PETALING JAYA: Construction projects in Malaysia by Chinese companies will benefit locals as they stimulate different sub-sectors in the industry, said Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (pic).
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said that it was inaccurate to say that the Chinese would gain everything from the projects as the projects would stimulate 170 sub-sectors in the construction industry.
“When people try to stir the emotions of the local business community, they will say all kinds of things, but be realistic. When foreign companies come here, the first to benefit are locals,” he said on Thursday (March 8), citing the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex as an example.
He was speaking to reporters after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Malaysia-Guangdong Chamber of Investment Promotion (MGCIP) and the Guangdong People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (GPAFFC).
He had been asked if the influx of Chinese mega-projects here would affect local job opportunities.
Dr Wee said that more construction companies from China would come in as they could provide improvements in terms of speed, quality and costs.
He added that from 2012 to June 2017, there were 173 Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) projects worth RM97.5bil awarded to Chinese companies.
“The Chinese construction companies here cannot get everything from China. They cannot import their own workers to work here. They have to employ local workers. Some of them still rely on foreign workers from Bangladesh and Indonesia,” said Dr Wee
He added that in terms of procurement, the Chinese companies would have to get goods and services from locals, boosting the supply chain here.
He pointed out that the Chinese ambassador had said that more than 50% of procurements for the Exchange 106 building in Kuala Lumpur would be from locals.
The China State Construction Engineering Corp had been awarded the project, which is due for completion this year.
“The local people in the hardware business will benefit. The companies would have to buy materials here,” he said.