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Vaccination and reopening priority should be given to construction industry, associations appeal

Image by Djohan Shahrin

Kuala Lumpur, 5 July 2021 – Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) together with 35 associations in the construction industry hope that vaccination and reopening priority are given to construction industry workers and the building materials supply chain.

Following the government’s announcement in maintaining the implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since 1 June 2021, the construction industry is one of the most affected sectors. Currently, the operating rate of construction sites is low and most of the contractors currently in operation have taken note of the shortage of existing building material stocks and will most likely run out in the near future.

Therefore, MBAM together with 35 associations in the construction industry have sent a Joint Memorandum to the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Mahiaddin Bin Haji Md Yasin. They strongly support the efforts and initiatives of the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) and the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) to date, but hope that the vaccine supply delivery schedule will be improved to achieve the set vaccination rates.

The industry is also pleased with the implementation of the Construction Industry Vaccination Program (CIVac)—an effort by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia, led by Ministry of Works—to expedite vaccination among the construction workforce to achieve the appropriate percentage of herd immunity. However, with the allocation of CIVac vaccines for only 40,000 workers in Phase 1 and 100,000 workers in Phase 2, which is 10 per cent of the total construction industry workforce comprising about 1.4 million people, it is feared that the target of herd immunity networks will not be achieved according to government’s planning.

The associations also appeal that foreign workers would be given more attention by the government, especially those who hold expired travel documents and/or work passes but are stranded in Malaysia; and that vaccination process of construction workers would be carried out by mobile Vaccination Centres (PPV), which are deployed to dormitories or workers centred residences, in order to reduce mass movement to static PPV and minimise the interaction between the workers and the local community, especially from the vulnerable group.

They also agree in the opinion that the reopening of the construction industry should start from now, and to be implemented in stages and in order of priority. Prior to the reopening, the SOPs for the construction industry and all related subsectors could be issued as early as possible (rather than being introduced at the last minute) to help contractors and all elements of the construction supply chain make adequate preparations in the implementation.

– Construction+ Online

Source: MBAM