Govt, pri­vate sec­tor urged to make IBS manda­tory in 3 years

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: The gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor must take steps in making the in­dus­tri­alised build­ing sys­tem (IBS) manda­tory within three years, said Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter ’s Depart­ment Datuk Seri Ab­dul Rah­man Dahlan.

How­ever, he cau­tioned that like many other cru­cial pol­icy shifts, the IBS im­ple­men­ta­tion would face many chal­lenges ahead.

“It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that IBS is no longer a new is­sue in Malaysia.

“As a mat­ter of fact, the IBS Strate­gic Plan was pub­lished by the Con­struc­tion In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Board (CIDB) way back in 1999 after the for­ma­tion of the IBS Steer­ing Com­mit­tee.

“The gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor should now dis­cuss how to make manda­tory IBS a re­al­ity, with a dead­line in mind, in­stead of post­pon­ing it once again.

“Since the Real Es­tate and Hous­ing De­vel­op­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion Malaysia (REHDA) has been in talks with the gov­ern­ment on giv­ing added in­cen­tives to de­vel­op­ers who vol­un­tar­ily adopt IBS, I do not see why REHDA can­not take this di­a­logue fur­ther by making IBS manda­tory within three years.

“We can and should make this hap­pen, for the good of the peo­ple and the coun­try,” he said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

Rah­man was com­ment­ing after REHDA In­sti­tute chair­man Datuk Jef­frey Ng Tiong Lip wrote in a local daily about making IBS manda­tory within three years.

In the ar­ti­cle, Jef­frey urged the gov­ern­ment to en­gage property de­vel­op­ers be­fore making it manda­tory.

Rah­man said REDHA pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Fateh Iskan­dar Mo­hamed Man­sor had pre­vi­ously echoed the same sen­ti­ment, say­ing the gov­ern­ment must take the lead by making it com­pul­sory for gov­ern­ment projects to im­ple­ment the mod­u­lar con­struc­tion method.

Fateh was quoted as say­ing at the 19th Na­tional Hous­ing and Property Sum­mit last year that the gov­ern­ment needed to take the lead by telling the de­vel­op­ers that 60 to 70 per cent of the contracts awarded by the gov­ern­ment must use IBS, or they won’t get the con­tract.

“I un­der­stand that there are some con­tentions on whether IBS can in­deed re­duce property prices.

“How­ever, most in­dus­try play­ers agree that the adop­tion of IBS could slash con­struc­tion pe­ri­ods and labour costs by as much as 50 per cent, ul­ti­mately re­duce de­pen­dency on for­eign labour and en­sure a safe and clean con­struc­tion en­vi­ron­ment,” said Rah­man.

Rah­man said for a tech­nol­ogy that has been ad­vo­cated by the gov­ern­ment for close to two decades, the adop­tion rate still re­mained low.

The in­dus­try play­ers would still be re­sis­tant to change so long as for­eign labour was read­ily avail­able at a low cost, he said.

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