The CITP aims to transform the construction industry through four strategic thrusts that are Quality, Safety and Professionalism, Environmental Sustainability, Productivity and Internationalisation.

The CITP’s goals include creating and enforcing the highest standards of quality, safety and professionalism in the construction industry, instituting more environmentally sustainable practices throughout the industry; generating high-skilled jobs and opportunities for Malaysian youth and SMEs, reducing the reliance on low skilled foreign labour, and increasing global competitiveness.

The Construction Industry Transformation Programme, or CITP, is Malaysia’s national agenda to transform the construction industry during 2016-2020. The CITP was spearheaded by the Ministry of Works in collaboration with its agencies, primarily the Construction industry Development Board.

The CITP was developed to address the substantial issues which persist in the construction industry. Significant progress has been made in the construction sector through a series of initiatives and programmes implemented over the years. Despite this, several issues remain persistent in the industry. In terms of building quality, workmanship is generally lacking, quality assessment tools such as QLASSIC are underutilised, and safety issues are overall not emphasised on construction sites. Environmentally, carbon emissions are too high, construction & demolition (C&D) waste over-contribute to landfills and buildings have proven to be inadequately resilient to natural disasters.

There are also issued related to the low productivity of workers, due to the majority of them being unskilled, which puts the Malaysian construction industry behind many other countries and which contributes negatively to income growth.

The industry also tends to favour labour over modern technologies and methods of construction, which leads to low implementation of such technologies as Industrialised Building Systems.

As a result of these, Malaysian companies are facing increased competition both domestically and abroad from foreign competitors who are better equipped to provide construction services. This is also due to constraints in going abroad, including financing and market intelligence to win in target overseas markets.

The above is just a sampling of the issues in the construction industry. Given the importance of the industry to the country, in terms of development of the built environment and its contributions to the Malaysian economy (click here for an infographic on the construction industry in Malaysia), the government included the industry in the 11th Malaysia Plan under Chapter 8 and Focus Area D, as well as in the Services Sector Blueprint.

The CITP was developed to support the thrusts of the 11th Malaysia Plan and to accelerate the development of the Malaysian construction industry to prepare it to meet the future demands of the Malaysian economy.

Achieving this would require an industry transformation, which is at the heart of the CITP. Realising this transformation will have to be a collaborative effort, due to the strong inter-dependencies between construction and other sectors of the economy. A joint effort of stakeholders across government ministries and agencies, industry players, professional boards and associations, universities and research organisations will be needed if the CITP is to be successful.

This collaboration started in the development phase, when a spectrum of stakeholders was involved in providing input for the development of the CITP. Their continued input and support for implementation are critical for the CITP to be successful.

Four strategic thrusts have been identified to guide the transformation and continued development of the construction industry and to address the issues mentioned above:

  1. Quality, Safety and Professionalism
  2. Environmental Sustainability
  3. Productivity
  4. Internationalisation

As a national agenda designed to positively impact all stakeholder groups, the CITP would have to be a collaborative process.

Over 150 stakeholder groups were involved in providing input to the CITP, including ministries, government agencies, industry players, professional boards and associations, universities and training institutes, industry experts and numerous other industry players including corporations.

The development of the CITP took place over three phases:

Phase 1: Baseline and plan development (March – June 2014)

Stress Test: (July – Dec 2014)

Phase 2: Developing detailed implementation plan (Jan – July 2015)

Phase 1: Baseline & Plan Development

The first step to crafting the CITP was to understand the issues holding back the construction sector. Therefore, this phase involved working with over 150 stakeholder groups to gather their input on these key issues. This took place through a series of one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions and lab interviews, with the intended outcome being the following:

  • understand key issues in the sector
  • identify gaps when compared to benchmarks or best practices
  • identify strategic thrusts to drive industry transformation
  • commence planning for implementation

Once the input was gathered, the strategic thrusts were identified and the draft plan produced.

Four global megatrends were taken into consideration when developing the CITP. These were: urbanisation; energy scarcity and sustainability; globalisation and the rise of Rapidly Developing Economies; and a Productivity and innovation imperative. These megatrends gave a strong indication that Malaysia must be prepared for changes in both the demand and supply of construction services.

The preliminary CITP draft was also aligned with the relevant national agendas.

Stress Test

The CITP draft was then stress-tested with 150 stakeholder groups. For each thrust, the outcomes to be achieved were articulated and the 18 initiatives were developed.

It was during this phase that the CITP became a ‘shared journey’, due to the intensive collaboration that were central in co-developing the Programme and ultimately the way forward for the industry.

Phase 2: Developing Detailed Implementation Plan

In this phase, the 18 initiatives were further refined and the relevant stakeholders were determined through a series of lab sessions and one-on-one engagements.

The detailed implementation plan was developed utilising the input from these focus groups. Each initiative received their key milestones, stakeholder involved, critical inter-dependencies, key performance indicators and resources required. These will also be used for tracking and monitoring purposes during the CITP’s implementation phase.

The CITP was presented at the National Development Planning Committee on 11th March 2015 and at the Special Committee for the Services Sector on 16th March 2015. Following that, the CITP was presented to the Cabinet Ministers at the Cabinet Away Day held on 21st May 2015, followed by the submission of a Cabinet Paper.

The official launch of the CITP took place on 10th September 2015.