CLAB launches its first centralised labour quarters to uplift living conditions for construction workers

Shah Alam, 18 January 2018: The Construction Labour Exchange Centre Berhad (CLAB), a subsidiary of the Construction Industry Development Board, Malaysia (CIDB), today launched its first Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ) to uplift the living conditions of construction workers. This initiative is a part of the Construction Industry Transformation Programme’s (CITP) aim to improve the overall workplace safety and workers’ amenities in the industry.

Situated in Shah Alam, CLAB’s CLQ has six blocks consisting 144 rooms with the capacity to house up to 864 workers. Its facilities are on par with CLQs abroad in Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. The opening was officiated today by Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof, the Minister of Works. Present also were Dato’ Sri Zohari bin Haji Akob, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Works, who is also the Chairman of CLAB, and Encik Abdul Rafik Abdul Rajis, Chief Executive of CLAB.

“The construction industry is one of the main catalysts driving the growth of the country’s economy, consistently delivering significant benefits to Malaysia’s socioeconomic transformation. In fact, total value of construction in 2017 is expected to exceed RM170 billion, whereas for 2018, it is expected to reach RM 140 billion,” said Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof.

“As such, a substantial amount of labour is required to meet this growing demand. Currently, 850,000 construction personnel are registered with CIDB, including professionals, skilled workers and general workers. The Ministry of Works places great emphasis on the well being of these workers, as without proper accommodation, the health and safety of not only the construction workers, but also the community at large,can be compromised,” he added.

A target has been set under the Quality, Safety and Professionalism Strategic Thrust of the CITP for eight CLQs for construction workers to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2020 in collaboration with industry partners, as part of its on-going initiative to drive improvements in worker’s living conditions and amenities. The CLQ is a gated-and-guarded accommodation, complete with amenities and facilities for the workers’ safety and comfort. It includes a surau, cafeteria, kitchen, recreational areas and medical facilities.

Meanwhile, CIDB, through collaborations with construction industry stakeholders, has also produced the Malaysian Standard for Temporary Construction Site Workers’ Amenities and Accommodation (MS2593:2015). CIDB is also currently working closely with the Ministry of Human Resource towards the amendment of Act 446 (Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990) to include construction workers under its purview.

“As construction projects may differ in timeline, size and value, it is not necessarily feasible to build a CLQ for every project. Hence, renting a CLQ by CLAB for construction workers is the more practical and economical option. It is not only a clean and safe environment for workers, but employers also need not worry about the additional burden of operating the quarters, as it is wholly managed and operated by CLAB,” said Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof.

MRT Corporation, owner of the Sungai Buloh CLQ, permitted CLAB the use of the premises for a year as a pilot project after the completion of the Sungai Buloh – Kajang MRT. Currently, CLAB is in talks with the Penang Development Corporation and Putrajaya Corporation to construct and operate two new CLQ’s at Batu Kawan,
Penang and in Putrajaya by 2018.

CLAB was established in 2003 by CIDB pursuant to the decision by the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers or Jawatankuasa Kabinet Mengenai Pengambilan Pekerja Asing (JKK-PA) to bring in and redistribute foreign workers for companies in Malaysia. In 2009, the Government mandated CLAB to manage all requests from construction companies that require a maximum of 100 foreign construction workers for their projects.To date, CLAB has successfully managed 174,000 construction workers for placement in the industry through 34,800 applications from construction companies.

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About CIDB
The Construction Industry Development Board was established under the                                Construction Industry Development Act (Act 520) to develop the Capacity and Capability of the Construction
Industry through Enhancement of Quality and Productivity by Placing Great Emphasis on Professionalism,
Innovation and Knowledge in the Endeavour to Improve the Quality of Life.