Hike in construction costs and severe shortage of labour is also causing such situation
by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / pic by TMR FILE
UP TO 80% of construction projects in the country are in a “critical” state due to the increase in prices of goods that resulted in a hike in construction costs, the Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association (PKBM) said.
Apart from that, the industry is also suffering from labour shortages which caused some of the construction firms to cease operation.
“We opined that this issue is very worrying and such things are very unhealthy and have a negative impact on the construction industry,” PKBM secretary general Ahmed Zaharani Yusof Omar said in a press conference today.
“Many of the members of the association could not complete the work according to the contract and most sadly had to retire,” he added.
Ahmed Zaharani said the shortage of workers needs to be resolved immediately.
He proposed a whitewashing process for illegal immigrants who are still in the country and allows them to work in the construction sectors.
“This can also save time and cost of hiring foreign labour and revitalise the construction industry,” he explained.
Additionally, PKBM urges for the value of government contracts to be increased by 15% amid a hike in construction costs.
The association said this method was done previously by former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Ahmed Zaharani said in reality, all building materials in the country and abroad, including machinery, experienced extreme price increases of up to 30% due to inflation and increased logistics costs due to rising world oil prices.
“We propose to add some items that have been listed in the variation of price (VoP) such as reinforcement steel, crusher run, mild steel pipe and copper are included because the price of these items has increased more than 15%,” he said further.
Ahmed Zaharani said although the government has introduced the VoP, it does not help many contractors because the list of items is very limited and only to certain items.
“We also ask the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to monitor the export production of building materials such as iron so that priority is given to domestic use to create a mechanism that can regulate the matter,” he added.
PKBM also seeks PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz to do something to help the industry.
“We know that the construction industry is an industry that has a very high impact on the national economy, including government spending.
“Many of the contractors are also facing blacklists and revoked bank guarantees which will damage their reputation.
“I appeal to the PM and Tengku Zafrul to look at the state of the country’s construction industry because it will benefit the country through taxes paid by construction industry players,” he said.