Foreign construction workers turn contractors, a threat to M'sian contractors - MBAM

KUALA LUMPUR: There is an increasing trend of foreign construction workers undertaking small-scale construction and renovation works - this is posing a serious threat to the livelihood of legitimate local contractors as they often charge lower price, says Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM).

The foreigners are often engaged directly through small firms which makes it hard to monitor, it said in a statement on Wednesday Sept 8.

“The problem surfaces when there are complaints of shoddy work especially when it comes to renovation work. This does give genuine sub-contractors and renovation specialists a bad image,” it said.

There is also valid fear these construction workers, who are mainly Indonesians, may replace local small-time contractors as they are currently creating serious competition to Malaysian contractors involved in construction
and renovation business.

“Moreover, some of these foreign workers after working in this country for many years would apply for permanent residency and with that, they will then apply for the setting up of a company to undertake small contract jobs.

"They will not only set up companies to do minor projects but may also be able to obtain business registrations,” it said.
MBAM considers this as a serious situation that has to be looked into by the Government to ensure local contractors engaged in renovation work can continue to survive as their income is under threat.

Hence, MBAM strongly urged the Government to register and regulate small-time contractors under the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) with the requisite local equity and other relevant conditions before they are
allowed to be sub-contractors or renovation contractors.
MBAM also hoped ministries, agencies and local councils complied with mandatory requirements before approving projects and renovation work.

“Any loopholes should be quickly plugged and proper process and procedures should be put in place. This will help ensure standards are met and high safetyprocedures are adhered to minimise untoward incidents such as workplace mishaps
due to negligence,” it added. - Bernama
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