KUALA LUMPUR: The construction industry must change the way it builds things and adopt the Industrialised Building System (IBS) to reduce dependency on foreign labour, said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
“The new system, if implemented, will reduce the hundreds of thousands of foreign workers in the country by about 60%,” he said.
Samy Vellu said there was a need to move from the dirty, difficult and dangerous construction work to an era of high technology, quality and an attractive career in the industry.
Speaking at the launch of the IBS roadshow 2003 organised by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), he said the construction industry was still dependent on low-productive labour at the sites.
“Based on a CIDB study, 70% of the foreign workers were involved in the wet trade like laying of bricks, concrete and others.
“The quality of these trades were difficult to be monitored as they are dependent on the skills of the individual and need close supervision,” Samy Vellu said.
He said there had been numerous complaints on the quality of construction especially in the housing industry and it had become a norm for repair works to be required after the completion of the projects.
“The time has come for the aggressive promotion of the IBS system, in which structural components are manufactured in a factory, on or off site, transported and assembled into a structure or building with minimal additional site work,” Samy Vellu said.
He added that only 15% of the construction sector was using this system.
He said the system would also speed up the completion of a project and this would be beneficial to the developer, financer as well as purchasers.
Samy Vellu said the system also reduced the number of unskilled workers at construction sites, minimised wastage and site materials needed, promoted a cleaner environment and lowered construction costs.
“I will also speak to architects and engineers to incorporate the IBS systems into their drawing plans to encourage greater usage,” he said.
Did you find this article insightful?