Fadillah urges Bumiputera businesses to explore construction industry


PUTRAJAYA: More Bumiputera should take the opportunity to explore the development and construction industry to boost their competitiveness especially in the global arena.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said as of December last year, a total of 224 construction companies were involved in the Industrialised Building System (IBS) production, 72 of which are Bumiputera companies.

“Of the 72 Bumiputera companies, three of them are the manufacturers of the complete (IBS) system. Currently, there are 8,170 IBS contractors, 6,778 of which are Bumiputera.

“Our main focus is to encourage Bumiputera to be involved in the construction industry transformation programme, especially in IBS, as not only can it create success and wealth, it also reduces dependency on low-skilled workers from foreign countries.

“Bumiputera companies should not let go the opportunity to be a part of this progress in the construction industry, be it in the component or complete IBS system production,” he said after his Bumiputera Economic Transformation Roadmap 2.0 (BETR 2.0) walkabout today.

He visited three workshops namely Entrepreneurship-Small and Medium Enterprises, Corporate Equity Ownership, and Property Ownership and Non-Financial Assets.

Aside from that, Fadillah said the ministry is also working to get more Bumiputera contractors to be involved in a project to rebuild dilapidated schools.

“We want to use the IBS system in the rebuilding of these schools. Normally, the contractors will bid for a project, but this time we will open it to the manufacturers.

“The manufacturers will bid for a suitable system to be used to rebuild the dilapidated schools.

From that system, we want to ensure that there will be no issue of supply shortages as the commitment was given to the manufacturers.

“If the system succeeds, we hope to expand it. Although this project is open to both Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera companies, this is an opportunity that should not be missed by the Bumiputera,” he said.

He added that thus far, 11 construction companies have been shortlisted for the project, two of which are Bumiputera.

Fadillah said the ministry will monitor the participation of Bumiputera in the rebuilding of school project.

“We did not set a target of how many Bumiputera companies (should be involved) in this project, but we will monitor (the numbers). If participation from the Bumiputera companies is low, we will figure out why and how to attract them.

“We hope they can take on this project and use it as a stepping stone to compete in the open market,” he said.

He said the Education Ministry has identified hundreds of dilapidated schools especially in the rural areas.

To rebuild the schools, he said, it usually involves the conventional method which can be costly.

“We want the contractors to use IBS as it is not only cost-saving, but it is also faster. If we use the IBS system, the project can be completed within two months, whereas the conventional method takes a long time,” he said.

On the workshop, Fadillah said the programme was important to empower the Bumiputera companies to be competitive in various sectors.

He said he was satisfied with one of the workshops which highlighted data collected on Bumiputera involvement in several sectors.

“From the data, we know which sectors are dominated by Bumiputera companies and which has the lowest number of participation. At least we can take action on how to address the gap,” he said.

Also present at the event was Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (Teraju) chief executive officer Datuk Husni Salleh.