President Message November 2018


With the annual Budget announcement early of this month, many are still being hopeful that it will bring good news especially for us in the construction industry. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister said the new Budget will ensure the prosperity of the rakyat and the next generation, during his speech on 27th October 2018.

However, with the recent change in some Government policies, it created a challenging environment to our domestic construction industry which contributed to about 15% of the national workforce. Therefore, with the new Budget, we hope the following key issues which was brought up during a Dialogue Meeting on Current Issues Faced by the Construction Industry with MBAM Affiliate Members held on 11th October 2018 can be addressed:

  1. Cancellation of Projects

Impact: Huge investment by each project’s contractors causing major cash flow problems.

Proposal: Government to consider proceeding with the projects albeit at a smaller scale.

  1. Machinery Import Duties

Impact: High import duties on many construction machineries.

Proposal: Reduction of import duties to 0% on machineries that are not manufactured within Malaysia.

  1. Impact of Transition from GST to SST

Impact: The period for payment of GST for retention sum which is not due and unfinalised final account of completed projects by this year end is too short a time. Normally, it will take 1 and a half to 2 years before project account can be finalised and 2 years before retention sum can be released after completion of a project and issuance of certificate of making good defect.

Proposal: Government to consider at least 2 years period for GST payment pending a release of retention sum and final account payment.

  1. Manpower and Foreign Workers

Impact: Shortage of skilled and trained foreign workers with high levy charges to be borne by employer.

Proposal: Government to relook into this matter and revise the levy charges for skilled worker to be lesser than unskilled worker and we advocate a holistic and comprehensive policies covering the entire foreign worker employment process.

If there is a set of clearly laid down rules whose criteria are measurable and transparent for which there will be strict enforcement, MBAM and its Affiliate Members believe this would alleviate most of the problems currently faced by all parties. We appeal to the Government to look at the construction industry in totality as an eco-system for the sustainability of industry growth.

Now let’s take a look at some of the key highlights for the month of October 2018:



The above visit took place on Monday, 8th October 2018 at Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng’s Conference Room, Ground Floor MBAM Secretariat Office.

MBAM Deputy President, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Sufri Hj. Mohd Zin, MBAM Deputy President, MBAM Vice President, Mr Dennis Tan, MBAM Council Members, Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz and Mr Nalla Sundram, MBAM Members, Dato’ Sri Sukumar and Mr Tan Kim Yoke, MBAM Assistant General Manager, Mr Lenny Lim, MBAM PR Executives, Tengku Ainifarihin and Ms Chew Chee Yan, MBAM Graphic Designer Cum Photographer, Ms Shahila Atika attended to the visit.

There 10 representatives from BCI led by Honourable MP Member (Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Planning), Mr Abul Kalam Azad.

MBAM Deputy President, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Sufri Hj. Mohd Zin chaired the meeting and welcomed the delegates from BCI in the hope that the meeting can enhance relationship between both organisations. Honourable MP Member (Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Planning), Mr Abul Kalam Azad spoke on behalf of the visiting delegates from BCI and thanked MBAM for accommodating the visit. The purpose of the visit was to understand some of the best practices exercised in Malaysia in the construction of roads and pavements.

MBAM also played MBAM Corporate video and 44th IFAWCPA Convention video and invited the delegation to come in November as delegates. MBAM presented our 60th Anniversary Coffee Table book to Mr Abul Kalam Azad as a souvenir in memory of the visit.


Group photo with Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Sufri Hj. Mohd Zin (8 from right) presenting MBAM’s Coffee Table Book to Mr Abul Kalam Azad


MBAM organized a successful Technical Product Talk 3/2018 sponsored by Hilti (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd on its product and services on Friday, 12th October 2018 at MBAM Training Centre. The event which attracted 51 pax consisting of business owners, managers, executives, safety practitioners, supervisors, industry representatives and MBAM Affiliate members. The event gave an opportunity for representatives of Hilti (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to introduce and educate MBAM members on and the safety enhancing features and their wide range of products and service.

