KUCHING: Building a pool of technical experts and contractors is a shared responsibility of the private and public sectors, says Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi.
The shortage of technical manpower now and in the future is always a problem, he said when closing his ministry’s workshop on ‘administration of contracts towards project delivery excellence for Sarawak government’s projects’, here yesterday.
He said the idea was for the state to have ready supply of technical manpower needed for mega projects to be implemented in the future.
“If we can enforce it we should ask the contractors undertaking the projects to employ our youngsters and fresh graduates and train them to become experts so we do not have to always rely on foreign experts. There should exist willpower among our present contractors in realising this.
“We cannot rely on, say, the Peninsular Malaysians or Indonesians, because they would not stay long in Sarawak. The private and public sectors should be responsible and prioritise the need for technical manpower in the state,” he said.
When urging industry players and project implementers to minimise delay of projects, he said whatever was being implemented on the ground would reflect the image of the government of the day.
Should there be issues, they must be tackled at the earlier stages of the projects, he said when explaining the spirit of the buzzword ‘Project Delivery Excellence’.
Julaihi also wanted industry players to adopt the policy of having 30 per cent Bumiputera participation in mega projects, not only to train them for future endeavours but also to stamp out negative criticisms upon the government for not enforcing the policy fully.
“In fact, there is still room for the 30 per cent Bumiputera participation policy to be fully implemented otherwise we would be hearing negative comments again. We do not want to be accused of employing ‘Bunyiputera sahaja’ (lip service only),” he said.
Julaihi also wanted the industry players and related agencies to explore the possibility of not allowing manufacturers of building materials to be registered as contractors for the simple reason that, they (manufacturers) are always on the winning side during project bidding since they are able to dictate prices and employ undercutting technique, making it unfair for other bidders.
Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datu Safri Zainuddin, state deputy financial secretary Datu Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar, State Planning Unit director Prof Dr Muhamad Zaidel, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Utilities Dato Alice Jawan, state Drainage and Irrigation director Datu Chok Moi Soon, state Public Works Dept director Datu Zuraimi Sabki and state senior counsel John Wayne Chamberlain were also present at the function.