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Construction industry set to recover due to Govt’s stimulus packages

Source from: New Straits Times, Original Article


KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s decision to reopen almost all economic sectors coupled with the four stimulus packages has mitigated losses in the construction industry following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) chief executive Datuk Ir Ahmad ‘Asri Abdul Hamid said the sector recorded losses of about RM11 billion during the first phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

The losses were subsequently reduced by RM4.8 billion to RM6.2 billion when the government allowed the construction for 13 categories of projects to resume during the next phase of the MCO.

“We expect the construction sector to recover since the government has allowed almost all economic activities to resume operation coupled with the rolling out of several stimulus packages including the RM250 billion Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package and the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) worth RM35 billion.

“By right, on paper, the construction sector should not suffer any more losses during the on-going Recovery MCO period,” he told reporters here today.

On a related matter, Ahmad ‘Asri said only 23 per cent of the total construction sites inspected by CIDB had yet to resume operation as of last week.

He said a survey conducted by CIDB showed the construction sites which have yet to resume operation were dealing with the labour shortage.

“These construction companies were relying on migrant workers.

“However, when the MCO came into force on March 18, many of the foreign workers had returned to their respective countries and they were not allowed to enter Malaysia.

“Apart from that, many of them were illegal migrant workers. They did not come forward for (Covid-19) screening and this prevented them from returning to work,” he said, adding CIDB enforcement officers had inspected 9,146 construction sites nationwide to date.

Earlier, Ahmad ‘Asri had accompanied the Works Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Ir Syed Omar Sharifuddin Syed Ikhsan to check on the Social Security Organisation (Socso) Prihatin Screening Programme (PSP Perkeso) for migrant construction workers at the CIDB Convention Centre here.

They were also briefed by Socso on the screening programme, which was attended by 700 construction workers from 59 companies.

Some 13,000 construction workers have been screened since the programme was introduced on April 27.

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