KUALA LUMPUR: The construction industry needs to adopt digital technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), to reduce reliance on low-skilled foreign workers.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof stated that this would not only empower local contractors but also help bridge the productivity gap, ensuring they remained competitive on the international stage.

“The construction sector is a key driver of the nation’s economic growth. Therefore, I highly welcome the ongoing efforts of the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM). As an organisation, MBAM has not only witnessed the evolution of the construction industry but also acted as a catalyst for changes that have driven the Malaysian construction industry forward.

“I also urge industry players to widely implement digital technology such as AI, Building Information Modelling (BIM), and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices in project management, in line with current developments,” he said.

He made these remarks while speaking at the 70th Anniversary Dinner of MBAM tonight.

Fadillah, who is also the Minister of Energy Transition and Water Transformation, praised MBAM’s active participation in various technical committees and its work related to policy formulation and programme implementation.

“In fact, I am aware that many of the industry’s best practices have been initiated by the industry players themselves with the objective of enhancing the performance of the construction industry in Malaysia.

“It should be noted that the dynamics of the construction industry will continue to evolve and the challenges ahead will undoubtedly be greater. However, I hope that MBAM and all its members will not hesitate to embrace change in the era of Industry 4.0 and continue to look forward,“ he said.

With the expertise gained from past experiences, Fadillah expressed confidence that MBAM will lead the transformation and development of available resources in innovation, knowledge and efficiency, while enhancing the industry’s performance in various critical areas.

Fadillah acknowledged that the construction industry heavily relies on the concerted efforts of the government, the Ministry of Works, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), the Ministry of Finance, and all relevant stakeholders to elevate the industry to a higher level of professionalism.

“In line with MBAM members’ efforts to continue advancing in the construction industry, the government will also provide advice, expertise and support to industry players in addressing current issues raised to speed up economic growth,” he said.