Building a home for members

THE Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) celebrated its 61st anniversary with a grand dinner in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya.

Themed “Empowering the Construction Industry with a Solid Foundation,” the event saw more than 1,800 guests in attendance, including decision-makers in the government and construction industry, heads of government departments and agencies, leaders of professional organisations and leading construction firms in Malaysia and the Asean region, MBAM members and affiliate members.

Gracing the event was Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof, who represented Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

This year’s anniversary dinner was combined with the MBAM Building Fund Drive for the association to set up its own headquarters.

In his welcome speech, organising chairman Tan Sri A.K. Nathan explained that a new premises would help the association in its daily operations.

“We aim to be a sustainable association and to leave a legacy for the new generation of builders,” he said.

He added that a permanent premises would help further develop the association, including strengthening its education function and providing stronger support to members.

Nathan, who is also the chairman of the fund, said all the proceeds from the night’s dinner would be channelled to the MBAM Building Fund.

“In the past three months, we have raised RM3mil and while that is remarkable, we are moving forward to raise more,” he said, while thanking those who had contributed to the cause.

Fadillah congratulated MBAM and its members for their contribution to building the nation, adding that MBAM’s training and education initiatives were part of its commitment to meet the industry’s needs.

“I am aware of the many challenges faced by MBAM and the construction industry, especially manpower requirements and the continuous upskilling to ensure sustainable growth,” he said.

He added that the Government would proactively look into the issues raised and work towards resolving them.

MBAM president Matthew Tee said the anniversary dinner’s theme was timely as over the years the Government, civil service and private sectors had to work together to resolve many issues faced by the construction industry.

“The industry is still facing major challenges, better known as the ‘4M’ which are manpower, machinery, money and materials,” he said.

Among its accomplishments were successfully appealing to the Government recently for the revision of import duties for three categories of items including self-propelled bulldozers, angeldozers and excavating and sinking machineries from 10% previously to five percent effective June 11 this year.

During the event, guests were entertained by a variety of performances, including an opening act by 1Malaysia Drums and Joanne Kam Poh Poh and The Divas.

Special awards were presented to individuals for their lifelong contribution to the association’s growth. Awards included MBAM honorary life president to Tan Sri Datuk Low Keng Huat and the Silver Award to Datuk Ng Kee Leen, both of whom were represented by Datuk Tengku Johanes and Ng Keong Wee respectively.