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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Aug 4: Contractors involved in public construction projects with scheduled completion dates within the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 will not be penalised for projects delayed.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced this today under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 7.0 initiative which comprised three measures targeted at assisting the business sector.
“The Sarawak government will ease the government procurement policy in order to support businesses in the construction sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Projects with scheduled completion dates expiring within the MCO 3.0 period to be granted extension of time (EOT) of 60 days maximum.
“In view of EOT being granted, liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD or late penalty) already imposed shall be waived during the gazetted MCO period,” he said when announcing BKSS 7.0 and handing over of BKSS 6.0 aid in a simple ceremony here today.
In addition, Abang Johari said, the government will also grant automatic EOT as a direct consequence of MCO 3.0 based on actual granted gazetted MCO 3.0 for ongoing projects with completion date not within the MCO 3.0 period.
More importantly, he added, the Sarawak government will also bear the cost of approximately RM400 million for allowing the variation of price for government works contracts as a consequence of a severe surge in prices for certain construction materials due to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“(That apart) payment valuations and assessments shall be automatically carried out at the end of every month without having to wait for contractor’s written detailed applications for payment claims and to allow minimum interim payment of RM1,000 monthly for all State contracts.
“The government will also allow payment to consultants’ site supervisor teams during any MCO period subject to the terms and conditions to be determined subsequently,” he added.
This is part of the measures announced under BKSS 7.0, which will involve government expenditure of more then RM800 million, to benefit the construction sector.
Abang Johari expressed hope that these measures will help the continuation of industrial and business activities in Sarawak which is now in Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), and further move the State economy forward.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion were among those present. — DayakDaily