President Message November 2013
mbam comments on budget 2014
On 25th October 2013, Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) issued a press statement expressing our support for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), effective April 1, 2015 because of its capability to boost the Government’s income and to further promote efficiency of the tax administration. MBAM also stated that the increase of the real property gains tax (RPGT) to 30% for properties sold within three years and 20% and 15% for properties sold within four and five years respectively should be maintained for a definitive period as there have been continuous hikes since 2010.
MBAM welcomes the Government’s commitment to boost home ownership with the introduction of a more comprehensive affordable housing policy with RM 1.9 billion allocated for 123,000 affordable houses. Furthermore, MBAM welcomes the news of budget allocation for other infrastructure projects such as the RM 312 million allocated to upgrade several airports including airports in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan in Sabah and in Miri, Sibu and Mukah in Sarawak. However, it must be noted that there are still a lot of projects carried over since 2011 such as the West Coast Highway. Therefore, we hope that the tender and award of these projects can be implemented in a timely manner in order to meet the projected growth within the construction sector.
However, we had expressed our disappointment that the reduction of corporate income tax of 1% will only be implemented in assessment year 2016 and not earlier.
Malaysia-China Economic Summit
In conjunction with the state visit by H.E. Xi Jinping, President of The People’s Republic China to Malaysia, MCBC and MITI jointly organised the Malaysia-China Economic Summit on 4th October 2013 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. The China-Malaysia Economic Summit in Kuala Lumpur was also attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who delivered important speeches on strengthening the practical cooperation between the two countries and China’s economic development, hoping that business people of the two countries will seize opportunities and continue to write a new chapter of mutually beneficial cooperation.
Xi Jinping also stated that the mutually beneficial cooperation has continued to deepen since the two countries established diplomatic relations 39 years ago. China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for four consecutive years, while Malaysia has been China’s largest trading partner in ASEAN for five years in a row. Bilateral cooperation in various fields has been in the forefront of cooperation between China and other ASEAN countries. The Economic Summit was attended by me in my capacity as MBAM President representing Master Builders Association Malaysia.
5TH WORLD CHINESE ECONOMIC FORUM
5th World Chinese Economic Forum jointly organized by ASLI, MITI and the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) on 3rd October 2013 was attended by MBAM Immediate Past President, Mr Kwan Foh Kwai, MBAM Vice President, Dato’ Sri Sufri Bin Haji Mohd Zin, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling and MBAM Manager, Ms Lee Siew Mei at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Bandar Sunway.
mBAM HONORARY LIFE PRESIDENT, TAN SRI DATUK SERI PANGLIMA DR YEOH TIONG LAY WAS AWARDED WITH SERI PANGLIMA DARJAH KINABALU
On 5th October 2013, MBAM’s Honorary Life President YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Yeoh Tiong Lay, was awarded the Seri Panglima Darjah Kinabalu, which carries the title “Datuk Seri Panglima”. The award was presented by Yang Di-pertua Negeri Sabah, Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Bin Haji Mahiruddin in conjunction with his birthday. On behalf of Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), I wish to express our sincere congratulations to YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Yeoh Tiong Lay for being awarded with the highest class of the order which carries the title “Datuk Seri Panglima”.
MEETING WITH ENCIK AZIZUL KAMA BIN ABD AZIZ, POLITICAL SECRETARY TO YB DATO’ SERI AHMAD HUSNI HANADZLAH, MINISTER OF FINANCE II
A meeting was held on 10th October with Encik Azizul Kama Bin Abd Aziz, Political Secretary to YB Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Minister of Finance II at Ministry of Finance, Precinct 2, Putrajaya. MBAM was represented by MBAM Alternate Council Member, Encik Shafidz Iswandi Bin Azhar, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Senior Manager, Mr Lenny Lim and Senior Manager of UEM Builders Bhd, Encik Sazali Ismail. Encik Azizul agreed to bring up our request on the reduction of duties for Vibratory Rollers and Crane Lorries (Hydraulic Truck Mobile Cranes) as mentioned in our letter dated 22th July 2013 to the Minister.
