FEBRUARY 2021 MBAM PRESIDENT WEBSITE MESSAGE
Malaysia’s Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 11 Jan 2021 announced fresh nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) restrictions to curb the soaring number of COVID-19 cases. The measures will run from 13 January 2021 to 26 January 2021. Later it was announced that there will be an extension until 4 February 2021 due to the on-going high cases of infection. At this point, there is no news on whether a further extension will be in the cards.
Detailed information on the types of work allowed is stated under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the construction sector. However, we note members have been asking for clarification and MBAM has updated members to the best of abilities through circulars and information on our website. On the matter of the SOP, we do appeal that the Government will consider to change the naming convention for CLQ to “workers accommodation” or “penempatan pekerja” to avoid confusion.
We hope the Government will allow construction workers to move from one construction site to another construction site as long as they comply with all the SOPs – make sure to be tested negative, temperature monitoring, wearing of correct PPE, social distancing etc. Most of the skilled workers (i.e. sub-con and specialist) have to move from one site to another site after their work has been completed to continue such work at other construction sites. This is because construction work activities are usually carried out according to the stages and rules of work (types and specific sequence of works), and it depends on the skills and employees’ scope of work. This is a norm especially on the part of the Nominated Subcontractor (NSC).
In addition, many members are having difficulty in transferring workers from their off-site accommodation to site as there are not enough transportation available. We suggest the Government to allow temporary permits to be issued to “Bas Sekolah” and “Bas Kilang” operators to allow them to ferry workers. There is also an urgent need for speedy approval by Jabatan Tenaga Kerja (JTK) to obtain Certificate for Accommodation (CFA) and we hope the authorities would allow those who applied for CFA to continue work, while waiting for approval. On this matter also we strongly urge the Local Authorities to have a standardise criteria for approving workers accommodation.
We thank members for all the feedback we have received and we have highlighted the matters to the Government and implementing agencies. We will continue to seek relevant interventions for problems faced by members so that the industry can still continue to be productive.
Malaysia has also entered a state of emergency. It will last until 1 August 2021 or earlier depending on the state of coronavirus infections, a statement from the palace said. The Prime Minister said economic activities will continue to take place and people can continue to work while business, trade and industries can operate as usual, with adherence to standard operating procedures.
I understand this is a very challenging time for all our members and the construction industry. Let us work together to meet the challenges head on so that the industry can continue to move forward and focus on economic recovery and regeneration.
We have been informed that construction sector is the second highest contributor to the increase of COVID-19 cases with 71 active clusters out of the 341 clusters in the country. As such, we seek the assistance and cooperation from all members to take proactive and preventive measures to comply and tighten the existing SOPs at workplaces and workers accommodation in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and bring down the number of cases. We need to jointly work with the Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 as we cannot withstand another lockdown during the MCO.
I would also take this opportunity to wish Happy Chinese New Year “Gong Xi Fa Chai” for those celebrating and do stay safe.
Tan Sri Haji Sufri Haji Mhd Zin PSM, SSAP, DPTJ