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Construction sector lost RM11.6b a month since MCO

BUTTERWORTH: The construction industry in Malaysia has suffered up to RM11.6 billion in losses every month since the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) began on March 18.

Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) president Foo Chek Lee said that 29 per cent of the losses was due to the unemployment of industry workers as construction projects had to be halted.

“When construction projects were put on hold, machinery suppliers were unable to rent or sell their machines, factories could not manufacture construction materials and imported materials could not come in.

“These are the reasons why the construction industry suffered up to RM11.6 billion per month, ” he told a press conference here today.

While most construction work had resumed as the country entered the recovery phase, the industry could only operate at up to 80 per cent of its capacity, he said.

Foo showed his gratitude for the Federal Government for the incentives and packages introduced to help with the industry’s recovery, but he also hoped that the loan repayment moratorium for construction-related companies could be extended for another six months to March 2021.

“As the moratorium draws to a close (on Sept 30), many companies feel that they would be unable to keep up with the repayments, ” he said, adding that about 30 per cent of the construction firms in Malaysia were still facing financial issues.

He added that the extension of the moratorium for another half a year could help protect one of the most important economic sectors in the country.

Founded in 1954 and with a membership of 17,000 direct and indirect members, MBAM aims to be the prime mover and recognised voice of the Malaysian construction industry.

Earlier, Foo delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony for the seventh edition of MBAM’s Seminar on Occupational Safety and Health and a Permit to Work for Construction workshop at a hotel in Seberang Perai today.

The event was officiated by Department of Occupational Safety and Health Penang director Hassan Alias. – Bernama

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