president monthly message february 2016


Welcome to the New Year of the Monkey! The year 2016 is expected to be a critical juncture for us to overcome many of the challenges facing our industry and to leap back onto the path of sustainable growth. Our challenges are many but our determination to succeed is strong and unshaken. So too my confidence in our Members and Affiliates in providing unconditional support to the Association’s lifelong vision of becoming the Prime Mover and the Recognized Voice of the Malaysian Construction Industry. So let us continue in our tireless effort to steer the Association towards another successful year.

Since its foundation until now, MBAM has been and will always be dedicated towards promoting and developing the construction industry in Malaysia. Over the years, MBAM has evolved into a cohesive umbrella organization. Looking back, MBAM have achieved` several milestones that all Members can be proud of. Among the key events that MBAM has pushed for last year was the reduction of import duties for heavy construction machineries. Following numerous discussions, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) finally announced the revision of import duties imposed on 3 items of machineries. The revision from 10% to 5%, which took effect on 11th June 2015, was for the following:-

  1. HS 8429.51.000 for self-propelled bulldozers, angeldozers, granders, levelers, scrapers, mechanical shovers, excavators, shovel loaders, tamping machines and road rollers-front-end shovel loaders.
  2. HS 8430.41.000 for other moving, grading, levelling, scraping, excavating, tamping, compacting or boring machinery self-propelled.
  3. HS 8431.43.000 for parts of boring or sinking machinery of subheading HS 8430.41 or HS 8430.49.

MBAM will continue to appeal for reduction of import duties imposed on the remaining 7 category of machineries.

 The following are the highlights of the activities in January 2016:-



During the meeting

Presenting the token of appreciation to MACRA President, Dato’ Dr. Ricky Yaw

The above dialogue which was held at Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng’s Conference Room on 11th January 2016 allowed a meeting of minds between MBAM and MACRA. Several issues affecting the construction industry was discussed namely:

  • Impact of lower ringgit against the U.S. Dollar
  • Training of local skilled workers in the Air-Condition and Refrigeration sector
  • Keeping skilled staff in the industry
  • Slowdown of market demand
  • Impact of CIDB Act 520 (Schedule 4)

MBAM also invited MACRA to join the Association as an Affiliate and looks forward to receive a positive feedback from MACRA on the membership invitation. MACRA was represented by MACRA President, Dato’ Dr. Ricky Yaw, MACRA President Elect, Mr Andy Kwan, MACRA Education Committee Member, Mr Gan Chok Ser, MACRA 1st Vice President, Mr Lim Tau Kiang, MACRA 2nd Vice President, Mr Song Kok Kim, MACRA Honorary Secretary, Mr Peter Tan Chin Wah, MACRA PR Committee Member, Ms Carmen Tan, MACRA Membership Committee Member, Mr Ron Chin and MACRA Secretariat, Mr Chine Wai Tong.


The interview session in the President’s room

Presenting a token of appreciation to Ms Kok Mei Koon from Nanyang Siang Pau

MBAM had its first interview with the media for this year with Nanyang Siang Pau on 6th January 2016. The interview is a continuation of MBAM’s regular engagement with the media to share news pertaining to the construction industry in Malaysia. The interview covered issues faced by contractors such as shortages of labour and skilled workers as well as possible solution to the 6P issue. More importantly the interview also allowed MBAM to share views about the need to have sufficient skilled labour to meet project requirements for 2016 and beyond.

The interview was conducted by Ms Kok Mei Koon, General Desk Journalist from Nanyang Siang Pau. At the end of the interview, I presented Ms Kok with the MBAM 60th Anniversary Coffee Table Book as a token of appreciation as well as a great source for more information on the background and activities of MBAM.


MBAM Assistant Manager, Mr Mohd Farhan during the presentation session

The get-to-know session with the trainer, Mr Devan Nair

MBAM have organized a one-day Personal Leadership training for 19 of MBAM secretariat staff at MBAM Training Centre on 7th January 2016. The training was led by Mr Devan Nair, Head of Organisational Development from Shin Eversendai Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd.

MBAM has embarked on the Leadership and Management training programme as part of MBAM’s strategic initiative in people development for 2016. The Association recognized the needs to become more institutionalized with a stronger and deeper bench of employees to sustain superior performance. Thus, the programme was held with the aim to bridge the gaps in leadership, communication, time management, good work habits and coaching skills.

This training programme is part of MBAM’s continuous effort to help our secretariat staff improve their productivity and performance and I hope Members will also benefit from a more productive and energetic secretariat staff.


