Bumiputera contractors told to buck up

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KUCHING: Bumiputera contractors have been told once again to not be overly dependent on government projects to both expand and sustain their businesses.

They were told to always increase their capacity and capability to bid for and implement other projects such as those in the private sector.

On this issue, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said he believed even small contractors that have good work record would not find it too difficult to secure projects in the private sector.

Looking at the government’s allocation for mega projects, he asserted that although the main contractors were selected from among big contractors in the G7 category (unlimited tendering capacity), small contractors still have opportunities to compete for sub-contract works within the main projects.

He really hoped that bumiputera contractors would continue to work hard, have initiatives and be competitive in seizing available opportunities.

Bumiputera contractors must be more proactive, he stressed, adding that they also must be prepared for whatever might come their ways under the new-normal challenges and changes.

To be able to survive in business, contractors must be able to find, assess and identify opportunities.

“There are so many business opportunities in Malaysia,” he said when opening the 41st annual general meeting of the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association online in Kuala Lumpur today.

Contractors, according to him, should not focus only on more secure and familiar areas or jobs. He urged them to be bolder and more innovative in order to explore new business fields.

The country now, he pointed out, needs more entrepreneurs who are positive thinkers and strategists, and knowledgeable in business, and capable of meeting global competition.

Contractors ought to diversify their activities. For example, they could go into the field of agricultural technology, petroleum and gas, information technology and multimedia, and so on, he said.

It is known that as many as 120 industries depend on the construction industry, and these include those that produce building materials, logistics suppliers, developers and managers of facilities.

Another very important aspect of the construction sector is it employs 15.5 percent of the country’s 8.5 million workers, so because of this, the government is very sensitive to the welfare of contractors, especially in relation to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With this in the mind, the government has allocated RM15 billion under its 2021 Budget to increase the number of infrastructure projects implemented all over the country, Fadillah said.

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