Kuala Lumpur, 10 November 2021 – The government of Malaysia has recently announced Budget 2022, themed ‘Keluarga Malaysia, Makmur Sejahtera’ (A Prosperous Malaysian Family). The budget has a total value of RM332.1 billion—the highest compared to previous budgets, with RM233.5 billion being allocated for operating expenditure, RM75.6 billion for development expenditure and RM23 billion under the COVID-19 Fund.
Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), in their press statement, thanked the government for the construction projects announced. However, they believe that these projects are insufficient for the industry at large because they are smaller scale projects to enhance the infrastructure for public use. These projects would benefit only part of the industry players, mainly in the G1 to G4 categories of contractors. Some of the new projects are:
- Building of eight new blocks for special education, among them at SMK Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen in Perlis and SMK Agama Alor Gajah in Melaka;
- 5 billion to continue housing projects for the low-income group;
- 5 billion to build a 519km rural road that will directly benefit more than 130,000 residents; and,
- RM107 million to install 7,000 units of street lights in villages, maintenance of more than 500,000 units of village street lights and upgrading of 20 dilapidated bridges as well as preliminary works for 30 new bridges.
Aside from these new projects, there are also some continuations of some existing projects such as:
- Continuation of implementation of national infrastructure development projects worth RM3.5 billion, including the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway and Central Spine Road; and,
- 9 billion for continuation of small and medium sized projects for G1 to G4 contractors nationwide for road maintenance projects, repair of obsolete infrastructure and equipment of public universities, polytechnics and community colleges as well as other projects involving social amenities in rural areas.
MBAM is also supportive of the announcement in upskilling local talents through the continuation of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme. As the Malaysian construction industry is still over-dependent on unskilled foreign labour, MBAM hopes that this initiative will prepare the industry with more local talent to overcome the shortage of foreign workers’ issue. This however will take a long time into the far future. The industry is in need of new foreign workers now to help with the recovery so the process to bring them in should be accelerated and supported.
Generally, MBAM was expecting a more uplifting 2022 Budget announcement for the construction industry, such as new mega infrastructure projects to pump prime the revival of the Malaysian construction industry. It is hoped that the government will provide more assistance for the construction industry to revive and sustain the construction sector.
– Construction+ Online