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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Builders see healthy year for construction industry

It would be a healthy year for the construction industry with support expected in the next two quarters from projects awarded under the RM60 billion second stimulus package, Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) said yesterday.

Among projects under the country's stimulus packages include the RM2 billion new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) and the RM3 billion LRT extension (two lines) in the Klang Valley.

"These projects will support the construction industry for the next two quarters. After that, we will see how the 10th Malaysia Plan (is working) as the effects will be seen by year end and next year," MBAM president Datuk Ng Kee Leen said.

The construction sector saw a growth of 8.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
Ng was speaking to reporters after the launch of MBAM Annual Safety Conference 2010, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The event was officiated by Deputy Minister of Human Resources Senator Datuk Maznah Mazlan.

On the expectations of the 10th Malaysia Plan, which is set to be launched on June 10, Ng said it should be positive with many projects planned to be rolled out especially with the government's focus on public private investment.

"These partnerships will work well and the results will be encouraging," he said.

Ng said MBAM also had a dialogue with the Public Private Partnership Unit (3PU) to work out incentives that would encourage local and foreign investments in the construction sector.

The unit, which comes under the Prime Minister's Department, is the core agency responsible for coordinating the privatisation and public-private partnership (PPP) projects, and which can be given injection from the facilitation fund.

Ng said MBAM has also suggested many measures to the government in order to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the construction industry.

Among them are upgrading workers' skills, importing skilled foreign workers, as well as mechanisation of the construction industry by relooking at building new heavy machinery equipment.

"Although there has been some improvements in the import of machineries and equipment, the duty is still high and it is hoped that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry will relook the duty rates," Ng said.

He said it was important to relook the duty rates in order to encourage more players to use new equipment which are efficient, environment-friendly and with better productivity and more safety features.

By Bernama

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