KUALA LUMPUR: More than 30,000 applications were received by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) from the construction sector until yesterday, to resume operations during the implementation of the Movement Control Order (CPP).
Senior Minister of Works, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, said of the total, only 7,000 applications were approved, while the rest were rejected for not meeting the criteria outlined.
He said companies that had failed to apply could submit an appeal and MITI would refer the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) for reconsideration, provided that the guidelines were in place.
“For approved applications too, many stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) must be followed including compulsory workers going through body temperature checks before entry into work and in the event of COVID-19 symptoms, employers must ensure they are sent to the clinic.
“Besides, guarding social incarceration, providing handwashing and home fluids and workplaces need to be sanitized. These are prerequisites that must be met,” he said.
He said this in an interview for the Political Speech program titled 'Construction Sector Challenge: New Normal Facing COVID-19' aired live on RTM tonight.
Fadillah said a monitoring and enforcement committee headed by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) was established to ensure that the construction sector complies with the laws under the CPP and the SOP.
He said the special committee was made up of ministry agencies under the infrastructure cluster including the Public Works Department (JKR), Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) and local authorities (local authorities) in each state.
“We will monitor all companies approved to operate during the CPP period. We will conduct a surprise check to ensure they carry out all SOPs.
“Companies that fail to apply for operations will also be monitored because we do not want them to continue operating without their approval.
“At the same time, we have created a special line for the public to file a complaint and we can investigate any failure to comply with the law,” he said.
Fadillah, however, said if there was only one case of COVID-19 infection at the construction site, the area would be closed immediately and the Ministry of Health would conduct sanitation and screening of all close contacts.
“The Ministry of Health has an SOP that needs to be adhered to and only those who can determine if the site can be reopened or not.
“Therefore, it is very important for companies applying for SOP compliance to avoid closing operations and jeopardizing companies and employees,” he said.
He also said the country's construction sector lost about RM11.6 billion during the first CPP implementation.
He said, in order to stimulate the economy, companies under the sector could apply for re-operations, as opposed to only companies with certain criteria allowed in the early stages of the CPP, which was due to safety factors and projects that were 90 per cent completed.