MARCH 2021 PRESIDENT WEBSITE MESSAGE
Stepping into the third month of my journey as MBAM President, I am definitely doing my very best to assist members alongside my fellow Council Members to represent the construction industry and ensure that our voices are heard.
On 2 February 2021, I paid a visit to see Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia Chief Executive Datuk Ir. Ahmad ‘Asri Abdul Hamid at his office to hand over a proposal to improve the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Act 2020 for the benefit of MBAM members and the construction industry. The Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Extension of Operation) Order 2020 i.e. COVID Act has been extended for another three months until 31 March 2021.
However, MBAM hopes that the Government can further improve the Act to offer more solid and permanent protection to construction industry players especially with regards to extension of time provision and cost sharing. Contractors have been taking proactive measures to test their workers even when there is no surety of claims and currently there is no provision for this actual expense. As it is, margins are already thinning and this is still an unresolved matter for many members.
Also in the last month on 25 February, MBAM together with five other construction Associations namely Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia (PKMM), Persatuan Kontraktor Bumiputera Malaysia (PKBM), Persatuan Kontraktor India Malaysia (PKIM), Guild of Bumiputra Contractors Wibawa (GBC Wibawa) and United Malaysia Contractors Association (UMCA) in a joint memorandum have appealed to the Government for the postponement of one year to provide an opportunity for the industry to be better prepared in terms of time and finances to comply with the requirement of the latest amendments to Act 446 which is the Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities Act 1990.
While we commend the initiative to provide a conducive living space for workers, the amendments to Act 446 which was gazetted on 17 February 2021 as part of the Emergency Ordinance took place at a rather inaccurate time while taking into account the unfavourable economic situation. The rising of construction costs and SOPs compliance costs have caused cash flow problems and financial constraints for contractors. There is a need of sufficient time for the industry to recover.
The construction industry is in view that all construction related issues have to be under a single unified supervision of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). This include overlooking of enforcement inspections and the approval of Certificate of Accommodation (CFA).
I would also like to take this platform to inform members that the Malaysian Public Works Department (JKR) has started implementing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on Advertising, Online Sale of Tender Documents and Tender Closing in the New Normal in effect until 31 August 2021. The SOP is a guideline for online tender procedures which includes the process of advertising, sale and closing of tenders. The implementation of online job tenders is for all projects tendered during the MCO period either conventionally or Design and Build. I encourage members to read through the SOP carefully and take the necessary action.
At MBAM, we will continue to champion the industry by bringing the voices of the construction industry to the relevant Government authorities. We hope that our members and the industry at large will continue to play the vital role and not let our guards down but continue to comply with all the SOPs and Regulations set by the Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 within construction sites.
Tan Sri Sufri Hj Mhd Zin PSM, SSAP, DPTJ