Sim: Good contractors around but many challenges persist

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Sept 5: There are good contractors around in Sarawak but some of them are facing several challenges with regards to undertaking and completing the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) projects on time, thus causing delay in the completion of some projects.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok said there are good contractors in Sarawak but they faced some challenges to undertake a large number of projects.

“There are good and successful contractors in Sarawak, but for the smaller size contractors that are working on RTP they could be facing challenges like lack of working capital, technical and supervisory staff .

“It is true that when the government dismisses and re-appoint other contractors it will cost us (the state) more time and cost in implementing these small projects,” he said in a statement.

Sim, who is also a director of Sim Swee Yong Development and Construction Sdn Bhd, believed that there could also be other reasons such as lack of skilled workers or good machine operators.

He added poor planning and management skill, lack of construction material or machineries were among the reasons why the RTP projects were not able to be completed on time.

Sim opined that poor weather could also be a factor especially when the construction involved the elements such as infrastructure to build drains or roads.

Nonetheless, he ruled out that smaller size contractors were unwilling to undertake the RTP projects due to lower contract sum as the state government has been practicing open tenders and awarding to the contractor that have tendered near or about the approved budget rather than the lowest.

Hence, Sim explained that the reason for poor pricing for construction failure is not totally accurate.

Sim was responding to a recent statement from Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian who said Sarawak currently faces the challenges of having too few contractors to implement a number of state government projects.

He opined that with good contractors, they could be assured that projects would be implemented according to specifications.

Kui Hian noted that there were delays for a number of RTP projects as the contractors which were selected decided not to take up the offer of the job.

On the other hand, he said it takes time to terminate a bad contractor, thus causing further delay in the completion of RTP projects.  —DayakDaily