KUCHING, Feb 3 — The Public Works Department (JKR) should introduce a formula or packages to enable small-time contractors to take part in the Pan Borneo Highway project, Sarawak Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais said.
He said this could be done if the government was serious about helping small-time contractors.
“I can’t see why this cannot be done,” he said when launching a Seminar on Economic Impact and Opportunities in Construction and Related Industries in Sarawak here today.
Hence, he urged relevant agencies to work out packages for certain works in the Pan Borneo Highway project to be awarded to Class F, E, C and B contractors.
Naroden said despite the softening economy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced an additional fund of RM6 billion to assist small and medium enterprises, thus boosting developers and contractors confidence that there was still enough money for constructions works to continue.
Naroden said the Sarawak Land and Survey Department and State Planning Authority were getting applications for projects, either on private or state lands, which showed that landowners, property developers and consultants were confident in continuing their projects despite the economic slowdown.
“What I’m worried about is raising prices of building materials, houses and shophouses in the state,” he said, adding that there was a need for all sectors to collaborate to overcome the price hike.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Association (DUBS) president Datuk Abang Helmi Tan Sri Ikhwan said so far no works on the Pan Borneo Highway project were awarded to Bumiputera contractors in the state.
He said the prime minister had promised that 30% of the contracts in the Pan Borneo Highway project would be awarded to Sarawak Bumiputera contractors, which would be a boon to them.
The one-day seminar, organised by DUBS and Teraju, aims at providing information and overview on the current economic challenges and opportunities in the construction industry in Sarawak.