October 2022 President’s Message
As the 15th General Election inches closer, construction industry players are looking forward to Budget 2023 that will have to be re-tabled by the next Government. Although the budget previously tabled on 7 October 2023 may not be as relevant as before, a thorough look at Budget 2023 reveals that more should be done to pump prime the construction industry.
MBAM acknowledges the Government’s efforts in improving the Malaysian economy while also reducing the burden of the rakyat. However, in reality, the construction projects announced during Budget 2023 were actually insufficient for the industry at large. Some of the projects announced were either already in progress or other projects to enhance the infrastructure for public use. It was also observed that these other projects would benefit part of the industry players mainly in the G1 to G4 categories of contractors. This would be alarming for the construction industry as the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) also saw no major allocation towards new mega infrastructure projects despite an allocation of RM400 billion for projects from the year 2021 to 2025. Most of the projects announced were existing projects or a reiteration of previously planned projects.
Moreover, Budget 2023 saw an increase in levy for foreign workforce which would increase the cost of construction. There were also lack of incentives provided to projects that utilise Industrialised Building System (IBS) despite the government’s continuous promotion of digital construction in the industry. Stimulus packages for investors to invest on new developments in the private sector were also notably absent from the budget. Generally, MBAM was expecting a more uplifting 2023 Budget announcement for the construction industry. In order to revive the Malaysian construction industry post-pandemic, we appeal to the Government to provide more assistance for the construction industry to revive and sustain the construction sector. MBAM hopes that its voice is heard when the Budget 2023 is re-tabled after the GE 15 election and that it will be a more favourable budget for the construction sector.
ASEAN CONSTRUCTORS’ FEDERATION (ACF) CONFERENCE AND 52ND ACF COUNCIL MEETING 2022
MBAM President, Mr. Oliver HC Wee with ACF Member Countries’ Presidents
MBAM President, Mr. Oliver HC Wee with CIDB Chief Executive YBhg. Datuk Ir. Ahmad Asri’ Abdul Hamid
Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) successfully hosted the ACF Conference 2022 and the 52nd ACF Council Meeting at Sunway Resort Hotel. The ACF Conference was officiated by YBhg. Datuk Ir. Ahmad Asri’ Abdul Hamid, CIDB Chief Executive at the Opening Ceremony. The conference brings the theme “Together Shaping the Future of Construction in ASEAN”. The conference was attended by more than 150 participants with delegates from 8 ASEAN countries. The ACF Conference 2022 is also strongly supported by Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). MBAM is currently holding two key positions in ACF. MBAM Past President, Mr. Foo Chek Lee and MBAM Vice President, Mr. Eric Yong are the ACF President and Secretary General respectively.
The conference is very timely as it upholds the principles of open regionalism, as well as ensuring ASEAN centrality and unity in the evolving regional and global stage. The ASEAN Constructors’ Federation (ACF) can play a driving role in bringing together all ACF members to have a breakthrough in mindset where technology adoption is concerned. Moreover, the construction industry is actually ripe for disruption in these times, in part due to how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way operations are carried out.
The ACF Conference is held with the aim to bring together ACF members’ expertise, vision, knowledge, and experience in the adoption and implementation of new technologies which would help us pave the way into the future of digitalisation. The theme of this year’s conference, “Together Shaping the Future of Construction in ASEAN” is very timely as in order to shape the future of the construction industry in ASEAN, all members must work closely together to realise this dream.
The ACF Conference was then followed by the 52nd ACF Council Meeting where ACF Member Countries’ representatives presented on the current situation surrounding their respective construction economies. This has greater meaning when we take into consideration that one of the objectives of the ACF is to unify efforts of the construction contractors in the ASEAN region in promoting export of construction services to countries outside the ASEAN region and to pool resources if necessary.
OLIVER HC WEE