seminar on the above topic on Wednesday, 19th February 2014. The seminar will be held at Holiday Villa Hotel & Suites, Subang, to be delivered by a group of experts in GST with special focus on the overview of GST and how the GST will affect the construction sector when it is implemented in April 2015. For a nominal registration fee of RM350.00 per person for members and RM450.00 for non-members, you will receive seminar materials and a Certificate of Attendance. Advance payment is required to guarantee participation.
Due to limited seats, acceptance of registration will be on first-come-first-served basis. For enquiry/registration, kindly contact: Mr Lenny Lim or Ms Tessa Hamid at +603-7984 8636 or fax to +603-79826811 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MBAM OPEN HOUSE 2014
We are pleased to inform you that MBAM Open House 2014 will be held on Friday, 21st February 2014 from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm at the Grand Ballroom, Level 5, The Gardens Hotel & Residences – St Giles Luxury Hotel, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
The gathering aims at providing members/participants the opportunity to make new contacts, exchange information and promote business opportunities and co-operation. We believe the event will bring significant benefits to your esteemed organization.
It is free-of-charge for the first participant from each member company. Additional participant will be charged a nominal fee of RM120.00 per person which includes buffet dinner and free flow of beer. As seats are limited to 200 pax, please register early to avoid disappointment. Reservation will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.
Kindly confirm your participation with MBAM Secretariat on/before Friday, 14th February 2014. For enquiries/reservation, please contact MBAM Secretariat, Ms Zharraine Chang, Ms Roziha or Ms Logeswary at +603-7984 8636 or email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, as the Chinese New Year is just around the corner, I would like to wish all of you happiness and prosperity in the coming year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!