Following the Prime Minister of Malaysia's announcement on 11 January 2021 in relation to the imposition of the Movement Control Order ('MCO 2.0') in the states of Johor, Malacca, Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, Selangor, Penang and Sabah), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry ('MITI') has issued the list of economic sectors that will be allowed to operate during the period of MCO 2.0. This includes, among others, the construction sector. The Ministry of Works has subsequently issued a press statement on 12 January 2021 clarifying that critical construction works can be carried out during the MCO 2.0, a summary of which is as set out below.
Types of Critical Construction Works Allowed
i. Critical Maintenance and Repair Works
Critical maintenance and repair works refer to works that will
endanger or harm workers, members of the public or the environment
if left unattended or unfinished. Such works include:
- Repair of slopes and traffic lights;
- Repair and maintenance of roads;
- Repair of buildings, offices or personal residences;
- Traffic management control;
- Periodic inspection and repair of lifts, travelators, escalators and other critical mechanical and electrical equipment;
- Repair, maintenance and upgrading works of premises of essential services;
- Construction of 'Bailey Bridge' at locations with collapsed bridges;
- Construction of tunnels;
- Emergency works as stipulated in a contract;
- Maintenance and cleaning works for disposal of stagnant water or pest control fogging at construction sites; and
- Works which, if left unfinished, will cause danger or harm.
ii. Construction Works for Key Public Infrastructure
Construction works for key public infrastructure means works
that mainly utilise machinery, works that do not involve workers
gathering together in one place, works that are carried out far
away from members of the public or works where the construction
site is at a remote area. Such works include:
- Highways and roads;
- Bridges and viaducts;
- Light Rail Transit or Mass Rapid Transit;
- Infrastructure in relation to electricity, telecommunications or oil and gas;
- Infrastructure in relation to dams, drainage and sewerage.
iii. Building Construction Works
Building construction works will be allowed for the following
- Projects that provide workers accommodation at the construction site; and
- Projects where construction workers are placed at Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ) and are transported to and from the construction site.
Contractors should note that the aforementioned workers
accommodation must be in compliance with the requirements of the
Workers Minimum Standard and Amenities Act 1990.
iv. Consultancy or Professional Services
Consultancy or professional services may only be carried out for
the critical construction works as listed in sub-paragraph (i) to
(iii) above. Consultants are required to fully comply with the
applicable standard operating procedure and must ensure they
utilise a minimum workforce and only carry out critical tasks while
at the construction site.
v. Other Services in the Supply Chain
Other services in the supply chain such as the supply and delivery of construction materials are allowed, but will be limited only to construction sites that have been granted the permission to operate on the basis that they involve critical construction works as listed in sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii) above. All parties in the supply chain must fully comply with the applicable standard operating procedure, including sanitising the vehicle and items to delivered and recording their temperatures when entering the construction site.
Application for Permission to Operate
Construction companies are required to apply to MITI for permission to operate in order to carry out any critical construction works during MCO 2.0. Applications can be made online at MITI's online portal.
Control of Movement of Construction Workers
The movement of construction workers to and from the
construction site and the workers accommodation must be strictly
monitored. Contractors shall provide limited transportation for the
construction workers to travel from their accommodation to the
construction site and back. Further, contractors must ensure the
daily needs of the workers, including food and personal hygiene
items, are available at the construction site to prevent the
construction workers from leaving the construction site
Contractors should also note that during the period of MCO 2.0, construction workers are not permitted to travel between construction sites.
The types of construction works allowed to be carried out during
MCO 2.0 is comparatively wider than what was allowed during the
first MCO. This will hopefully lessen the impact of MCO 2.0 on both
large and small contractors. However, contractors should be aware
that, in addition to their own compliance with standard operating
procedures, they are responsible for ensuring their workers'
compliance. In practice, this will not be an easy task.
The press statement issued by the Ministry of Works can be accessed here.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.