Saturday, 30 March 2013

Labour shortage besetting property devt industry

March 30, 2013, Saturday

KUCHING: Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) has proposed that the foreign labour market be opened to more Asian countries to address the shortage of workers in the industry.

Its secretary-general Sim Kiang Chiok lamented that the property development industry bumped into labour shortage issues ever since the implementation of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

“Many workers have moved to the SCORE area to seek jobs with higher salaries, thus leaving the rest of Sarawak with a shortage of workers.

“Sheda hopes that the state government will open up the foreign workers market to more Asian countries such as China, Burma and the Philippines, instead of mostly to Indonesia,” he said at the launch of Sheda Home and Property Road Show 2013 at Boulevard Shopping Mall here yesterday.

Assistant Minister of Housing Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah officiated at the three-day road show.

On another matter, Sim said the association still held the stand that low-cost houses should be built by the government through the contributions of income tax from all profit-making organisations.

He argued that the rising cost of construction and land prices had made it very challenging for industry players to pursue low-cost and low-cost plus housing programmes.

Sim also urged the Ministry of Housing to consider Sheda’s proposal to amend the Housing Developer’s Ordinance (HDO).

“We have written to the ministry that certain proposed amendments would have a big impact on the compliance cost of the house prices and would reduce the number of players in the supply of houses.

“We hope the ministry will take them into consideration so that our members can still supply houses to the public with reasonable prices.”

For instance, he said, a proposed increase of three per cent deposit of the construction cost would have a huge impact on the cash flow.

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