The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) is confident that the local construction industry will achieve a third straight year of double-digit growth in 2015, based on the number of projects undertaken year-to-date.
CIDB corporate and business sector Senior General Manager Sariah Abdul Karib said construction projects undertaken last year totaled some RM160bil, comprising both public and private projects.
“We’re still projecting double-digit growth. We’re confident we can achieve it despite the current market environment,” she told a media roundtable yesterday.
“We’ve been achieving double-digit growth since 2012 and the momentum is still there.”
In June, Sariah was quoted as saying that the construction sector was expected to grow 10.3% this year compared with 11.8% in 2014. It grew 18.1% in 2012 and 10.6% in 2013.
Separately, Sariah said CIDB expected productivity to increase by 2½ times to US$16,500 (RM61,939) per worker by 2020.
She said once the Construction Industry Transformation Programme (CITP), which was launched this month, picks up steam, productivity would be boosted by the modernisation of technology, with specific emphasis on building information modeling and industrialised building systems (IBS) as effort multipliers.
Sariah said currently, all government projects exceeding RM10mil must incorporate IBS into their developments.
“But it’s not 100% yet. Currently the utilisation rate is around 42%.
“This is because a lot of projects are in remote areas and it is hard to bring technology into the areas,” she said.
The CITP is a five-year plan to transform the construction industry by 2020 in the areas of quality, safety and professionalism, environmental sustainability, productivity and internationalisation.
Meanwhile, CIDB Chief Executive Datuk Seri Dr Judin Abdul Karim said there was a need to reduce the number of foreign workers in the sector.
“We could do with less. We need to mechanise the industry, whereby the machines can do the work of up to 10 people. Over-reliance on foreign labour also affects our competitiveness.”
Judin said CIDB was working with Master Builders Association Malaysia to deal with the issue of foreign labour. The construction sector currently employs about 400,000 foreign workers. Judin also said local companies need to be better prepared to be able to handle competition from foreign players.