PETALING JAYA (May 20): The construction industry has expressed its strong opposition to a lockdown like the first movement control order in March 2020, as "the Malaysian construction industry cannot afford another full lockdown,” said Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM).

In a media statement today, the association called for a stricter enforcement of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) instead to reduce the Covid-19 infection rate.

“MBAM in a letter to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry dated 20 May 2021 has instead suggested for a stricter enforcement on the SOPs. We are definitely in a worrying state right now with the current situation of the Covid-19 outbreak,” said the statement.

MBAM represents over 1,000 direct members with a total outreach strength of close to 17,000 in the Malaysian construction industry.

The suggestions include restricting mobility through number of persons in a vehicle and travelling radius; tightening social activities; temporary suspension of all physical activities at education institutions; mandatory work from home, allowing construction sites to operate with full adherence to SOPs and minimising transfer of workers.

It stressed that enforcement must be standard to all levels of people. 

Additionally, MBAM also called on the government to roll out a stimulus package including moratorium extension, financial assistance, wage subsidy programme, utility subsidy and low-interest financing rates to provide financial aid for businesses affected by the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, the association also noted that the country’s vaccination rate for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme needs to be ramped up to achieve herd immunity.

Malaysia recorded its highest number of daily Covid-19 cases today at 6,806. The government will deliberate on whether a stricter lockdown should be implemented tomorrow during the National Security Council meeting.

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