President Message February 2017


Early this year, the Government introduced a new policy under the Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC) where the employers are required to be fully accountable for the foreign workers they hire. The EMC covers all stages, from application, employment and until the foreign workers return to their countries. This move if implemented will switch the payment of levy to the employers instead of the foreign workers and besides holding the employer fully responsible and accountable for their foreign workers. This will also place a great financial burden on the industry.

Fortunately, after appeals from various industries employers, the Cabinet decided to postpone the EMC to next year. MBAM hopes in future the Government should consult the industry players and understand the issues that the employers faced before introducing a new policy. On a brighter note, we are celebrating the Chinese New Year at the end of this month. I hope this New Year may bring Good Luck and Prosperity to all our members, affiliates, business associates and friends. HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!



Mr Ernest Koay Chin Oon, President of SWAM

During the meeting

On the 4th January 2017, Steel Wire Association Malaysia (SWAM) paid a courtesy visit to MBAM.  The meeting discussed on the safeguard duty imposed on steel bar and wire rod.  During the meeting, it was decided that MBAM, SWAM and other allied industries will work together to repeal the safeguard act which is due for review in April 2017. The meeting concluded with a joint representation to MITI.



The representatives from Sabah Builders Association

Presenting a token of appreciation to the representatives from Sabah Builders Association

Sabah Builders Association (SBA) paid a courtesy visit to MBAM on 4th January 2017.  MBAM has updated SBA issues related to construction industry such as:

  • Government has imposed the preliminary safeguard duty of additional 13.42% on imported steel rebar on top of existing 5% import tax.
  • CIDB Act 520 (Amendment 2011) mandatory requirement for local products to register for Perakuan Pematuhan Standard (PPS) and Imported Products for Certificate of Approval (COA).
  • Enforcement of scaffolding affecting non-conforming products currently used in the industry. Sub-standard Scaffold cannot be used at sites which took effect from 1st January 2017. Issues arising includes the fact that there are a lot of projects on-going and there is only one approved supplier for the conforming scaffolding. Furthermore, how are we going to solve the ongoing projects where sub-standard scaffolds are still in use.
  • MBAM is working with Malaysia Crane Association on training programmes with regards to safe crane operations.
  • To invite SBA to take part in the upcoming 43rd International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors’ Associations (IFAWPCA) Convention 2017 in Seoul, South Korea.
  • SBA has invited MBAM to take part in their Sabah Construction Industry Fair on 24th-26th February 2017 at Sabah Trade Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.



SBA presenting a token of appreciation to CIDB

Meeting in session

Sabah Builders Association (SBA) requested Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM)’s help to organise a meeting with Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB). On 5th January 2017, we paid a visit to CIDB for the meeting.  CIDB started the meeting with a presentation on CIDB Act 520 (Amendment 2011) and the mandatory requirement for local products to register for Perakuan Pematuhan Standard (PPS) while the imported products are obligated to register for Certificate of Approval (COA). SBA also took the opportunity to invite CIDB to take part in their Sabah Construction Industry Fair on 24th – 26th February 2017 at Sabah Trade Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The meeting was fruitful to strengthen the bond between our Affiliate member and the Government agency.



The representatives of various associations gathering together for the press conference

The press conference in session

Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), representing 32 other contractors associations with an outreach of 13,000 members organised an Emergency Press Conference on 9th January 2017. The Press Conference was held to appeal to the government to rescind the decision for levy to be paid by the employer and the implementation of the Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC). MBAM appeals to the government to engage the construction industry on the said matter for a productive and beneficial outcome.

The move was led by Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), and was supported by Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia (PKMM), Gabungan Kontraktor Bumiputera Wibawa Malaysia (GBC) and Persatuan Kontraktor India Malaysia (PKIM), which have a total joint representation of 33,135 members.



MBAM Chairman of International Affairs Committee, Tan Sri A K Nathan chaired the Malaysian International Builders Committee meeting on 9th January 2017 at Pullman Hotel Kuala Lumpur.  Representative from Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) were also present at the said meeting which was attended by 10 Malaysian International Builders.  The meeting was hosted by CIDB Malaysia.

