Bid to cut building costs


  • Nation
  • Monday, 21 Jun 2004

KEPALA BATAS: The Government wants an in-depth study on how prefabricated technology for houses or buildings can help reduce costs and the country’s reliance on foreign labour. 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said an analysis, outlining its pros and cons, would be carried out to determine if prefabricated technology was viable for future public housing projects. 

“If the result of the analysis shows it is feasible, we would naturally want to use it. 

“In reducing the use of construction workers, it can save costs and also reduce our reliance on foreign labour,” he told a press conference after the official handing-over ceremony of the RM1.38bil National Teachers’ Housing Project from Encorp Bhd to the Education Ministry at Taman Sri Serdang here yesterday. 

Abdullah commended Encorp for completing the construction of 10,000 units of teachers’ quarters in 109 locations nationwide, 10 months ahead of schedule. 

He said the apartment units, with a built-up area of 93 square metres each, were also completed at a cost lower than the initial estimation, partly because of the use of prefabricated technology. 

“Based on present market value in Kuala Lumpur, each of these units can be sold for up to RM250,000. But we built it at a cost of RM138,000 per unit only.” 

In his speech earlier, Abdullah directed civil servants staying in government quarters to keep their premises clean and their surroundings spick-and-span.  

He said the move would help the Government save millions of ringgit each year on the upkeep, and the money saved could then be used to build more housing units. 

The Prime Minister expressed disappointment over the unkempt state of many quarters, some of which looked as if they had been abandoned. 

“I am upset that even today, we do not have the maintenance culture instilled in us to take care of public property. When the buildings are delivered to you, they are in tip-top condition, but after a short while, they become run down. 

“We must have a sense of responsibility to keep our quarters clean at all times.” 

Abdullah said occupants of such quarters should not expect the Government to do everything for them. 

“Try putting a little effort into maintenance and treat the quarters as if they are your own. 

“When there is overgrown grass, do not say it is the Government’s job to trim it.” 

Abdullah pointed out that the quarters could last longer if they were well maintained, thus reducing the need to repair and repaint them. He also suggested that a management committee be set up to maintain the buildings.  

Encorp chairman Datuk Mohamad Nor Mohamad said the company was given a 30-year concession to plan, design, finance and build government quarters. 

He said the company used the latest prefabricated technology as it saved cost and the materials were durable.  


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