The Budget 2018 proposals hold upsides for the construction with people-centric projects, such as affordable housing and infrastructure upgrades, as reported in The New Straits Times.
A total of RM280.25 billion has been allocated for Budget 2018, an increase of RM19.45 billion or 7.45 per cent compared to the RM260.8 billion in 2017. According to the 2017/2018 Economic Report, the construction industry is forecast to grow at 7.5 per cent, 0.1 per cent down from 2017, supported by on-going infrastructure projects.
Some of the announced infrastructure and spending allocation that will benefit the industry in 2018 include:
- 240,600 units of Government housing under various public housing plans;
- 10,000 units of Public Housing for Police staff;
- Pan Borneo Highway (RM2 billion);
- East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project connecting Port Klang to Pengkalan Kubur;
- Mass Rail Transit 2 (MRT2) project connecting Sungai Buloh, Klang and Putrajaya;
- Central Spine Road Project (RM230 million);
- Upgrade of Penang and Langkawi international airports and Sultan Ismail Petra, Mukah and Sandakan airports
- Construction of roads in rural areas (RM934 million)
- Women and Children Hospital in Putrajaya (RM1 billion)
In the area of sustainable development, RM5 billion has been allocated under the Green Technology Financing Scheme, and RM1.4 billion for a non-revenue water programme that aims to reduce water loss. This includes RM1.3 billion for the constuction of off-river storage as an alternative water storage and RM517 million for a flood mitigation programme.
“All the announced infrastructure spending will mean that the construction industry will require enough manpower to complete it on time and on budget,” said Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) President Foo Chek Li. “There should be a realistic understanding that construction industry needs workers to fill in the demand-supply gap for manpower in the construction industry.”
Foo adds that MBAM hopes that the policy with regard to the employment of workers can be looked at in a holistic manner so that the aspiration of both the public and the private sector can be satisfied.
“However, MBAM appreciates the increase of budget for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training of RM4.9 billion, which will increase the number of local skilled workers, productivity and reduce the dependency on the foreign workers.” — Construction+ Online