KUCHING, Sept 21 — Almost RM5 billion of the nation’s money flows out in a year through foreign workers working in the country’s construction sector.
The Malaysian Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDB) chief executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid said there were currently 420,000 foreign workers in the sector who were registered with the Malaysian Immigration Department (JIM).
“If they send overseas remittances of RM1,000 a month, we estimate almost RM5 billion of our money goes out of the country,” he told a press conference at the Sarawak edition of the Jelajah TVET Pembinaan programme today.
A first for Sarawak, the programme was officiated by Works Minister Baru Bian who urged the nation’s youth to venture into the construction field which he said was moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0).
“Many of our young people have the mentality that working in this (construction) industry involved the 3Ds (dangerous, dirty and difficult), but we are now moving towards IR4.0,” he said.
The minister also cited his recent visit to a factory in Banting where its employees were working in air-conditioned premises, adding that young people should know that the construction industry was not about the the 3Ds alone but was changing over time.
Baru Bian said according to the productivity report released by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) in 2018, the construction industry had already achieved a productivity rate of 3.4 per cent, which was almost RM44,000 per capita per employee.
“It is an achievement that brings utmost pride and we hope that CIDB will continue to enhance the programme providing more opportunities for youths especially in Sarawak, in contributing their innovation and skills to the construction industry,” he added. — Bernama