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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Multi-billion projects in the pipeline

PETALING JAYA: The Government has earmarked several multi-billion projects that will see the construction of several highways, a mass rapid transit (MRT) system, and the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) amongst others, to be kicked off next year.

Generally, the planned development is well-received by the construction sector.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday said in the Budget 2011 speech that under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives, several projects under the 10th Malaysia Plan would be implemented next year through private investment of RM12.5bil.

The Government had allocated RM1bil from the facilitation fund.

Among the PPP projects mentioned are the construction of several highways and 300-megawatt combined-cycle gas power plant in Kimanis, Sabah.

Others are the International Islamic University Malaysia Teaching Hospital, the Women and Children’s Hospital, Integrated Health Research Institute Complex in Kuala Lumpur and Academic Medical Centre.

Additionally, high-impact strategic developments were also identified.

The first is RM26bil KLIFD where the Government is prepared to consider special incentive packages to attract investors to the KLIFD.

Next, is the MRT in Greater KL with an estimated private investment of RM40bil which is expected to be completed by 2020.

Also, the mixed-development of the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) land in Sungai Buloh to be undertaken by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

This is to be completed by 2025 and the development is estimated at RM10bil.

Finally is the development of another landmark building, a RM5bil 100-storey tower, Warisan Merdeka to be developed by Permodalan Nasional to be completed by 2020.

Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) was appreciative that the Government would focus on many construction projects under Budget 2011.

Its president Kwan Foh Kwai hoped the Government would ensure the speedy award and efficient implementation of high impact projects.

“Any delay in implementation, will mean additional costs to the project,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Additionally, StarBizWeek also contacted Kwan to ask on possible shortage of construction capacity such as professional and labour workforce as well as raw materials due to the implementation of the mega-size projects.

“Because most of the projects are spanned across 10 years on average, we do not expect to experience any shortage on professionals such as engineers and architects as well as raw materials.

“The current demand of raw materials are also within the capacity of suppliers,” he said. But, Kwan was a little bit concern on labour workforce as the industry now was over-reliant on foreign workers.

“That is why MBAM supports the initiative to reshape the economy through a focus on intensifying human capital development, vocational training and improving lifelong education that will help improve the labour force in Malaysia,” he said.

Meanwhile, EPF chief economist Norashikin Abdul Hamid said the development of MRB land by EPF was expected to boost the economy and the construction sector in particular.

“The Government’s decision in selecting EPF to enter into a joint-venture with the Federal Government to develop the land has been weighed and deliberated carefully, given EPF’s strong financial position,” she said.

UEM Land Bhd director of finance, corporate affairs and investment Mohd Zakir Omar supported the PPP concept and the company had been pursuing to the Government a number of projects in the past few years involving property development.

By The Star

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