Issues related to financing support and facilities were discussed in detail. Regarding government support, it was noted that most of the local contractors, despite their technical capabilities, do not stand a chance against the Chinese contractors due to the high government support they received in their home country.  The biggest issue pertaining to securing overseas project financing is not the lack of government intervention but it is the fact that local banks at large are not keen to support the local contractors to go overseas, although Bank Negara has instructed local banks to provide financing to these contractors. Thus, local banks have to be more open-minded in supporting local contractors to go overseas.  In some cases, local banks require huge cash collateral (50% to 100%) for overseas projects, which defeats the purpose of obtaining loan in the first place. Banks have no appetite to support local contractors to go overseas, and because of that, aspiring contractors have lost interest in venturing overseas.  Proposal given in the Meeting include for the Government to provide an overseas quota for local banks to support Malaysian contractors going overseas. In the event of failure to provide financing, the renewal of banking license for the local banks will be in jeopardy. This will motivate the banks to actively seek aspiring local contractors who are interested to venture into overseas projects and provide them funding.

As the way forward, the following activities were proposed:

  • Sharing session with Malaysian Exporters (including specialist/ subcontractors)
  • There is a proposal to set up a consortium consisting of 4 big companies and to target one Middle East market to kick start this initiative – with the support from CIDB.
  • Engagement with SME Malaysian Exporters (as part of the Consortium).
  • Industry engagement with CIDB Malaysia on the issue faced by Malaysian contractors.




Exchange of documents between MBAM President, Mr Foo Chek Lee and Director of PUO, Major (Honorary) Dato’ Hj. Md. Nor Bin Yusof

Among the representatives of MBAM member companies participating the signing ceremony

The MBAM Education Committee held a briefing session for MBAM member companies participating in the Work Based Learning (WBL) programme with Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO) on 10th January 2017 at the Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng Conference Room. This year will be the 2nd year MBAM is collaborating with PUO to conduct this WBL Programme, which basically provides placement for PUO students taking Bachelor of Construction Technology (BCT).


The briefing session was capped with a Q&A session where representatives from PUO answered various questions from the HR managers present on the WBL programme. The event was later adjourned at 3.30pm to allow for the Signing Ceremony to start on time. The Signing of Notes of Collaboration between members companies of Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) and Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO) to establish Work Based Learning (WBL) was held later at MBAM Training Centre. I delivered the welcome remarks followed by a speech from the Chairman of MBAM Education Committee, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Sufri bin Haji Mohd Zin. Next, Director of PUO, Major (Honorary) Dato’ Hj. Md. Nor Bin Yusof delivered his speech, followed by a short multimedia presentation on the WBL programme.


The WBL programme is designed with the aim to produce human capital that meets the needs of the construction industry. The students under this programme will be exposed to real work situation during their training period with the member companies of MBAM. Among the advantages to be gained by the students are improved classroom learning with real time / hands on experience in the construction industry and increased understanding in terms of the skills required for career advancement. Through the programme, the industry will also be able to establish a closer cooperative relationship with institutions of higher learning. In addition, the programme can contribute to the progress of our construction Industry. For the 1st batch, a  total of 20 Bachelor of Civil Engineering Technology (BCT) students had successfully completed their Work Based Learning (WBL) programme at seven MBAM member companies. The 2nd batch of the WBL programme will commence on 6th February 2017 involving 22 students at 10 MBAM member companies.


The signing ceremony was followed by a short press conference where MBAM and PUO representatives answered various questions on the programme and MBAM efforts in general to uplift the workforce of the construction industry. MBAM hoped that the industry will see the benefits of this programme and more companies and institutions of higher learning will join in training the students via WBL programmes, thus contributing to a more skilled and knowledgeable construction work force.



MBAM Vice President, Ir. Chuan Yeong Ming (seated in the centre), Mr Mazlan Haron (1st from right) from the MBAM HR Committee and Mr Leong (seated right) and Mr Tee (standing left side) from United Malaysia Contractors Association

The Department of Immigration Malaysia called for a dialogue session with the public on 12th January 2017 which was attended by the Minister in the Prime Minister Office, Y.B. Dato’ Paul Low and the Director-General of Department of Immigration Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Haji Mustafar Bin Haji Ali. Representatives from the Government out-sourced companies for hiring, rehiring and renewal of foreign workers namely MyEG, IMAN, Bukti Megah and Bestinet were also present to answer public enquiries.

At the said dialogue, Y.B Dato’ Paul briefed the industry representatives on the Government’s plan to shift the burden of responsibility of “strict liability” to industry players (or Employer) through Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC).  However, majority of the industry players were of the opinion that before EMC can be implemented, the shortage of workers at their jobsites as well as the high cost involved when hiring foreign workers must first be resolved



Trainer YBhg. Dato’ Mohamad Ridza Illias and participants during the session

Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) organized a series of scaffolding training for our Members and Construction personnel. The Level 2 (Intermediate) Scaffolding Course for the 8th intake was successfully held on 12th – 21st January 2017.

