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Friday, August 21, 2009

Builders cautious on construction prospects

The construction sector, which recorded marginal growth of 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, should be cautious of its prospects for the rest of the year.

"The total value of projects awarded by the government and private sector, is showing a declining trend," said Malaysian Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM).

Its vice-president, Datuk Aziz Bahaman, said recent data released by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) for the first quarter of 2008 and 2009, pointed to a reduction in the number of projects awarded.

Aziz said total value of projects awarded to the construction sector, between January and March 2009, fell sharply by 70.55 per cent to RM6.14 billion from RM20.85 billion in the corresponding quarter.

Addressing the realities of Malaysia's property and construction sector in a concurrent session held at the Industry Insights Seminar in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Aziz said there was a contraction of 66.19 per cent or RM5.79 billion in the number of government projects awarded during the quarter under review.

As for the private sector, Aziz said the value of projects awarded plunged 73.70 per cent or RM8.92 billion.

The government awarded RM6.95 billion worth of construction projects under the first stimulus package in November 2008 and RM10 billion under the second stimulus package in March 2009.

The impact of these packages is expected to be felt in the third and fourth quarters of 2009.

By Bernama