Construction sector poised for turnaround despite RM42 bil loss since MCO 1.0

THE extended COVID-19 outbreak in the country has continued to affect the construction industry this year, but the impact has been more moderate compared to last year due to a vaccination roll-out targeted at construction workers, among others.

According to Construction Industry Development Board’s (CIDB) chief executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid, a proactive approach had been taken by the Ministry of Works through CIDB to increase vaccination rates among construction workers.

“The Construction Industry Vaccination Programme (CIVac), which is a specific vaccination programme for construction workers was launched on July 1 and implemented in five states. The programme ended on Sept 28 with 100,180 workers fully vaccinated,” he told Bernama.

Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid

Asri said the Government has ensured that construction projects followed strict compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the vaccination of workers.

As of end-October, a total of 3,868 government projects valued at RM30.1 bil have been awarded compared to 3,653 projects valued at RM25.9 bil in the same period last year as the Government escalates its support for the sector.

“It is expected that the number and value of government-awarded projects in 2021 will continue to increase. Hopefully, this trend will also be followed by the private sector whereby more private projects will be implemented,” he said.

According to Ahmad Asri, the construction industry is estimated to have incurred a loss of RM42 bil following the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) from March 2020 until now.

“A total of RM18 bil was the estimated loss during the MCO 3.0 period which started in June until September,” he noted.

“The remaining RM24 bil was the loss from implementation of MCO1.0 in 2020 which affected construction work from March to July 2020. About 10,000 projects were affected by the pandemic.”

The Malaysian construction industry is forecast to record real growth of 9.2% in 2021 following a contraction of 19.4% in 2020. This compares to the previous forecast of 11.2% growth for this year.

The downward revision is primarily due to implementation of the nationwide lockdown in June which affected construction activity.

The construction industry’s output is expected to be supported by the gradual economic recovery, a focus on completing large infrastructure projects, and an increase in investment in industrial and energy projects.

The industry is expected to post a sharp recovery in 2021 assuming that there is no repeat of containment measures that were put in place in 2020 with growth supported by investments in transportation and energy projects.

The sector is expected to register an annual average growth rate of 6.8% between 2022 and 2025. – Dec 5, 2021

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