We have highlighted to him on the importance for the construction industry to invest in new machineries as a way forward to sustain the growth in the industry with emphasis on safety and environmental development. We have mentioned that we have been requesting for reduction of import duties for heavy construction equipment and machineries since 2006 but have not been successful. He informed that he will look into the matter. MBAM will follow up on this issue closely.
MEETING WITH CHINA GEZHOUBA GROUP INTERNATIONAL
A meeting with Senior Supervisor of China Gezhouba Group International (CGGC), Ms Lin Li was held at MBAM Conference Room on 17th October and attended by MBAM Immediate Past President, Mr Kwan Foh Kwai, MBAM Deputy President, Mr Aziz Tan Sri Bahaman, MBAM Secretary-General, Ir. Chuan Yeong Ming, MBAM International Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman, Mr Tan Kim Yoke, MBAM Council Member, Mr Ong Ka Thiam, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Manager, Ms Lee Siew Mei and I. Ms Lin Li was also accompanied by Chief Engineer of CGGC, Mr Jiao Jia Xun, Director of CGGC Foundation Treatment Company, Mr Wu Meitian and Senior Engineer of CGGC Foundation Treatment Company, Mr Zhao Yutao. The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate China Gezhouba Group International in obtaining information on doing construction business in Malaysia.
MBAM TECHNICAL PRODUCT BRIEFING 6/2013 AND MBAM FELLOWSHIP 6/2013
MBAM successfully held the sixth series of our MBAM Technical Product Briefing and
Fellowship Gathering for this year at the The Royale Bintang Damansara Hotel, Petaling
Jaya on 18th October 2013. The Product Talk No. 6/2013, sponsored by Jack-in Pile (M)
Sdn Bhd was attended by MBAM Vice President, Mr Thomas Samuel, MBAM Secretary-
General, Ir. Chuan Yeong Ming, MBAM Council Member, Mr Lau Yew Mun and I. The event
managed to attract a total of 134 participants.
The Fellowship Gathering was attended by MBAM Deputy President, Mr Aziz Tan Sri Bahaman, MBAM Vice President, Mr Thomas Samuel, MBAM Secretary-General, Ir. Chuan Yeong Ming, MBAM Honorary Advisor, Dato’ Ng Kee Leen, MBAM Council Members, Mr Ong Ka Thiam, Mr Lau Yew Mun and Mr Eric Yong, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Secretariat and myself at House E@curve, Mutiara Damansara. A total of 146 participants attended the Fellowship Gathering.
STUDY VISIT TO KEMENTERIAN KERJA RAYA
MBAM Mechanical & Electrical Committee led by Chairman of M & E Committee, Mr Kenneth Liew, organized a half-day on the job technical training to Kementerian Kerja Raya Tower 2 (KKR2) at Jalan Sultan Salahudin, Kuala Lumpur on 22nd October 2013. The training aimed to create awareness and enhance our members’ knowledge on the GBI Platinum rated (provisional) KKR Project and was attended by 26 participants.
KKR2 is strategically located along Jalan Sultan Salahudin beside the present Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) headquarters. It is a 37-storey Grade A office building which once completed will have a gross floor area of 51,516 sqm and stand at 210m tall. It will house JKR and KKR staff. It is designed to be energy efficient (energy consumption less than 90kWh/m2year). The building will have solar power generation, rain water harvesting and grey water recycling plant as well as other energy savings system and products in order to achieve the GBI Platinum rating. Participants were exposed to the adoption of various resources such as Energy Efficiency (EE) Indoor Environment Quality (EQ), Sustainable Site Planning (SM), Materials & Resources (MR), Water Efficiency (WE) and Innovation (IN) in this building to achieve score of 86± points to be certified GBI Platinum. The half-day on the job technical training was also attended by MBAM M & E Committee Members, Mr Lee Ah Nam and Mr Tony Kok, MBAM Other Committee Members, Mr Vincent Lim and Mr Kum Eu Tsung, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Manager, Mr Michael Thong, MBAM Senior Executive Officer, Mr Mohd Hanif Bin Ismail, MBAM Executive Officer, Mr Leon Leong and myself. A special thanks go to our host Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad and our council member, Ir. Mohd Jafri Bin Idris for making the visit a success.
