LABUAN: Local contractors with financial and operational capabilities should be given priority when awarding government contracts, Deputy Works Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said.

He said this was important as local contractors are more well-versed and understand the intricacies of building materials supply and pricing.

Ahmad cited examples from Labuan projects, where building materials had to be sourced from mainland Sabah.

“When essential materials were unavailable on the island, contractors had to procure them from various parts of Sabah, leading to increased costs. As a result, project expenses in Labuan were reported to be 30 per cent higher than in other states.

“By prioritising local contractors with financial stability, operational capabilities and a good track record, we not only support their sustainability but also contribute to the local economy,” he told reporters after the Labuan Hospital Sterile Pharmacy Handover Ceremony today.

Labuan Public Works Department director Mohd Faizul Ali Hanapiah echoed the sentiment, highlighting the challenges faced during the implementation of government projects in Labuan.

He pointed out logistical issues, scarcity of building materials, shortages in skilled manpower and inadequate machinery as obstacles affecting project timelines.

“The number of projects in Labuan is relatively small due to these challenges and completion periods often extend beyond expectations,” he said. - Bernama

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