Mr Nalla Sundran, MBAM Council Members and Committee Member of MBAM Mechanical & Electrical Committee delivered the welcome speech where he thanked the sponsors for their generous sponsorship of the talk. “I believe today’s product briefing will definitely increase our awareness and understanding of the different products that Hilti (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd have for the Malaysian construction industry’ said Mr Thomas Samuel. Mr Nalla Sundram also presented souvenirs to the speakers from Hilti (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd namely General Manager, Mr Gary Tse, Head of Engineering, Ir. Ng Beng Hooi, Head of Marketing, Mr Kelvin Lee and Service Manager, Mr Teddy Beh.

Mr Gary Tse welcomed the opportunity to share Hilti’s knowledge on its product and service and hopes to have a productive exchange ideas and experiences besides imparting the importance of safety and health at work.  The event was designed to be interactive and to encourage learning, discussion and debate through presentations of experts on the safety features of their products, introduce asset management solutions and provide excellent opportunities to build contacts and networking.

Overall the event was a successful technical product talk and MBAM would like to graciously thank Hilti (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for their generosity to ensure that the event was a memorable and significant one.


From left: Mr Teddy Beh, Ir. Ng Beng Hooi, Mr Nalla Sundran, Mr Gary Tse and Mr Kelvin Lee


Mr Nalla Sundran presenting souvenir to Mr Gary Tse


Guest speakers from Hilti Malaysia together with talk participants

MBAM Fellowship 4/2018 which took place after the Technical Product Talk was held at Million 9 Club in Plaza Miramas, Taman Desa Business Park and was attended by 120 pax. 13 MBAM Council Members including Immediate Past President and IFAWPCA President, Datuk Matthew Tee were also present at the Fellowship event.

MBAM Deputy Secretary-General 1 and Chairman of MBAM Fellowship, Mr Ong Ka Thiam kicked off the event with a warm word of welcome to everyone attending the event as we celebrate the 4th series of MBAM fellowship gathering for this year, this time sponsored by Hilti (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.” First and foremost, I would like to extend my utmost appreciation to the sponsor for agreeing to sponsor today’s event. Tonight, is an exceptional evening; I am so glad that so many special people have been able to join us this evening” said Mr Ong.

The aim of the MBAM Fellowship gathering is to create a platform where members of MBAM can get to know each other better, to strengthen the bond between fellow members as well as to get to know other people who have come together tonight in the spirit of celebrating fellowship in the construction industry. Only by knowing each other we can work together towards the advancement of the industry as well as the nation.


Mr Ong Ka Thiam delivering the Opening Speech

Mr Gary Tse, General Manager of Hilti (M) Sdn Bhd took to the stage with his speech where he gave a brief introduction on the organization and how both MBAM and Hilti (M) Sdn Bhd. can collaborate to improve safety in the industry. A token of appreciation was given by Mr Ong Ka Thiam to Mr Gary Tse after the speeches. Overall it was a successful event and many attendees brought out their business cards for a merry round of networking and there was even a lucky draw carried out with prizes sponsored by Hilti (M) Sdn. Bhd.


Mr Gary Tse presenting the Grand Prize to the lucky draw winner


I was delighted to be the Guest of Honour for the Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Plumbing Association (SKLPA) 59th Anniversary Dinner celebration on 26th October 2018 and I was joined by Mr Michael Thong, MBAM Assistant General Manager. The occasion marks yet another milestone for SKLPA. MBAM is proud to be affiliated with an association like SKLPA.


From left: Mr Michael Thong, Mr Lock Mei Wai (President of SKLPA) and I


During my opening speech

On another note, it is an exciting and busy month for the Organising Committee and MBAM Secretariat as we are in the final gear in organising one of the biggest international event, the 44th International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors’ Associations (IFAWPCA) Convention from 12th – 16th November 2018 happening at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. With a series of eventful activities happening throughout the Convention with the theme of “Strategic Alliance with Innovation & Human Capital” which include a 3-day exhibition and whole day conference to address issues revolving the construction industry not just at the domestic level but also at the international level. It is my hope that the Convention and the Conference that we have planned will be a great platform to strengthen regional cooperation amongst IFAWPCA members as well as create drivers for better construction growth in the region. I also hope that all MBAM members will be attending the Convention, the Conference and Exhibition as a mean of support to us as the host this year.


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