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Govt Ready To Help Struggling Pan Borneo Highway Contractors, No Ministry Project Postponed Despite Increase In Raw Material Prices And, More

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Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof assured that the government is ready to help Pan Borneo Highway contractors who are struggling with higher construction material prices and labour shortages.

 

Meanwhile, the implementation of all housing and infrastructure projects under the Rural Development Ministry (KPLB) is not postponed, despite the hike in raw material prices.

1) Govt ready to help struggling Pan Borneo Highway contractors

Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof assured that the government is ready to help Pan Borneo Highway contractors who are struggling with higher construction material prices and labour shortages, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

He noted that many workers involved in the project had returned to their home countries when the pandemic hit, reported Bernama. As such, contractors for the highway project are working with reduced workforce at 70% compared to the pre-pandemic capacity.

 

Meanwhile, the supply of raw materials such as sand and stones had been also affected with the closure of mines and quarries.

 

Despite the challenges, Fadillah shared that the completion status of the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway now stands at 83%.

 

And while some of the highway packages are behind schedule, they are not considered as sick projects since they can still be completed, he added.

2) No ministry project postponed despite increase in raw material prices

Despite the hike in raw material prices, the implementation of all housing and infrastructure projects under the Rural Development Ministry (KPLB) is not postponed.

 

The assurance was given even as the prices of raw materials rose by more than 15%, said KPLB Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

 

He noted that projects which have already been awarded would proceed as scheduled, while the rest will have to wait until the new prices are given by the Public Works Ministry (KKR), reported Bernama.

 

“Now it is insufficient to build a Hardcore Poor Housing Project (PPRT) costing RM56,000 as many contractors have said they are unable to build at that price and asked for a slight price increase,” he said.

 

“So we are waiting for the full report and hopefully the government will increase a bit. What we need to do is to wait for the decision by KKR,” he added.

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3) Phase Two of Putrajaya MRT Line to start operations in January.

Phase Two of the Putrajaya Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line – which spans from Kampung Batu to Putrajaya Sentral – is now 98% complete.

 

Datuk Amiruddin Ma’aris, Project Director of Putrajaya MRT Line, expects operations for Phase Two line to start in January 2023, reported Bernama.

 

He shared that among the activities being carried out for Phase Two line include link roads, landscaping, architectural work as well as testing and commissioning.

 

The Putrajaya MRT Phase One line, on the other hand, will open to the public on 16 June.

 

Running from Kwasa Damansara to Kampung Batu, the 17.5km Phase One line features nine new stations as well as three stations which were initially part of the MRT Kajang Line.

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4) PKNS hands over keys for 864 affordable homes

 

The Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) has handed over keys to 864 owners of Type D housing at Residensi Idaman Selangorku in Selangor Cyber Valley, Cyberjaya.

 

The project comprises two apartment blocks, while the new residents include single working professionals, young families, students, civil servants and golden citizens, reported the New Straits Times.

 

With a built-up area of 1,000 sq ft, the apartments come with three bedrooms, two bathrooms as well as two parking spaces. The units are priced at RM23,000.

 

Four units have been purpose-built with wheelchair-friendly platforms to cater to residents with disabilities.

 

PKNS CEO Datuk Mahmud Abbas said Residensi Idaman Selangorku went beyond brick and mortar to help the state’s B40 community settle into their own homes.

 

“With over 58 years of experience in developing quality residential developments, we are confident that Residensi Idaman Selangorku will be a benchmark for affordable housing in Selangor,” he said.

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5) Kelantan allocates RM55.38mil for people’s housing

 

Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said the state has allocated RM55.38 million for the construction of people’s housing this year, including for the dhuafa or less fortunate within the state.

Of this, RM22.35 million was set aside for the construction of 270 housing units for the asnaf group, he said. He revealed that each elected representative can give out up to six houses to the needy, reported Bernama.

 

The construction cost for each house – which comes with three rooms – is RM55,000, said Ahmad.

 

“In fact, the allocation can also be used to repair damaged houses at RM10,000 each,” he added.

 

“To qualify for this housing assistance, applicants must have their own land or land they inherited from their parents or relatives.”

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6) Central i-City transforms rooftop space into eco-friendly urban farm

 

Central i-City has partnered with CityFarm Malaysia to transform the mall’s vacant roof space into an eco-friendly urban farm.

 

The move is aimed at encouraging city dwellers to explore sustainable farming solutions and to grow plants locally from anywhere, reported the New Straits Times.

 

For its initial phase, City Rooftop Farm houses the country’s first rooftop premium melon farm. The decision to have premium melon as the farm’s primary crop aligns with the strategy of the Selangor state government to cultivate high-value farm-fresh produce.

 

Central i-City COO Anthony Dylan said the initiative serves as a catalyst, helping local small businesses create a pathway for everyone to be more involved in sustainable farming starting with the Urban Farming Festival 2022.

 

“We take pride in being a driving force in the urban farming scene, specialising in affordable hydroponics systems and now, rooftop farming,” said Dylan.

 

7) Malay contractors hesitant to take on construction tenders

Malaysian Malay Contractors Association said Malay contractors have been hesitant to participate in construction tenders, including those for government projects, due to fears of facing high losses amid the rising cost of iron and cement.

 

In fact, a total of 49,606 of the association’s members have failed to renew their Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) license since 2018, reported Free Malaysia Today citing Utusan Malaysia.