Builders appeal for return of Indonesian workers

Indonesians are the best workers for the construction sector, says Tee. – THOMAS YONG/The Star

HOUSE buyers will have to wait longer for their houses to be completed as the country’s construction industry is facing a serious labour shortage.

Johor Master Builders Association immediate past president Tee See Kim said delays could also be expected in completing public infrastructure and facility projects.

He said the country’s construction activities were starting to pick up again after experiencing a slowdown in the past two years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tee said this pick-up was a good indicator as the construction industry sector was one of the main contributors to the country’s economy.

“However, the sector is currently facing two major problems that need to be addressed immediately or the contractors might face hardship,” he said.

Tee said the problems were escalating building material prices and labour shortage.

He pointed out that the labour shortage was a serious problem as contractors would not be able to complete their projects.

Tee said this would have serious implications not only on the economy but also on house buyers needing to wait longer for their homes to be completed.

“Delays in completing government projects such as roads, hospitals and schools will also cause inconvenience to people,” he added.

Tee said he hoped the new Federal government could start negotiating with the Indonesian government to enable Indonesian workers to work in Malaysia again.

He said Indonesians were still the best workers for the construction sector because of the similarity between the Malaysian and Indonesian languages.

“They are hardworking and easy to train and work with, especially those with experience,” added Tee.

He said it was no longer cheaper to hire Indonesian workers as their daily wages range between RM80 and RM150 depending on skill and experience.

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