Budget 2021: RM15bil allocation to ensure continuity of mega projects will be catalyst for positive growth, says MBAM

PETALING JAYA: The RM15bil allocation to revive and ensure the continuity of several mega projects would be a catalyst for positive growth for the construction industry, says the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM).

"The theme 'Teguh Kita, Menang Bersama' fits well with the current challenging times in Malaysia where the nation needs a booster to revive the economy and well-being of the people," MBAM said in a statement Friday. (Nov 6)

The association said the budget reflected the government's serious attention in ensuring that mega projects such as the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3), Gemas-Johor Double Tracking Project, Rapid Transit System from Johor Baru to Woodlands, the Klang Valley First Phase Double Tracking Project and Pan-Borneo Highway remain on track.

MBAM also said that RM3.8bil allocated to various major roadworks and RM780mil to the development of various economic corridors in 2021 would also benefit the industry.

"The development for Kwasa Damansara with a gross development value of RM50bil will also contribute towards the construction economy," the statement read.

MBAM also noted that Sabah and Sarawak were not left out in the budget as the states would get RM5.1bil and RM4.5bil, respectively, to improve the water supply network, electricity and road access.

MBAM is also glad that the government announced small projects for rural areas such as RM1.3bil for rural roads, RM630mil for rural water supply, RM250mil for rural electricity supply and RM1.2bil for housing for those in the B40 group.

Other allocations for rural projects include RM355mil for housing aid programmes for the poor, RM121mil for 27,000 units of lamps and 500,000 units of lights for village roads.

"We are also happy that RM 2.5bil has been allocated for G1-G4 contractors which will serve as a life-line especially for Bumiputera contractors," MBAM added.

MBAM also welcomed allocations to reskill and upgrade the local workforce, including wage subsidy programmes.

"The budget is also a very good initiative to help the people who lost their jobs during the initial stages of the movement control order," MBAM said, noting that the Penjara Kerjaya Programme would ease the burden of employers and save jobs in the construction industry.

However, MBAM hopes the Human Resources Ministry and Construction Labour Exchange Centre Bhd (CLAB) will look into the ongoing issue of shortages of labour in the construction industry.

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