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Building industry reminded to reduce dependence on cheap labour

KUALA LUMPUR: Building contractors were on Tuesday, Nov 2 reminded to be too dependent on cheap labour, but instead use more highly-skilled manpower and practise efficient cost management.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said over-dependence on cheap labour would be counter productive and make the construction industry less competitive and efficient.

"In raising our per capita income, the use of cheap labour is no longer an important aspect. Instead, the use of highly skilled manpower, efficient management of costs, use of high technology, and producing high-quality work or products will help make Malaysia a developed nation and generate high income for the people."

Shaziman said this in his keynote address at the Third Malaysian Construction Summit 2010, here, on Tuesday.

He said the economic packges announced by the government like the 10th Malaysia Plan, 2011 Budget and Economic Transformation Programme required the industry players to be more professional in managing their projects so as to benefit the people.

Hence, he suggested that the construction industry transform itself into a knowledge-based industry, invest in new technolopy and various skills, and raise competency.

"This will ensure a more orderly development of the construction industry and for salary increase to commensurate with performance," he said.

Shaziman also stressed that the private sector should also reduce dependence on the government for projects to spur economic growth.

"The private sector needs to be more creative and innovative in implementing projects, especially from the financial and funding aspects, while the government will act as the facilitator," he said.

He also hoped that the smart partnership between the government and private sector could be enhanced so that the expertise of both sectors could be used to the maximum to solve arising issues in the industry. — Bernama
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