This course is designed for any personnel involved in heavy industry and construction. It is especially relevant to personnel who are:

  • Safety and Health Practitioners
  • Scaffolding team leaders / erectors

This Competency Scaffolding training is approved and recognized by DOSH and is 100% HRDF claimable. Participating company will be given an approved 20 CIDB CCD Points for each employee attending this training as well as 10 DOSH CEP Points.



The meeting at the Persatuan Pemborong-Pemborong & Pembekal-Pembekal Barang-Barang Bangunan Kedah’s office

MBAM President, Mr Foo Chek Lee receiving a token of appreciation from PPPPBBBK President, Mr Foo Kean Fun

The Persatuan Pemborong-Pemborong & Pembekal-Pembekal Barang-Barang Bangunan Kedah (PPPPBBBK) President, Mr Foo Kean Fun and his committee members were in attendance and hosted the MBAM – PPPBBBK dialogue session in the morning of 15th January 2017. The dialogue touched on the Employer Mandatory Commitment Act and related issues such as the issues on legalizing illegal workers, strict liability , increased cost of construction, potential encouragement for job hopping, no deduction of levy, and liabilities of employer if their foreign worker absconded. PPPBBBK members were in unison with MBAM to oppose the EMC and congratulated MBAM in getting the government to postpone the deduction of levy rule until 2018. Moving on, an update of the CIDB Act 520 (Amendment 2011) was discussed, with highlights on the Perakuan Pematuan Standard (PPS), Certificate of Approval (COA) and the Schedule 4 materials.  The current activities of MBAM were highlighted such as the on-going Site Safety Supervisor courses, COCD program, green card issuance and MBAM scholarships. The feedbacks received at the dialogue were positive and they requested more such dialogues to be held in the future.

On another note, we also attended their Anniversary Dinner where I was given the opportunity to deliver a speech where I congratulated the PPPBBBK on the grand celebration and wished them well. In addition, I also highlighted about the construction industry which was expected to grow by 8.3% in 2017 and estimated RM100 bil.  value of jobs to be carried out this year. We should thanked the government for the rescindment of the levy to be paid by employer on behalf of the foreign workers and I hoped to have a positive outcome in the dialogue with CIDB-DOSH on the enforcement of scaffolding. I concluded my speech by wishing PPPBBBK every success and a very Happy Chinese New Year.



Director of IPD-OUM, Associate Professor Dr Richard Ng

The briefing took place at MBAM training centre

Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) Education Committee in collaboration with the Institute of Professional Development – Open University Malaysia (IPD-OUM) organized a Free Admission Preview Talk on IPD-OUM & MBAM Executive Bachelors in Construction Management & Construction Contract Administration on 16th January 2016 at the MBAM Training Centre for the following courses: 

  • Executive Bachelor in Construction Management
  • Executive Bachelor in Construction Contract Administration

The welcome remarks was delivered by Deputy Chairman of MBAM Education Committee, Mr Andrew Ong. The first speaker was Director of IPD-OUM, Associate Professor Dr Richard Ng, who talked about IPD OUM and the value of Executive Bachelor programmes. The next speaker was Senior Lecturer and Deputy Dean (Assessment), Faculty of Science and Technology, OUM, Puan Sharifah Rosfashida, who talked specifically about the two courses Executive Bachelor in Construction Management and Executive Bachelor in Construction Contract Administration.

Next, a graduate of IPD OUM, Mr Mau Che Pean from Sunway Construction delivered a testimonial on the courses, followed by a testimonial delivered by two more graduates, Mr Tee Cheong Yoke from Ireka Corporation and Mr Mohd Farhan, MBAM Assistant Manager.

After the tea break, Mr Andrew Ong presented on programmes offered under MBAM Human Resources Committee and Mr Farhan then presented on the programmes offered by the MBAM Training Services Sdn Bhd. Personnel involved in construction operation, management, contract administration, supervisory and managerial levels are encouraged to enrol in the two courses, which are industry recognized qualifications through formalized competencies-based learning.

All classes and examinations are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays respectively at the METEOR House, OUM’s main campus at Jalan Tun Ismail.  The 2017 intake is scheduled to start after Chinese New Year 2017.

MBAM would like to urge all member companies to send your staff to enrol in the two courses which are developed for their professional development.  For further enquiries, please contact MBAM Assistant Manager, Mohd Hanif Ismail at 03-7984 8636 or email  cc MBAM Admin Officer, Nor Azlina at .



Foo Chek Lee


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