Recommendation to encourage the use of mechanisation in construction

  • Roadmap and systematic action plan to drive the way forward in adopting mechanisation in construction need to be formulated and implemented. The roadmap should aim the followings; Increasing mechanised equipment ownership and usage in the construction industry.Expanding the construction machinery manufacturing industry, Developing capacity and capability, Strengthening research, development and commercialisation
  • A computerised registration system will be developed to facilitate the review and auditing of construction machinery
  • An endowment fund needs to be set up to enable small contractors or entrepreneurs to own machinery and equipment.
  • The mass construction workforce, especially the locals, needs to upgrade their skills to be involved in mechanisation, automation and robotics. The policy on labour focuses on encouraging personnel to acquire skills in more than single trade. This would add more value by providing a more skilled workforce in which would ultimately enhance the competitive advantage of the industry.
  • One of the quick gains to encourage the use of mechanisation and higher level of industrialisation is through the reduction of construction levy for the implementers. Currently there is an exemption to the Malaysian construction levy (CIDB levy - 0.125 % of the total cost of the project according to Article 520) on contractors that have used IBS in 50% of the building components in residential buildings.
  • Since the purchasing of machineries involves extensive capital investment, a leasing model should be developed to encourage the use of machineries onsite and at manufacturing site.
  • Financial assistant or tax exemption is still important to encourage mechanisation adoption (similar case with Singapore)
  • Policy and scope of future policies and roadmap on mechanisation must be very clear. Policy must be relevance and fair to big industry and SMEs. The mechanisation strategy and incentive should be cover and benefit to all level of contractor that active in construction work, so that all was not only monopoly by big players.
  • The introduction of technology into construction worksite, should not be considered only in term of a fully fledge mechanisation/robotics system, but considered in term of a lower spectrum technology as well such as semi-automation machines for earthwork.
  • As most of the machinery and heavy equipment are not produced locally, it was suggested that the reduction on duty import and sales tax for machinery and heavy equipment used in major construction works such as off highway trucks, articulated trucks, truck type tractor, motor graders, bulldozers and other. The following option was suggested in this report are; Loan by commercial banks/MIDF/EXIM Bank (CIDB as secretariat or panel to vet through the application), Reduce 50% of CIDB’s levy subject to certain condition, Create or allocate specific fund (hire purchase) grant on mechanisation joint venture CIDB with SME Corporation/MATRADE, Reduce tax or increase incentives from MIDA and LHDN
  • Successful companies that use innovation and extensive machineries in construction should be recognise under Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Award (MCIEA).
  • CIDB through CREAM should strengthen research and innovation in mechanisation
  • Finally, CIDB should launch a forum on a regular basis of academics and associated practitioners active in mechanisation and supply of equipment and robotics for exchange of information and experience, development of new techniques and advice on promotion. An online portal was also suggested to disseminate international trends, products and processes associated with the mechanisation, automation and robotics.

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