The discussion in session

Group photo with SBA representatives

The visit by SBA was held on 8th January 2016 at Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng Conference Room. MBAM was represented by MBAM Deputy President, Mr Foo Chek Lee, MBAM HR Committee Member, Mr Mazlan Haron, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Senior Managers, Mr Lenny Lim and Mr Michael Thong, MBAM Manager, Ms Chai Min Fung, MBAM Senior Executive Officer, Mr Leon Leong and MBAM IT & Admin Executive, Mr Muhammad Fadzley bin Salim. MBAM Secretary-General, Mr Dennis Tan and MBAM Admin Officer, Ms Alice Lai later joined the dinner hosted by MBAM for the SBA delegation held after the dialogue.

SBA was represented by represented by Mr Cheong Kwee Min, SBA President, Mr Lou Chi Nam, SBA Deputy President, Mr Johnny Wong Fot Choi, SBA Treasurer, Mr Choo Kim Kim, SBA Trustee, Mr Ralph Chung, SBA Chairman of Recreation Committee and Mr Henry Tsen Nyuk Chen, SBA Deputy of Recreation Committee, Mr Choo Wei Tak, SBA Welfare Committee, Chui Swee Kong, SBA Committee, Ms Shung Lee Chu, SBA Member, Ms Jacelyn Chung and Ms Elizabeth Chung, SBA Chinese Secretary and SBA Executive Secretary, Mr Liau Sin Foh.


Mr Wayne Lim explaining about their new LEAD Centre in Sekinchan

Presenting the token of appreciation to Group CEO/Group Chief Editor of Malaysia SME, Mr Wayne Lim

The meeting with Malaysia SME was held on 11th January 2015 at Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng Conference Room. Malaysia SME was represented by Group CEO/Group Chief Editor, Mr Wayne Lim and Director of MSME Community Sdn Bhd, Ms Jeslyn Yap Swee Fong while MBAM was represented MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling, MBAM Senior Manager, Mr Lenny Lim, MBAM PR Executive, Ms Tessa Hamid, MBAM IT and Admin Executive, Mr Fadzley Muhammad Salim and I.

The meeting introduced Malaysia SME’s LEAD centres such as the one in Sekinchan which are part of their community initiatives to provide a bridge between government initiatives and the rural SME communities.


The top two in MIArb, President, Mr Kevin Prakash and Deputy President, Mr Sudharsanan Thilainathan

MBAM President, Mr Matthew Tee presenting the MBAM 60th Anniversary Coffee Table Book to Mr Kevin Prakash

MBAM had a meeting with the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators (MIArb) at Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng’s Conference Room on 11th January 2016. The dialogue was a courtesy call by MIArb to introduce their Council Members and to find out about opportunities for collaboration on training that may be of interest to MBAM Members. The dialogue also explored issues such as making training accessible for non-legally trained construction professionals, the role of arbitration in the construction industry as well as views on CIPAA 2012 and its impact on the industry.

MIArb was represented by MIArb President, Mr Kevin Prakash, MIArb Deputy President, Mr Sudharsanan Thilainathan, MIArb Vice President, Ms Shirley Hor, MIArb Honorary Secretary, Ms Victoria Loi Tien Fen, and MIArb Council Member, Mr Joshua Chong. MBAM was represented by MBAM Deputy Secretary-General 1, Mr Oliver Wee, Deputy Chairman, MBAM Contracts and Practices Committee, Mr Steven Shee, MBAM Senior Manager, Mr Lenny Lim, MBAM PR Executive, Ms Tessa Hamid and MBAM IT and Admin Executive, Mr Fadzley Muhammad Salim and I.


Presentation of the group flag and the definitions of the logo

During the briefing before the teambuilding starts

MBAM continues with the outdoor portion of the Team Building Training on 16th January 2016 at Selesa Hillhomes Resort, Bukit Tinggi. Twenty secretariat staffs took part in the Team Building which was led by Mr Devan Nair, Head of Organisational Development from Shin Eversendai Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd.

The objectives of this Team Building was to develop good relationship, better understanding of oneself and also others, and ultimately to promote better relationship, create commitment as well as positive values and attitudes towards organization’s vision and plans. The secretariat staff was educated on how important team building is to achieve the targets set by the management. Among the team building activities conducted during the training were as follows:-

  1. Flag Building
  2. Communicate Innovate
  3. Minefield
  4. Strawbridge
  5. On Target

The activities has taught all staff on the importance of critical thinking and finding solution that best suits all parties while at the same time achieving our goals. The training was a good platform for the staff to understand each other better and to improve their team work in everyday life.


MBAM Immediate Past President, Mr Kwan Foh Kwai (1st from right) with President of MSPC, Ir. Choo Kok Beng (1st from left) and other MSPC members

During the Council Meeting

The Malaysian Service Providers Confederation (MSPC) 22nd Council Meeting on 18th January 2016 was attended by MBAM Immediate Past President, Mr Kwan Foh Kwai and MBAM Senior Manager, Mr Lenny Lim at University Malaya Academic Club. Mr Kwan Foh Kwai was elected as the new MSPC Vice President, subject to the endorsement of the Minister of International Trade and industry, Malaysia. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Kwan and hope he will carry our MBAM flag high while representing MSPC.