SEMINAR ON OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH MANAGEMENT (OSHM) IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
This Seminar, held on 24th October 2013 at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, Petaling Jaya and was supported by SOCSO, aimed to further enhance the standard of safety and health at construction work sites by sharing the best practices and management systems with industry practitioners and experts. The Seminar invited representatives from the authorities and key industry players to share on current requirements and best practices so that it is in compliance with the requirement of the Regulations and Act. A total of 71 participants attended the Seminar.
Among the topics presented by the experienced speakers were:
- Safety & Health Assessment System in Construction (SHASSIC) by Assistant Manager, CIDB Malaysia, Mr Hari Sundar a/l R. Hari
- Scaffolding – Issues & Challenges by HSE Consultant, KLIA Consultancy Services, En Mazlan Ismail
- Casting and Launching of Segmental Box Girder by Project Manager, Acre Works Sdn Bhd, Mr Chow Choong Meng
- How to conduct an Effective Safety Audit in compliance with the Latest DOSH Safety Policies & Regulations by DOSH Selangor, Ir Mohd Rosdee Yaacob
The Seminar was attended by MBAM Deputy President, Mr Aziz Tan Sri Bahaman, MBAM Vice President cum Chairman of Safety & Health Committee, Mr Foo Chek Lee, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Senior Executive Officer, Ms Chai Min Fung, MBAM Executive Officer, Ms Ida Fatmawati Binti Mohd Ghazali, MBAM PR Officer, Ms Tessa Binti Abdul Hamid, MBAM Admin Assistants, Ms Nabilah Muhammad and Ms Shahira Binti Setapha.
THE BRANDLAUREATE MAN OF THE YEAR – BRAND ICON LEADERSHIP AWARD 2013
On behalf of MBAM, I wish to express our sincere congratulations to YBhg. Tan Sri
Dato’ Low Keng Huat, MBAM Past President for winning the prestigious The
BrandLaureate Man of the Year – Brand Icon Leadership Award 2013 which
recognizes YBhg. Tan Sri’s leadership qualities and contributions towards the
betterment of the nation. We at MBAM are proud of YBhg. Tan Sri’s latest
achievement and are happy to share YBhg. Tan Sri’s latest milestones.
CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING (CIOB), MALAYSIA – NOVUS
I had the opportunity to give a presentation on the roles and challenges of builders in the building process on Sunday, 27th October 2013. The talk organized by CIOB, Malaysia managed to attract more than 200 students from various universities. The students were exposed to many well-known captains of the industry from various other Associations and it is hoped that they will continue to stay in the construction industry after graduation.
Seminar on Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)
Immediate Past President Mr Kwan Foh Kwai, Deputy President, Mr Aziz Bahaman, Deputy Secretary-General II Mr Oliver Wee, MBAM Executive Director Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Manager Ms Lee Siew Mei and I attended the Seminar on Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) organized by CIDB Malaysia on 29 October 2013. Immediate Past President (represent Sunway Construction) and I was the panelist for the forum discussion.
The purpose of the seminar is:
- To create awareness on the impact of TPPA to Malaysian construction industry players/ firms
- To inform the latest status of TPPA
- To gather feedback from the construction industry players/ firms on TPPA
- To create a platform for MITI as the Chief Negotiator to understand the impact and challenges to the construction industry players
During the forum session, MBAM has raised the concern of the readiness among the Malaysian contractors. By and large, the local construction companies are not yet ready to compete with large construction companies from countries like United States, Canada and Japan if the threshold is set at a low level. The foreign construction companies can leverage on the advantage of having larger capital and bigger local construction market to support them, while it would be very difficult for the local players to penetrate their market with our smaller capital. Therefore, MBAM urged the negotiator to set the threshold at a higher level to TPP members to safeguard the local contractors.
Overall, the seminar was informative and interesting.
MBAM 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
In honor of the Association’s 60th Anniversary next year, the Association has circulated some great packages for sponsorship and participation for the MBAM 60th Anniversary celebrations and the MBAM 60th Anniversary Commemorative Coffee Table Book 2014. I sincerely hope everyone will fully support the programmes that we have prepared in conjunction with this auspicious event. We hope MBAM members and other construction industry players will join us to make our events merrier with your undivided support.
Lastly, I would like to take the opportunity to wish those who are celebrating Deepavali a very happy and prosperous Diwali!