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MBAM: Covid-19 Act did not address issues faced by contractors

PETALING JAYA (Oct 27): Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) points out that the recent gazetted Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (Covid-19) Act did not address the key issues faced by contractors.  

Commenting on Covid-19 Act which was gazetted on Oct 23, MBAM president Foo Chek Lee (pictured) told EdgeProp.my that the Act came “too late” and did not resolve the two key issues faced by contractors.

“For the construction industry, our first biggest issue is the delays and disruptions to the progress of construction works due to the movement control orders (MCO) made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act and the SOPs issued by the authorities.

“The second biggest issue is the losses due to the delays and costs incurred due to the movement control orders and SOP compliance. However, the existing wording of Part 2: Section 7 of the Act did not address the issues,” Foo noted.

On top of this, although the Part II of the Covid-19 Act - “Inability to perform contractual obligation” could offer protection to the parties who were affected by the Covid-19 or MCO, the measure does not include the agreements which were being terminated before the Act came into effect. As a result, many contractors have already suffered from losing their business, Foo explained.

“Improvement should be made to the Act, especially on delays, such as to specifically provide for delays in the progress of construction works due to MCOs and SOP compliance, as well as specifically to entitle contractors to extension of time for the delays and disruptions due to MCOs and SOP compliance,” he shared.  

Meanwhile, Foo also suggested that the government should consider giving financial assistance to contractors to lighten their financial burden from unforeseen additional costs incurred due to compliance with laws and SOPs during the MCOs.

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