Stakeholders say their piece in IBS townhall session


KUALA LUMPUR: A first of its kind townhall session was conducted successfuly by the Works Ministry (KKR), the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing Housing and Local Government (KPKT) and the Construction Industry Development Board of Malaysia (CIDB) on Monday, 11 September, 2017, at the CIDB Convention Centre here.

The main aim of the townhall session was to engage with construction industry stakeholders on the mechanism for the mandatory implementation of the Industrialised Building System (IBS).

The organisers stressed that the session was intended to obtain stakeholders input, feedback and views, following the government’s plan to make the use of IBS mandatory in the construction industry.

The government announced in July that the construction industry should be prepared to adopt IBS as a prerequisite within three years, as the plan has been in the pipeline for many years.

Panel members of the townhall session were Datuk Seri Zohari Akob, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Works; Datuk Mohammad Mentek, Secretary General of KPKT; CIDB Chief Executive Dato’ IR Ahmad ‘Asri Abdul Hamid and Shahruddin Shahril, deputy Director General of the Local Government Deparment at KPKT.

The session was moderated by Sime Darby Property Bhd Chief Transformation Officer Datuk Wan Hashimi Albakri.

More than 300 stakeholders participated in the townhall session which saw a vibrant discussion on various matters pertaining to IBS. The session began with members of the panel explaining to the audience that their role was to justify the need for the private sector, in particular to throw their support completely behind IBS.

The audience was informed that the government was ready to form a secretariat to look into the matter and that a cabinet paper was being prepared.

In his lively brief on the evolution of IBS in Malaysia, CIDB’s Ahmad ‘Asri touched on issues ranging from the benefits of IBS, the IBS ecosystem, on how IBS will be implemented, misguided perceptions among stakeholders and most importantly on strategies to be employed to make IBS a success story in Malaysia.

On a light note Ahmad ‘Asri pointed out that, “While Malaysia has been struggling to implement IBS, developed nations have made huge strides using IBS and have moved from building a house to manufacturing a house. There’s even talk that the future will be about printing a house!”

Not to be outdone, many of the participants made good of the opportunity to not only ask questions but also to air their views, grievances and suggestions, right from the planning stage to tender and building stages.

A chief concern was if the industry was ready and prepared to cater for the volume of IBS standard supplies which would surge once IBS is made compulsory.

There was also displeasure at what many see as foreign infiltration, particularly from mainland China players whose presence in Malaysia is already substantial.

Another participant explained that Malaysian architects and engineers were fully competent to design IBS projects but there was no demand from developers and clients who still prefer the conventional method.

Once the respective panel members addressed all issues raised, it was concluded that if IBS was not forced in the industry, there cannot be a level playing field.

Last month Ahmad ‘Asri said CIDB expected a five percent reduction in construction cost by 2020 if the use of IBS is made mandatory.

He also said that IBS factories in Malaysia operated at between 50 percent and 60 percent capacity at present, adding that Malaysia has a total of 237 IBS companies but they only produce certain housing construction components.

He said CIDB focused on initiatives to adopt IBS among the construction players in the country.

Also watch on CIDB TV:

Making IBS mandatory in the construction industry


[11 September, 2017]