Contractors scheme extended to Sarawak, Sabah

KUCHING: The perennial need for immediate project funding faced by Grade G2 to G5 Bumiputera contractors in the state will be solved with the extension of Contractors Trust Fund Scheme (Skim Kumpulan Wang Amanah Kontraktor) or SKWAK to Sarawak and Sabah starting Jan next year.

These contractors however must be registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)

and Entrepreneurs and Contractors Development Division (Bahagian Pembangunan Kontraktor dan Usahawan) or BPKU.

An allocation of RM6 million will be channelled to SKWAK for the scheme in 2015, revealed Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusuf during the opening of the 2014 National Bumiputera Industrialised Building System (IBS) seminar at a leading hotel here yesterday.

He also said SKWK this year had provided a total of RM3.9 million worth of loans to contractors nationwide including those in Grade G1 (Class F) to carry out federal projects.

He also announced that an outreach course for Bumipitera contractors in Sabah and Sarawak would be implemented on new applications and renewal of applications in the interiors.

The processing period for the SKWK scheme for Grade G1 contractors, he said, would be shortened to 10 working days while the processing period for Grade G2 to Grade G5 would be much shorter.

This is to ensure that immediate financial needs can be disbursed to the Grade G2 to Grade G5 contractors as their projects are much smaller and have a shorter completion period, said Fadillah, who is also Petra Jaya MP.

On another note, he also announced that the ministry planned to set one-stop centres for Sarawak and Sabah Bumiputera contractors in in Miri and Tawau (Sabah) to ease their burden in terms of transportation and travelling time.

His ministry would also issue Blue Pages that includes a directory of all the entrepreneurs or vendors registered with BPKU by next month.

He also said detailed studies would be conducted by the ministry before the new registration of Grade G1 contractors could be carried out next year to ensure that current Grade G1 contractors would not be affected by the new upgraded contractors.

Meanwhile, the two-day seminar was attended by around 250 contractors from across the country to introduce and strengthen their understanding on the Industrialised Building System (IBS).

IBS, in a nutshell, is a system to cut costs on manpower and raw materials due to the fabrication of construction segments in controlled environments such as factories.

These ready segments will then be transported to the construction site for assembly, thus cutting down dependency on manpower and costs. Currently Malaysia has a total of 42 Bumiputera companies practising the IBS system.

Under the 4th Malaysia Plan, 161 projects (19 per cent) of the total 848 building projects headed by the Works Ministry are being carried out using the IBS system.

Works Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Zohari Akob was also present at the launching ceremony.