COVID-19: Ministry of Works FAQs for CMCO

Pursuant to the Malaysian Government’s announcement of the Conditional Movement Control Order (‘CMCO’), the Ministry of Works (‘KKR’) issued a standard operating procedure on 1 May 2020 which the construction industry is required to comply with in order to operate during the CMCO (‘Construction SOP’)[1]. Following this, on 8 May 2020, KKR published a series of frequently asked questions (‘KKR FAQs’) in relation to operations in the construction industry during the CMCO[2].
 
Requirements for Commencement of Construction Activities
 
Construction Activities
 
The KKR FAQs state that all construction activities are allowed to commence operations during the CMCO. While “construction activities” is not defined in the KKR FAQs, reference can be made to the Construction SOP in this respect. The Construction SOP provides that all “construction works” as defined in section 2 of the Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan Malaysia Act 1994 and professional services in relation to the construction industry are allowed to be carried out during the CMCO.
 
Declaration to MITI
 
In a departure from the earlier phases of the Movement Control Order, companies that intend to operate during the CMCO are not required to apply for prior approval from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (‘MITI’). However, companies are required to submit a declaration of their respective company information as well as a pledge of compliance with the Construction SOP to MITI by 12 May 2020. Such declaration and pledge can be submitted online at MITI’s website. The KKR FAQs have clarified, however, that the requirement for the declaration does not apply to companies that have made prior applications to MITI, including applications that are being processed, rejected applications, or applications being appealed.
 
Declaration to CIDB
 
Companies are also required to submit a declaration of information on their ongoing projects with the Construction Industry Development Board of Malaysia (‘CIDB’) within two weeks after the commencement of their operations at CIDB’s website. Information that must be declared are as follows:
 
  1. Project name and value;
  1. Project location (with GPS coordinates);
  1. Details of officer in charge:
  • Company director

  • Head Coordinator

  • Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ) Management (if applicable)
  1. List of workers involved.
Requirements for Operations of Construction Activities
 
Operating Hours and Number of Workers
 
The KKR FAQs provide that there are no restrictions on the operating hours for construction activities. Notwithstanding this, companies must comply with any rules on operating hours that may be imposed by the relevant local authority.
 
While there is no restriction on the number of workers allowed at the construction site/ premise, social distancing must be practised at all times. In line with this, employers are encouraged to carry out work scheduling, implement a work from home system, and conduct meetings virtually.
 
Preparation of Documents at Construction Site / Premises
 
Companies are to ensure that the following documents are prepared and made available at the construction site/ premises:
 
  1. Project name and value;
  1. Project location (with GPS coordinates);
  1. Details of officer in charge:
  • Company director

  • Head Coordinator

  • Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ) Management (if applicable)
  1. Project implementation schedule;
  1. List of total number of workers of main contractor/ company, in accordance to trade;
  1. List of total number of sub-contractors and workers, in accordance to trade;
  1. List of suppliers of construction materials and of other materials which will be used;
  1. List of heavy machinery suppliers, names of operators, licence and machinery which will be used;
  1. List of consultants and workers involved;
  1. Records of workers’ movement health screening of workers, and management of cleanliness management of construction site/ premise; and
  1. CIDB Pledge.
Compliance with Standard Operating Procedures
 
The construction industry is required to comply with the provisions of the Construction SOP for its operations during the CMCO. In addition, companies are responsible for ensuring compliance with all orders issued by the National Security Council and the standard operating procedure for prevention of Covid-19 issued by the Ministry of Health.
 
Protocols for Operations
 
The KKR FAQs outlines protocols and safety measures in relation to the matters set out below:
 
  • Testing and health screening of workers;

  • Preparation of personal protective equipment for workers;

  • Transportation of workers;

  • Workers’ movement;

  • Transportation of construction materials and supplies to construction site/ premise;

  • Management of Covid-19 symptoms and cases;

  • Steps to be taken at the entrance of the construction site/ premise;

  • Steps to be taken during execution of construction works;

  • Management of workers’ break times;

  • Cleanliness of toilets and construction site/ premise;

  • Workers’ accommodation on construction site/ premise;

  • Reminders to workers; and

  • Maintenance of records.
 
Our detailed summary of the protocols under the KKR FAQs is available here.
 
Other Clarifications
 
Requirement to Appoint Coordinator
 
Pursuant to the Construction SOP, companies are required to appoint a coordinator to oversee Covid-19 preventive measures at the construction site/ premises. With respect to this requirement, the KKR FAQs stipulate that for small construction companies carrying out small-scale projects, the company owner shall be the appointed coordinator.
 
Decontamination and Sanitisation Processes
 
Companies may carry out decontamination and sanitisation processes themselves in accordance with the relevant procedural guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. However, companies are encouraged to engage contractors licensed with the Ministry of Health to carry out these processes.
 
Free Covid-19 Testing under Prihatin Screening Programme
 
Workers registered with the Social Security Organisation (‘SOCSO’) may undergo Covid-19 testing for free under the Prihatin Screening Programme. Employers are required to register their workers on SOCSO’s website in order for the workers to undergo the said testing.
 
Cost of Compliance with Construction SOP
 
A pertinent point which has been addressed in the KKR FAQs is the party responsible for bearing the cost of compliance with the Construction SOP. The clarification given by KKR is that the main contractor will be responsible for preparing all items required thereunder.
 
Commentary
 
The KKR FAQs, which appear to be a supplement to the Construction SOP, are largely a reflection of the provisions of the latter. However, there are additional clarifications which should be noted, in particular the clarification that the main contractor is responsible for compliance with the Construction SOP and the related costs.
 
 
Our Construction and Engineering Practice Group will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments. 
 
If you have any queries, please contact our Ms. Jocelyn Lim (Partner) at jocelyn.limyeantse@skrine.com) or Ms. Rachel Chiah (Associate) at rachel.chiah@skrine.com or Mr. Jeremiah Ch’ng (Associate) at jeremiah@skrine.com
 

[1] Our earlier Alert on the Construction SOP for the CMCO is available here.
[2] The full text of the KKR FAQs is available here.