Malaysia’s construction industry suffers record decline hinh anh 1Malaysia’s construction industry suffers record decline. (Photo: AFP)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave a lasting impact on the construction industry in Malaysia, which suffered big losses during the initial phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the New Straits Times reported.

The newspaper quoted Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof as saying on September 22 that the sector sustained 18.5 billion ringgit (4.5 billion USD) in losses between March 18 and April 28 when the country imposed MCO to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The enforcement of MCO has caused financial issues, project delivery and labour constraints for the sector, Fadillah said.

Inspections by the Construction Industry Development Board on 7,590 construction sites across Malaysia from April 20 to September 20, meanwhile, found that 149 sites still had not resumed operations, he noted. Of the 149, 45 were still closed as they were still facing financial issues.

The lack of funding and high overhead costs also contributed towards the decline of the construction sector, he added.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economic Affairs) Mustapa Mohamed said the construction sector is forecast to record the biggest decline this year at 44.5 percent. Usually, claims will be given within one to two months, but since the pandemic, it will take up to three to six months, he explained.

Mustapa said he proposed the formation of a high-level committee, which would meet bimonthly to address issues faced by construction firms and jolt Malaysia's construction sector.

The committee would act as a platform for industry players to raise issues, including those involving red tape, and the differing rules between states and local governments, among others, he added./.