Monitor the increase in iron, cement prices - The Malaysian Malay Contractors Association

15 Jun 2023 05:33pm
Photo for illustrative purpose only. - FILE PIX
Photo for illustrative purpose only. - FILE PIX

IPOH - The Malaysian Malay Contractors Association (PKMM) has urged the government to regulate the price increases of building materials with continuous monitoring and enforcement to ensure that the industry's supply chain is not affected.

President Datuk Seri Mohamed Fadzill Hassan said the price increases in construction materials, particularly cement and iron, could affect the construction industry if not regulated by the government.

He said the association has discovered drastic price increases of building materials to the extent that they can be deemed unaffordable, especially for metal construction materials which has resulted in construction cost hikes.

"A tonne of iron today is about RM3,300 compared to between RM2,600 and RM2,800 before with an estimated RM500 difference, forcing some contractors to postpone building or housing construction because as contractors, we only execute the project.

"It’s the same with cement. I understand that there will be a price increase. When cement price rises, any construction involving cement will go up. It will cause hardship to contractors if the price were to rise two or three times a month, as if there is no control, with the price changing as and when it pleases the producer,” he said at a press conference at PKMM Perak’s 46th Annual General Meeting, near here, today.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and Yang Dipertua PKMM Perak Datuk Jamaludin Abdul Rahim officiated the event.

The Statistics Department said in May that the price index per unit of cement and iron recorded a 0.3 per cent and 0.9 per cent rise, respectively, in April.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the increase had eased from March’s 1.1 per cent for cement, while iron recorded the same quantum of increase at 0.9 per cent in March.

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The average per unit price of iron comprising mild round steel bars was RM3,721.72 per tonne with an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to March’s RM3,690.90 per tonne.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Fadzill said construction industry players such as contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers hope the government will continue to regulate the price increase of building materials effectively.

"Contractors, the backbone of the country’s infrastructure development, will be relieved if there is immediate monitoring from the government.

"This matter needs immediate action,” he said. - BERNAMA