Malaysian contractors urge 12-hour days to clear Covid backlog

©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier
A contractors organisation in Malaysia has urged the government of the state of Selangor to lengthen the construction working day there to 7am-7pm from Mondays to Fridays to help them make up for time lost in the pandemic in order to honour contracts.

The industry has lost at least 199 days to stop-work orders and has suffered around 380 more days of control-order-enforced low productivity in greater Kuala Lumpur and Selangor since the pandemic began, said the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM).

Selangor state surrounds the city of Kuala Lumpur and contains much of the city’s greater metropolitan area. Its government recently standardised construction operating hours at 8am-6pm, Mondays to Saturdays, but MBAM urged it to adopt its proposal, which would provide even more time.

MBAM wants other states in Malaysia to do the same.

Construction in Selangor was allowed to resume full operations on 18 October, but most construction sites were still struggling to catch up with the lost time “to ensure projects can be completed within the stipulated time in contracts”, the MBAM said.

Daily procedures to clean sites, check temperatures and managing the government’s tracking app were taking up “a substantial amount of time”, it added.

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