Gov’t must look into unique challenges of Bumiputera contractors overseas

STRATEGIC intervention and smart government-to-government (G2G) engagements can help Bumiputera contractors overcome unique challenges that come with operating overseas.

Such is the view of the Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association (PKBM), believing that there are opportunities for qualified Bumiputera contractors to tap global markets.

This is especially when they are able to compete in equal terms against their global peers in the building and construction industry.

However, they often come face-to-face with obstacles such as non-tariff barriers, inequitable procurement practices and unjust treatment by the governments of the country they operate in.

As such, the Malaysian Government – especially the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) must play a more pro-active role in helping these contractors resolve these issues quickly and equitably.

Datuk Azman Yusoff

“There are several homegrown Bumiputera contractors today who have world-class capabilities and proven track record of delivery,” commented PKBM’s president Datuk Azman Yusoff.

“In the current globalised economy, contractors must operate beyond Malaysian shores if they want to grow in a robust and sustainable manner. Unfortunately, when it comes to operating in a foreign nation, many contractors are faced with challenges that transcend normal day-to-day operations.”

Azman cited a recent case involving Bumiputera construction specialist and property developer WZR Property Sdn Bhd (WZR) that is still waiting for the full court-ordered settlement of close to RM100 mil from the Maldives government for breach of contract.

“A foreign government may feel that a private company from another country is small and inconsequential and as such can overlook its legal obligations to pay compensation for breach of contract,” opined Azman.

“In cases like these, the Malaysian Government can step-in from a G2G perspective to help resolve matters. We as a nation cannot afford to have our best and brightest companies suffer huge losses due to unfair practices.”

Nevertheless, any arbitration on a G2G or G2B basis must be made in accordance to international laws and best practices in order to safeguard the reputation of Malaysia as well as its corporate and business fraternity, he added. – Sept 27, 2021

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