RM5 billion a year outflow from foreign construction workers

KUCHING: As much as RM5 billion a year flows out of the country through foreign construction workers, it was revealed today.

Malaysian Construction Industry Development Authority chief executive Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid made the estimate based on the 420,000 foreign construction workers registered with the Immigration Department.

“If they send overseas remittances of RM1,000 a month, we estimate almost RM5 billion of our money goes out of the country,” he told reporters at a TVET function today.

The Jelajah TVET Pembinaan was opened by Works Minister Baru Bian, who urged young Malaysians to venture into construction.

“Many of our young people have the mentality that working in this (construction) industry involves the 3Ds (dangerous, dirty and difficult work), but we are now moving towards IR4.0,” he said.

The minister also cited his recent visit to a factory in Banting where employees work in air-conditioned premises, adding that young people should know that the construction industry was not about the 3Ds alone but was changing over time.

Baru said according to the productivity report released by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation in 2018, the construction industry had already achieved a productivity rate of 3.4%, which was almost RM44,000 per capita per employee.

“It is an achievement that brings utmost pride and we hope that CIDB will continue to enhance the programme, providing more opportunities for youths, especially in Sarawak, in contributing their innovation and skills to the construction industry,” he added.