Kuala Lumpur, 2 February 2021 – The Ministry of Works has ordered the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to address issues about construction workers’ on-site temporary accommodation as these are major causes of COVID-19 transmissions in Malaysia.
The findings by the Ministry of Health—which the Ministry of Works takes seriously—states that most transmission of COVID-19 occurs within the crowded and poorly managed accommodation, especially in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. This has been made worse by the non-compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The ministry stated that whether workers stay within or outside the construction site area, they are required to fully comply with the SOPs issued by the National Security Council (MKN). The employers must also provide accommodation that complies with the Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Facilities of Employees Act 1990 (Act 446).
The effort to provide standard accommodation for workers could be hindered by high costs, the limited areas within the construction site and the long approval time from the local authority. For an immediate solution, CIDB, together with relevant agencies, such as the Department of Manpower (JTK) and NGOs, have been tasked to find suitable locations for better accommodation. Contractors have also been tasked to provide quarantine facilities for workers who are infected or are suspected cases.
To ensure compliance, the Ministry of Works also directed CIDB to intensify inspection and take immediate disciplinary actions on all contractors who do not comply with the SOPs, which may include temporary site closure.