MBAM members putting their issues across to MBAM Council representatives

Among the MBAM Council Members attending the focus group meeting

In our efforts to provide better services and improve our communication with MBAM members, MBAM has organized a MBAM Focus Group Dialogue with members on 22nd January 2016 at Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng Conference Room. The objective of this session was to foster deeper and more meaningful face-to-face communication with our members as well as promote information exchange on shared interests, mutual trust, and respect, besides finding solutions to the issues faced by MBAM member. A total of 13 representatives from member companies turn up for the Dialogue session.

Among the issues that were raised during the dialogue were as follows:-

  • The 6P Permit Renewal & shortage of skilled labour
  • Review of Schedule 3 of CIDB Act 520 – Skill Trade Validation
  • Schedule 4 0f CIDB Act 520- Accreditation & Certification of building materials used for construction
  • Update on appeal for reduction of import duties for heavy construction machineries – its impact on the construction industry
  • Update on Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012

To conclude, the meeting proved to be very fruitful as we are able to get a different point of views from our Members and understand better on the challenges that they are facing. Through this meeting we are also able to come up with several solutions to overcome the problems faced. The Members who attended the Dialogue have requested for this kind of event to be organized more frequently as a platform for members to voice out their problems to the top management of the Association.


MBAM Vice President, Mr Thomas Samuel (3rd from left) with the members at the fellowship

Mr Thomas Samuel presenting a token of appreciation to Mr Christopher Yap, Senior Vice President, Head Alliance SME, Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad

MBAM successfully organized the 1st Fellowship Gathering for this year on 22nd January 2016, sponsored by the Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad. The event which was held at the Vaux Club, Petaling Jaya, saw the participation of 207 attendees. Among the Council Members who attended the Fellowship were MBAM President, Mr Matthew Tee, MBAM Honorary Advisor, Dato’ Ng Kee Leen, MBAM Deputy President, Mr Foo Chek Lee, MBAM Vice Presidents, Tan Sri A.K. Nathan, Mr Thomas Samuel, MBAM Deputy Secretary-General 1, Mr Oliver Wee, MBAM Deputy Secretary-General 1, Mr Ong Ka Thiam, MBAM Council Members, Mr Goh Ceah Chuang, Mr Eric Yong, Mr Chong Tat Yam, Mr Kenneth Liew, Mr Ng Kit Heng, Ms Tan Zi Ni and Mr Robert Cho and MBAM Alternate Council Members, Mr Steven Shee and Mr Steven Aroki.



During the BIPC meeting

MBAM Secretary General, Mr Dennis Tan, MBAM Executive Director, Ms Loh Mei Ling and I attended the 39th Building Industry Presidents’ Council Meeting held on 26th January 2016 at Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) Board Room, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya.

 The Chairmanship of BIPC has been handed over from MIP to Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) with effective from January 2016.

 Some of the issues discussed were as follows:-

  • Issue on shortage of labour – BIPC appeal letter for the extension of 6P has been sent to Jawatankuasa Kabinet Mengenai Pekerja Asing dan Pendatang Asing Tanpa Izin (JKKPA-PATI) in January 2016. It was noted that renewal of 6P workers permit can still be done through certain agents under the Rehiring of Foreign Workers scheme.
  • Professional Competency Examination (PCE) by Board of Engineers Malaysia– will commence by end of June 2016. New Category of membership, i.e. Professional Engineers (PE) with Practising Certificate can only sign and submit plans in future. Before July 2016, existing PE may apply for this category of membership without sitting for the examination.
  • Review of Schedule 3 of CIDB Act 520 – Skill Trade Validation. All construction personnel working at project work sites need to be accredited by CIDB. One year grace period for the implementation will end May 2016. Enforcement on the compliance with the said Act on this matter will be with effect from 1 June 2016. CIDB is currently going around checking for certification of site supervisors.
  • Schedule 4 of CIDB Act 520 – W.e.f. 1st December 2015, only building materials which have received the Certificate of Standards Compliance can be used in construction projects.
  • Update on CIPAA – W.e.f. 1st January 2016, Government construction contract with contract sum of RM20,000,000 and below shall ceased to be exempted from CIPAA.

 Chinese New Year is just around the corner and this year marks the year of Monkey. I wish the year ahead presents you with prosperity, fresh opportunities and new hopes. May all of you seize the opportunities and make the most of the Chinese Νew Year of the Monkey.


Matthew Tee


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