Transforming M’sia’s construction industry with homegrown technology

Letter to Editor

By Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal


I READ with interest the article on the use of Green Card IDs for the construction workers which also doubles as a payment card for its users. This is a commendable collaborative effort between Bayo Pay (M) Sdn Bhd and the Construction Industry Development Board of Malaysia (CIDB) in developing a digital Green Card ID.

I immediately saw that there could be so many potential opportunities from this innovative card idea particularly for the workplace. The fact that a homegrown fintech company, Bayo Pay developed this creative financial solution that can help construction companies and also its workers in terms of payment solution is laudable.

More importantly, another government agency ie CIDB has chosen the digital solutions way by introducing the dual purpose Green Card which not only operates as an ID for construction workers but also as a payment card that runs on the MasterCard platform.

I read in an earlier news report that this initiative allows CIDB to have better control over security and card issuance management, while providing workers the convenience of worldwide payment acceptance and cash withdrawal from MasterCard-compatible ATMs.

Key points included:

  1. We are living in the new norm era of cashless transactions, using the likes of Debit Card/Credit Card, e-wallets and mobile payment apps. Hence, this digital Green Card for the construction workers is timely.
  2. The use of the digital Green Card provides effective and transparent payment of wages to workers by using the mobile wallet app on their phone, thus requiring the workers to go cashless.
  3. Transparency in money transactions to construction workers is a long standing problem this system may help eradicate.
  4. Above all, this system offers a solution for the foreign workers who usually get their salary by cash as it is difficult for them to open a bank account. The workers can use their Green Card for online transactions like money transfer to other Green Card holders, as well as for purchases and payments. This can help to reduce impropriety while making it safer for the foreign workers to “keep” their money instead of carrying cash.
  5. It is also a very admirable for CIDB to select a local company such as Bayo Pay with homegrown technology to undertake such a significant transformation for the construction sector. I sincerely hope to see more homegrown aspiring technology and capabilities being given the opportunity for such initiatives. This will help local technology and capabilities being developed onshore and reduce the reliance on tech imports thus ensuring technology security for the country.

The emergence of many fintech companies in Malaysia now has benefitted our nation and our people with diverse digital solutions that are tailored to the needs of each and every industry through fintech innovations. 

Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resource announced that they are in the final stage to refine the e-wages system and also their collaboration on the Undocumented Migrant Recalibration Plan is being implemented until June this year. This will undoubtedly assist Bayo Pay in making a large contribution to the construction industry.

Perhaps we can extend this service to other organisation like Employee Provident Fund (EPF), Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO), insurance companies, as well as corporations like Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA). – May 11, 2021


Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal is the president of UNI-Malaysia Labour Centre (UNI-MLC) and is also the General Secretary to the ASEAN Services Employees Trade Union Council (ASETUC), responsible for the migrant workers’ care.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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